Saunas & Sanitation: Detoxing & Staying Clean
Health and relaxation benefits of saunas are attracting crowds, but sauna sanitation has become the key to detox and overall wellness.
A great number of toxins that affect our energy fields, change the appearance of our skin, and our outlook on the world. Dangerous toxins tend to dwell inside our bodies and alter our body chemistry. Saunas have become a good way to cleanse this buildup of toxins.
People are flocking inside of saunas and steam rooms to feel better. Athletes are looking to round out their overall fitness protocol and spa enthusiasts consider specialized sauna equipment their deciding factor. Especially if it’s clean.
“There are a lot of people who will buy a membership simply because of the amenities a facility has.” —Athletic Business
But, what if these saunas are dirty? That’s dangerous. The major complaint from club owners is upkeep. The major complaint from patrons is the result of their own usage habits. Take a look:
Dry Heat Saunas
Traditional saunas extend back to our Native American sweat lodges and sauna baths in Finland. United States saunas still have physical and spiritual benefits.
Traditional dry saunas use high heat, (180-220 degrees F, with 60-70% humidity) to promote users to sweat. These saunas heat the air around you, rather than your body directly.
The most difficult part is staying put in this hot room—dripping sweat for an extended period of time. You’ll feel an intense drying effect. While sauna claims are to relax, it’s the after effect that have people relaxed in a parasympathetic mode.
Fiberglass saunas require daily cleaning and are popular because they have lower maintenance requirements. Most units are self-cleaning, and are typically 30-50% more efficient than tile. Around for a little more than 10 years, fiberglass saunas are a common way that people have been experiencing the benefits of a sauna.
A steam room environment breeds mold and bacteria. All steam rooms require daily cleaning and dedicated staff to ensure that everything is in proper condition.
Many facilities have larger unisex saunas or steam rooms instead of two smaller spaces that reduce maintenance costs for the spa owner. Having unisex saunas or steam rooms—instead of separate amenities—cut maintenance and staff time costs. Shared usage means more traffic, leaving fewer opportunities for total privacy.
Some steam rooms and saunas have glass windows which decrease the privacy factor and potential for vandalism or inappropriate behavior.
With unisex usage, there’s always a risk of inappropriate sexual activity. Despite reduced privacy, there’s always a potential for increased sexual behavior with a shared room. And, that’s a serious hygiene concern and sanitation problem.
Infrared (FIR) Saunas
Far-infrared saunas (FIR) have been on the rise in popularity in the last decade. They deliver the same benefits as dry heat saunas, but have additional benefits—and are less intense.
FIR saunas use infrared light which actually run at a lower heat, (120-140 degrees F, and only 25-30% humidity. Infrared light penetrates 1.5 inches beneath the skin, so it heats the body from the inside out. Therefore, there’s less discomfort and perspiration, making it easier to stay in the sauna for its ideal time.
FIR treatments improve cellular health by lowering blood pressure, increasing immune system performance, and allowing muscle recovery.
Athletic Development Benefits
FIR saunas improve the recovery process in athletes. This recovery improvement prompts more intensive, meaningful endurance training and power output. Whether you’re a strength and power athlete or endurance athlete, FIR can be a powerful habit to include in your training regimen.
A study from Finland found that using FIR sauna treatment (following a 30-40-minute endurance session) resulted in lower heart rates (71 BPM in FIR versus 92 BPM in Traditional Saunas).
In addition, using FIR after endurance training is favorable for your neuromuscular system recovery. The study investigated effects of FIR on athletes during a five (5) day intensive training period. It found improved testosterone and cortisol (T/C) ratios.
General Health Benefits
Similar to a moderate intensity physical exercise program, another three (3) week study concluded that test subjects had lower total cholesterol, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol with regular infrared treatments. Thus, infrared sauna usage had a positive effect on overall lipid profiles, increasing blood plasma levels and declining serum triglycerides.
infrared therapy shows promise for rehabilitating deconditioned individuals who lack full range of motion.
Saunas Have Benefits, But Are They Clean?
Frequent infrared sauna therapy remove toxins that change your body’s DNA makeup. They’re a distinct supplement to your overall wellness goals and can be relaxing after a long workout. However, are they sanitary?
Walk-in, “hut” type saunas are most typical. They’re convenient for many spa owners because there’s less cleaning per person to do because of less foot traffic per session. But because they aren’t cleaned as frequently, there’s a high risk for dangerous bacteria. You’ll want to research both safety precautions and sauna cleaning protocol prior to your visit.
Individualized Infrared Sauna Pods
Premium infrared sauna pods include several jade stones. Jade stones are cleaner than wood saunas or infrared wraps because they’re not porous. The stones protect you from bacteria, yet add a powerful healing component to your therapy.
You’ll want to look for infrared sauna pods that provide a dual action detox. These pods emit both far and near infrared light therapy. State-of-the-art sauna pods allow y
ou to breathe fresh air by keeping your head out of the unit. This unique set-up prevents overheating during your detox process.
Some exclusive infrared saunas use infrared red light technology that penetrate up to ten (10) inches into your exterior epidermis. Infrared saunas use an invisible wavelength, raising your body’s core temperature without heating the surrounding air. The heat penetrates deep below your skin, and promotes natural healing properties to recharge, rebuild, and detoxify you on a cellular level.
Infrared saunas must be clean with frequent individual use.
Infrared Sauna Cleaning
- Clean interior to keep a fresh and well maintained appearance
- The surrounding floor is where the majority of any bacteria reside. Vacuum sauna floor and bench areas with a crevice tool to remove hair and dirt.
- Dilute white vinegar and water on a damp cloth to wipe sweaty seats and backrests (5-6 tablespoons to one (1) pint of water to disinfect)
- Wipe down again with a clean damp sponge
- Leave door of sauna open until vinegar odor dissipates
- Close sauna door and turn on outside lights to engage
- Eliminate germs, bacteria, mold, fungus or mildew by using a product called “Oxygen Ionizer” for 15-30 minutes to keep your sauna sanitary and fresh. Oxygen Ionizer will keep your sauna sanitary and fresh by eliminating germs, bacteria, mold, fungus or mildew.
Most common types of saunas provide only “far” infrared, if none at all. Infrared saunas that offer a full spectrum of infrared rays (near, mid, and far) are preferred.
These individualized infrared saunas are unique and tend to be cleaner because of their exclusivity. To keep your mind at ease, saunas that are individualized are cleaned after each person’s usage. That’s peace of mind.
Sanitation and cleaning steps aren’t always enough to prevent uneducated users from behaving in ways they don’t realize is harmful or inappropriate.
- Typical heat room time limit is 30 minutes. However, some people stay too long in a sauna or steam room, ignoring warning signs—the dos or don’ts posted.
- While considered relaxing, the higher temperatures in saunas or steam rooms can increase resistance to illness. People with respiratory, heart conditions, or who are already ill with a fever, ought to be discerning about entering a sauna or steam room.
- Sometimes sauna or steam room users pour water over heater rocks in attempts to maintain the heat themselves, resulting in damage to the mechanics.
- Others even attempt to exercise in them, or they combine the consumption of alcohol to make matters worse. Prolonged exposure to common saunas can lead to heat exhaustion or dehydration. Especially after a vigorous workout, or for those who feel claustrophobic.
- In addition, users often lean on the walls with their sweaty bodies, they aren’t doing the sauna or steam room any favors in terms of sanitation.
Comprehensive rules posted ought to include how to use the room properly. Health risks, proper dress codes, hygiene, behavior, and time/age restrictions identifiers are a must. Don’t rely on signs alone to enforce sauna or steam room rules.
“For those with an infrared sauna, there is nothing more relaxing than an hour-long relaxation session to detox your body and achieve a long-lasting feeling of cleanliness and purity. These infrared saunas are incredibly easy to keep clean and if treated well, could easily last you your entire life.” —doityourself.com
Clean Facilities Matter
Always look for sauna cleanliness. Make sure they keep their infrared sauna clean and sanitary. Cleanliness should be small time commitment when compared to a traditional hot rock or steam sauna. Other recreational hot tubs or bathing saunas usually don’t offer the same health benefits and enjoyment unique to infrared saunas. They’re not as clean.
Make sure your spa stays true to the detoxifying effect of the sauna itself. Use products that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Cleaning products made specifically for your club’s equipment are best.
Select the most beneficial relaxation treatment for your individual and entire well-being. However, no matter what sauna option you chose, sauna sanitation is vital for staying clean and keeping healthy.
There are several different kinds of saunas that provide benefits to your body. Invest time and resources wisely. Selecting a facility that advocates cleanliness in its equipment is just as important as eating clean and exercising.
Dirty equipment and unhealthy cleaning practices will leave people running out the door. Whatever your preferred sauna type, upkeep of your sauna oasis should be top of mind.
Spa Experience Is Everything
Look for membership facilities that have dedicated wellness professionals to assist you throughout sauna experience, and yet provide you the privacy you deserve. A facility dedicated to educating proper practices and health risks on initial use is valuable with your membership agreement.
Clear sauna operation directions elevate a delightful experience at the spa. Scheduled walk-throughs on regular intervals will ensure users follow posted rules.
Want to detox and stay clean? Try our Infrared Sauna Therapy today. Contact SaunaBar at (310) 652-5522 for an appointment!