How To Maintain Your Outdoor Sauna For Winter

Posted on 01 December 2021

outdoor sauna care tipsAn outdoor sauna is a perfect escape for warming up and unwinding during the cold winter months. However, preparing for winter is an essential step in properly caring for and maintaining your outdoor sauna. While most current saunas are built to accommodate a winter climate, a few precautions can extend the life of your home sauna and protect it from the harsh winter weather. Maintaining your outdoor sauna from SaunaFin can be a breeze if you follow our simple and super easy tips! 

Preparing Your Outdoor Sauna Exterior For Winter

A little extra care in winter can help negate the effects of winter snow and sleet on your outdoor sauna’s exterior. 

  • Treating the exterior wood with a wood penetrating oil will maintain its natural beauty. 
  • You can also stain the wood outside for a sleeker look; try using products with a UV inhibitor to protect your outdoor sauna from sunlight. 
  • Avoid varnish or paint as varnish prevents the moisture from drying while paint can chip or wear out. 
  • You can pressure wash the dirt and debris on the outside wood but remember to use a low setting. 
  • Treat the windows and doors with a wood impregnation agent to prevent deformation. 

Warming Up & Ventilation

Avoid using the sauna when warming up the sauna the first time. The initial warm-up removes any excess lubrication fluids or protective materials that may have fallen on the stove. This can cause an unpleasant odour that can hamper your sauna experience. 

Your outdoor sauna should be ventilated after each use. Open the vent-hole in winter and leave the sauna door open during summer to avoid unpleasant odours and mould formation. 

Extending The Lifespan Of Your Sauna

A home sauna is an investment, and following an essential routine can help extend the longevity of your sauna. Do follow these crucial steps to keep your sauna looking new for years: 

Before Using The Sauna

  • Wash your feet before you step into your sauna to prevent dirt and debris from tracking inside.
  • A brief shower can help eliminate sweat and grime build-up on the sauna floor and benches. 

During Your Sauna Escape

  • Use fresh absorbent towels on the sauna floor and benches to soak up sweat and avoid sweat stains. 
  • Don’t forget to remove the used towels once you finish your sauna bath.  

After Your Sauna

  • Wipe the benches and head rests with a soft towel to remove residual moisture. 
  • If you’re using a bucket, drain the water and keep it upside down to facilitate drying. Remember to only use a wooden bucket and ladle inside the sauna.
  • Leave the sauna door open for a few hours to help dry it thoroughly. 

Cleaning Your Outdoor Sauna

If you’re worried about sauna maintenance, relax. Just spending 15 minutes a month cleaning your sauna can keep it fresh and inviting!

  • Vacuum or sweep out dirt and dust.
  • Clean the sauna with a natural cleaning mix of baking soda and warm water or white vinegar and water. Avoid using chemical cleaners as they can damage the wood and release toxic gases when the sauna is used. 
  • Wipe off with a soft cloth and let it dry naturally.
  • Use fine sandpaper to tackle scuff marks or stubborn stains. 
  • Sweep and mop the floor.

Caring For The Wood Inside Your Sauna

  • Don’t use hard water as the calcium and magnesium salts can cause ugly limescale build-up on the wood. 
  • If you have a spruce or pine wood sauna, you may notice resin seeping out from the knots. This is common during the first few uses of the sauna. Scrape off the resin using a chisel while the sauna is still hot but take care not to touch the resin! 
  • Don’t use any sealants or protectants inside the sauna to reduce moisture. While you can treat or stain the exterior of your sauna, never ever paint, stain, or treat the interior. The high heat inside the sauna can cause these products to release toxic fumes that may be harmful if inhaled. 
  • Never bring food or drink inside the sauna. A refreshing lemonade or beer may sound heavenly, but even a minor spill can ruin your relaxation and your sauna. 

The Last Word

Caring for your sauna with regular maintenance will ensure that you can enjoy decades of health and wellness. At SaunaFin, we’ll be delighted to share more tips on maintaining a home sauna or with anything you want to know about an indoor or outdoor sauna. Just give us a call, send an email, or stop by our retail showroom whenever convenient! 

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