Sauna Bucket

How to Clean a Sauna. Tips and Best Sauna Cleaners

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Saunas come in many shapes and forms, but they are most commonly a small wooden room that is heated up to a very high temperature. You can take a sauna bath by relaxing in the room and basking in the heat. Often, users will pour water over sauna rocks to produce steam.

All of this heat translates into lots of sweat. Rivers of sweat. Consequently, you really need to regularly clean your sauna to ensure that you don’t get any bacteria or unwanted guests growing in there! Nasty bacteria often love the hot, moist environment of a sauna.

Proper maintenance of your sauna will prevent bacteria, keep the environment relatively clean, and stop mold from growing.

In this article, we’ll go over how to clean your sauna and make some recommendations for the best sauna cleaning products. We’ll also touch on sauna maintenance as well.

how to clean a sauna

How to Clean a Sauna

Here we will discuss the basics of sauna cleaning, both on the interior and exterior. A sauna is a complex environment, whether it is an infrared sauna, a steam shower, or a traditional barrel sauna kit. The space can go through rapid changes in temperature and humidity. You want to be careful and regularly clean your sauna, and also use products that are appropriate for the sauna environment.

Let’s start by discussing the most important part: the interior.

Cleaning the Interior of a Sauna

Cleaning a sauna is not hard, but you have to make sure to clean it regularly. After using the sauna, your first action should be to wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Light cleaning is good enough after every use, and is often all you need to do in the case of a portable infrared sauna. But your sauna should also be thoroughly cleaned about every two weeks with a dedicated cleaning solution. You can do this by making a cleaning solution right at home.

To make a cleaning solution, you’ll need:

  • High-quality essential oil like Thieves Spray
  • Water
  • Baking soda

Cleaning your sauna won’t take much time. Simply add the essential oil in water and wipe the interior of your sauna thoroughly. You can even use a tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with water.

Use this paste to scrub the wood. Your sauna will be fresh and clean in no time.

Cleaning Sauna Chair or Bench

Bambusi Sauna Bench

Naturally, as you spend most of your time in the sauna sitting on a bench or sauna chair, it is vital to clean it. After using the sauna, make certain to wipe the bench with a damp cloth.

The bench will likely be covered in skin cells and perspiration stains. If the stains remain even after you use a damp cloth, use baking soda and water to wipe the bench thoroughly until they go away.

Another way to clean the sauna benches is by sanding them. Once or twice every 6 months (or much more often, depending on how much the sauna is used), sand down the top of the sauna benches. You can use sandpaper or a sanding machine.

Before doing this, make certain to wear a dust mask if you’re allergic to dust. You can also use hydrogen peroxide in small concentration if there are many stains.

The good thing about hydrogen peroxide is that it does not leave any residue. It simply decomposes in the oxygen and the water as soon as it comes into contact with them. Unlike hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, disinfectants are extremely harmful for your sauna benches. They are highly corrosive and can easily damage them.

Cleaning the Floor

The sauna floor can very easily trap debris and bacteria. Use a vacuum at least once a month to clean the dust and bacteria from the sauna floor. Since you’re not vacuuming every day, try to wipe the floor with a damp mop to keep the floor free of dirt and debris every day.

Cleaning the Sauna Heater

Don’t forget your sauna stove. It needs to be cleaned occasionally, which you can do by simply wiping it with a sponge. This will prevent it from getting dirty and trapping debris. Wiping it will also clean fingerprints or dust that it may have collected over time.

Make certain that the heater has cooled off before touching it or cleaning it, or you might seriously hurt yourself.

Sauna Cleaning Products

You can also clean the interior of your sauna with sauna cleaners. Sauna cleaning solutions help clean out the mold and prevent bacteria from spreading and growing. Sauna cleaners are easily available on Amazon. Here are a few sauna cleaners that you can try.

Sauna-Kleena Sauna Disinfectant

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The Sauna Kleena sauna disinfectant is a powerful cleaner with a fantastic name. It’s also extremely gentle on sauna wood. You can use it straight from the bottle if you want to remove heavy stains or even dilute it for regular use.

It is very easy to use – all you have to do is spray and wipe.

The best part about the Sauna Kleena is that unlike other sauna cleaners that use ammonia or bleach, which can damage or discolor wood, the Sauna Kleena uses natural oils that not only clean your wood but also rejuvenates it.

The natural oils also keep your sauna looking new and avoids it from cracking, which can easily occur if you use bleach. Sauna Kleena also has a fragrance that lasts.

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Hanko Sauna Cleaning Solution

Hanko Sauna Cleaning Solution

The Hanko Sauna cleaning solution is a trisodium phosphate-based cleaning solution and is designed to remove dirt and debris from the wood. Make sure to use it with strong brushes and water.

This cleaning solution can easily clean sweat stains from your benches, too. If you need to clean a small area, make certain to use a smaller quantity, but for a larger space, use more.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sauna Place Swipe Gym Cleaner

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Sauna Place Gym Cleaner is a cleaning solution that is ideal for wooded benches and paneling. Sauna Place cleaner is safe and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your wood.

Make sure to use it with essential oils, which will help give your wood a shine. It also has a great fragrance that will keep your sauna fresh.

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Cleaning the Exterior

For the exterior of your sauna, you can simply wipe the wood with a damp cloth. If your sauna is outdoors, the exterior will naturally require more maintenance. You may want to use a pressure washer once every year or so to wash the wood thoroughly.

Other Places to be Mindful of

Taking care of your sauna not only includes washing the exterior and the interior but also checking for all sorts of damage. If you see any loose screws, tighten them straight away. Screws on the doors should be regularly tightened. If need be, oil the door hinges. Keep in mind to oil the safety catch on the door, too.

While you’re at it, check to ensure that the door seals completely. You want to make sure you’re retaining as much heat as you can in the sauna.

A tip to keep in mind is that since the wood inside a sauna is very dry, it is also extremely sensitive to moisture. You can use a pressure washer on the exterior, but never use a hose or a power washer on the benches or the surfaces inside the sauna.

The ceiling of your sauna is also part of the interior and must be taken care of accordingly. You don’t have to clean the top very often, but make sure to do it every once in a while. Simply use a damp cloth to clean the ceiling thoroughly. This will prevent bacteria and mold from spreading.

Why is it important to take a shower before going into a sauna?

It’s good sauna etiquette to be clean when you go in the sauna. A good sauna bath will make you sweat torrents of sweat. It’s best if that sweat is coming from a fresh, clean body.

If you want to maintain your sauna and keep it clean, showering beforehand is essential.

And if you’re using a sauna before or after a workout, you want to shower regardless.

Sauna Maintenance Tips

What most people fail to realize is that the cleaner you are, the less dirty your sauna will get. Your body is quite literally the only way moisture, skin cells and dust can enter the sauna. Before entering the sauna, make sure to take a quick shower and then dry yourself.

If you want to make sure your sauna stays clean for a longer period of time, most experts suggest to not paint or varnish the exterior of your sauna. Paint stains can prevent the wood from breathing, which means the wood will start getting moldy faster and lose its shine quicker.

Try keeping your sauna as dry as possible.

Towels and Sauna Use

Regardless of what you wear into the sauna, you’ll absolutely need a clean towel or two so that you can sit comfortably.

Always use a towel on the bench and under your feet. Towels are comforting and give some buffer from the hot bench. But they also prevent sweat stains and moisture from collecting on the bench.

The towel will prevent oil stains that won’t affect the performance of your sauna but will affect the presentation. They also control perspiration that occurs in saunas, which keeps your sauna looking new.

It is always a good idea to use a fresh towel every time you use the sauna. You can wash your towel after use with detergent and it will be brand new. A good towel will absorb the sweat and prevent the wood from getting stains.

You can also invest in sauna seat covers and pillows if you want to protect the wooden benches. They will also make your experience much more relaxing.

After a Sauna

After a session, wipe off perspiration stains and excessive moisture that might collect during the session. You can even crack the door or a vent once your session is over so all the extra moisture evaporates. Not only will this help you air out your sauna but it will also keep it fresh and clean.

If you want your sauna to smell good even when you’re not using it, remember to spray it with essential oils that act as a natural cleanser. You can also use sauna essential oils during your sauna session for added sensory delight.

General maintenance includes broken or splintered wood that should be changed immediately.

Make sure to turn your sauna off when you’re cleaning. If the sauna is on while you’re doing physical activity, it will only add strain on your body and make your work that much harder. Instead, leave the sauna door open when you’re cleaning the interior, whether it’s the benches, the heater or the floor, to let fresh air in.


A good tip to keep in mind is that you don’t need to clean your sauna excessively— you just need to clean it regularly. A good idea is to wipe your sauna after every session and then clean it thoroughly every two weeks.

This will save time and effort. If you regularly follow the tips mentioned above and look after your sauna, it will last a long time, and you can be sure that all visitors to the sauna are comfortable, clean, and healthy.