ABC’s of Sauna Care: extend the life of your outdoor sauna

Outdoor sauna

With proper care and maintenance, your outdoor sauna will provide good steam for many years. 

Luckily, extending the lifetime of your backyard retreat doesn’t require any special skills or equipment. It’s very easy to do with just some commitment a few times a year and a quick routine after each sauna session.

Regular care and maintenance

BZB bench mats

Tip 1: Always use bench mats when saunaing. This keeps the benches cleaner and longer-lasting.

Tip 2: Dry and ventilate after steam sessions:

  • Let the heater do its job for about half an hour after the sauna session.
  • Open the windows/doors about 20-30 minutes after to let it breathe. Do not open them immediately, as this will reduce the temperature too quickly, and your sauna may not dry sufficiently.
  • Done!

Tip 3: Only throw water on the stones, not on the walls or other wood elements. The more you expose wood to moisture, the faster it can get microbial growth.

Tip 4: Empty the water tank and other water containers after taking a sauna to leave as little moisture as possible in the sauna.

Periodic sauna maintenance

Depending on how often you use the sauna, do these steps 2-5 times a year:

Give a scrub with a soft brush

Step 1: Wash the sauna with a weakly alkaline detergent (many prefer pine soap) or just warm water. Be sure to wash the walls and ceiling as well, not just benches. Avoid hard scrubbing! It can elevate wood damage, allowing different microbes and moisture to grow.

Step 2: After scrubbing the benches, we recommend rinsing with cold water to close the pores of the wood. If you feel that gentle scrubbing does not help, you may use sandpaper to sand out dirt and stain, then treat with paraffin oil.

Step 3: After washing and scrubbing, heat the sauna for a while and ventilate thoroughly to let it dry naturally.

Check the benches and screws

Check the attachment of the benches to the walls and tighten if necessary. As the wood dries, the screws can get loose.

Check the floor drain

Don’t let the smells of the floor drain ruin the fresh smell of your sauna! Clean the sauna floor drain as needed, depending on use, a couple of times a year.

Check the condition of the stones!

Sauna Heaters
Harvia wood-burning sauna heater

Sauna stones may seem eternally durable, but they are not. They start to crumble over time during extreme heat and need replacement. If you’re a heavy sauna user, replace the stones about once a year.

Take good care of your sauna, and it will take care of you, providing you good steam and health benefits for many years!

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