• Sanitary Pedicures in Hoboken + Jersey City {and Laws You Should Know}

    Hoboken may be known for its title of “the most bars and restaurants per square mile,” and when it comes to nail salons, it’s safe to say there is *NO* shortage of them in town, either. But not all nail spots are created equal, so that’s why we’re sharing the scoop on the best nail salons for a sanitary pedicure in Hoboken + Jersey City. We’ve done the research — as well as consulted with a local podiatrist — so that hopefully you never have to. And no, this isn’t to make you never get a pedicure again; it’s just to keep you in the know, hold your nail salons accountable, and hopefully never have to deal with anything less than a top-notch pedi. Here’s the scoop on sanitary pedicures in Hoboken and Jersey City {and what to look for, plus the laws you need to know}:

    Why The Deep Dive into Sanitary Pedicures?

    Well, besides the fact that no one likes fungus/gross pedicures, this question has been asked by our readers a ton. We wanted to wait a bit to get all the facts, aka chat with both a podiatrist AND snoop undercover at nail salons to see which ones are utilizing the proper sanitary conditions and adhering to requirements. And, safe to say, after chatting with Dr. Sharma of the Ankle and Foot Specialists of Hoboken and visiting numerous salons in the area, we realized that so many of us are oblivious to the fact that many nail salons are not up to code.

    The Actual Laws

    It specifically states in the health codes {according to the NJ Consumer Affairs} about prohibited practices pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5B-13(e).

    In layman’s, according to the laws, nail salons are prohibited to use or offer to use a credo blade, skin scraper, lancet, or other comparable implement {aka the callus shaver = illegal}. Also, it’s illegal to provide fish pedicures {so you’ll have to stick to Athens} according to the law, or any ear candling. But we digress.

    There were a bunch of other things that were prohibited in the beauty realm, but truthfully, this was the one that pertained most specifically to pedicures. Here are the rest of the laws in case you’re curious.

    Laws about Sanitizing Tools in New Jersey {13:28-3.2 SANITIZING IMPLEMENTS AND TOOLS}:

    1. A licensee shall sanitize all tools by cleaning all implements and tools thoroughly with a mild alkaline detergent to remove
      any soil, blood or any other foreign material.
    2. Rinsing tools with tap water after cleaning.
    3. Processing all tools with a chemical disinfectant registered by the Environmental Protection Agency {and labeled as being tuberculocidal for a contact time as specified on the product label or processing all implements and tools in an autoclave that is registered with the Federal Food and Drug Administration}.
    4. Allowing disinfected tools to be air dried and stored in a clean drawer.
    5. All reusable implements and tools, used in the provision of manicuring services shall be
      sanitized, consistent with the following:

      1. An enzyme pre-soak shall be used prior to cleaning;
      2. The tools shall be placed directly into an ultrasonic unit for a 10-minute cycle
      3. The water and cleaning solution of the ultrasonic unit shall be changed whenever
        visibly soiled or, at a minimum, daily.
      4. Discard after each use all emery boards, orangewood sticks, and all
        implements and tools that cannot be sanitized.

    Laws about Pedicure Tubs:
    Cleaning procedures between clients shall include:

    1. Brushing the interior surfaces of the tub with a mild detergent to remove surface debris and residual salts and oils;
    2. Draining, rinsing and wiping the tub dry with a disposable paper towel
    3. Spraying the interior surfaces with a chemical disinfectant registered by the EPA.
    4. Cleaning procedures at the end of the day shall include:
      • Removing, cleaning and disinfecting the screen, filter and any removable parts within
        the basin.
      • Brushing the interior surfaces of the tub with a mild detergent.
      • Preparing a solution of sodium hypochlorite 6% (bleach) and water at a concentration
        of 100 parts per million (PPM) (1 teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water) and
        allowing the machine to operate for a 30-minute contact time.
      • Disinfecting all brushes at the end of the day by soaking them in a solution of sodium
        hypochlorite 6% (bleach) and water at a concentration of 2,600 PPM (3/4 cup of
        bleach to one gallon of water) for a 30-minute contact time.

    This is a shortened list – view the full thing here.

    So, What Makes a Pedicure Sanitary?

    The answer is FIVE-fold. First things first: “Liners in tub are mandated in NJ if you request it,” Dr. Sharma shared. This means plastic covers that are disposable (that resemble Saran Wrap, but thicker). Yes, we realized after doing our research that many nail salons in the area do not follow this law.

    Reasoning Behind Disposable Liners

    Disposable liners are mandated by New Jersey because they shield your skin from bacteria and fungus that may be caught in the piping of the pedicure tub bins and pipes. It is just about as vom-worthy as it sounds, but necessary. So if your nail salon does not offer this and has a pedicure tub that has no disposable liner, say something.

    In addition to the liners, your nail salon should also have:

    1. Peel packs for tools {where they peel open new tools each time}.

    2. Disposable tools available at the salon aka everyone has their own nail file, buffer, etc.

    3. UV Light used on all tools between uses.

    4. Bleach used on tools after each use.

    The best thing you can do if you’re not sure or feel uncomfortable asking for these things?

    “Take your own instruments and polish,” Dr. Sharma recommends. “Nail files and buffers should always be new if you’re using the salon’s. If you take your own, bleach your own tools after every pedicure. Use a capful of bleach, put it in water, and soak the instruments for 10-15 minutes.” She also noted that many nail salons loo like they’re putting liquid inside to clean the pedicure basin, but it’s actually not up to code.

    READ: Roadmap to Self-Care Sunday {or Personal Day} in Hoboken

    How to Prevent a Bad Pedicure:

    There’s no sure-fire way to prevent one, but here are a few things you can do, according to Dr. Sharma, to reduce the risk of infection:

    1. Buy your own tools and polish {some salons even allow you to bring your own kit and leave it there}.
    2. Bleach your tools {even your own} after each use.
    3. *ALWAYS* request new, disposable instrumentation if you don’t have your own tools.
    4. Soak your feet in epsom salt between pedicures, and if you ever get a cut, use neosporin in the corners and a bandaid.

    “Do NOT, I repeat, do not ever get a pedicure when you have a cut on your feet or toes. Not only will you be at a high risk for infection, but you’ll also potentially be spreading germs to others who potentially get their nails done after,” Dr. Sharma warns.

    See More: Where to Get Chrome Nails in Hoboken {For Your Sparkle Fix}

    Now that we’ve scared the ba-Jeezus out of you about your nail salon most likely…

    …here’s a list of where to Get a Sanitary Pedicure in Hoboken + Jersey City {broken down by what they offer as far as sanitation goes, based on our team’s research}:

    Hoboken Dream Nails {601 Observer Highway, Hoboken}

    Hoboken Dream Nails is top-notch with their cleanliness and sanitation. In fact, the salon’s owner, Ashley Pak, shared the great lengths they go to with their sanitation practices during a recent visit. They use:

    1. Disposable Liners
    2. New packaging for all disposable tools
    3. UV lights + bleach between treatments

    Silver Nails {1315 Washington Street, Hoboken}

    1. Disposable Liners
    2. New packaging
    3. UV lights + bleach between treatments

    Soho Nails {1216 Washington Street}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. New packaging

    Viva La Nails {530 Washington Street, Hoboken}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. New packaging of tools

    Tutti {1119 Hudson Street, Hoboken}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. Disposable tools
    3. New packaging of tools

    Bliss Spa {225 River Street at the W Hotel, Hoboken}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. UV lighting and bleach between uses

    Grace Nails  {48 Essex Street, Jersey City}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. Disposable tools

    Cuteicles {410 Central Avenue, Jersey City}

    1. Disposable liners
    2. Disposable tools
    3. UV lighting between uses

    This is a pretty preliminary list, with these things subject to change, and of course — just because it’s sanitary, doesn’t mean it’s amazing. But please note, we did do a lot of research about cleanliness and checked out a lot of the go-to, regular nail salons, and this list is what we came up with for salons in the area. So do your research, ask questions, and in a worst-case scenario — don’t be afraid to leave. And if you’re really concerned about what you see, we recommend calling the Department of Health in Hoboken {201-420-2012} or Jersey City {201-547-6800} for further inspection.

    Have a sanitary pedicure spot to add to our list? Leave a note in the comments!

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. She started the site to discover the wealth of fun things happening in Hoboken and Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County areas. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog Pierre, or watching some really bad {but oh-so-good} reality TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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