• Business Insider asked salon owners about the red flags to watch for when getting a pedicure.
  • Jetted tubs are really difficult to clean and pedicure chairs should be covered.
  • Keep an eye out for foot files with blades or metal tools or technicians not wearing proper gear.

As the weather warms up, more people will bust out their sandals and splurge on pedicure appointments.

Because although the US economy is looking pretty fragile right now, salons are considered to be pretty recession-proof. It may be due to "the lipstick index" — the theory that consumers continue to spend on lower-priced luxuries, like salon services and beauty products, even during economic downturns and recessions.

So if you are planning to spend money on a pedicure, you'll want to make sure you're choosing a trustworthy salon.

Here's what salon owners said are red flags to look out for when getting a pedicure at a new salon.

Salons with jetted tubs may not be thoroughly disinfected

Rona Villamore Falls, owner of Frenchies Modern Nail Care in Braselton, Georgia, cautions against getting a pedicure at a salon with jetted tubs.

Although the tubs can be relaxing, water jets are really difficult to clean and disinfect.

"It can take a couple of hours to fully disinfect a jetted tub system, making it impossible to do it in between clients," she said. "Skin and bacteria can build up in the jets."

Villamore Falls said she recommends choosing non-jetted pedicure bowls when possible.

Foot baths without jets are usually easier to clean. Foto: FG Trade/Getty Images

Metal tools shouldn't be stored loose and pulled out of random drawers or pockets

Pay attention to where your technician is grabbing metal tools like clippers, nippers, and pushers from, said Villamore Falls.

These tools should be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected, and the way they're stored at some salons isn't conducive to keeping them clean.

If your technicians "are getting tools loose out of a drawer and they are not in a sterilization packet, chances are they have not been cleaned properly," she told Business Insider.

Porous files and buffers should ideally only be used on one client

It's easy to tell if a nail file or buffer has been used previously — and a fresh one is best, said Villamore Falls.

"If you see scratches or marks/lines on the file or buffer, they were likely used on a previous client or clients," she told BI. "Porous implements can carry germs and bacteria and should really only be used once."

She said that if you're getting a pedicure and manicure at the same appointment, nail technicians should also use separate tools for your hands and feet.

Nail technicians not wearing proper gear can be a red flag, too

According to Lana Kars, CEO and founder of Russian Nails, your nail technician should follow specific practices for proper hygiene, like wearing disposable face masks and gloves.

Kars said a proper technician may also wear a disposable gown and hat. All of these wearables should be disposed of after each client.

"This helps prevent the spread of bacteria and contaminants that could compromise the health and safety of clients," she explained.

Uncovered pedicure chairs may not be the cleanest

Kars told BI that salons should cover pedicure chairs with disposable materials to prioritize good hygiene. Disposable sheets or covers can be quickly tossed and replaced when rotating clients in and out.

"Using disposable sheets demonstrates to clients that the salon prioritizes cleanliness and hygiene," she said.

Pedicure chairs should be regularly cleaned. Foto: kali9/Getty Images

Keep an eye out for foot files with blades or graters

Patricia Reign, licensed manicurist and owner of Traveling Aura Mobile Spa, warns against getting a pedicure from a salon that uses abrasive foot filing tools.

"Foot files, also known as callus removers, with blades or 'cheese graters' are a major red flag. Blades are banned in salons, and 'cheese graters' are not intended for feet," she said.

Plus, the aggressive nature of these tools can cause more issues. In some cases, the blades can remove layers of skin meant to protect you, which can make your feet feel tender.

Household cleaning products aren't enough to disinfect equipment

Reign told BI it's a red flag "if a salon uses household products to clean their chairs."

"These products often fail to meet the stringent requirements set by state boards for effectively disinfecting surfaces used to provide services to multiple individuals," she said.

In many cases, salon staff should be using hospital-grade disinfectants to properly clean their workspaces.

Read the original article on Business Insider