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Sauna Mold: Is It A Thing And Should I Be Worried?

Saunas are a great way to stay healthy and destress after a long day. One question we hear commonly with our prospective customers considering purchasing one of our Finnleo saunas is “don’t you have to worry about the inherent moisture contributing to sauna mold”?

It would seem the obvious answer could be that with the popularity of saunas in the market, surely if they were mold breeding monsters, people would not spend the time and money investing in one for their home. However, wanting to find out the true answer to the question so that we could share it with you, we did a little further digging and this is what we found.

What’s the best answer for mold and mildew prevention when it comes to your sauna? The answer is simple…proper care and maintenance.

Here are tips on how you can keep your sauna and sauna room looking great (and mold-free) over the years:

Don’t paint, stain, or varnish the interior of your sauna.

Simply put, your sauna is not the place for interior decorating. A key factor in eliminating excess moisture leading to sauna mold or mildew is allowing the wood to breath. If you apply paints or varnishes you are essentially sealing the wood and eliminating that crucial breathability.

In addition, treating sauna wood with paints or stains can actually cause the surface wood to become hotter during use. This can emit zen-bursting fumes…nobody wants that during a good sweat sesh.

There is one exception to the rule.

Ok, we just got done telling you not to paint or varnish the wood in your sauna, but there is one tiny exception to the rule. Areas of your sauna that are more prone to getting dirty can be treated or sealed with a varnish to prevent build-up and make cleaning easier. Examples such as wooden handles or floorboards in your sauna that see a fair amount of traffic should be the only exception.

Develop a clean routine.

What we mean by this is take a few minutes after each use to clean your sauna. This will prevent damages to your sauna that can occur after long-term neglect. The process can be as simple as keeping a soft bristled hand brush in your sauna bucket. When finished using your sauna for the day, just dip the brush in your sauna bucket of water and do a quick scrub-down of the areas used. This could be areas such as benches, backrests, or walls.

Getting in the habit of spending a few extra minutes after each sauna session to maintain it, will pay dividends in the long run.

Maintain an “open-door policy”.

This might be the most important tip when it comes to preventing sauna mold. When finished using your sauna for the day, leave the sauna door open. Furthermore, prop up the duckboards which can harbor additional moisture. Residual heat from the sauna rocks and sauna itself will be more than enough to dry out any moisture left in the sauna.

Get down to basics.

Inevitably, you might skip a few days of scrubbing your sauna after use. Don’t worry! If you start to see a few sweat marks or dirt stains you can do one of two things. You can try to scrub the spots with warm water and a mild detergent. We recommend doing this first. If you’re still not happy with the results, you can lightly sand the wood back down to it’s original color and condition. It’s like a brand new sauna every time! If you do elect to sand your sauna, we suggest only doing this about once a year.

Last resorts.

Although we wish that by following these tips, it would provide a one-size-fits-all solution for all of your sauna mold concerns. The truth is though, you may see mold, depending on sauna usage and other environmental factors where your sauna is installed. Should you happen to notice mold, you can easily address the issue by cleaning with warm water and and bleach. Not keen on the smell? Try infusing essential oils into your sauna bucket to eliminate the pungent odor that bleach can have.

Don’t let mold and mildew concerns stay top of mind when considering purchasing a sauna. Empower yourself with the facts we’ve shared here and tips on how to address, should it come to that. Have other questions about using your sauna or purchasing one? Send us a note with what you want to know here: [email protected]. Don’t sweat the small stuff…save that for your sauna!



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