A home sauna can be a real treat. You`ll experience all the benefits of a proper sauna and sweat bath right in your own home. However, saunas do need some upkeep. As long as you are willing to learn about how to maintain your home sauna, you`ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.
Saunas are almost always built of wood and this needs some special care to keep it in optimum condition. Since home saunas tend to be fairly small, this is an ongoing task that really shouldn`t take much time.
Cleaning Your Home Sauna
Since the steam will kill any germs that happen to enter the sauna, you really don`t need to use anti-bacterial sprays or other disinfectants within the sauna. In fact, it`s not even a good idea to use cleaners like this, since they tend to seep into the wood and then let off nasty fumes as you are heating the sauna up again. With the wrong cleanser, you could end up with an unusable steam room!
Prevention is the best medicine and this applies to cleaning, as well. Rather than wait for sweat to stain your wood seating, it`s a far better idea to have towels ready to lay on the benches. Have anyone entering the sauna sit on these and you will find that the wood stays in great condition for far longer.
To actually clean the sauna, here are some helpful hints:
• Use plain soapy water to wash the wood with a soft cloth.
• Rinse with cool water.
• For severe discoloration, sand the stained area before washing and treating as normal.
• Watch out for ammonia in your cleansers, not only does it give off toxic fumes, it also turns the wood grey.
It`s also a big help to have people wipe down the seats when they use the sauna. This will help reduce the discoloration that is due to weat.
Maintaining the Sauna Heater
The wood isn`t the only part of the sauna that needs cleaning, the heater will also need some regular care. There are two types of sauna heaters, electric and wood burning.
An electric heater is fairly easy to clean. You will want to wipe down the heater with a soft cloth and some mild, soapy water from time to time to keep it pristine. Don`t ever use a rough cloth or scrubby, since this tends to scratch the metal surface. Once a scratch has appeared, the humid environment in the sauna promotes rust.
Wood burning heaters will need to have the ashes removed after use and regular, professional inspections of the vents to ensure there is no fire hazard from creosote buildup.
The stones that are used to heat the sauna are also quite important. No matter what kind of stones you use in your spa, you really do need to inspect them on a regular basis. Any rocks with cracks or that smell odd will need to be replaced.
Another issue that many home sauna owners run into is a sticky door. The heat and moisture combined in the sauna room makes the wood swell. This can cause the sauna door to stick and is quite easily solved. Just take a piece of sandpaper, see where the wood is sticking and gently sand it just enough to allow the door to open and shut easily.
It really isn`t that difficult to maintain a sauna if you know what you`re doing. Avoid harsh chemical cleansers and keep your heater in tip top condition and you`ll enjoy your sauna for a long time to come.