Sauna Care and Maintenance Tips Sauna Care and Maintenance Tips

A steam sauna, with benches, rock heater and other sauna equipment, all work together to provide a relaxing and healthful experience. Here are some tips on how to keep your sauna clean and maintain its effectiveness.

The Sauna Room

You must "cure" the sauna room to ensure the wood will seal in the steam before anyone uses the new sauna.  Vacuum the walls, the floor and the benches to remove wood shavings and splinters. Apply a coating of the specially-developed sealant, provided by your sauna dealer, to protect all the cedar in the sauna room from changing color, and allow it to dry thoroughly. This sealant will withstand the high humidity and temperature in the sauna room.

With a damp cloth, wipe over all the wood surfaces in the sauna. Wash all the sauna rocks before putting them in the rock heater.

The Rock Heater

Place the rocks in the sauna heater loosely, to provide airflow around them.  Remove all plastic packaging and covers from the rock heater before turning it on.  Check all electrical connections for integrity.  Turn the heater on for 20 minutes to clean off the heater elements. Any smoke and odor during this test period is normal and will dissipate.

Pay attention to the heater's temperature safety settings. The rocks are heated from the bottom to the top of the heater. If they are packed in too tightly, the heated air will probably set off the heater's temperature safety switch. If this happens, turn off the heater and allow it to cool. You can reset this switch on the side of the heater by pushing through the switch access hole with a pencil, using the eraser end.  
After the heater test, you can finish "curing" the sauna room.

Curing the Sauna

Turn on the sauna heater for a full hour at maximum temperature with the door closed. No one should be in the sauna room while curing is in progress. Rocks may crack along internal flaw lines and could cause injury. After 45 minutes, the rocks will reach full temperature. Open the door and pour a liter of water very slowly on the heated rocks to sterilize them with steam. When you pour the water at the correct speed, it should all convert to steam before any droplets strike the floor. Pouring the water too rapidly will create a puddle in the sauna room.

Caring for the Sauna as it is Used

Use a thick terrycloth towel, folded double, on every bench for comfort and to absorb perspiration oils and salts. Wash these towels weekly.
Mop the sauna floor with all-purpose cleaner and water to remove water and steam marks. Wash the cedar benches with liquid detergent and water regularly. Never use ammonia or chlorine bleach-based cleansers as they will leach the color from the cedar.

Use a wooden bucket for water and an industrial light bulb for the light. Turn the bucket upside down after each use to let it dry. Keeping the sauna room and equipment clean and functioning properly will ensure years of enjoyment for your family and friends.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!