God help you if you go to a movie theater and next to you is a couple nearing their divorce or a sod who’s discovered popcorn for the first time in their life. Nah, scratch that. God help if you’re swimming in a community pool filled with thousands of happy children from every which way, because no amount of chlorine is going to make up for the urine those little bundles of joy will deposit in there. Imagine spending your Saturday afternoon swimming in piss. The thing is, you don’t want to be the bozo who makes other people’s experiences as nasty as last night’s pineapple pizza, and if you’re the health-forward guy who frequents saunas, we’re going to make sure of that.
Sauna etiquette is important to ensure a comfortable and respectful experience for everyone using the space. We interviewed over fifty sauna users, and from the things they swear they would kill someone for, we made out thirteen sauna etiquette tips and best practices to keep in mind whilst at the sauna or risk appearing on the 9 p.m. news as a victim of an angry redneck:
Shower before Entering
Always take a shower before entering the sauna to ensure sanitation and remove any lotions, oils, or other cheap or expensive layers of foundation that can affect the sauna environment. Imagine entering a sauna after a workout without showering first. Your body has residual sweat from your squats, possibly mixed with lotions or oils from last night’s makeup. This can create an uncomfortable environment for others, as the heat from the sauna may intensify any scents or substances on your skin. Or, in the words of one interviewee, "Oh man, she smelled like liquefied humanity; I wanted to call the cops!”
Use a Towel
Sit or lie on a towel to create a barrier between your booty and the sauna bench. This helps maintain hygiene by preventing direct contact with the wood, which can absorb sweat and odors. Let’s say you decide to sit directly on the sauna bench without a towel. Over time, the wood will absorb your sweat and body oils. The next person using the sauna may find it less hygienic and less comfortable because your now-days-old excrete and body oils are unhygienic and make for an uncomfortable sitting. Using a towel helps maintain cleanliness for you and everyone else.
Respect Personal Space
Maintain a reasonable distance from others in the sauna to respect their personal space and promote a comfortable environment. My last day in a public sauna was that time a wall-street sod came cozying up to me with unsolicited conspiracy theories. Jesus! What are you doing to my face with energy-draining conversations??? I came to sweat and think, not to investigate if Michelle Obama is indeed a man. That’s why I bought this private sauna.
If the sauna is communal, be mindful of others' comfort. I have on several occasions seen a person walk into a relatively empty sauna, but you choose to sit right next to someone, invading their personal space. This can make the other person feel uncomfortable and disrupt the tranquility of the sauna experience. Why be that guy?
Limit Session Duration
Sauna sessions typically last 15 to 20 minutes give or take. Prolonged exposure may lead to dehydration and discomfort. Take breaks between sessions to cool down and rehydrate. Don’t play Sylvester Stallone and try to stay in the sauna for an extended period without breaks just because you’re a tough guy. Dehydration can set in quickly, leading to dizziness and discomfort. That’s not the experience you paid all your hard-earned dollars for. Limit sauna time, take breaks for an enjoyable sauna experience.
At the risk of stating the obvious, drink plenty of water before and after sauna sessions to stay hydrated. Avoid consuming alcohol or heavy meals before using the sauna. Wait, why would anyone take alcohol before or worse, whilst using sauna in the first place? What’s wrong with you people?! “Well smart-behind, who died and left you in charge of sauna policing?” No, we’re not sauna-policing, we just care about your overall wellness. So we are suggesting that instead of a John Walker shot, take a bottle of fresh drinking water. Stay hydrated and get your money’s worth from your sauna sessions whilst improving your overall wellness.
No Loud Conversations
Keep conversations in the sauna quiet and respectful. Many people use saunas for relaxation, and loud conversations can disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. One of the people we interviewed recalls a time he sat through a 5-minute sauna session where there were these nice ladies with high-pitched voices who had found out they were both born on Fool’s Day and that everyone they told it was their birthday would only reply, “Oh yeah? Me too beach.” The interviewee moans that, “they wouldn’t keep quiet about it and it’s like they had swallowed a PA system. The longest five minutes of my life.”
When you and a friend engage in a loud conversation in the sauna, it disrupts the peaceful atmosphere. Don’t be that guy.
The advice to avoid strongly scented lotions, perfumes, or colognes in saunas is grounded in the scientific understanding of how heat intensifies fragrances. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in scented products easily vaporize in the sauna's warmth, leading to higher concentrations of scent molecules in the air - Molecules inhaled by sauna users.
This intensified fragrance, combined with individual variations in sensitivity, can cause discomfort, headaches, or respiratory crossness, turning you into an irritation for other sauna users. Given that most saunas are communal spaces, using such strongly scented products is considered inconsiderate as it may disrupt the overall experience for others who may have different preferences or sensitivities. Therefore, we recommend opting for unscented or lightly scented products in saunas for a more pleasant and considerate environment.
Follow Facility Guidelines
Follow any specific guidelines or rules provided by the sauna facility. This may include instructions on adjusting temperature and using additional amenities like sauna stones or essential oils. Ignoring these guidelines may impact the effectiveness of the sauna or even pose safety risks. Following instructions goes a long way in ensuring a proper and safe experience.
Refrain from Using Electronic Devices
Saunas are generally places for relaxation and quiet. Avoid using mobile phones or other electronic devices to respect the tranquility of the environment. We get it, your latest iPhone has more eyes than a horseshoe crab and everyone needs to know how well you’ve done by yourself, but not from the sauna, Jim.
And you don’t want your sweat to flow into your new Brikk Lux Watch, do you?
Leave the Sauna Clean
Wipe down the bench and any surfaces you come into contact with using a towel before leaving the sauna. This helps maintain cleanliness for the next user. This helps remove sweat, body oils, and potential contaminants, contributing to a more hygienic environment. The alternative is to be uncultured and leave as you came - don’t clean and casually increase the risk of bacterial or fungal growth, promoting an unhealthier and more uncomfortable experience for everyone utilizing the sauna. Just be the black sheep and misalign with the principles of communal hygiene and consideration for others in shared spaces because that’s who you are; a non-mindful, uncultured douchebag. That’s the alternative. But we know you are way better than that, aren’t you?
Be Mindful of Attire
In most saunas, it's customary to be nude or wear a swimsuit. However, it's essential to adhere to the specific rules of the facility and respect cultural norms. If you’re a traveler and an ardent sauna user, you’ll agree that different facilities come with different manuals for guidelines in different regions of the world. If you’re in Berlin where everything on the human body swings bare in the sauna, putting on a swimsuit could be considered indecent. Did I stutter?
If you venture further in East or West Africa where everyone covers their forbidden fruit, letting yours out in the open is blasphemous, to say the least. Village chiefs have sat and deliberated for less. Yours would be a matter of national security. Understanding and respecting the accepted attire in the sauna is goes a long way.
Cool Down Gradually
After leaving the sauna, it's advisable to cool down gradually by taking a lukewarm or cool shower instead of jumping directly into cold water. Abrupt exposure to cold water can be a shock to the system. A gradual cooldown helps your body adjust more comfortably. This practice is especially important for general sauna users, although there might be exceptions for those engaging in specific heat and cold therapy regimens. A gradual cooldown assists in preventing dizziness or discomfort associated with sudden temperature changes and supports a more balanced and safe transition from the sauna heat to a cooler environment.
Respect Sauna Timings
Be mindful of the facility's operating hours and the designated times for coed or gender-specific sauna use. Unless you have this sleek, fashion-forward and portable sauna somewhere in or around your home, never set your rules.
Ignoring these timings may make others uncomfortable and disrupt the intended use of the sauna space. But that’s nothing compared to what might come your way if, say, you’re a man and your nude self walked in on a group of naked women enjoying their quiet time in the sauna. Pray to your god if none of the ladies is a feminist, because then only a few lawyers will get you out of that situation.
Don’t stare! Whatever you’re looking for in others can be found on yourself or your spouse. If you have none, practice self-restraint. Fight the urge to stare. And I promise, the urge will be there. You’ll want to know how you compare with others of your species. How their boob job compares to yours, or wonder why other people are more blessed than you are, and you will curse your creator. Besides making others uncomfortable, you’ll also leave sad, stressed, and with low self-worth. That’s not what you paid top dollar for. Basically, this tip serves you more than it serves others, when you think about it. DO NOT STARE!
In a Nutshell...
Remember that sauna etiquette may vary depending on cultural norms in different parts of the world and specific facility rules, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with any posted guidelines and to observe the practices of others when in doubt. Everyone at Deep Dive Wellness believes that as long as you keep in line with those 13 tips and the bonus above, everything else is cream cheese. Or get this private sauna whilst you still can and bend the rules a bit. Folks who predict the market say prices might spiral upward at any time. Getting it today is the smart choice. Get it here.