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June 14, 2019

5 Reasons to Embrace Spa Disposables and Single Use Supplies

At first glance, the use of disposable spa items and supplies doesn’t seem to fit with the image of an environmentally-friendly, luxurious spa. However, when you look at the whole picture, all the pieces fit together in favor of spa disposables at every type of spa and salon.

1. Clients Expect Single Use Supplies

Satisfying client expectations is one of the most important things a spa can do to build a solid book of clients. Even in our eco-conscious world, clients expect disposable items in spas and salons.

As the spa industry has grown, spa clients have become savvier consumers. One thing they have learned is the value of spa disposables and supplies. Consumer education materials provided by everyone from beauty bloggers to state boards of health or cosmetology stress the importance of proper sanitation in spas. Consumers quickly learn which spa supplies should be disposable and how everything else must be sanitized and disinfected.

Through this education, spa clients have come to expect disposable supplies at all spas and salons, regardless of price point. Spa disposables convey cleanliness and concern for protecting each client’s health.

Disposable items can also convey luxury or low-budget. Cotton pads that leave lint or strands behind, sponges that separate, and applicator sticks that break are all signs that a spa is not investing in its products. At some level, clients experience this as a lack of investment in them. Sometimes these details seem insignificant or unnoticed, but every element of a spa experience contributes to a client’s overall feeling about the spa.

Spa disposables can feel luxurious. Forget the cheap synthetics of the past. Look for disposable products made with 100% organic cotton or natural cellulose fiber. While you might pay a higher price per item, the overall cost tends to be the same or less than reusable products. Estheticians and nail technicians typically use fewer wipes, swabs, and pads because higher quality products are stronger and more durable. Appropriately absorbent applicators mean that less product is used, resulting in less waste.  

2. Disposable Supplies Keep Spas Sanitary

All states regulate the cleanliness of spas and salons. States require spas to clean, sanitize, disinfect, and sterilize workstations, equipment, supplies, and facilities. Spas must document compliance with proper hygiene protocols.

While spa directors and salon managers appreciate the importance of cleanliness, compliance with the increasing requirements is usually not their favorite part of the job. Significant time is spent training staff on the protocols, ensuring time is available between clients to comply with the protocols and implementing quality assurance measures to verify that employees follow the protocols every time.

This time investment is reduced when spa disposables can be used. For example, in states that allow salons to use approved disposable pedicure liners, the time savings add up. Instead of disinfecting the bowls with a 10-minute soak after every client, the liner can simply be switched out. That’s one less process nail technicians need to remember, allowing them to focus on their clients.

When spas properly store and use disposable supplies, they comply with safety and sanitation requirements. No extra steps are needed to disinfect anything, and documentation is minimal. Little time is required to train staff on using disposables, and the QA process is simple. Many spa directors appreciate the way that spa disposables streamline their work and reduce their compliance burdens.

3. For Convenience and Efficiency, Spa Disposables Can’t Be Beat

One of the benefits of disposable products, in a spa or anywhere, is convenience. You open a package, use the item, and toss it. No prep or cleanup is needed. For busy spas with a high volume of clients, convenience translates into cost-savings. The time spent on sanitizing and disinfecting supplies or washing, folding, buying, and storing linens can be spent serving clients.

From an efficiency perspective, spa operations are streamlined when towels don’t need to be washed all day, and pedicure bowls don’t need to be disinfected between clients. Also, if the inventory of spa disposables and supplies is properly managed, the salon won’t run out of linens because the laundry didn’t get done or too many sheets got stained.

While reusable table sheets and washcloths might sound nice, spa treatments are messy. Massages usually involve oils. The likelihood that these products, or tints or tanning lotions, will stain sheets and washcloths is high. Clients find stained and worn linens to be less appealing than disposables. Therefore, many spas find it more efficient to rely on disposables.  

4. Spa Disposables Are Easier on the Earth Than You Might Think

As more people are concerned about their carbon footprint, spa owners and clients included, disposable products often get a bad rap. When compared with the water, electricity, and chemicals needed to properly sanitize, disinfect, or sterilize reusable products, spa disposables and supplies can provide an eco-friendlier option for environmentally conscious spas. 

5. Disposable Supplies Provide Flexibility

Many disposable spa supplies are multitaskers. For example, cleansing wipes can be used to remove makeup before a facial, prepare skin for waxing, or to wipe up spills during services. Keeping one product on hand for many purposes streamlines ordering and managing the supply cabinet.

Instead of ordering specific supplies for every service, choose a few high-quality, versatile products and buy in bulk. The savings will add up because larger quantities usually cost less, and ordering and tracking one or two products take less time than managing a complicated order or placing frequent orders.

While regulations mandate that certain spa supplies be single use, spa managers have flexibility with other items. The decision to use spa disposables must consider the spa’s brand and promise to clients, what clients expect and want, costs in terms of dollars and staff time, and other factors particular to each spa or salon. Many spa directors and salon managers have found that using spa disposables can streamline their services and assist in compliance with sanitation regulations.

If you are considering whether to switch some of your reusable spa supplies to disposables, our product experts are available to consult with you. Give us a call at 1.800.558.5571!


Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)


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