The following guidelines were created to help groomers, animal care professionals and animal owners maintain proper hygiene when mixing and using natural/organic shampoo and conditioners. With an eye towards good health and well-being, we all want to use natural products whenever possible on ourselves, our family and the pets in our family. It is important, however, to keep in mind that when using natural products, the synthetic preservatives are not added and therefore it is important to keep hygiene at the top of the list when diluting, handling and storing natural and organic products.
- Before diluting shampoo/conditioner concentrate, all containers and caps must be cleaned with very hot water or a sterilizing solution (alcohol, etc).
- Any unused, diluted shampoo material should be discarded 24-32 hours after mixing.
- Use caution when opening the shampoo/conditioner concentrate bottle and during the diluting/mixing process to keep dirty water from hands or animals from coming into contact with the concentrate.
- Squeeze bottles are not recommended for use as these bottles can inadvertently suck up dirty water and soap from the animal and contaminate the bottle and lid. Lids on squeeze bottles are very hard to clean and can hold bacteria, virus, mold and fungus and transfer it to animals during bathing.
Contamination of natural products can cause pets to have a physiological reaction (not an allergic reaction) to the shampoo mix if is contaminated with bacteria, mold, fungus or virus from improper hygiene and/or product handling. Groomer’s Edge shampoos and conditioning products are organic and natural with very little preservative and after the product is opened, if it is contaminated with dirty water or suds from a dog/animal, (by bathers opening the bottle with soapy hands, or dogs shaking and the water spray getting into the bottle, etc) bacteria, mold and other agents can begin to grow inside the container in a period of time.
Also, when the concentrated product is diluted as recommended, the preservative in the diluted mixture is reduced further. This diluted mixture should be used within a reasonable amount of time. We suggest within 12 to 24 hours after initial dilution. However, many bathers mix large amounts of diluted shampoo and keep it for days or longer in warm, humid rooms which can allow bacteria, mold and other contaminants to grow in the dilutant bottle. Many bathers also reuse bottles or mix shampoo and water in a container that has not been properly cleaned after its last use. Without proper cleaning and sterilization, bacteria and other contaminants can grow in the bottle and then are inadvertently poured on and rubbed into the skin of the animal being bathed.
In order to properly and safely sterilize the containers, observe one of the following procedures
- Rinse container in extremely hot water. Use small amount of hot water and shake container. Pour out. Perform procedure three times.
- Rinse container in either alcohol, bleach or peroxide. Use small amount of liquid. Shake container. Pour out. Perform procedure twice. Rinse with hot water.
Unfortunately, there are no hygiene related regulations and requirements for animal groomers in most counties, cities, states, or countries. Many groomers are “self trained” and are simply unaware how products can become contaminated in their shops. Improper hygiene can lead to an infection on an animal which is bathed with a shampoo or conditioning solution that has been contaminated with bacteria, virus, mold or fungus. This type of infection sometimes expresses itself as bumps or pustules, most often along the back of the animal. While these infections are not generally serious, they may require a visit to the veterinarian for antibiotics and/or steroids.
So to insure Happy, Healthy, Grooming, always remember to
- Wash and Dry hands before opening and closing concentrate containers.
- Avoid squeeze tops on secondary containers.
Clean all secondary containers with very hot water or sterilize before re-using.
- Discard all unused diluted shampoo/conditioner within 24 hours.
- Use care not to get dirty water into the secondary container when bathing.
- Once a week clean the tub, fixtures and spray nozzles with hot water.
A tip for mixing up our concentrated shampoos: Our shampoos and conditioner/detanglers come in various concentrations which you can mix with water. They will work just as well and offer you much greater value. For example, to make a gallon of shampoo when the shampoo is concentrated 8 to 1, you can add 8 parts water + 1 part shampoo. In this case the gallon bottle has 9 parts. There are 128 ounces in a gallon. Divide 128 by 9 and you get about 15. In the example below, assuming you had 8 to 1 shampoo, you would add about 15 ounces of shampoo concentrate (a little less than two cups) to a gallon bottle, then fill it the rest of the way with water.