HOW DO I REALLY CLEAN A TANNING BED? (Bet you’ll be surprised!)

By Brenda Fishbaugh
About the Author: Tanning industry veteran Brenda Fishbaugh is president of Eye Pro, Inc., makers of disposable eyewear. She travels extensively training salons on the effects of UV light on vision.

To begin, please use proper hospital grade disinfectants made specifically for use on tanning beds! Anything else will cloud your acrylic and possibly harm your client’s skin.

First, make sure you mix the solution properly.  I can’t tell you how many salons I’ve been in that just “add more” to make it better!  It doesn’t make your solution better, it makes it strong enough to hurt tanners’ skin!  It’s critical you mix to the level your disinfectant to the specifications on the label.

Second, you must check your solution using a quat strip.  Quaternary strips are litmus paper rolls, similar to what you would use to test a swimming pool.  Tanning bed disinfectants require specific ratios based on their ingredients. For example, the leading bed disinfectant, Lucasol,  should be mixed at 700 PPM (parts per million).

Third, use a fresh towel to disinfect each bed.  Two tanning horror stories…I tanned at a client’s salon for the first time.  I followed them into the room and they used the towel that the previous tanner had left on the bed to disinfect my bed…ugh!!!!  What was on that towel and now rubbed all over my bed? Double ugh!  Second story…I was training a salon and they had a towel on the disinfectant bottle and used the same towel on every bed all day long.  Terrifying.  Tingle and sweat and lotion being smeared from one unit to the next.  Don’t do this or let your staff do this!

The next step is to spray and wait 60 seconds.  It takes this long to sanitize a tanning bed.  Don’t just spray and wipe!  Waiting 60 seconds sanitizes and kills 99.9% of fungus and germs.  So spray, empty the trash can, wipe the door handle and floor, and then wipe the bed with a fresh towel.  Your evening routine should be to spray and wait 10 minutes to disinfect.  This kills 100% of the viruses and other stuff you don’t want on your bed.  This needs to be done at least once a day.

Finally, your solution needs to be made up fresh daily and tested with a quat strip.  Don’t make up huge quantities and use for days.  The solution will lose its efficacy quickly.

All disinfectants are not made the same.  Check the labels thoroughly and make sure you are using the best product to provide a clean tanning surface for your tanners and taking the best care possible of your acrylics.

Protecting the health of your tanners is your responsibility, and keeping your tanning units properly sanitized and disinfected is a critical piece of you providing a clean and healthy tanning experience.