Sauna rocks or sauna stones have three main functions inside the sauna: absorbing heat, retaining heat, and producing steam when water is poured over them.
Rocks are thermally conductive, so they will absorb and retain heat just by sitting in the sauna. The stones are placed on the sauna heater, and they slowly release heat back into the air, which helps keep the sauna toasty.
The sauna rocks to produce steam need to come in contact with water; this is accomplished by periodically pouring water with the ladle.
Pouring water over your sauna rocks creates steam; however, the humidity of the sauna will only rise above 10% approximately.
In a dry sauna, the purpose of creating steam is to encourage a more profuse sweat and boost the body's perception of heat, and it's not just to fill the sauna with steam.
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Best Type of Sauna Rocks
When you buy your sauna rocks, be sure to follow these recommendations to choose the best ones:
Igneous: The rocks need to be non-porous hard rocks like granite (known as igneous rocks); these types of stones have excellent heat-retaining abilities. Always be careful to choose ones with no cracks or crevices. Cracked stones can explode once water is heated inside them.
Color: When choosing rocks, the darker, the better; lighter and brighter stones reflect more light and retain less heat, while a darker stone will reflect less light and keep the heat better.
Size: Always go for a medium size (the size of a baseball ball is ideal); if your stones are too small, they won't retain much heat. If they're too large, they'll take a long time to heat up.
Texture: Use rough stones; if you use smooth rocks, the water you pour on them will slip off before it gets a chance to heat up and produce an adequate amount of steam.
When to replace sauna rocks
We recommend replacing your sauna rocks every six months or so if you are a frequent sauna user; if not, you should check every month for cracks and rock fragments to see if they haven't disintegrated.
No matter the type of stone you choose, they will break down in the sauna and start to crumble and crack. If your buy quality stones, they can last for years.
How to clean sauna rocks
Follow these simple steps to clean your sauna rocks:
- Make sure they are not hot. Don't clean them immediately after using the sauna.
- Place your rocks in a bowl and soak them in warm water for approximately 5 minutes.
- Clean your heater with a cloth and remove any stone fragments remaining.
- After soaking them, lightly brush the rocks and rinse them with clean water.
- Put your sauna rocks to dry.
- Once they are dry, place them back on the sauna heater. Place the biggest stones at the bottom and smaller at the top.
What liquids can i put in the sauna rocks?
The only liquid you should be pouring over the sauna rocks is water; if you are using essential oils for sauna aromatherapy, you should always dilute the essential oil in water, never pour it directly.
Essential oils are oil-based; you can risk a fire hazard if you pour them directly. Only a few drops are necessary to add a great aroma.
Use the sauna bucket and ladle to dilute them and pour them.