In an industry where we are always “hands-on,” sanitation is vital to the health of both the therapist and client. Properly cleaning and sanitizing hot stones, as well as their heating unit, is a crucial, and sometimes laborious, component of offering Hot Stone massage treatments.
Traditional hot stones are porous and will absorb oils and bacteria. In between clients, these stones must be scrubbed with hot, soapy water, specifically an antibacterial cleanser, and thoroughly dried. The drying step is crucial to keeping the stones sanitary as the heating unit is a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses to grow. This occurs when stones are stored wet or oily from a previous treatment. In addition, the water in the heating unit should be changed after each use. Massage Magazine has some great tips for cleaning hot stones here.
Keeping in mind the set-up/clean up time involved with offering hot stone massage, therapists can charge more for this specialized massage service. If your biggest complaint is not having enough time in between clients to clean the stones, there are solutions. One option is to have a second set of stones/heating unit available if performing back-to-back stone massage treatments.
A more cost effective approach is switching to self-heating stones that do not require a heater. Porcelain self-heating stones are heated using all natural minerals activated by a saline solution. The porcelain material is non-porous and does not absorb oils or bacteria. They can also be quickly sanitized using an anti-bacterial cleaner. This significantly reduces the clean-up time associated with offering this type of massage.
Whichever method you choose, proper sanitation should be just as important as the services you provide.