In Finland, saunas are for cleaning yourself up and dusting the day’s work off your shoulders. To feel clean, it is important that the whole sauna experience feels hygienic. Sauna facilities offer favorable conditions for microbial growth. That’s why it’s important to keep everything clean – from dressing rooms to the steam room.
Only a clean sauna will offer you the genuine experience. The whole sauna path starts with the fact that the dressing rooms are clean, the washrooms are hygienic and the sauna smells fresh and clean, says Minna Kyllinen, a hygiene expert at SSTL Puhtausala ry.
If you start the sauna experience by noticing that there are defects in the hygiene, nothing will save the experience.
Kyllinen has researched the maintenance of public saunas in a project that was a part of her studies. She also did her thesis on the topic.
A clean sauna emphasizes the health effects of sauna: a clean sauna environment is safe and healthy, says Kyllinen.
Minna Kyllinen’s tips for taking care of a clean sauna experience:
- When you survey the cleanliness of the sauna facilities, trust your senses. Do the surfaces look clean? Can you see hair in the floor drain? Do the walls feel viscous? How does the room smell like?
- Select correct equipment and materials. The home sauna can be cleaned with equipment found at home (e.g. microfiber floor mop, brush), but in public saunas, it is recommended to use mechanical methods, such as industrial spray guns, floor maintenance machines or combination machines. When choosing detergents, pay attention to the pH values of detergents. A detergent that suits for all surfaces in sauna is mildly alkaline (pH 8,1-10).
- Pay special attention to the dirtiest spots in saunas. Those are the lower parts of walls and floor drains, the lowest bench in the steam room, the floor in front of it, wall surfaces that people lean to and foot rails. Cleaning all points of contact is crucial, because microbes are transferred by hands and feet. Wipe door handles, sauna ladles, mixers and showerheads carefully.
- Take care of the cleaning equipment. At home sauna, it is sufficient to clean the sauna after use and clean thoroughly 1-2 times a year. The daily maintenance cleaning is made in public and hotel saunas daily, and a more thorough cleaning for example weekly. Let the surfaces and facilities dry between uses.
- See that places will not even get that dirty in the first place. Bench covers protect the benches and keep them clean. Guide saunagoers for hygienic bathing. Take off any jewelry before going to sauna and wash the sweat off in the shower. Offer customers towels and shower products.