Orapi Asia

Clean Cuts: Your Guide to Salon Cleaning

salon cleaning checklist
As a stylist, you’re entrusted with delivering fresh cuts, blow-dries, and styles that leave clients feeling confident as they step out of your salon. Beyond aesthetics, your obligation extends to ensuring their safety and well-being, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s essential to go beyond merely providing a great experience and prioritize safety measures. Whether you’re seasoned or just starting out, staying updated on safety regulations, sanitation protocols for salon tools, and other preventive measures can enhance the cleanliness and safety of your services, contributing to a healthier environment for your clientele. This article will tell you A-Z everything you need to know about salon cleaning. 

Know Your Terms

how to disinfect salon tools
We emphasize mastering the correct terminology because it’s important for distinguishing between a tidy salon and one that’s thoroughly sanitized.
Salon cleaning requires more than just sweeping the floors and dusting the shelves. Proper disinfection and sanitization are crucial to ensure a clean and safe environment for customers, especially in the current times of COVID-19. Anyone can clean a salon, but it takes knowledge and expertise to achieve a level of cleanliness that meets the necessary standards.
If you’re unsure about the distinctions among the three, it’s essential to grasp them now. Knowing these variances could enhance the cleanliness and safety of the tools you work with.
In a salon, metal tools undergo sterilization using dry or steam heat. Brushes, combs, and clips are sanitized to eliminate germs.
Sterilization involves eliminating all living organisms and biological agents from an object, typically using heat or chemicals. On the other hand, sanitizing focuses on cleaning and removing oil and dirt from an object.
In contrast, disinfection targets a wider spectrum of germs on surfaces and objects, effectively destroying or rendering them inactive. Due to its potent nature, disinfection is primarily applied to surfaces rather than hands. In the beauty industry, disinfection is pivotal for minimizing the presence of fungi, viruses, yeast, and bacteria between clients. This process is achieved using heat and chemicals for various tool materials such as metal and plastic.

Lean Sanitization Tips, Tricks, and Insights

how to clean hair salon chair

Clean Before Disinfecting

Recall the terminology we covered earlier? Now is when you put it into action. Ensure you clean thoroughly before moving on to disinfection and sanitization.
Disinfectants are effective only on surfaces that are already clean, hence it’s crucial to address any debris or dirt before tackling bacterial contamination. Consider investing in chemical-free cleaners to supplement soap and water for a comprehensive cleaning process prior to disinfecting.

Regularly Swap Out Liquid Disinfectants

You’re likely aware, but it doesn’t hurt to give a friendly reminder: replace your liquid disinfectants on a daily basis. In fact, if possible, change them even more frequently.
Once liquid disinfectants start to appear cloudy or contain floating debris, it’s a clear sign they need replacing urgently. Monitor this closely and ensure regular changes to maintain effectiveness.

Understand Contact Times for Your Equipment

Each piece of equipment you utilize—whether it’s tools, countertops, or bottles—has unique characteristics, resulting in different contact times. Contact time refers to the duration a specific tool or surface needs to remain visibly wet with disinfectant to effectively eradicate pathogens and bacteria.
Indeed, it’s not simply a matter of spraying and immediately wiping off. Take the responsible step of researching and determining the appropriate contact times for your equipment.
For immersions or sprays, the effective contact time typically extends to 10 minutes, while wipes and other disinfectant types range from 2 to 4 minutes.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

While the COVID-19 pandemic underscores this point, we advocate for its adoption as a standard practice moving forward. Even if not mandated by local or state regulations, considering the close interaction with people and contact with various surfaces, wearing gloves and masks can significantly enhance safety for both you and your clients, guarding against viruses and other contaminants.
Before using any protective gear, remember to confirm with your clients regarding any latex allergies. It’s essential to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone involved, as the last thing you want is to inadvertently expose someone to a latex allergen.

Adopt Single-Use Principle When Possible

While recognizing that certain tools aren’t disposable (unless you’re swimming in cash and can afford a new set of shears for each client), it’s advisable to adopt the single-use principle wherever possible.
We’re not suggesting you stockpile clippers for one-time use; rather, consider using disposable neck strips as a barrier against germs or opting for disposable towels and wipes instead of repeatedly using the same ones (even if they’re washed daily).
Investing in single-use items might seem like a financial drain initially. However, view it as a commitment to enhancing your clients’ experience and safeguarding their well-being. Be discerning in selecting which single-use tools to incorporate into your practice.

Tips for Cleaning Salon Tools

how to clean combs and brushes

Flat Irons and Other Heater Styling Tools

Clean your heated styling tools at the end of each day.

To remove buildup on heated styling tools like flat irons, start by inspecting them for residue, particularly along the sides. Use a wet washcloth with mild soap to soften the buildup and scrub it away, focusing on specific areas while keeping the plates or barrel dry. Avoid submerging the tool in water. If needed, use disinfectant on a cotton swab or a coin/credit card to remove stubborn residue. Regular cleaning prevents hair from getting caught, ensuring smoother styling sessions. 


To maintain hygiene, it’s important to disinfect and sanitize your razor following each use.
The process of cleaning and disinfecting a razor, particularly a straight razor, poses challenges as you must prevent moisture from reaching the scales or handle.
Handle the blade cautiously to avoid cuts while using a suitable sanitizing solution. Minimize moisture exposure, incorporate oil into your cleaning routine, and regularly strop the blade for optimal maintenance.


Just like razors, shears require disinfection and sterilization after each use.
Utilize an approved chemical cleaner by rubbing a cotton ball to eliminate any styling residue and debris. Additionally, ensure to clean and oil the shears daily to uphold their quality.
Submerge the shears in an approved sanitizing solution for the prescribed duration to complete the sterilization process.

Brushes and Combs

It’s essential to sanitize and disinfect brushes and combs after each use.
For brushes with long bristles, remove hair and debris using cleaning brushes and a cleansing cream for disinfection. Store them in a dry sanitation container until their next use.
Combs can be sanitized in a liquid sanitizer and should be submerged after each use, adhering to the specified time limit provided by the product instructions.


Prior to each use, it’s imperative to clean and disinfect your clippers thoroughly.
Begin by clearing away any debris from the clippers. Disassemble them and meticulously wipe down the blades, teeth, and accessories with an approved liquid disinfectant.
Submerge all components, excluding any electrical parts, into a container of disinfectant for a thorough soak. Exercise caution to avoid immersing any electrical elements of the clippers.

Conclusion: Salon Cleaning

When it comes to salon cleaning, the commitment to excellence extends far beyond style and aesthetics; it encompasses a dedication to the safety and well-being of clientele, particularly in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As this article explains, mastering the nuances of cleanliness, sanitation, and safety protocols is paramount. From understanding the important differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting to adopting meticulous practices in tool maintenance and personal protective equipment, stylists play a pivotal role in fostering a hygienic environment. By implementing the insights shared here, stylists not only elevate the quality of their services but also uphold their responsibility to safeguard the health of those they serve, ensuring confidence and peace of mind with every haircut.

Full list of curated cleaning products.
Housekeeping Hospitality Cleaning Guide

Now Trending

Housekeeping Hospitality Cleaning Guide

Fill up the form to download the ebook!