How to Use the Right Air Purifier to Get Rid of Acrylic Nail Odor in Salons

Using the right type of carbon filters to deal with the problems

Protecting your customers and techs in your nail salon from harmful odors and chemicals is harder than it looks. Nail salon air quality presents one of the most difficult challenges to establishing a pleasant environment, one that customers want to return to again and again.

But, most air filters just don’t work. Three reasons create this problem:

  • Most air filters aren’t designed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • If you choose a unit that’s too small, it won’t clean enough air
  • Most air filters use the wrong type of filter, and all the harmful odors and chemicals pass right back into the air.

Let’s take a better look at this. Because even “The One That Works” may not meet the right criteria to clean your air.

Not All Air Purifiers Work To Get Rid Of Horrendous Odors From Acrylic Nail Products

Toluene, acetone, ethyl methacrylate, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and many more stink. Your customers think they are horrible and want to run away because acrylic nail odors are offensive.

Some of the side effects of breathing these chemicals are asthma, irritation, confusion, headaches, dizziness, damage to your liver and kidneys, and cancer. Those sensitive to chemicals feel the effects right away.

If your customers get their nails done every two weeks, they are exposed enough to experience damage from the pollutants. A few days of exposure for your techs is enough to make them sick.

Many people think that HEPA filters will solve the problem of chemical fumes and odors, but they do nothing because it is the wrong type of media.

Carbon Filtration Air Purifiers Makes The Difference – If you get the right one

Several grades and types of carbon and charcoal filtration exist. Some work well on some chemical odors; others work only slightly

Only certain types of carbon explicitly designed for VOC chemicals can eliminate VOCs from the air.

Let’s look at how the carbon filtration works.

Carbon filters are often filled with activated carbon, a special kind of carbon different from the carbon graphite you find in pencils. This carbon is treated with oxygen to make sure every pore and fold is open and ready to grab at stuff. Highly porous carbons may have surface areas of 300-2,000 meters square per gram. That’s about the size of a football field per scoop the size of a pea.

When you pass air through a carbon filter, those tiny pockets get charged and attract chemicals from the air. The chemicals bond to the carbon and become trapped. The bad odors and nail polish toxins are stuck in the carbon.

When all the bonding pockets are filled, the containments pass through the filter and return into the air, although all chemicals already trapped stay trapped.

That’s why you need the right type of carbon and lots of it; and why we only sell the Airpura brand of air purifiers to nail salons. Airpura has two models with specific carbon designed for ammonia and formaldehyde-based chemicals, like acrylic nail products.

Plus, the Airpura has a deep bed of high-grade carbon that traps more of the chemicals than other brands – the Airpura V600 contains 18lbs, and the C600 has 26lbs of carbon. That means your filter works optimally for longer and you don’t need to change it nearly as often. In fact, when sized correctly, you won’t need to replace the filter for two years!

Why Buy A Better Air Purifier?

Not only do you want to quickly suck up the acrylic nail chemical fumes, but you want to get rid of them right where they occur.

Most people know nail techs should be wearing a mask to keep out the fumes. But, have your customers ever asked for one, too? What do you tell them? That a little exposure doesn’t hurt?

But, with the right kind of carbon media, even your tech won’t need to wear a mask (they should: your customers associate unsanitary practices with no mask). With the filter in place, you won’t experience the chemical bath of nauseating odors.

And, the Airpura is whisper quiet, literally. At 28 decibels on low, the best setting for nail chemicals, a friendly conversation could drown out the filter. The air filter could sit right at the end of your tech’s work station, ready to grab the noxious nail polish chemicals, without disturbing anyone.

Finally, let’s not forget your neighboring businesses. Those fumes go through air vents, door jambs, and thin walls (in older buildings). You don’t want to be responsible for being a bad neighbor or causing health issues that could affect your liability, right?

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Need Help Determining Which Model(s) You Need?

The size of each room, the number of nail techs, the volume of acrylic nails done, and how often you are open determines which model is best for your environment. We can help you figure it out; call us toll-free at 866-875-4386 or send an email to With our 15 years of experience, you can get the filter that works best for your budget and needs. And if we get it wrong, we’ll make it right.


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