We keep preaching it, but it’s true.
There are endless benefits to having a sauna available in your home. A sauna can help relieve stress, soothe sore muscles, induce better sleep and even help to burn calories. Not to mention that unlike a hot tub or a pool, saunas require very little maintenance. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of your sauna at all – there are still a few tasks that you should take care of on a regular basis to make sure your sauna stays in tip top condition.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR SAUNA THE FIRST TIME YOU USE IT
There are a couple things you’re going to want to do the very first time you use your sauna. These are tasks that only need to be done once.
- Sealing the floor and the wood will keep the surfaces looking like new. Wood will go grey in the areas where water will be in contact over time without protection. Natural sealers are available that don’t get hot to touch or give off toxic fumes like varnish or urethane would.
- Let the heater run for for a full cycle without rocks to burn off any manufacturing residue that might be coating the elements and stove body metal surfaces. This may produce a slight smell, so ventilate.
- While that is happening, wash your rocks outside or in a pail to clean off sand and residue.
- Place the rocks on the heater tight enough for maximum amount, but loose enough to allow air to flow through the rocks. If electric, be careful to cover the heating elements, so that water never runs directly onto them. This will prolong the life of your heating elements.
The following are a few tasks you should take care of on a regular basis to maintain your sauna:
- Post sauna, wipe down all your benches to remove excess water and squeegee your floor, if it doesn’t drain well naturally. If you have a wooden slatted mat, lift it and lean it up against the bench to air out. This will prevent mold build up and prolong the life your mat.
- Air out your sauna immediately after each use to remove moisture as quickly as possible to avoid mold build up. This can be done by several methods: exhaust fan, opening a fresh air vent, opening a window, or leaving the door ajar till the room has dried out.
- Wash the floors a couple times each year as normal upkeep. You should use a mild solution of liquid cleaner and water to wash your the benches. This will help to remove any perspiration stains that have built up on the wood. Avoid using ammonia or other harsh cleaners as they can create lingering toxic fumes and discolor the wood. A mild detergent that is pH neutral is sufficient. The heat & steam will take care of the bacteria.
- When replacing a burnt out light you want to refer to the fixture’s maximum wattage but also remember that a high wattage bulb isn’t necessary in that room. Compact fluorescent bulbs don’t withstand the elevated temperatures. Incandescent bulbs are still the better choice.
- Your sauna’s heater won’t typically need any maintenance. You can clean the outer shell using a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid using steel wool. For electric sauna heaters, don’t try to open the electrical box or try to disassemble the heater. These are tasks that should be left to an electrician or professional. For wood-burning sauna heaters, remove ash build up regularly and sweep your chimney periodically.
- Granite rocks should last a lifetime, but if you find the rocks are eroding, they likely weren’t granite to begin with.
- When you’re not using the wood bucket, store it upside down to help it dry and prolong its life.
Your sauna can provide you with some incredible health benefits all while requiring very little maintenance over its lifetime. However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need any care at all. Be sure to perform these small tasks to properly take care of your sauna.