Sauna Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining a sauna is actually pretty easy. Saunas are built mainly using cedar these days, which ensures they virtually last forever without rotting. It’s always a good idea to install good fan systems outside of any sauna that uses an electric heater or a wood stove, since these types of saunas tend to put out far more heat and humidity than any small infrared sauna.

For the most part, though, maintenance on a sauna is taken care of before you actually install or build it. For the sake of conversation here, we’re going to talk about some of the easy things you can do to take care of your sauna in the long run. Proper sauna maintenance is not hard, however it is easy to neglect. Certain things, like propping the sauna door open after each use, should be done every single time you use your sauna.

How to maintain a sauna

Sauna maintenance is actually very easy. With a few basic, non time consuming care actions, ensuring proper sauna maintenance is actually incredibly simple. Neglect your sauna, and you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Sauna maintenance checklist

  • Properly vent your sauna after each use
  • Use a portable fan inside your sauna after each use to dry out the wood
  • Prop your sauna door open after each use, with fan running in dressing room
  • Under any circumstances, never paint or stain the inside of your sauna wood
  • Have an electrician check your sauna stove for wear annually
  • Properly drain any water from the inside of your sauna
  • Prop up sauna boards if you have them
  • Use a hand brush to clean sauna walls if sweat stains develop
  • Wet mop floors after multiple uses
  • Replace any broken rocks from both electric and wood sauna stoves

My sauna smells bad, what should I do?

A bad smelling sauna can actually be the result of several things. One of the most common reasons a sauna smells bad isn’t because of rot. Actually, it’s because of hair that can make it’s way onto the sauna stove! If your sauna smells bad, carefully inspect the sauna to make sure mold or rot isn’t forming on the walls, benches or sauna ceiling.

If you’ve thoroughly inspected the sauna and have found no evidence of rot, there are several things you can do. First, air the unit out for a week or longer. Saunas are designed to repel moisture, meaning the wood types used for sauna do an excellent job of letting moisture dispel from the wood surface and interior, so mold is not very common.

Bad smell in a new sauna?

One of the most common issues users report when a new sauna smells bad is due to sweat lingering on the benches. Because benches are often built of pine, it’s recommended that you wash your benches every couple of uses to prevent sweat from absorbing into the wood. Bad smelling sauna benches are the main reason a new sauna smells bad.

If you’ve tried rinsing your benches, or lightly cleaning the sauna walls (though you shouldn’t have to clean your walls, ever), try using essential oils in the sauna. Essential oils not only improve your sauna experience while using the sauna, they also improve the smell when you leave. Whether you believe it or not, sauna wood seasons over time, and consistent essential oil use in the sauna can help create a great smelling sauna the longer you use it.

How do I get rid of burnt hair on my sauna stove?

While it sounds funny, it’s more common than you would think. The only way to get rid of burnt hair on the sauna stove is by turning the sauna stove on and letting it run. You can heat your sauna rocks by tossing water on the stove, if it’s appropriate, and keep the door open.

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