Wood care in the sauna

A sauna consists mainly of wood on the inside. Natural wood is used for this purpose. Over time, light to medium soiling can accumulate here and the wood can darken. In some cases, resin leaks out. This article explains how to properly treat, disinfect, clean and care for the wood in the sauna.

Basic wood care in the sauna

As a natural product, wood in the sauna does not require any special care in most cases and should always be left in its natural state. With proper use and sufficient ventilation of the sauna cabin, germs, fungi and mould should hardly form. In principle, the wood in the sauna must always be allowed to dry thoroughly after use. Make sure that there is sufficient ventilation. For the benches, we recommend the use of abachi, which is naturally well protected against deeper soiling and germ formation due to its small-pored structure. The use of sauna towels is a must to avoid contamination, for example by sweat.

Under no circumstances should wood inside the sauna be painted, varnished, impregnated or treated with wood preservatives. These agents evaporate when the sauna is heated, e.g. by an electric sauna heater, and the sometimes harmful vapours are inhaled. In addition, such wood treatment can affect the structure and natural properties of the wood.

One way to seal wood in the sauna is to use a suitable paraffin oil. This soaks into the surface but does not hinder the exchange of moisture and air in the surface structure. Apply paraffin oil evenly and thinly when the sauna has cooled down, let it soak in and dry for about an hour, then wipe off excess oil with a damp cloth. Before doing so, test on an invisible spot how the wood reacts to the oil.

Disinfection in the sauna

If you want to disinfect the wood in the sauna, use only suitable disinfectants that are available especially for saunas. Such agents are often offered as sprays and are easy to use. After disinfection, rinse the surfaces with plenty of water and then allow the wood to dry completely.

With proper sauna use and good ventilation, disinfection will only be necessary at longer intervals.

Removing surface dirt and discolouration

If there are stains on the sauna wood, they can usually be removed with fine sandpaper. If this is not sufficient, use the next coarser grit and always sand with the grain. After each sanding, rinse the wood with plenty of water and let it dry through again. At the end, use the finest grit again.

Deeper stains can be removed with a wood bleach based on hydrogen peroxide. For this, we recommend a treatment over a large area to achieve an even result. You can also use this option if the wood in the sauna has darkened undesirably.

Resin on sauna wood

Some woods, for example Nordic spruce, leak resin. Fresh resin can be dissolved and removed with a solvent such as acetone; hardened resin is best removed with a scraper. Pay special attention to horizontal surfaces from which the resin could drip onto the surfaces below when heated.

Basically, sauna wood is a natural product and should be left as such when caring for and cleaning it. Good drying after each use of the sauna is a good prerequisite for this. Coatings on the inside of the sauna cabin should always be avoided. To care for the wood in the sauna, only use cleaning and care products that are specially offered for this purpose sparingly.

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