Bathing equipment is a big-ticket item, so you need to find equipment that fits your space and your needs. When choosing bathing equipment for your salon, consider three key savings: time, money and soreness.
An often overlooked aspect of choosing equipment is if it fits in the salon. Consider the placement and dimensions of tubs, for instance. Stepping around an ill-fitting corner several times for each client eats up valuable grooming time. A range of lengths and depths exist, and when you’re space-planning your salon, consider how the bells and whistles fit, too. For example, Forever Stainless Steel makes a tub that has a telescoping ramp that can slide underneath the tub when in use, saving that step-over move each time you need to shift positions. Focus on efficiency when laying out how large equipment will fit in your space.
In addition, incorporating new systems can be an upfront expense that pays off. For instance, automatic shampoo systems that dispense pre-diluted shampoo save you the time of mixing concentrated formulas into bottles and speed up the groom. Options include those by Cosmos Bathing Systems and the Prima Bathing System.
Think about how much money your salon will save over the course of the year if you can cut down on the water and product used for each client. Look for tubs with built-ins that assist you, like spaces to store product so you don’t have to step away and incorporated hair traps. Flexible options that allow you to customize the experience for your salon and customers save you from having to purchase multiple products. Shor-Line manufactures the Elite Grooming Tub, which is made of a one piece-backsplash with adjustable feet so that it can be free-standing or against a wall. It also allows the groomer to choose between steps or a ramp with its convertible STAMP system.
Another money saving option is the recirculating bath system. The system includes a submersible pump, a hose and an adjustable nozzle. Water and product are mixed quickly in the tub and then the mix is pumped through the nozzle and through the dog’s coat. Once the dog is clean, the tub is drained and the dog is rinsed. This system uses less water and product while completing the groom quicker than if done by hand. One popular option is the Hanvey Bathing Beauty system. Another option, the Thera-Clean system, is hands-free technology that utilizes microbubbles rather than regular soap for superior cleaning power.
To pair with a recirculating system, Forever Stainless manufactures a complementary product.
“Our company makes an adaptation to our stainless steel animal bathtubs that is designed to complement a recirculating bathing system,” said Jeanne Caples of Forever Stainless. “Selected tub models include a recessed area into which the recirculating pump can fit, and because the bottom of the recess is lower than the main part of the tub bottom, the amount of water needed for bathing can be greatly reduced.”
“Because such a small amount of water is being used, the amount of shampoo needed to achieve the correct dilution rate is also very greatly reduced, resulting in significant savings in water and shampoo,” Caples said. “Of course, as in any use of a recirculating pump system, the water and shampoo product is drained from the tub after that bath is completed, with fresh water and new shampoo provided for the next animal.”
According to the manufacturer, when used in conjunction with a power bathing system, water and shampoo use can be decreased 75 to 90 percent.
Back and shoulder problems can be prevented with an ergonomically laid out salon. Tubs that have adjustable heights work well for groomers of varying heights. If possible, faucet ports should be plumbed on both sides of the tub for right- and left-handed groomers. Additionally, think about accessories; for example, Thera-Clean recommends that its unit be stored on a rolling cart because it’s cumbersome and heavy to be moved around the salon.
Tubs are available in sizes for the smallest and largest dog breeds and include ramps, steps or walk-in options. Test equipment before purchase for comfort. Can you reach everything you need to without having to step over or around elements? If the equipment needs to be moved around your salon, is it light enough or is there a cart or wheeled option?
Grooming is a physical business, but groomers tend to focus on ergonomic handheld equipment like clippers and shears while overlooking the big pieces. Select equipment to mitigate any soreness or long-term damage.
The equipment in your salon will be a large expenditure and will take up a large amount of space. Focus on investing in the right pieces up front—or as you make replacements—to save you and your staff time, money and physical pain.