Whether you have a brand new infrared sauna or a seasoned outdoor traditional sauna, mold is probably something you're worried about and it's definitely something you want to avoid. Mold can cause numerous health problems and it can cause the wood in your sauna to rot and breakdown. Luckily, mold can be a really easy problem to prevent. With proper care and maintenance you'll go years and years and years without ever having a problem. Below are five proven methods to prevent mold from accumulating in your sauna.
1. Proper Air Flow. This is by far the most important measure to take in preventing mold in your sauna. There are a couple things you can do to promote proper air flow. The first is to make sure your sauna has a vent or two to get air circulating in the sauna while you're in it and when you are finished. The second is to leave the sauna door open for a half hour or so after you use your sauna so the sauna can totally dry out. Luckily, the high heat saunas reach can really help dry things out quickly so long as it's not too steamy in the sauna.
2. No Paint, Varnish or Sealant. This one might be obvious to a lot of people, but we get questions about this all the time. Bottom line - don't paint, varnish or seal the inside of your sauna. You want the wood untreated so it's able to breathe easily. Sealing or staining the wood traps moisture and creates a little mold factory over time.
3. Regular Cleaning. Another real simple one. Make sure to at wipe your sauna down with a soft bristled brush and warm water after each use. This is just to clean the dirt and sweat off the wood. You don't have to get into every nook and cranny each time, but if you make sure to clean any sweaty spots excessively wet areas that's perfect. If you're noticing dirtier spots or sweat stains over time we suggest using a mild wood cleaner or detergent, along with a soft bristled brush, to clean your sauna. We like using Murphy Oil Soap. It's a mild wood cleaner and only has five ingredients!
If you notice that mold or mildew is starting to build up use bleach and warm water with a brush and clean the affected area.
4. Drain It! Not all saunas are built with drains, and not all saunas need drains. For example, infrared saunas don't generally need drains because you aren't actively creating steam and moisture in infrared saunas. But if you have a traditional sauna that gets a lot of use and has a lot of moisture build up installing a drain in the bottom of the sauna is another step you can take to prevent moisture build up.
5. No Excessive Water. Make sure you aren't pouring an excessive amount of water over your sauna stones. A cup, or so, of water every fifteen minutes should produce enough steam to get the sauna hot and humid. Excessive water can cool the sauna stones down too much and slip down to the floor of the sauna and accumulate.
The bottom line is moisture prevention. With the four steps described above you shouldn't have any issues with mold. All you have to worry about is your next sauna session!