How to keep your sunbeds clean? 5 tips

If you are sensitive to gross things, beware of what you’re about to read :)

First of all I would like to present my personal ranking of “What weird things might I find inside this sunbed?”

I made this list based on information from customers, my friends from other tanning studios, service technicians and personal experiences from my salon days.

5th place - black hole (my nickname for dust & grease!)
4th place - huge dead spider
3rd place - a pair of underpants
2nd place - David Hasselhoff CDs
1st place - a little trumpet, yes, as in the instrument!

Having clean sunbeds is extremely important. A dirty sunbed will drive away customers, possibly causing them to spread gossip about how nasty and dirty your salon was. This is never good - but it’s not the reason you should be keeping your sunbed clean. Clean, shiny sunbeds will ultimately give your lamps a longer lifespan, save energy meaning lower bills and will keep your customers happy as they will get a better tan thanks to your beautifully clean machines.

A sunbed is like a car – it can go on and on as long as you look after it properly, and part of that care involves cleaning them on a regular basis. Where do you begin? How do you know what to clean? How do you know what cleaning materials to use? Today we are going to learn the answers to these questions. Check out my 5 tips!

Salon owners and operators might just find this information useful, especially if relatively new to the industry.


The filters are there for a reason - they collect all of the dust, hair and skin particles that would otherwise fly straight into the sunbed. All sunbeds have them, and yes, they can get very gross if not cleaned out on a regular basis. Ideally, depending on how busy your salon is, this needs to be done every 2-4 weeks.

To begin with, simply switch off your sunbed and remove the filters. Different models have different types of filters and different filter locations – always refer to your manuals on how to locate and remove them if you are unsure on how to do this. Once you have them out, gently hoover them on a low setting, especially if they are sponge filters.

Hoovering sponge filters on a high suction setting will ultimately lower their useful life as it can damage them by pulling the fibres out of place, so always play it safe and go for a lower setting.

Metal filters are a lot more durable, so the vacuum setting won't need to be as low as when cleaning the sponge filters, however it's a good habit to get into. Once clean, simply place them back where they belong.

Cleaning your filters isn’t just about making them look nice, no one sees them anyway, but there are practical reasons for this. Dirty filters will inhibit air flow to the sunbed meaning it will take more power to run due to the increased temperature. This in turn is bad for you as the salon owner as more power consumption means a bigger electric bill! This is something we all want to avoid!

dirty filters

clean filters


Granted, your filters (which hopefully are nice and dust free now) will keep most dirt from finding its way to your lamps, but as we all know, pesky hairs and dust will always find a way to places we don't want it.

For me, this is exactly what that weird attachment for your vacuum is for... you know which one I mean, the one with the brush which no one is 100% sure what to use it on. It's perfect for gently gathering dust and the like from your lamps and vents. In fact, I am quite confident that is its true purpose! Make use of it, and keep those lamps and vents dirt free! Not only will it help keep your lamps looking pristine, it will give a much better overall impression to your customers. They won't spy hair etc clinging to the lamps meaning they won't leave your salon feeling as if you don't clean your beds!

Again, this is not just about making the sunbed look nice. By ensuring your lamps are dust free, you are not only lengthening the lifespan of your lamps, you’re also allowing them to tan your clients with maximum efficiency. Dust is a UV lamp’s nemesis - an invisible enemy! With lovely clean lamps you will keep you clients happy as they will be getting the best tan possible as the UV beam won’t be blocked by layers of nasty dust and hair.


This may be an unpopular choice – but it's for the good of your acrylics and saves you some headaches along the way. This was a necessary step which had to be taken in the salon. Unfortunately, oils such as baby oil and pure carrot oil are a salon operators worst nightmare!

Firstly, they take and age to clean off the acrylic properly – I would spend far too much time faffing about in a desperate attempt to remove all trace of these dreaded potions.

Secondly, they aren't the best thing to slather all over your acrylics. Over time, they can compromise the integrity of the acrylics, ultimately shortening the lifespan, and let's be realistic, having to pay a pretty penny for a new base sheet isn't ideal when you can simply ask your customers not to use these lotions.

Trust me, they won't be too distraught, not when you have some fab lotions in stock you can offer them instead (for ex. Gold&Glow) ! If you're stuck for ideas on which lotions to recommend, check out my Top Ten Tanning Lotions post!


In fairness, this can be interpreted in many different ways as we all have our own ideas as to which is the best cleaning product. However, my ideal option would be a Tork cleaning cloth (Item number 510478 are my favourites should you wish to give them a go, and no, I don't get any commission for promoting them!) along with a non abrasive cleaner designed for use on sunbeds such as the Sol Clear SMART solution.

This is the perfect combination for cleaning your acrylics. After the initial wash, plain paper towels can be used to dry any excess if necessary. Granted, substances such as washing up liquid are usable as they won't damage your acrylics – but don't necessarily possess the antibacterial properties of cleaning solutions designed for purpose. Always remember when doing your deep cleans to clean both sides of the acrylics, top & bottom for lie down beds and inside & outside for your stand ups – you'd be surprised how much dust sticks to the inner sides of the acrylics, don't inhibit your lamps, let that UV shine through!


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, consistency is key, I don't need to tell you this... you'd be surprised how many salons don't clean their sunbeds on a regular basis. I have visited many salons throughout the years and a few of them have been so gross, I didn't even want to undress in the filthy cubicle, yet alone put my body onto the even filthier looking sunbed. I doubt these places had been cleaned for months, which brings me around to my point of being consistent with your cleaning routine.

While I was working in the salon, I would clean the filters, dust the backs, vacuum the stray hairs (and sometimes a dead spider) from the lamps of 2 of the 8 beds one week, the next week I would clean another 2, and so on until I was 4 weeks down the line and back to my original 2.

This can sometimes be tricky if you are working the reception desk at the same time – but not impossible. My advice would be to either do it before you open in the morning, or after you close at night, so you don't have to take any of your beds out of action during possible busy times and you won't have to worry about tripping up a client with the hoover flex!

I hope these tips will come in useful. I wish I'd had some guidance on what needs to be done when I started cleaning our sunbeds. Thankfully, I am one of these people that will give it a go... what's the worst that can happen, right? Well, you could end up with your fingers trapped under a base acrylic and be stuck there until a kind customer helps you out, but that's another story!

Happy cleaning all!