Talk:Finnish sauna

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Grammar and relevant/POV stuff[edit]

I've edited the grammar a bit more. "A place for easing" is poor English so I just used "relaxing" overall. Same thing with "makes the room feel even hotter", which sounded clumsy--I tried to fix that with something less colloquial. Also, the section for all those reasons the sauna is important is not very NPOV and needs work--it sounds like a list of justifications and not neutral enough for encyclopedic text. (A lot of it sounds like an essay or personal reflection or original research.) Also fixed some typically Finnish long sentences that sounded very obviously Finnish and not English--they still need some work and some splitting up. Hope this helps...--Snowgrouse (talk) 02:37, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect pronunciation[edit]

"Sauna" is a two syllable word with a diphthong [au] and the stress on the first syllable. [sa'oona] indicates a three-syllable word without a diphthong and with the stress on the second syllable, so it's incorrect. The correct pronunciation is [sow-na]

Unnamed section[edit]

The section on customs has some redundant information already discussed in the section on the sauna bathing process. -- Khepidjemwa'atnefru 03:36, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I just wanted to say that I find this page to be very informative, interesting and well written. Good job! -- Anonymous


"A sauna bath is called a kylpy ("sauna" refers to the bathing chamber, not the bath itself)."

There may be some regional differences here, but.. I'm Finnish, and it is very seldom that I hear sauna bath referred to as "kylpy". The word means "bath", but is mainly used of the kind where you're immersed in water in a tub, a pool, or the like (though there are exceptions). When I asked a few other Finns for their opinion, some even thought it can't mean sauna bath (although if you look this up in a Finnish language dictionary, it gives both meanings, and both are in use). Usually people say "saunoa" (verb derivative of sauna) or "käydä saunassa" (go to a/the sauna), whether meaning only the part of the process where you are in the sauna chamber itself or the whole process including showering (as the shower part is uninteresting, there's no need to mention it). Because of this, using "kylpy" as if it only (or even primarily) means sauna bath is misleading and could lead to miscommunication if used that way by those who do not speak the Finnish language. I think that many would, without context, think that a bath tub, a bath house or any form of bathing that is less common is meant. Is there any reason "sauna bath" couldn't be used throughout the article instead of "kylpy"? 16:28, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I also find the use of the word "kylpy" rather odd. I live in Western Finland thus speaking the Western dialect of Finnish (perhaps it should be mentioned that my Finnish is of native sort and that I've been involved with sauna for some 20 years). That said, I've never heard of the word "kylpy" being used in the same meaning as in this article. I'd strongly recommend, what the previous guy already pointed out: to avoid any misconceptions it just might be handy to speak of "sauna bath" (or saunominen if Finnish language is to be implemented) instead of "kylpy", which actually doesn't ring the bell — at least not any of mine. 00:12, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Löyly is the steam of sauna, but it is also the spirit of sauna and sauna bath can be called "ottaa löylyt", take löyly. Löylyn lyömä, "hit by löyly" is somebody who is a little silly and out of his mind. Löylyttää means to beat up somebody. This article is excellent, except one round of sauna is enough for novice "saunoja". Babies should not stay in sauna long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, for the relevance to this article, "bathe in sauna" or "sauna bath" is equivalent to finnish "saunoa", I expanded the article about the types of sauna in Finland with the wood sauna stove (kiuas) and the electric sauna stove (sähkökiuas). If there are anything wrong with the general information, please be happy to correct me, I'm from the West Coast, so I carefully avoided the issue of "vihta" vs. "vasta", it's not really relevant what you call it, as long as people don't think we hit ourselves with leafless birch twigs. The leaves are actually quite pleasant at the best time of year, and you can traditionally dry them and later soak them in hot water and they are almost as good as fresh for most of the year. I used the term 'löyly' in its basic form, that is the rising steam from the stones of the stove. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:22, 1 August 2010 (UTC).

In Savo, we say "mennä kylpemään" i.e. go bathing when meaning going to sauna. Killiäinen (talk) 17:36, 10 May 2011 (UTC)


There was a statement that was promptly removed by me that the ancient sauna was aseptic. This is clearly not the case, judging both from modern understanding of the required sterilizing conditions and from contemporary accounts of löylyn vihat - infection caused by exposure of wounds to pathogenic bacteria in a sauna. Pre-1900s saunas heated only to about 60 C, which is insufficient for sterilizing surfaces. It might be possible that the smoke residues were antibacterial, since tars are indeed antibacterial because of their content of phenols. Nevertheless, this was unlikely to be efficient by modern standards. Rather, saunas were hygienically safer than other spaces most probably because they were marginally less filthy than other spaces. --vuo (talk) 01:19, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

It may not be fully sterile but even 60 degrees with dry heat must have killed those microbes that can't handle dryness. As for "löylyn vihat" it may have nothing to do with microbes. Even these days with better hygiene doctors in finland recommend not to go to sauna until sutures have been healed. In shower it is recommend to tape the suture in plastic to protect it from moisture, a procedure that is impossible in sauna for wetting from sweat. So the effect of sweat and water on cuts and scabs may have been the origin of löylyn vihat, not microbes. (talk) 22:16, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
You were talking about if sauna´s were antibacterial in pre-1900s. My grandmother told that old folks took care of the sauna. They had big pot were they heated water to the boiling point. Used it to wash themself´s, and after sauna they wash clothes in the hot water and wash the sodium hydroxide (made from ash) off the wooden panels. My grandmother cleaned sauna very often with boiled water and used Havi pinesoap and "juuriharja" (rough translation root sweeper)to clean it. Especial if guest were coming to visit. She told that old days they used sodium hydroxide (made from ash)to clean sauna. My grandmother was born in 1906. And in our custom if using sauna the first group going in would throw hot water on the panels after use and when the second group would have dried panels to use. And then second group would throw water also to the panels and the stoves after burn would dry the sauna. And in my grandmother´s case she would wash laundry in sauna and the laundry would dry in the sauna in ropes. They would be dry in 2 hours.


I'm just wondering about the temperature. Does it really go up to 100C ? Would a human survive that? I can't find much saying about human survival rates at this temperature, so I don't know if this is real or not.--Stikman (talk) 09:39, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

They do altho the temperature meters aren't that accurate. 100 degrees is no problem for a human to survive as long as the air is dry enough for sweating to cool people down. (talk) 22:21, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Excessive citation needed tags[edit]

This article has an excessive amount of different tags demanding clarification, citations etc. Some of them are redundant and some concern obvious habits that very few Finnish would start questioning. I understand WP:V and I also understand why some information is not obvious to anyone else but an average Finnish person, hence I have listed all tags here that I removed, moved, or altered. Feel free to add them back (with the respective original date).

  1. Moved cn (Jan 2013) at "The sauna in Finland is an old phenomenon and is difficult to trace its roots." Reason: While a good source for being old is needed, by definition there cannot be evidence of non-evidence.
  2. Removed cl (Aug 2012) at "but Finnish bathing habits were documented until the 16th century." Reason: "hardly" means just "poorly". The whole sentence is cn'd (Dec 2008) anyway.
  3. Removed cl (Aug 2012) at "Hundreds of years ago" Reason: redundant, there's already a "when".
  4. Removed cn (Aug 2012) at "However, it is just as popular in the summer as in the winter." Reason: common knowledge.
  5. Removed cn (Aug 2012) at "Often after the sauna it is a custom to sit down in the dressing room or the porch of the sauna to enjoy a sausage, along with beer or soft drinks." Reason: common knowledge & clarified entry a bit.
  6. Removed cl (Mar 2008) at "The number and duration of hot room-cooling down cycles varies from person to person based on personal preference." Reason: clarified sentence to article.
  7. Removed cn (Aug 2012) at "In Finnish folklore, the sauna is the home of the sauna-elf, a spirit of the sauna (saunatonttu in Finnish)." Reason: common knowledge.
  8. Removed cn (Aug 2012) at "However, Finns will not typically be offended by declining the sauna." Reason: common knowledge, also edited entry.

-- (talk) 19:36, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Continuing on the topic; this edit seems to be responsible for a lot of the weird entries. It even adds a section and then marks it as "citation needed", which I find odd. Maybe someone just had a bad day... -- (talk) 00:10, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Is there some reason this can't be merged with sauna? Kortoso (talk) 20:44, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


Should there be more talk about löyly? The quality of the löyly, however, is the one aspects that in the Finnish sauna culture separates a good sauna from a bad sauna. I for one find it an interesting factoid, that most people find the soft löyly of most old saunas much preferable to the harder löyly found in many of the newer saunas. I think that it might be worth while to introduce this aspect on which the Finns judge or compare saunas. Also appreciation of the old saunas (unlike with most other things these days) is an interesting aspect of the whole phenomena to me, and I think it tells something interesting about the respect that the Finns have for the whole traditional sauna culture. (talk) 11:10, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

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