How To Wash a Sauna Suit (To Prevent Odor & Irritation)

The whole point of a sauna suit is to increase your sweat production so it’s likely to become pretty gross pretty quickly. How do you clean your sauna suit?

Depending on your sauna suit material, you may be able to put it in the washer; however, if your suit doesn’t have care instructions, hand washing is the better option. The suit should be washed regularly, although the frequency depends on how often it’s used and how sweaty you get. Ensure it is rinsed thoroughly so as to not leave any residue.

Keep reading to learn more about washing – and drying – your sauna suit.

How to wash a sauna suit

Hand washing your sauna suit is simple.

The quickest and easiest way to wash a sauna suit is in your washing machine, but keep in mind what kind of material you are washing.

For machine washing, ensure your washing machine is on a gentle cycle. It’s crucial for the water temperature to be set to cold, as some materials will melt under high temperatures.

Use a mild detergent, and if you can use a gentle spin cycle, or skip the spinning altogether, that would be best. Certain materials will be damaged in the washing machine which is why it is important to use the gentlest soap and spin cycle possible.

Keep in mind that different sauna suit materials will require different care so you should consult your specific directions before putting your sauna suit in the washing machine.

Different sauna suit materials

Sauna suits come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials.

The material your sauna suit is made of will determine the best cleaning method. Your sauna suit may be made of:

  • PVC
  • Nylon
  • Neoprene

Keep reading for likely cleaning methods for each of these materials.


Some sauna suits are made with PVC (or polyvinyl chloride), a thin and flexible plastic.

Sauna suits made from PVC should be washed by hand. Do not put PVC sauna suits in the dryer, or use an iron. For best drying results, pat dry with a towel to avoid water spots, and then hang it up in a cool dry place.

Stretching of the clothing may damage the thin plastic so washing machines may do more damage than cleaning. Use only small amounts of liquid detergent and ensure that it is rinsed thoroughly so that it does not build residue and create staining or wear on the clothing.

Warm or hot temperatures may also melt the plastic, damaging the material.


Some sauna suits are made with nylon, a thin synthetic material.

Nylon can be washed in the washing machine, but use caution. Machine washing this material too frequently can cause pilling which will eventually damage the suit.

Use a delicate or gentle cycle when using a washing machine, and use cold water. Do not use bleach.

When using a dryer to dry nylon, use very low temperatures, or no heat at all (tumble dry setting). Nylon will dry quickly, so keep an eye on it. It shouldn’t need much more than 15 minutes if using heat.


Some sauna suits are made with neoprene, a synthetic rubber.

It’s best to keep neoprene out of the washing machine. Over time, the washing machine may break down the material, causing wear and tear. Hand washing is best for neoprene; use warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.

Do not put neoprene in the dryer. Hang dry the item, avoiding direct sunlight or hot temperatures.

Do you need to hand wash sauna suits?

While it is safe to wash your sauna suit in the washing machine, it may be harsher on the material over time.

Hand washing your sauna suit is always the best and safest option. Certain materials would do best with handwashing like PVC and neoprene, as these materials are most sensitive to warmer temperatures and stretching. Over time, the washing machine’s spinning and sloshing may break the material down, causing tears.

To handwash your sauna suit:

  1. Fill your kitchen or utility sink with warm soapy water. Liquid dish or laundry detergent is best as powdered soaps may get messy and the powder may stick to the suit, leaving residue that can irritate your skin, or cause wear in the material.
  2. Dip your sauna suit into the sink, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Feel free to mix the suit around in the water every few minutes, so that every part of the suit is fully submerged and soaking in the soapy water.
  3. Squeeze out the sauna suit, drain your soapy water, and add fresh water to your sink – leaving the soap out this time. Let your sauna suit sit in the water again, for at least 5 minutes, swishing it around so that the entire suit gets submerged. Squeeze your sauna suit out again and repeat this step until the suit has been thoroughly rinsed.

Hand washing is best, but remember, depending on the materials and setting, you may be able to machine wash.

Can you really put a sauna suit in the washer?

You may be able to put your sauna suit in the washer! It just depends on the material.

You can put your sauna suit in the washer, but remember, sauna suits are made from synthetic materials that have specific care instructions.

When washing your sauna suit in the washing machine, refer to the care instructions it came with or refer to the specific care instructions for specific materials noted above.

Machine-washable sauna suits

Although most sauna suits say “hand wash only,” there are some types that can be washed in the washer.

If your sauna suit’s care instructions indicate it can be safely machine washed, it is critical you only wash in cold water, and on a gentle/ no spin cycle.

If you’re looking for a machine-washable sauna suit, check out one of these:

How often should you wash a sauna suit?

Think about it: whether you’re in PVC, nylon, or neoprene, those materials are meant to keep moisture in. That means your smelly sweat is accumulating and hanging around on your suit. I don’t know about you, but I know after one use, my regular gym shorts should be washed.

How often you wash your sauna suit depends on how often you use it. Most likely, you’ll want to wash it from once a week to once a month. Washing frequency really comes down to your personal preferences. Think about how often you use the suit; how much you sweat; and how smelly your sweat is!

Washing is one thing—but what about drying? Are there special care instructions for drying?

How to dry a sauna suit

Drying your sauna suit will take a bit longer than washing it. Generally, it should be hung to dry.

Like washing, the method for drying your suit will depend on the material:

  • PVC should be hung to dry. It is a thin flexible plastic that will melt under high temperatures.
  • Neoprene should be hung to dry. It is a synthetic rubber material that can also melt under high temperatures.
  • Nylon is the only material that can be dried in the dryer but use caution when doing so. Nylon is an extremely thin and light-weight material so using the dryer can cause damage if done incorrectly.

When drying nylon, use a no-heat setting like tumble dry. If using heat, keep it low and keep an eye on the time, drying it for only 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

When hanging your sauna suit to dry, avoid hanging it in direct sunlight, which can damage the material over time. Hang your sauna suit in a cool dry place.

Tip: When drying PVC, towel it off before hanging it up to prevent water spots.

Can you really put a sauna suit in the dryer?

While some sauna suits can be placed in the dryer, it’s not recommended.

Sauna suits are made from materials that are sensitive to heat and stretching. PVC and neoprene are materials that are often found in sauna suits, both of which are extremely sensitive to heat. Avoid damaging your sauna suit, or even your dryer, and hang them to dry!

If you find that you have a nylon sauna suit—go ahead and use the dryer, but be careful to not leave it in there too long, or at too high of a temperature.

Washing and drying sauna suits can be tricky. Take care to find out what materials are in your sauna suit so you can care for it correctly and make it last.

Practical ways to keep a sauna suit smelling fresh

So, you use your sauna suit often, you sweat a lot, and your sweat is smelly – how should you keep it smelling fresh?

Here are a few ways you can keep your suit clean and fresh:

  • Rinse your suit off frequently
  • Hand or machine wash your sauna suit once a week
  • Use a disposable sauna suit
  • Spray your sauna suit with body spray

Keep reading for details about how these tips will help keep your sauna suit smelling great.

Rinse your suit off frequently

Rinse your sauna suit off in the shower!

The simple act of rinsing your sauna suit with water will keep the odor and bacteria at bay. Not only will rinsing, instead of washing, be gentler on the suit, but it may save you the headache of hand washing it separately.

It may also keep you from having to buy a new sauna suit because your washer ate it.

Hand or machine wash your sauna suit once a week

Hand or machine washing your sauna suit will keep it clean and smelling fresh.

If you’re rinsing your sauna suit after every use, then you’ll need to wash it less frequently. Think maybe once every 3-4 weeks.

If you’re not rinsing your sauna suit after every use, then you’ll want to wash it at least once a week.

Use a disposable sauna suit

There are disposable sauna suits on the market, but if you’re unconcerned about appearances, or if you work out at home, why not just throw a trash bag over your clothes?

If you’re interested in staying extra fresh, Kalaii Griffin created Shredskinz, a disposable sauna suit. Wear it, and then just throw it out – you’ll skip the washing altogether.

Before he invented Shedskinz though, Griffin wore trash bags over his clothes which made him sweat just as much as the sauna suit he created.

Though, it’s probably not the best eco-friendly option, either.

Spray your sauna suit with body spray

Some folks spray their suit down with a deodorant or body spray.

To keep it extra fresh, rinse your sauna suit after every use, and spray with a body spray once it dries.

That, along with washing it once every few weeks, will keep it damage-free and smelling nice and fresh!

For the web story version of this article check here!