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Why Do We Put Water On Sauna Rocks?

Posted on 12 June 2009 by Lance Belmont

Water on the sauna rocks has been a traditional part of the sauna experience for at least 1500 years.  The bather would go into the sauna with soap and water for a cleansing experience.  An attendant might be standing by to throw water on the rocks with a dipper which would create humidity that would, while increasing the heat sensation, encourage more sweating. The bather might carry a bucket of water to pour over themselves if it became too hot or for a cleansing cool down.

Sauna-RocksToday, the desire for water in the sauna remains the same. A properly functioning sauna should be operated at 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit. But operating at these temperatures can be uncomfortable without some humidity in the air. Traditional sauna bathers using the heated rock system often prefer an occasional dipper of water to be thrown on the rocks. This causes a burst of steam into the sauna environment and while the temperature does not change dramatically, the humidity does. 20-30 percent humidity in a sauna to create a comfort zone is what many traditionalists prefer.

If you are considering a home sauna and you wish to bath the old fashioned way, you should have a small wooden bucket and ladle in your room near the heater. Once your room is up to temperature it is okay to put a dipper or two of water on the hot rocks to bring the humidity up a bit

Keep in mind, its not the heat that makes you sweat, it’s the humidity.

5 Comments For This Post

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  3. Freddie Sauveur Says:

    Gracias por la punta!

    Voy a añadir su blog a mi lista!

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  5. Jenell Lysaght Says:

    Awesome information once again! Thank you=)

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