I don't know about you, but pedicures can really freak me out sometimes. Once, my mom and I watched a Dateline episode detailing how this mother and daughter contracted some hideous incurable disease in their legs from a dirty nail place. We shrieked at each other for about an hour afterwards. So, whenever I see those pedicure chairs with the swirling foot baths, I get a case of the creepy crawlies like no other. Seriously, if I didn't have to operate heavy machinery to get to the salon, a Xanax might be a prepampering necessity.
Most of the time, I try to chose my place carefully, watch for reused instruments, and try to calm my racing heart with Lamaze breathing and wishful visualization of a fictitious autoclave in the back of the salon.
But I think I found a solution!
Last week during the F4 tornado that was my week getting ready to go to my friend's wedding (insert Wicked Witch of the West music here), I made a last minute appointment at the Red Door Salon in Chevy Chase for a mani/pedi. After some mix-up whereby a facialist thought she would have to perform a pedicure (a thought which blanched her with terror) I sat down to what may have been the most sanitary and nicest pedicure ever.
While the salon did have the chairs, my pedicurist brought over a stainless steel bowl (stainless! it can go in an autoclave! or at least the dishwasher) filled with warm water and small pebbles. She proceeded to use all new instruments and files which had stick-on filing surfaces. They were brand new! The woman even wore gloves. I was in germaphobe heaven.
The manicure was equally antiseptic and efficient. I also watched my manicurist use a technique I've never seen before. To clean up the area around the nail, she swiped carefully around the nail bed with a paintbrush dipped in nail polish remover. It worked brilliantly!
My only complaints? The price is a little steeper than my regular place, but for a pedicure that clean and stress free, I could be willing to shell out. Also, the selection of polish colors was not my favorite. They only carry their own line, so if you want your favorite, BYO. Then there was the tickling factor...but that is really my problem, not theirs....