Home Saunas Maintenance

There is generally very little maintenance involved with a home sauna. Discoloration can be caused by perspiration, but the high heat of the unit will remove any moisture buildup by the time the sauna cools.

Regular sauna maintenance is similar to maintaining any other area of the home. The unit should be swept or vacuumed every few days to keep it free from dust and hair, it should also be washed with soap and water to keep the seats and walls clean. Harsh chemical cleaners should not be used in a sauna because the residue from the cleaner may be released when the sauna is in use causing odor and possibly breathing difficulties.

Caring for the Wood

Towels should be available for bathers to sit on to help protect the benches from perspiration. This will keep the wood in good condition but it will still require cleaning every few months. A mild detergent should be used to wash the wood and rinse it with clear water after. Ammonia based cleaners must be avoided as they may cause the wood to turn grey.

If the wood becomes discolored, it can be sanded to remove the stains. Another option is to wash the wood with a mixture of oxalic acid and trisodium phosphate to remove stains. These chemicals are poisonous and should be handled with care. They should also be mixed with water in a non-metal container. Rubber gloves and goggles should be worn while mixing and using the chemicals. The chemical should be rinsed off the wood with clear water.

The wooden door of the sauna may swell due to high humidity. The hinges of the door can be adjusted to stop the rubbing or if that doesn't work the door can be sanded or planed. Mark the location of the stick with a pencil and remove the door from the frame. If a large amount of wood must be removed it is more efficient to use a wood plan than a sander.

Caring for the Heater

An electric heater requires little to no maintenance. The stainless steel surface should be wiped clean but other than this the heater shouldn't need any other care. A soft cloth and mild detergent will sufficiently clean the unit. Steel wool should not be used because it will scratch the finish and cause rusting if some of the steel particles are left behind. An electrician should be called if the unit stops working as it is not safe to attempt to do electrical repairs without the proper education.

A wood burning unit will require more maintenance. The ashes need to be removed on a regular basis and the chimney must be kept free of obstructions. Be careful of creosote build up in the chimney as it can be a fire hazard. The chimney should be inspected regularly to ensure the safety of the unit. A professional chimney sweep should be hired to remove excess creosote if it becomes a problem.

Sauna Stones

Sauna stones should be inspected regularly to ensure they are not cracking. Sauna stones should be replaced occasionally because of the high stress they endure with the constant heating and cooling. Stones with a rough surface should be used because they release steam faster. The most popular types of stones are peridotite and olivine. They can be found in any sauna supply store.

Occasionally sauna stones will give off a foul odor requiring replacement. This could happen with new stones but shouldn't be a problem with stones that have been in use for a while.

Easy Maintenance

Home saunas are quite easy to maintain and require less work than most bathrooms. A sauna is one of the most carefree areas of the home. Maintenance should not be an area of worry with a sauna.


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