There is one gym sauna (Gold’s Gym Austin South Central) I go to that smells terrible. It’s disgusting.
The whole point of a sauna is the health benefits. Yet, this sauna is probably infested with bacteria. Breathing in air that smells like sweaty feet and private parts can’t be good for you.
Part of the problem is that people wear their sweaty workout gear and dirty shoes inside. The other problem is that their staff does not clean the sauna properly.
It is easy to say, “well don’t go to that sauna”, but it’s so convenient.
Instead of complaining about it to the staff who won’t clean it (I tried), I have been cleaning the sauna myself. How?
With eucalyptus oil.
Why eucalyptus oil for the sauna?
Eucalyptus is a plant with over 700 species, mainly native to Australia. These fast-growing evergreen trees can get over 30 feet tall.
Eucalyptus trees are often referred to as gum trees. Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum), is the main source or species of eucalyptus oil used around the world.
The plant smells amazing.
You can hang its leaves in your house for aromatherapy, make tea from dried leaves that are ground up, and use eucalyptus oil.
Chinese, Indian, Ayurvedic, Greek, and other cultures have used it for the treatment of a range of conditions for thousands of years.
Many types of products today use eucalyptus because of its amazing health benefits. Everything from mouthwash and lotion to household cleaning products.
Benefits of eucalyptus
Eucalyptus has antimicrobial properties. An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth. This helps fight MRSA, staph, viruses, and fungi.
There are incredible benefits to your respiratory tract. Eucalyptus is used for its medicinal properties like reducing symptoms of coughs, colds, and congestion. Symptoms of the common cold in many cough lozenges and inhalants, help against bronchitis, and other sinus-related issues can be relieved by eucalyptus.
The plant is a natural anti-inflammatory. Research shows it can decrease mucus, expand the bronchi and bronchioles of your lungs, helps improve asthma symptoms, and relieve nasal congestion and headaches by decreasing inflammation and mucus build-up.
Eucalyptus is active in fighting bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontitis. To promote periodontal health, eucalyptus extracts are used in chewing gum, according to the Journal of Periodontology.
The plant is very high in antioxidants. While you don’t drink the eucalyptus essential oil, you can consume eucalyptus leaves tea. These leaves are a great source of antioxidants, especially flavonoids, which protect the body against oxidative stress.
Hair and skin products use eucalyptus because it reduces dry skin. It does this by increasing ceramide in your skin. Ceramides are a fatty acid in your skin that maintains its barrier and retains the skin’s moisture.
You usually have low levels of ceramide if you have dry skin and dandruff. Topical eucalyptus leaf extract can boost ceramide production to improve those symptoms.
Eucalyptus oil in saunas helps prevent the spread of fungi and bacteria, plus you get all of the respiratory and skin benefits.
How to mix eucalyptus oil with water
Want to make friends at your gym sauna? Bring in the wonderful smell of eucalyptus.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. The oils retain the natural smell, or essence, of the plant. Normally I use a dropper to get a few big drops of the eucalyptus essential oil into the water. Shake it up to spread it throughout.
Eucalyptus is strong, so you don’t want to pour too much. I don’t know an exact measurement as I do it so frequently that it’s memory at this point. When I am alone, I add a lot more eucalyptus.
Then pour the water mixed with eucalyptus over the rocks. Pouring water over the rocks is a critical part of the sauna experience.
The eucalyptus will radiate throughout the room. You will get a strong smell of eucalyptus, clear up your nose, and provide a very relaxing feel.
Take a step back from the rocks as you pour water over them to avoid the steam from burning you.
Do not pour the essential oils directly on the rocks. It is more potent and effective to mix it with water so the steam spreads the scent throughout the room.
People love it every time I bring eucalyptus into the sauna. So many people ask me what that smell is and thank me for it.
Some gyms do not clean their saunas properly. Therefore, gym members are sitting in bacteria-filled rooms, breathing in gross sweaty air. This makes using eucalyptus even more important.
You don’t have the luxury of sauna rocks when you are using an infrared sauna. To get the smell of eucalyptus in the sauna room, you can use an oil diffuser or a spray bottle.
For a diffuser, you’ll most likely plug it in outside of your sauna and just close the door over the cord.
A spray is simple. Just spray before use to enjoy the aroma.
Best eucalyptus oil for sauna
There are plenty of essential oil brands. Not all are created equal, however. Additionally, eucalyptus oil smells differently based on the different brands.
While I haven’t tried every brand of eucalyptus oil, the four below are great starting points.
Artnaturals – I have a big bottle of eucalyptus that smells great. It is a little different than the Laguna Moon brand, neither is better or worse.
Laguna Moon – With Laguna Moon, I have a variety pack of 6 because these are my favorite scents. It’s what I usually use for my diffuser at home.
Rocky Mountain – Their oils are 100% natural. You can input your batch number onto their website to verify the 3rd party testing of your oil.
Plant Therapy – Want to make sure your oils are high quality? Plant Therapy has high testing and quality standards. Their oils sell for a reasonable price. The company also gives back both locally and globally.
Best Eucalyptus Spray
Sprays are a great option if you are in an infrared sauna. The two brands below have a great reputation for their spray products:
EuroSpa has been around since 1977 and only uses eucalyptus products. Its spray is great for the shower, gym, sauna, and steam room.
Travertine has this blend of eucalyptus & cedar. Cedar is usually the wood used for saunas, so this is a must-try blend for the sauna.