Although nail techs should not attempt to repair e-files themselves, there are many steps they can take to make sure the instruments are well-maintained and do not need additional repair.
Reduce dust. Using an e-file will inevitably produce dust, which can enter the handpiece and damage it. To avoid this, techs should wipe down the handpiece and control box after each service. Use a small brush to clean the handpiece around the bit holder and cord plug-in, and always store a blank pin or bit in the end of the handpiece to prevent dust or particles from entering the collet. A good ventilation system can also reduce dust.
Don’t drop the e-file. This can break internal parts and damage the bit. Manufacturers do not recommend techs try to fix this problem themselves. To avoid damage, keep the e-file in a secure place on your manicure table and make sure the handpiece is secure in its holder when not in use.
Don’t crimp the cord. Cord crimping is a common problem. When cords are bent or crimped, the fibers inside the cord can snap and the connection will be weakened. When this happens, the e-file will not be able to operate at full power. Always make sure cords and cables have a smooth and natural bend and are not crimped.
Your bits will need to be properly cleaned to prevent breakdown or rust, as well as for the safety of clients. Wash bits with soap and water, use a brush to help remove debris, then disinfect or sterilize them with your preferred products. Make sure you follow the directions for the disinfectant; the bits should not be left in the liquid any extra amount of time. Bits must be dry before using in your e-file, this is very important.
Leaving metal in the liquids too long can cause premature wear and rust. After disinfecting, allow bits to dry completely before using them in your e-file.
Metal bits (carbide): After each use, clean your bits to remove debris from the surface either by washing with a brush and soap and water, or by immersing in acetone for five to 10 minutes.
Remember that acetone does not replace a disinfectant; it is a solvent used for cleaning.
After cleaning, completely immerse your bits in a liquid disinfectant. Metal bits feature indented cutting flutes, which cut pieces of the nail enhancement material as opposed to grinding it. Special wire brushes are used to clean the flutes after each use and before they are submersed in disinfectant solution or acetone.
Diamond bits: These bits do not have flutes to trap product, so a simple washing and scrubbing should remove any product residue before they are placed in disinfectant solution.
Ceramic bits: Remove the portion of the bit used on your client by holding the bit vertically on the surface of a coarse file. With the machine on, press down until you’re past the used portion — similar to sharpening a pencil. Completely immerse the bit in an approved disinfectant.
Sanding bands: Made of sandpaper-like material for natural nail etching and light shaping, sanding bands are used on natural nails and can’t be disinfected, so they should be discarded after each use. Sanding bands fit over a mandrel bit, which can be disinfected in the same manner as other metal bits.
Storage: Store all bits in a clean, dry container until you are ready to use them. Bits should be replaced when they no longer refine the product in a timely manner. With daily use, bits can last anywhere from two to four months.