While spa slippers and sandals put guests in a more relaxed state, they also serve the important function of keeping the feet healthy. No matter how clean you keep your spa, there is always the potential for foot fungus, especially when you’re dealing with wet areas. That’s why it’s so important to choose your spa’s footwear wisely and to make sure sandals are disinfected regularly between each client. Spa-goers should never have to wonder if they’re getting a “fresh” pair of sandals. Providing a bin of some sort for used sandals is one way to put clients at ease.
When it comes to choosing spa footwear, the material used is a key consideration. According to Steven Landi, director of business development for Supracor, spas should carry sandals made from materials that resist bacteria and fungus. Supracor introduced a line of personal care products, including spa sandals, that rely on the company’s fusion-bonded honeycomb technology. The sandal’s material, which is also used in wound dressings and heart valves, is naturally antifungal and antibacterial. As a result, a lukewarm water rinse is sufficient, as is use of an EPA-approved cleanser. “We do not recommend chlorine bleach, as it is one of the very few products that will adversely impact the honeycomb.”
Suzie Sommer, senior vice president of marketing for Ready Care, which also distributes Zendals sandals, cautions against using
acetate or other strong chemical-based cleaning products. She recommends using only antibacterial soap or antibacterial dishwashing liquid for cleaning spa footwear. According to her, a spray or quick bucket soak is suggested, along with air drying.
The folks at OKA b. recommend using an autoclave, an instrument that subjects shoes to high-pressure saturated steam at 250 F for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the load. “High temperatures are what sanitize shoes best,” says Meredith Garcia, communications and public relations manager at OKA b. Some sandals are machine washable and can withstand a spin in a dryer with cool air. However, it’s important to check with the manufacturer first to find out how to best sanitize sandals. “We spend a lot of time explaining how to properly care for sandals for a reason,” says Sommer. “When you have a lot of clients wearing your sandals over and over, you want to make sure you are properly removing all residue left from clients’ feet. We educate our clients so that each client is getting a sandal that feels brand new.”
Yeah Baby Spa Sandal Cleaner: A neutral pH germicidal disinfectant, this cleaner sanitizes sandals in a few simple labor-saving steps. It does not contain alcohol or bleach, both of which can break down the plastic in PVC sandals. (877) 778-1685; www.spaequip.com