How to sterilize pedicure tools

Updated February 21, 2017

Pedicure equipment includes nail files, nail clippers, pedicure bowls or tubs, nail brushes, and pumice stones. Cleanliness is a concern when a pedicurist works on several people with the same equipment. For the sake of avoiding a bacterial outbreak, it's essential to learn how to sterilise pedicure tools.

Drain foot tubs or basins after performing a pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present. Once all the water is removed, wipe down the inside of the tub with an antibacterial cleaner.

Disinfect all non-porous products made of plastic, closed cell foams, steel, glass and vinyl. This includes nail clippers and cuticle clippers.

Know that most porous products or products made of open-celled foam, wood and paper are usually meant to be used only once and then thrown away. They may include special cleaning instructions for you to follow.

Use a cleaning agent that is an EPA registered medical grade or hospital bactericide, fungicide and virucide. it must be capable of killing bacteria, fungus and viruses.

Consider a combination product that both cleans and disinfects. Soak the pedicure tools in it for at least 10 minutes. Read all labels to learn how to use each product.

Rinse pedicure tools in a 90 per cent isopropyl rubbing alcohol for at-home pedicures. It's not necessary for you to buy a medical bactericide, fungicide and virucide if you're the only one using the equipment.


Don't soak in a foot spa if you have any broken skin, scrapes, cuts or nicks for at least 24 hours because you may pick up bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Bactericide, fungicide or virucide product
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.