How To Clean a Sauna (Indoor or Outdoor Benches, Floors, & Walls)

Spending time in the sauna has many great benefits to your overall health. Sauna use has been rising in popularity especially with people who are looking for more natural options. Owning a sauna is quite popular these days, but one of the biggest questions you may not have considered during the install is how to clean it so that you can maximize its use. 

Cleaning your sauna will allow you to get the most use out of it. Mold and bacterial growth can be avoided by regular cleaning with a sauna cleaning solution and air drying your sauna after use. How often you clean your sauna depends on usage, but it is recommended that you gently wipe it down after every use and deep clean it every 2 weeks or so.

Keep reading as we discuss how you can clean your sauna at home and keep it working in tip-top shape. 

Do you need to clean your sauna?

Generally speaking, saunas are made out of materials that are high-quality, safe, and easy to clean. Home saunas have gained popularity over the last few years because of the many health benefits that they provide.

Cleaning your sauna is important so that you can optimize its use and maximize its benefits. Regularly maintaining and cleaning your sauna will also help to make it last longer and provide a more enjoyable relaxing experience. 

Keep reading to learn how to clean both your indoor and outdoor saunas.


Indoor saunas can either be built-in into the infrastructure of the home or free-standing so that they can be moved from one area to another.

To avoid mold growth, you should clean your sauna between uses and air dry it when not in use to prevent moisture accumulation that can cause mold. 

As with any other type of sauna, the bench area will be the area that can see the most traffic and can get dirty quickly depending on how frequently you use your sauna.


Compared to other types of saunas, outdoor saunas will have more dirt and debris inside because of the location of the sauna.

Because of this, you will need to vacuum and mop the floors of an outdoor sauna more often than an indoor sauna. Power washing the exterior side of the outdoor sauna is also important to get rid of any dirt or debris that might have accumulated. 

The outdoor surface of an outdoor sauna does not need to be treated because it will weather naturally. You can stain the exterior portion of a wood sauna by opting for stains that can protect against ultraviolet rays. 

Traditional dry saunas

Some people prefer the use of dry saunas because you won’t get constant steam like in traditional saunas. Regardless of whether it is a dry or steam sauna, you can still get the same health benefits. 

When cleaning the floors and walls, using water with a mild detergent or sauna cleaning solution is sufficient. Over years, you will probably notice some discoloration inside the sauna and you can remedy this by lightly sanding the affected areas. 

It is recommended to use a towel so that you can put it down on the bench before sitting down in the sauna. This will give you more comfort and the towel acts as a barrier to prevent perspiration stains from affecting the interior of your dry sauna. 

Infrared saunas

Infrared saunas provide dry heat which makes them easier to clean compared to other types of saunas.

It is recommended that you at least wipe down or do light cleaning each time you use your infrared sauna. Depending on how often you use your sauna, you can easily schedule your deep cleaning every two weeks.

If you want a quick clean, the interior can be easily cleaned by a simple wipe down using a damp cloth.

Steam rooms

Because of the steam that this room produces, it is more susceptible to growing mold than other types of sauna, so it is important to clean your steam room after every use to prevent mold from growing.

Scrubbing the walls and benches with a hand brush and cleaning solution will prevent mold growth and bacteria production. You should deep clean your steam room every two weeks, especially if you use it often. After cleaning, you should let the room air dry or incorporate ventilation so that it will dry completely. 

Since there is constant steam in this room, another potential problem is hard water stains created by minerals in the water that you are using. This problem can be solved by scrubbing on affected surfaces by using a brush and a cleaning solution. Refrain from using hard water in the sauna if you can because the minerals present in hard water can also lead to accumulation and hard water stains.

How to clean your sauna

Like any other household appliance, cleaning your sauna regularly is important to keep it working longer. Saunas are not cheap, and what better way to protect this investment than regularly cleaning it to keep it in the best shape possible. 

How often you need to clean your sauna depends on how often you use it. You can use the specific sauna cleaning solutions that are available in the market or make your own by mixing several drops of your favorite essential oil in water. For deeper cleaning, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water and use this mixture to scrub the inside of the sauna.

Even the water that you are using to clean your sauna is important. Using pure or filtered water will be ideal because it will prevent minerals from causing a buildup in your sauna.

A hand brush will be your best friend when it comes to cleaning your sauna. Using a hand brush, you can dip it into a bucket of water or sauna cleaning solution and scrub the different areas of your sauna.


The sauna bench is probably the number one area in your sauna that is used frequently compared to other components of your sauna.

Because of the frequent use, the bench will need to be cleaned more than any other area inside your sauna. Every time you use the sauna, wipe down the bench with a damp cloth after using it.

Since the bench is used for sitting, perspiration stains might appear and this can easily be removed by lightly sanding the bench area.


The second most used area in your sauna is the floor area. Because of the foot traffic that goes in and out of the sauna, it’s easy to get debris and even bacteria on the sauna floor. 

You can use a vacuum hand attachment to clean the floors and remove dust or dirt that might have accumulated. You can do this once a month or once every two weeks if you use the sauna frequently.

For more thorough cleaning, you can mop the floors with a sauna cleaning solution or a homemade baking soda solution for a deep clean. You can mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water and use this mixture to deep clean the floor.

Walls and ceilings

The wear and tear to your outside sauna walls will come from outside and natural elements. If you’ve had the sauna for quite some time, you can treat the outside walls by applying polish to maintain its look and shine.

The walls inside your sauna can be cleaned by using a sauna cleaning solution.

If you have an outside sauna, it will require more deep cleaning on the exterior walls because it is exposed to weather-related conditions. Power washing is one way that you can keep your outdoor sauna clean.

Heaters and sauna rocks

Some infrared saunas produce negative ions that can help purify the air. Even with this natural purification process, the sauna heaters and rocks will still need to be cleaned. 

Wiping down the heaters is sufficient to clean it every once in a while. You can use a wet sponge to take off debris that has accumulated over time.

It is important to make sure that the heater and the rocks are cooled down completely before you attempt to clean it. 

Towels, pillows, and other accessories

Sauna accessories include soft items such as towels and pillows and functional pieces such as the buckets and dippers used to pour water over the rocks.

Accessories that are removable and washable should be placed in the washer and dryer after every use. This prevents bacterial and mold growth and makes sure that the next time you use the sauna, you are only using clean towels and pillows.

For other accessories that cannot be removed, you should use water and a gentle soap to clean them. 

How often should you clean your sauna?

Your sauna cleaning schedule greatly depends on how often you use the sauna.

Here is a general cleaning schedule for your sauna:

  • After every use – Wipe down the areas in the sauna that you used with a damp towel to remove excess moisture and mop up the sweat. The most common areas that need cleaning after every use are the bench and the floor.
  • Weekly – Scrub the entire inside of the sauna with a hand brush and a sauna cleaning solution or a baking soda mixture. Don’t scrub too hard as the wood inside the sauna might lose its natural consistency. Weekly cleaning of the sauna should not take more than 10-15 minutes.
  • Monthly – Deep cleaning the sauna which includes removing the dirt and debris on the floor by vacuuming. You can also use the hand attachment part of the vacuum to clean other areas like ceilings, vents, and any corner that might be hard to reach. If you have stains that are harder to take out, you can lightly sand the area. 

Maintenance tips and tricks to keep your sauna cleaner longer

Regularly cleaning your sauna is an important way that you can make sure that the sauna is in optimal shape so that you can enjoy it longer. Having an established cleaning schedule is important but there are also different tips and tricks that you can do regularly to make sure that you can keep your sauna longer. 

Here are the best ways to keep a sauna clean:

  • Make sure your body is clean too! 
  • Don’t forget the towel
  • Try to keep dry
  • Keep it natural 
  • Perform regular maintenance 
  • Don’t use hard water 

Make sure your body is clean too!

Before you enter the sauna, you have to make sure that your body is also clean.

Your body can carry dirt and dust that can accumulate in the sauna. Make it a habit to shower or at least quickly rinse your body before entering the sauna. 

Don’t forget the towel

Using a towel inside the sauna and putting it on the bench before sitting down or on your feet adds another barrier between the sauna and your body.

Towels can help prevent perspiration stains plus sitting down on a towel can create a more comfortable atmosphere for you. 

Try to keep dry

It’s normal to get all sweaty inside the sauna but if you notice excess moisture after each session, you can use a hand towel to wipe off this excess moisture.

By getting rid of the excess moisture, you can prevent any accumulation of dirt or debris inside your sauna and will make it easier to clean.

Another tip that you can do is to crack the sauna door open after your session and keep the sauna running so that the excess moisture evaporates.

Keep it natural

It might be tempting to paint the inside of your sauna or use a wood stain or varnish to update or change its look but this is not recommended.

Keeping the inside of your sauna in its natural and original state will enable you to enjoy the sauna more and it is important that the sauna can breathe through the natural wood.

If you use varnish or stain, it might cause the wood to get too hot which will be uncomfortable. At the same time, you run into the risk of breathing fumes from the wood treatment which can’t be good for your health.

Perform regular maintenance

Like any part of your house, your sauna also requires regular maintenance.

If you notice loose screws that need to be tightened, you should attend to these things right away to prevent them from becoming an even bigger problem in the long run.

If your sauna has a wooden door, the door might experience some swelling because of its constant exposure to humidity. You should make sure that the hinges are working properly. 

Don’t use hard water

Refrain from using hard water especially if you have a steam sauna because hard water can contain magnesium and calcium salts.

If you use hard water and the steam cools, you will have a lime buildup that will be hard to clean.