5 sauna maintenance tips for getting your sauna ready for summer

The sun is shining, and your summer cottage sauna awaits for you to start the summer sauna season: arguably the best time of the year. Before you start the summer sauna season it’s important to remember that the cottage and also the sauna at the cottage need to be maintained regularly.

Checking the wood burning sauna heater with a  flashlight

Step 1: Check the wood burning sauna heater

Inspect the heater and it’s structures carefully, and check for parts of the heaters that might need some TLC. Sometimes a heater that’s been in heavy use needs to be replaced. Inspect the heater with a torch, remove the sauna stones, open the hatch of the heater, point your light to the fire chamber of the heater, and check for holes. If the sauna doesn’t heat up properly, it often means that the heat is escaping from some part of the wood burning heater. This poses a safety risk, so we recommend replacing it with a new one.

Replacing sauna stones

Step 2: Clean or replace the sauna stones

You should re-stack your sauna stones every year. The stones’ structure will change over time in high heat and the pile of stones will flatten. For nice steam, you’ll want air to circulate between the stones!  Re-stacking the sauna rocks is a good time to clean them from dust and debris with warm water and a soft brush. Check the condition of the stones by tapping two stones against each other, if the stones crumble or are yellowed, it’s time to replace them with new ones.

Step 3: Clean the heater

Sauna bathing might have accumulated visible limescale stains on the surface of the heater. These can be easily removed with a mixture of water and vinegar or citric acid powder. For stainless steel surfaces, we recommend Harvia's sauna heater cleanser, that makes it easy to get rid of limescale stains.

cleaning sauna benches

Step 4: Check and clean the sauna benches

Check that the sauna benches’ structure is in good condition and that the benches are clean. If the benches only require cleaning, wash the benches with warm water and a suitable cleaning solution using a soft brush. Always brush the benches along the grain of the wood and rinse the benches a few times to remove the detergent. Finally, rinse the benches with cold water to close the grains of the wood to help repel dirt. Carefully dry the sauna by heating it for at least 30 minutes.

Once the benches are clean and dry , they should be treated with a protective coat of paraffin oil. Try the oil in an unnoticeable place, such as under a bench to see how the oil affects the color of the wood.

If the benches have stubborn dark stains, you can lightly sand them off while the benches are dry. Harvia’s Sauna Care Set is a ready-made package for sauna care and cleaning. The package includes sauna cleaner, paraffin oil and sponge, protective gloves, and sandpaper.

Harvia Sauna Accessories, bucket, scent, padle

Step 5: Add a personal touch with sauna accessories

Add a personal touch with new sauna textiles, such as bench towels, pillows and matching towels. Beautiful sauna textiles will upgrade the look of your sauna and protect the benches from dirt. Accessorize your sauna with a new pail and ladle set and a firewood basket that complement your style.

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