by Divine Saunas Team March 08, 2023 5 min read

Barrel Sauna Maintenance: Your Complete Guide

Purchasing a barrel sauna can seriously change your life—for the better! Research indicates that regular sauna bathing can offer a slew of health benefits. (1)

But like most investments, your sauna will need a bit of upkeep to stay in good working order. Performing these simple tasks ensures you’ll get years of enjoyment while minimizing the need for major repairs.

That’s why we put together this complete guide on barrel sauna maintenance. In just a few minutes, you’ll know everything your sauna needs throughout any given year. We’ll also share our best tips for effectively dealing with any potential issues you might encounter. Let’s get started!

Cleaning the Exterior of Your Barrel Sauna

We understand if you’re wary upon hearing “exterior barrel sauna maintenance.” Don’t worry—you’re not expected to be a carpenter for this upkeep!

The exterior of your sauna won’t need much work, honestly. It’s true that exposure to the outdoor elements will naturally weather the wood over time. But this won’t do any damage to your sauna since the weathering is cosmetic.

If you want to get the exterior wood looking like new again, pressure washing is a good option. You’ll want to use low pressure to gently restore the gorgeous hue, whether your sauna is red or white cedar.

On most pressure washers, this is going to be a “wide pattern, low pressure” setting. This will also remove any stains from the wood.

You can also stain the exterior of your barrel sauna if you’d like. You can opt to do this when your sauna is brand new, or any time after. (2)
“Whether it’s a new project or an older surface that might do well with a bit of refreshing, protecting and rejuvenating your cedar structures with some high-quality stain might be a smart move for optimal longevity.” –Bob Vila

You’ll want to choose a stain with a UV inhibitor for the best results. Your local paint store can give professional recommendations for your specific climate and sauna. While you’re there, it's also smart to ask for tips on the best application methods.

Cleaning the Interior of Your Barrel Sauna

Interior barrel sauna maintenance is also fairly easy. The simplest way to clean the inside is with a microfiber dust towel or a damp cloth. You’ll want to do this after every 1-2 uses, or at least once every week.

Many people find it easy to designate a broom for the sauna, too. You can just sweep away any dirt or debris on the floor while the sauna is cool and dry.

For deeper cleaning, warm water and a dash of lemon essential oil can work wonders. Add the oil to a small pail or bucket of water and dip a cloth in. Gently wring it out and you’re ready to scrub the benches, walls, or any interior areas in need of TLC.

Dealing with tough interior stains? A very gentle sanding with fine grit sandpaper is the most effective option. (3) Then follow with a warm water scrub.

You should also know one very important thing not to do with your sauna’s interior. You should never apply any kind of stain or sealant to the interior. The steam and water won’t react well with these chemicals.

Finally, check your sauna’s stones periodically for buildup or cracks. A quick rinse should be enough to get them looking clean again. If your stones are showing cracks, give us a call at 888-554-4332 to discuss replacements.

How to Maintain Your Sauna

Let’s dive into cadence now that you know all about cleaning barrel saunas. Certain tasks should be taken care of every few uses. Other details only need to be addressed once or twice per year.

First, we have a couple tips to minimize maintenance even further. You and your guests should always wash your feet before using the sauna. This prevents anybody from tracking in dirt or debris that causes tough stains.

Next, keeping towels on your sauna benches can seriously reduce the accumulation of sweat and other oils. You never want to use your sauna as a clothes or towel dryer, to be clear. But sitting/laying on a towel during each session will reduce how much cleaning the interior needs.

Now let’s cover the appropriate timings for cleaning and maintenance.

Every Few Uses

Every few uses, take care of these tasks:
• Use a towel or cloth to wipe down the benches and any other horizontal surfaces like shelves, etc. Use warm water and a few drops of lemon essential oil for a deeper clean.
• Dust the interior, including walls and ledges. You can do this at the same time as you wipe down the benches.
• Sweep and/or vacuum the interior floor once everything is dry.
• Clean windows and any other glass in the sauna.
• Remove any debris from the exterior porch if you have one.


Every year (or as often as twice a year), perform the following upkeep:
• Check the stones for any cracks or breaks and order replacements if needed.
• With the stones removed, use a small hand vacuum for any small chips of stone, dust, or other debris in the cavity.
• Rinse the stones that don’t need replacing and allow them to dry. Then, place them back in your sauna.
• Check the interior for any deep stains that need sanding. Remember to use fine grit!
• Use a pressure washer on a low setting to wash the exterior.
• If you elected to stain your sauna’s exterior, check for any spots that need touch-ups.

How Long Does a Barrel Sauna Last?

A barrel sauna can last anywhere from 15 – 30 years with proper maintenance and care. Even better, barrel saunas can easily be picked up via crane and moved—even while fully assembled.

You can rest assured knowing your barrel sauna maintenance won’t go to waste if you need to move from your house. Simply take it with you and keep enjoying the fruits of your labor!

We also have you covered if your local area has a very rainy climate. All you need is an extra rubber roof shield to keep any potential weather damage at bay. With this option, you don’t have to worry about rain or snow shortening the lifespan of your barrel sauna.

If you still have any questions about barrel sauna maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We believe everyone should get to enjoy the proven health benefits of sauna usage like lowering stress, reducing inflammation, and improving cardiovascular health. (4)

1. Medical News Today, What are the benefits and risks of a sauna?

2. Bob Vila, The Best Stain for Cedar Siding, Decks, and More

3. Insider, How to remove water stains from wood and keep your furniture looking great

4. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence

Divine Saunas Team
Divine Saunas Team

The team at Divine Saunas, brings years of combined expertise in the sauna industry and in creating helpful customer experiences online. With our unique perspectives we work together to help our customers fulfill their goals in creating a wonderful sauna oasis and spa. We do the research of high quality products, information and solutions and deliver that to you.

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