Salon Water Requirements: Keeping Customers Comfortable

Full-service salons and spas are wonderous places where women (and sometimes men) can get their hair done, have a mani-pedi, get a massage, have a facial, and be pampered in dozens of ways.

Salons and spas have a lot of water requirements. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your salon’s water accessible, hot, and safe.

Where Do Salons and Spas Use Hot Water?

Salons and spas use a ton of water, and maintaining a comfortable temperature is essential for keeping customers happy. So, let’s explore how salons use water and how much they need.

Hair Washing Stations

A woman at a salon hair washing station having her hair washed with shampoo and hot water.A reliable source of hot water is vital not only for hair washing but also for cleaning the sinks. The washing stations are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. They need to be cleaned between each client, with a deeper cleaning every week, or more often if your sinks have more frequent usage. The drains can easily clog with hair, soap, and product residue, and keeping drains running clear is a high priority. Most chemical cleaners and clog dissolvers advise follow-up rinsing with hot water.

When washing a client’s hair, it’s critical to keep the water temperature stable at a comfortable level. Sudden drops or spikes in the water temperature could cause an unpleasant shock or, worse, burn a client. Few things irritate a salon customer more than an uncomfortable hair wash.

Pedicure Stations

Footbaths are another high-risk area for breeding bacteria. Dead skin, hair, and the residue of all sorts of skin products get caught up in the filters. Footbaths need to be cleaned and sanitized after each client to avoid spreading bacteria. Footbaths should also be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned at least weekly.

Hot Tubs and Jacuzzis

Hot tubs and jacuzzis are popular spa attractions, as so many people love to enjoy a soak in the warm bubbly water. Unfortunately, hot tubs, jacuzzis, and soaker tubs require a lot of hot water to fill and clean. Most hot tubs and jacuzzis come with an automatic cleaning cycle, which should be run regularly in addition to manual cleaning to ensure all the surfaces, filters, and nozzles are kept clear and properly sanitized. Staying on top of water testing and chemical treatments is crucial to ensure the water remains safe for use.

A woman wearing a white robe and hair towel, standing in front of a mirror at a salon and applying face cream while smiling into the mirror.Spa Showers and Bathrooms

Bacteria thrives in showers and bathrooms, so spa workers need to follow a strict cleaning regimen. Regular cleaning with hot soapy water and chemical sanitizing in damp areas is vital to avoid bacteria and virus growth. Particular attention is given to shower cubicles, sinks, faucets, drains, and toilets. Staff should be assigned to clean at scheduled intervals throughout the day and at the end of the day.

Towels and washcloths must be gathered and appropriately laundered – and that means a hot wash and machine drying to keep them soft and fluffy.

General Spa Sanitation Guidelines and Recommendations

When it comes to cleaning and sanitizing your spa, hot water is a must. From mopping floors to sanitizing cosmetology equipment, you use hot water in every aspect of your daily business. So how much hot water will you need to meet your salon water requirements?

Legal Salon Hot Water Requirements

All states have business regulations concerning hot water. In most states, hot water from the faucet used for hand or hair washing should be between 110°F and 120°F, but some states require a maximum temp of 115°F.

Plumbing fixtures must be protected against back-siphonage or backflow, and wastewater must have proper drainage.

Check your state laws to verify your water temperature is in compliance and have your water heater checked regularly to ensure it continues to work correctly.

Calculating Your Salon’s Hot Water Needs

A woman laying on a table with her eyes closed, receiving a cream facial from a salon/spa employee.If you’re running a salon or spa, you should figure out how much hot water you use to get a water heater capable of meeting your needs. To calculate your salon water requirements, you first need a benchmark for each area of use.

For example, you can start with the average number of shampoos performed at your salon hair wash station and how long each wash takes on average. A running faucet typically uses 1-3 gallons of water per minute. If you assume two gallons per minute on average for a sink and 2.5 gallons per minute for showers, you’ll be in the ballpark for average use.

If your salon averages three customers per hour per sink, and each wash takes 7 – 10 minutes, that’s 14 – 20 gallons of water per wash and 42 – 60 gallons per hour of operation. So naturally, aside from spa sanitation operations, most of the water you use will be comfortably warm, not hot—most people like warm water at about 100°F.

Calculate your total salon water requirement by estimating hot water use for each station and service, then ensure your water heater can handle the load.

If this all seems complicated, it may be time to consult an expert. We’ll be happy to recommend the high-efficiency water heater you need to handle all your salon water requirements and ensure your customers are treated to a safe, soothing, and consistent experience every time they visit.


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