Unsanitary conditions found at Tri-City nail salons

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- You expect the tools used on the pedicure before you have been cleaned and KEPR uncovered some disturbing unsanitary conditions.

Nechelle Wright, a mother of three finds time to gets her nails done every couple weeks and she's careful about where she goes.

"I actually came in and I seen how clean they were, I see how much business they had, and I loved the way they greeted me when I walked in the door,"said Wright.

She says she also looks for certain signs to determine if the place is clean.

"If the floor is clean, if the sink is clean when you go wash your hands things like that," said Wright

That led Nechelle to Queen Spa and Nails in Pasco. It has never been fined for unsanitary conditions.

But that wasn't the case for a salon in Kennewick. A salon on W. 27th was fined in August for six sanitation violations. One of the charges was"tips not being cleaned and disinfected after each client use." When inspectors came back a month later they found even more sanitation violations at the Kennewick salon. A total of 10. One for storing "sanitary tools in drawers with unsanitary items."

In Richland there was another salon. The business on Queensgate was fined in August for 12 sanitation violations. Officials found the bottle with disinfectant "was empty and the owner said "they just ran out". When officials came back a month later, the same Richland salon was found to be in violation of 9 more sanitation charges. This also included storing unclean items with tools.

I talked to the Department of Licensing to see how you can check on the cleanliness of the salon you're visiting.

"They do have to be sanitized and disinfected between each use and nail salons are required to keep a foot spa cleaning log that customers can ask to see to make sure it's being done,"said Christine Anthony.

The Department of Licensing conducted more than 500 inspections of salons across Benton and Franklin Counties in just the month of August last year. Only six were fined, including the two cases above. Most places are not fined immediately. They get a second chance to clean up and if violations are found on the second visit they can be fined.

Unsanitary conditions aren't just gross, they can be downright dangerous. Nichelle says she knows someone who lost a toe nail after a pedicure.

"We like to look cute and we like to look pretty and we like to have a big toe nail in place when we wear sandals,"said Wright.

You'll want to keep inspection records in mind when you get your next mani-pedi.