How Sanitation Can Protect Spa Clients and Employees During COVID-19

Proper sanitation in treatment rooms helps protect against COVID-19. (CE Institute Sanitation)

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, spas can help protect their employees and clients against COVID-19 with proper sanitation. Contributor Selena Belisle, instructor at CE Institute in Miami is here with more information on how to minimize the risk at your spa:

Proper sanitation in a spa treatment room requires two basic, but extremely specific steps.

1.      The first step to sanitize your spa treatment room is cleaning. Cleaning entails the use of soap and water to physically dislodge germs by washing and then wiping them away or rinsing them down the drain. The object or surface that is cleaned can either be dried with a fresh clean towel or allowed to air dry. Cleaning physically removes dirt and other organic material or debris.


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2.      The second step to sanitize your spa treatment room is disinfection. Disinfection entails using chemicals to kill or eliminate germs. Disinfection includes use of chemical wipes, sprays, or soaks. Disinfection will not remove dirt or other organic material, which is why cleaning must be performed prior to disinfection. Dirt and other organic debris on an object or surface can make a disinfection process less effective. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions of how to use your disinfectant. These directions will usually include an explicit amount of contact time, also known as dwell time. That means the surface or object being disinfected will require a specific amount of contact time where the area must remain wet with disinfectant to be effective.

You can also use equipment such as a UV sanitizer or autoclave to sanitize smaller spa items. All items must be cleaned of physical debris prior to using this type of sanitation equipment. Be sure to read the equipment manufacturer instructions. Spa items that can be properly used in a UV sanitizer or autoclave are usually metal in nature, such as a comedone extractor. Porous spa items such as a facial sponge or brush cannot be safely and effectively disinfected no matter what process is used. If you can eliminate all germs in a porous object with sanitation, then you will likely compromise or destroy the porous object during the process. Do not forget about proper hand washing between each client. And, it is good business during the pandemic to request each client to sanitize their hands upon entering your establishment.

Because we cannot eliminate all germs with hand sanitizing or washing, we should sanitize all surfaces that are touched after each client's use. This specifically includes sanitizing door handles, light switches, equipment knobs, lid covers (i.e. wax pot), facial steamer arm, loop lamp, chairs or stools including the height adjustment handle, the outer surface of containers (i.e. facial moisturizer, sundry jar), plumbing faucets, toilet handle, and so forth--anything that you or your client comes in contact with should be sanitized between each client.


Author Selena Belisle is the Founder of CE Institute LLC in Miami FL. She is a retired professional athlete who has been practicing spa and massage therapies for 30 years. Selena is an approved CE Provider by the Florida Board of Cosmetology and NCBTMB. She now teaches full-time for the Cosmetology and Complementary/Alternative Health Care Industries. You can learn more about Selena’s training and CE classes at