Cleaning your sauna
In Finland you can get cleaning solutions that have been designed with the sauna benches in mind. I assume these are not available around the world, so here's what I suggest.
Talk to the people at a store where they have different cleaning solutions / detergents / whatever, and try to find some soap solution that has the following properties:
- does not contain toxic substances
- ideally is based on natural ingredients
- does not cause wood surfaces to darken or otherwise damage them
Michael from 123saunas.com wrote to me with the following advice: "Pour about 2 gallons of water in a bucket, and add 1/2 cup of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate, small white crystals) and another 1/2 cup of bleach. That mixture works quite well at cleaning the dirt off of cedar, the wood that most North Americans choose for their saunas. This idea was given to me by a nice man named Hardy Weiler of Euro Sauna in Winfield, BC."
Solutions that are used for cleaning wooden decking might work as well. Remember to dilute sufficiently, so as not to damage the wood.
Regardless of the solution you use, you will have to scrub the benches with a strong brush. Use lots of water and try to get into every small corner of the benches. Clean the sauna regularly and you may get away without strong soap solutions. After scrubbing, heat the sauna for some time so it dries up thoroughly.
This may not be enough if you really have fungus in the sauna. I think most anti-fungal cleaning solutions are bad for your health, so you really should avoid using them in the sauna. If you have a fungus problem in your sauna, consider taking the sauna apart and rebuilding it after you have made sure the fungus has been removed. Fungus often spreads into the walls and may be harmful to your health.