Some like it quick, others like it dirty. But when it comes to cleaning your tools it should be neither!

Sorry, I had to say it. 😳 But hopefully I got your attention about a pretty un-exhilarating topic on how to clean your bits. 

If you can take away only 1 thing from this blog, please let it be this; washing and disinfecting are two separate steps.

Don’t cut corners. Don’t cheat on yourself and definitely don’t cheat on your clients.

But because you’ve made it this far already, you aren’t that dirty nail tech, right? Regardless of where you stand on the cleanliness scale, there’s something here for you. You might just find a way to expedite your cleaning process!


Wash bits with soapy water. I use Dawn dish soap because it cuts through oil (and we have tons of oils on our hands). There’s two ways to complete this step:

-Manually wash the bits with a brass brush and soapy water. Scrub out all the debris.


-Use an ultrasonic cleaner with soapy water. Do not use disinfectant. This machine will remove debris from the bits with ultrasonic waves. I use this one here.


Disinfectants will vary- some you mix with water, others are ready to use right out the container- and they’ll have different kill times. I don’t think that’s the scientific phrase but I’m rolling with it.

We carry two types of disinfectants, both from Lucas-Cide, another Ohio family-business (support local)!

Let me break both types down.

Lucas-Cide Concentrate: This concentrate needs to be mixed with water. Add just ½ ounce to 1 gallon of water to make your disinfectant. It’s the most affordable disinfectant in the beauty industry- as low as 29¢/gallon!

The kill time for pink Lucas-Cide is 10 minutes. Also, keep in mind your mixed solution should be very pale pink. If the disinfectant is hot pink, you’re just wasting money.

Tip: Use a gallon jug to mix and store the mixed disinfectant. Have another smaller container that you submerge your tools in. Replace the disinfectant in the small container daily or whenever there are ‘floaties’ or debris in it. That way you don’t have to mix the solution daily. 

Available in 4oz, quart and gallon sizes. Shop now.

Lucas-Cide RTU: No mixing or diluting required. It’s ready to use, get it? 

The best thing about RTU is that the kill time is just 60 seconds! This option is a little more expensive but busy salons and those who enjoy the convenience love it.

The RTU quart comes with a sprayer so it makes it super easy to spray down surfaces in between clients. I also use this in my home on door knobs, tables, and other high-traffic areas. Plus it's available in quart and gallon sizes.

Whichever product you use always, always read the instructions. 



Let ‘em dry! After disinfection, I put my tools on dishwasher mats to dry. I spread the metal bits out so that they’re not touching one another (this helps avoid oxidation). 


Store your tools in a clean container. If the inside of your case or bit bin is loaded with debris, then all your hard work above is for nothing! 


Following this protocol is so important for our businesses. It’s a team effort by all of us to elevate the industry and show clients they matter by working with clean tools. Who’s with me?!

Share with me in the comments below if you have any nifty tricks when it comes to your cleaning process!

April 15, 2022 — Erica Schlabach


Leslie Staton said:

Is there a video on how to use the bit cleaning kit. I don’t know how much Lucas-Cide concentrate and how much water to put in the tiny jar

Stefanie Burrell said:

Thanks for the pro tip never thought about a dishwashing mat. Everything else is already a must for me.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.