Whether you're a seasoned sauna enthusiast or just starting to explore the benefits of sauna therapy, proper maintenance is essential to ensure your high-end home sauna remains in optimal condition. This will prolong its lifespan and provide a safe and enjoyable sauna experience for you and your family.

So, whether you have just installed a new sauna or have been enjoying the benefits of sauna therapy for years, our guide will provide all the information you need to keep your home sauna in top-notch condition. From the frequency of maintenance to avoiding paints and varnishes to tackling stains and mold, we've got you covered.

Basic Home Sauna Care & Maintenance

Taking care of your home sauna is crucial to ensure its longevity and functionality. Following these basic care steps can maintain a clean and well-functioning sauna environment for years.

Avoid Paints & Varnishes

Saunas rely on high temperatures and humidity, which could cause interior paints and varnishes to release harmful fumes or even peel off. This might affect the air quality and overall appearance of the sauna. Instead, opt for natural wood finishes or oils specifically designed for sauna use. These products will not only enhance the natural beauty of the wood but also protect it from moisture and heat.

Check the Door Handles & Floor Boards

Over time, the constant opening and closing of your sauna door can cause the handles to become loose. By ensuring the handles are secure, you prevent any accidents. Additionally, pay attention to the floorboards. Check for any loose or damaged boards and replace them as necessary. Loose boards can be a tripping hazard and may affect the overall stability of the sauna.

Practice Post-Usage Care

After each sauna session, it's essential to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of your sauna to avoid the growth of bacteria, mold, or mildew. Use a clean and dry towel to wipe down the benches, backrests, and other surfaces to remove sweat or residue. Leave the sauna door slightly ajar to allow air circulation and evaporate any residual moisture. Allow your towels to dry thoroughly before storing them.

Establish a Regular Cleaning Routine

To maintain a hygienic sauna environment, it’s necessary to clean periodically. Use a soft cloth to remove debris from the walls, benches, and other surfaces. If your sauna has a wooden floor, sweep it regularly. Avoid using a wet mop since excessive moisture can damage the wood. Use warm water and vinegar to wipe down the interior surfaces. Pay special attention to areas prone to sweat and moisture, such as the benches and walls. Lastly, clean or replace the air vents and filters to ensure proper air circulation.

Advanced Tips & Troubleshooting

Beyond what’s involved with basic sauna care, some situations may require more advanced skills and troubleshooting techniques to keep your home sauna in excellent condition.

Curing Your Sauna for the First Time

When installing a new sauna or performing significant repairs, it is essential to go through a process called "curing." Curing involves heating the sauna at a gradually increasing temperature to remove residual chemicals, sealants, or odors. This process helps condition the sauna and prepares it for regular use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper curing, as it may vary based on your type of sauna.

Occasional Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning sessions are necessary to maintain a hygienic sauna environment. This should involve a more thorough scrubbing of the surfaces and may include using sauna-specific cleaning products or mild detergents. Pay close attention to areas prone to coming into contact with sweat and moisture. Be careful to remove any stubborn stains, bacteria, or mold that may have accumulated over time.

Tackling Stains & Mold

Use a mixture of warm water and vinegar on stains. Gently scrub the area with a soft cloth, rinse it with clean water, and let it dry thoroughly. You may need a specialized wood stain remover or a mixture of warm water and a mild bleach solution for stubborn stains or mold. Address mold promptly since it can harm your health and damage the wood. Ensure proper ventilation while you’re cleaning to prevent the spread of spores. If the mold is extensive, consult a professional.

Avoiding Hard Water in Steam Saunas

Suppose you have a steam sauna or a steam room. In that case, preventing the buildup of mineral deposits that hard water can cause is essential. These deposits can affect the efficiency of the steam generator and may lead to clogging or damage. To avoid this, consider using distilled or softened water. Regularly clean the steam generator according to the manufacturer's instructions to remove any mineral buildup and ensure it functions properly.

Maintaining Sauna Doors & Vents

Pay attention to the condition of your sauna doors and vents, as they play a crucial role in maintaining the heat and proper airflow. Regularly check the seals and gaskets on the door and replace any worn-out or damaged seals to prevent heat loss and maintain energy efficiency. Similarly, inspect and clean the vents regularly to ensure they’re free from debris or blockages.

Wood Maintenance

Regularly inspect the wood surfaces for any signs of damage, such as cracks, splinters, or discoloration, and repair them promptly. Over time, the wood may become rough or lose its luster. Sanding the surfaces and applying a fresh coat of sauna-specific wood oil or finish can revitalize and protect the wood. Also, always maintain the proper humidity to prevent the wood from absorbing excessive moisture. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines and use a hygrometer or a dehumidifier if necessary.

Best Practices for Daily Sauna Use

If you want to fully enjoy the benefits of your home sauna, make it a habit to follow these tips. By using these best practices for daily use, you’ll make your regular maintenance and care much more straightforward and maintain a safe and hygienic sauna environment.

  • Wash and dry your feet before entering to prevent bringing in dirt and bacteria.
  • Protect the benches from sweat and moisture by laying towels down first.
  • Wipe off your sweat periodically with a clean towel to avoid extra moisture on the wood.
  • Leave the sauna door slightly ajar after each session to allow the air to circulate.
  • Afterward, cool down gradually. Abrupt temperature changes could strain your body.
  • Drink plenty of water afterward to replenish the fluids you lost through sweating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do saunas require a lot of maintenance?

While saunas require regular maintenance, the amount of maintenance is generally manageable. You can maintain your sauna without excessive effort or a significant time commitment by following a proper cleaning routine, addressing any issues promptly, and incorporating preventive measures. Alternatively, you can hire a professional service to maintain your sauna.

How long do home saunas last?

The lifespan of a home sauna can vary depending on the quality of the materials, your maintenance practices, and how frequently you use it. With proper care, a well-built home sauna can last many years and provide countless enjoyable sauna sessions.

How much does it cost to maintain a home sauna?

The cost of maintaining a home sauna can vary depending on the size of the sauna, the type of sauna heater, and any additional features or accessories. The main expenses are typically the electricity for heating, occasional repairs, and cleaning supplies. In that case, there can also be a cost for replacing the sauna rocks. However, these costs are generally reasonable, and you can plan for them as part of your investment toward an enjoyable, long-term sauna experience.

How often should you water a sauna?

Watering a sauna is necessary to create steam, enhancing the sauna experience. The watering frequency will depend on your preference and the type of sauna heater you have. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for your specific sauna model. Generally, you can pour water over the sauna rocks every 15 to 30 minutes during a sauna session or as often as you want to achieve your desired humidity level.

March 05, 2024 — andrei newman