1.1 How am I suppose to bathe?

There are no rules, only guidelines. You take your clothes off (this is not a rule, mind you; if someone wants to use a towel or bathing suit, it’s not a breach of any important etiquette), go and sit down on the benches and relax. The air is not particularly humid at first (there is no visible steam), and when you feel like it, you throw some water on the stones to increase humidity. This causes the water to vaporize very quickly, and it makes the bathers feel a momentary breath of hot air in their backs. It may be uncomfortable, if the stove is too hot or if you use too much water, and in those cases it helps to step down on the lower bench, or to go out entirely. This is also perfectly acceptable, and first-time sauna bathers shouldn’t feel obligated to stay in if they don’t feel like it. The basic goal is to enjoy and relax, and sweat. After you’ve done enough of that, you go to the showers, and/or swim in the lake, depending on the facilities. After swimming or showering, you can go back to the sauna, and repeat this cycle as many times as you want.

1.2 How hot is it in there?

This varies according to the bathers’ wishes. Usually the temperature is between 70°C and 100°C , the widely-agreed-upon ideal temperature being somewhere around 85°C degrees. Also, the higher you sit in a sauna (upper bench versus lower bench), the hotter the temperature will be.

1.3 How long should I stay in the sauna?

Use common sense as to what feels comfortable. A typical user says in the sauna for 10-15 minutes, steps out to cool off, then returns to the sauna and repeats the process as desired. If at any time you begin to feel uncomfortable, leave the sauna and cool off.

1.4 Should I pour water on the rocks in a sauna heater?

Yes. Ladling one or two dipperfuls of water over the rocks will allow you to regulate the humidity in the sauna. Experiment to find out what feels most comfortable to you. Any water applied to a sauna heater should be done using a ladle. This accomplishes 2 things. It keeps your hand away from rising steam preventing a possible steam burn, and secondly, you can apply just the right amount of water that will turn to steam when it hits the rocks. If you are pouring so much water onto the heater so the floor is awash with water, it is doing no good in the sauna and is far too much. NOTE: use only potable water, NOT water from a swimming pool or hot tub which contains chlorine and is very corrosive as well as unhealthy.

1.5 What should I do after my sauna?

Take a shower or bath to cleanse your skin. A cool rinse will close your pores and leave you feeling refreshed. Drink fluids to replenish those lost through perspiration. Applying a skin moisturizer is a good idea. Drink water, mineral water, fruit or vegetable juice to replace lost fluids.

1.6 What should I do to clean my sauna?

The sauna does not require any special care. However, the wood needs to be protected against excessive exposure to water. This means the cabin should not be washed out using water and a hose. After every use you should leave the sauna door open at least one inch while the sauna cools. This will prevent the wood from cracking and cupping. It also allows the sauna to breath when not being used, further preserving its fresh wood smell. The floor of the sauna area simply needs wiping over from time to time. The benches should be cleaned with a damp (not wet) cloth. If this is not sufficient, a special sauna cleaner should be added to the water. The parts cleaned in this way should then be well aired. Use fine sandpaper to remove heavy stains.

2.1 What wood should be used to build a sauna?

First of all it should be softwood. Softwoods have many advantages. They absorb excess humidity to keep the sauna atmosphere dry. Unlike hardwoods, they do not become hot and uncomfortable to sit on or lean against. They must, however, be properly kiln-dried to prevent shrinkage and warping.

2.2 What kind of floor is recommended in a sauna?

The floor must be waterproof: cement, tile, or vinyl, anything that will not absorb water and is easy to clean periodically. Never use carpet. A floor drain is not necessary for home use, but is essential in commercial settings to facilitate cleaning. Any water applied to a sauna heater should be done using a ladle. This accomplishes 2 things. It keeps your hand away from rising steam preventing a possible steam burn, and secondly, you can apply just the right amount of water that will turn to steam when it hits the rocks. If you are pouring so much water onto the heater so the floor is awash with water, it is doing no good in the sauna and is far too much.

NOTE

: use only potable water, NOT water from a swimming pool or hot tub which contains chlorine and is very corrosive as well as unhealthy.

2.3 What size should my sauna be?

The important thing is bench length because you will want to lay down, so plan on one wall being at least 1.8 m long. The other wall can be anywhere from 1.2 m (on the small side) to a more comfortable width up to 2.0 m. Since heat rises, it is recommended to build a sauna no higher than 2.1 m in height to avoid heating up wasted space. If higher room heights are wanted, additional bench levels are required to keep bathers head as close to the ceiling as possible, as this is where the heat it.

2.4 How long does it take for a sauna to reach operating temperature?

If you have insulated your walls and ceiling carefully, your room should reach operating temperature in 30-45 minutes when the heater is properly sized. During this time period the rocks will be properly heated ­ for soft heat and soft steam ­ and the wood interior will be comfortably heated, too. We recommend you close any vents and doors during the warm-up period. Other factors such as glass door and windows, ceramic tile may extend this time slightly.

2.5 What is the average cost to operate a sauna?

Though rates vary by region and climate, a 6 kW (appropriate size for 1.5*2.0 m sauna) heater will cost about $2/month when used 6 times per month.