T here’s a great advantage when buying an infrared sauna, and it resides in maintenance. These models are the easiest to clean on the market, as their method doesn’t imply the release of vapors. The radiation delivered by an infrared sauna doesn’t heat the walls, as in the case of a traditional model, but penetrates the skin and gently warms up the muscles, making your body sweat. Thus, when you turn it off, it will immediately cool down as there are no rocks inside that can retain heat.
Nevertheless, even it is super easy to maintain, compared to other models, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay any attention to cleaning it. It is still a device built to make you sweat, and where there’s sweat, you will deal with stains and bacteria.
So, take good care of your sauna, as this is a guarantee that it will last longer and will preserve a healthy environment. We’ve prepared you a very detailed guide.
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How Often Should You Clean Your Sauna?
Sauna maintenance can imply two types of cleaning: after each session and periodical cleaning. The first one is a light one, designed to prevent dirt from gathering inside and becoming harder to clean later. This is why it is wise to clean all the potential sweat stains on the spot and not wait until they penetrate the wood and ruin its aspect. You will also want to keep the doors open after each session to allow potential vapors emanated by your sweating to evaporate.
The frequency of periodical cleaning depends mostly on how often you use the sauna. If you only enjoy a sweating session once every two months, there’s no reason to clean it weekly, but if you do use it regularly, you will want to do some scrubbing and vacuuming every 7 days and make sure the wood chamber stays clean and bacteria-free.
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Deep Infrared Sauna Cleaning – A Complete Guide
What is a sauna? A wooden chamber that includes a heating element and lighting. So, you will need to consider all these components when performing your weekly maintenance. Here are the steps you need to follow for sparkless results:
- Remove all the accessories – You will need access to the entire wood surface so nothing should stand in your way. Remove all the towels, bench cushions, and eventual floor mats, which tend to absorb moisture and develop bacteria. They will also need to be cleaned later.
- Vacuum the floor and the benches – Every time you step inside you can potentially bring some dust and dirt with you. This will spread all over the floor and walls, and if it manages to combine with sweat it will make it difficult to remove stains. Consider that your sweat will carry the sebum at the surface of your skin, which is practically grease. Now do the math. Grease and dust surely don’t make a nice addition to your bright-nuance wood. So, vacuum closely, trying to remove the dust from corners and crevices and get the chamber ready for the next step.
- Prepare a washing solution – You are dealing with a closed space that heats up while you are inside, so you shouldn’t use any strong chemical solution. Not only that it may destroy the wood, but it will get absorbed and released into the air when the infrared element will be on. Thus, you can end up inhaling it, or it can enter your skin, and the effects can vary from milder ones like a rash or allergy-like symptoms to more severe ones if the exposure is long and often. The safest way to clean the walls and the floor is to use a solution made of hydrogen peroxide and water, baking soda and water, or white vinegar and water. You can also use mild liquid soap to remove grease stains.
- Carefully scrub all the surfaces – Cleaning the walls will be the easiest task, as they don’t usually come in contact with sweat, but you will want to insist on the benches and the backrests. Dip a clean cloth in the solution from above and scrub any stains that have formed. Wipe all the surfaces with the solution, which will leave a clean smell behind. When this step is over, replace the solution with clean warm water and wipe all the surfaces again.
- Sand the stains, if necessary – Some sweat stains may be old or too deep to be easily removed. In this case, you can use sandpaper to get rid of them. This action should be performed once or twice a year and only if stains cannot be removed by washing the surface with the cleaning solution we have recommended.
- Clean the heater and the bulbs – Most infrared saunas come with heaters that produce negative ions, designed to make the dust particles heavier and drag them to the ground. But dust may still deposit on it, so wiping it with a damp cloth every time you perform periodical maintenance will help to keep it in pristine condition. Do the same with the lighting bulbs to make sure that dirt doesn’t deposit on them in thicker layers.
- Disinfect the space – Use a 70% alcohol-based solution to kill any bacteria that may have grown on the surfaces. Pour some on a clean cloth and wipe the walls and the benches. If you have a water ionizer in the house, you can use the acidic water released by it to sanitize your sauna.
- Clean the accessories – Make sure to wash the cushions, the floor mat, and the towels before placing them back. They are bacteria carriers, and maintaining them clean is an important hygiene step. When they have dried out, place them back, and you are set. Your sauna should be sparkling clean.
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Outdoor Infrared Saunas Require More Attention
With an indoor model, all you need to do is wipe the exterior with a clean cloth and this should remove the dust. But an outdoor model will be exposed to weather elements, so you will need to take good care of the exterior as well. Once in awhile check the wood to be in good condition. If the climate is particularly humid, it may start to swell in time. Although the wood in these saunas is one of the strongest you could find and has been treated to stand high or extremely low temperatures, you will want to give it a hand and apply some wood-penetrating oil on the exterior walls to keep it looking impeccable for longer. If your sauna is starting to get greyish, you can power wash it and restore its original color.
Check out our top-rated portable sit-down infrared saunas and start enjoying the benefits of sweating even if the space doesn’t allow you to install a permanent model.
Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Sauna Like New
The secret is to perform maintenance on time. The longer you procrastinate, the greater the risk of getting permanent stains becomes. Nevertheless, other factors can affect your sauna and make your cleaning job harder. So, make sure to pay attention to them.
- Keep your sauna natural – No matter if it has a different color than the furniture around, painting or varnishing it is never a good idea. This will only prevent the wood from breathing and will destroy it in time. Plus, you don’t want any chemicals added to a room that heats up. You can, however, use furniture polish on the exterior if you like to make it look shinier.
- Use towels and cushions on the benches – They will act as barrier between sweat and the bench, protecting it from stains. If you are using cushions, make sure to place a towel on top of them as they are sweatproof and may leak the sweat on the bench. If you are only using towels, place two or three on the bench for better absorption.
- Clean yourself – The shower shouldn’t be a rule only after the sauna but before as well. You are the main dust and dirt source inside the wooden chamber as you can carry them on your feet. If you follow this rule, maintenance will be much easier.
- Do not bring drinks or food inside the sauna – A nice glass of lemonade may sound amazing while you are enjoying your relaxation, but imagine what it would mean to spill it. All the stickiness spreading on your bench or floor. It would just ruin everything, and you will end up cleaning after it instead of continuing your session. Not to mention that some drinks may leave stains that may be impossible to remove.
- Use a protective mat – It will keep the floor looking like new for longer and will also prevent accidents that can be caused by walking on wet, slippery wood. Make sure to clean it often to keep bacteria away.
Buy a sauna thermometer and keep an eye on the temperature inside the chamber. This will help you assess if you are enjoying a safe sweating session or you are about to be cooked.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking at the steps from above, it may seem that you will end up spending half a day cleaning your sauna, but this will not be the case. No step will take you more than 10 minutes, so in an hour or so your sauna will be perfectly clean. Plus, if you take good care of it every time you use it, weekly maintenance can be even shorter.
Just make sure that, if other members of the family or your friends use it, they will follow the same rules, so the chamber stays clean for the next session. Remember: for a sauna to be comfortable, it needs to be well maintained and smell nice. You can even add some lavender inside to make everything more relaxing.