Sauna

Sauna Care & Maintenance

We recommend cleaning the inside of your sauna regularly to keep it looking and working its best.

Never use chemicals inside your sauna! They can damage the wood and you may breathe them in when the sauna heats up.

After you’ve used the sauna, wipe up and perspiration with a dry towel and leave the door open so the inside can dry out. At regular intervals give the interior a sweep or vacuum. If you notice stains from dirt or perspiration, use warm water and gently scrub the spots, or a low-pressure washer with a wide-pattern nozzle and spray the spots. You can also buff away stubborn stains and scuffs with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper.

Hose it off or use a low-pressure washer to remove debris and stains.

We recommend adding shingles to the roof of your sauna as they will significantly increase your sauna's longevity and water resistance.

Sauna rocks can last indefinitely, but fluctuations in temperature can cause them to crack or break. If this happens to your rocks, you’ll need to replace them with rocks that are safe, hold heat well, and are resilient. Redwood Outdoors sells sauna rocks that work perfectly as replacements. These can be found on our Sauna Accessories page.

If your sauna is made of cedar or thermowood, staining the outside of the sauna is optional. The wood is naturally weather resistant; however, it will change color over time (to a grey weathered color) if not stained. You can stain the exterior if you like to better preserve the original color of the wood. We recommend choosing a stain with UV protection. If you’re unsure which stain is best, talk to someone at your local building store who can give you region-specific recommendations.

If your sauna is made from spruce, pine, or another wood type (e.g., the Garden Sauna) you must treat (either stain or paint) the outside of the wood to prevent it from degrading prematurely.

NEVER apply any stain, paint, or other chemicals to the inside of the sauna.

If you've decided to stain your sauna, a good rule of thumb is to re-stain it annually. You may need to do it more or less often depending on how much sun it gets. If you’re unsure how often to reapply, talk to someone at your local building store who can give you region-specific recommendations.

A small amount of water seeping into the sauna isn’t going to hurt it and is likely due to condensation. If you notice a substantial amount of seepage, this may mean that your bands have loosened, and water is getting in around the staves.

The wood will naturally shrink during warm dry weather so cracks can appear after extended periods of warm weather. The wood will also naturally shrink with age so cracks can appear after a few years of use. Check the tension of the bands every few months so you catch problems before they start. If you notice the bands are loose, retighten them following the same process as when first installing.

If you are unable to close cracks by tightening the bands, it means you need to add more staves under the bands. When the inside and outside of the sauna are dry, take apart the top portion of it and rebuild it with additional staves.

We recommend adding shingles to the roof of your sauna as they will significantly increase your sauna's longevity and water resistance.

Like any outdoor structure, mold can develop as a result of moisture getting trapped inside the sauna. This is especially true for saunas as the bathers will sweat, releasing additional moisture into the air which can be absorbed into the wood. The key to preventing mold from forming is to ensure the inside of the sauna is dry.

After you have finished each sauna session, leave the door fully open so that the wood can dry out. The flooring can be lifted and placed outside to dry faster. Before closing the door, wipe the side of the sauna (walls/roof, benches, flooring, etc.) with a dry towel or cloth to remove any remaining moisture. If you are using your sauna regularly (i.e., multiple times a week), this ventilation should largely prevent mold formation.

If you are not using your sauna regularly, run a dehumidifier and/or fan inside the sauna to keep air circulating (ensure you are emptying the dehumidifier water tank regularly). Also place desiccants (e.g., a commercial desiccant such Damp-Rid or non-commercial desiccant such as charcoal briquettes/kitty litter) on dishes and place them around the inside of the sauna.

If you are seeing mold in the sauna, this should be treated early before it has time to grow and take hold. Clean the affected area to remove the mold. The wood can be cleaned with soapy water, white vinegar, or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). If you are unable to remove the mold with these solutions, try stronger cleaning agents (such as diluted bleach) or sanding the area with sandpaper. Any rags, etc. that come into contact with the mold must be disposed of.

Proper protective equipment (safety googles, breathing mask, etc.) must be worn when removing mold.

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