Using the sauna or hot tub at the gym? Here are some safety tips

January 5th, 2018 – Every New Year brings new resolutions to get in better shape, and a lot of folks double down on getting back to the gym. Once you get that workout in, many feel a reward is in order and head to the sauna or hot tub in the facility for recovery.

If you’re one of these individuals, I salute you! But, in the interest of making sure you stay healthy, observe these tips when using a public sauna or hot tub.

For the public sauna

You may love your gym, but the sauna may not get the type of sanitizing necessary to completely

protect you from germs and bacteria from other sauna users. If you’re planning on a sauna session:

  • Do wear sandals or flip flops to prevent tracking anything you’d want to avoid.
  • Do cover the bench where you plan to sit with a clean towel to avoid sitting on wood that may be sweat stained or unsanitary.
  • Do wear a clean towel around your shoulders if you plan to lay back against a sauna backrest. Or, if there’s room to lay down and you plan to do so, use the towel to cushion your head from contact with wood.
  • Do shower after your sauna session to make sure you’re leaving fresh and clean!

If your gym has a sauna cleaning schedule, never hesitate to ask when it was last cleaned and sanitized.

For the public hot tub

Hot tubs in public facilities can be a breeding ground for bacteria you would rather avoid. Being in

the hot tub industry as long as I have, I simply avoid public hot tubs. If you just can’t resist and need that soak:

  • Do NOT go into a hot tub that has cloudy or murky water. It is not safe to do so.
  • Do check with the gym to find out when it was last cleaned, and the water balanced (specifically the pH and alkalinity).
  • Do be sure there is measurable sanitizer in the water. It may sound stupid, but investing $11 in some hot tub test strips is wise. A simple dip will tell you if the sanitizer is in the okay range, and will also show you if the pH Is neutral.
  • Do wear sandals or flip flops to prevent tracking anything you’d want to avoid into the water.
  • The general rules for hot tub soaking: If the water smells good and looks good, it’s likely okay for a soak.
  • Do wear a swimsuit that has no residual soap in it. Residual soap ends up in hot tub water and causes foaming and can screw with the phosphates in the water, resulting in water with a greenish tint. If the tub is sanitized, your suit is staying plenty clean! Just rinse it out and air dry after use.

Your work out deserves a reward to be sure! Just be aware of your sauna and hot tub environment and partake in a healthy safe sauna session or soak. You deserve that too!


Don Riling

Author: Don Riling

Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 20 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through hot water & sauna therapy.

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