Sitting in a steam room to allow the body to sweat and detoxify is one of the best time-honored methods for helping a body recover from a variety of ailments. These range from bronchial infection and asthma to hoarseness, muscle tension and poor circulation.
The same steam and humidity level that provides so many healing benefits, however, can also promote the growth of not so healthy lime deposits and mold bacteria on the tiles, walls, flooring and grout in a steam room. In addition, if the steam room uses hard water to produce its steam, the mineral deposits that accumulate on the steam room's heating elements must also be periodically removed for the room to function at maximum intended effectiveness. If the steam room features a traditional tile surface, it may need cleaning on a daily or at the very least, a once a week basis.
A steam bath that's infiltrated with mold spores can make the users feel fatigued or even depressed, so it's important that the steam room cleaning process is a rigorous one that is faithfully followed.
Be sure that your steam room has adequate ventilation, because this cuts down on the amount of mold that will accumulate and the duration of cleaning time to eliminate it. At least once a month, remove the water nozzles and soak them in plain white vinegar, a non-toxic alternative to commercially prepared lime removal solutions. Soak the nozzles for at least 10 to 12 hours; if the lime isn't able to be brushed off after that time through use of a stiff cloth, change the vinegar solution and soak for a few more hours.
On a daily or weekly basis, use a cleaning solution recommended by your steam bath manufacturer to tackle the growth of mold organisms which accumulate on the surface of the tiles and the grouting. Or you can clean green by using one of three natural disinfectants which are able to quickly kill molds.
The first of these is tea tree oil, which can be rubbed with a soft brush over all tiled areas of the steam bath. This is the most expensive cleaning option and will leave a strong, disinfectant smell behind.
The second natural mold remover is grapefruit seed oil, which leaves no aroma but is almost as expensive a cleaning option as tea tree oil.
The least expensive natural mold inhibitor is white vinegar. Mix any of these three in a spray bottle with distilled water to create a solution that can be sprayed on all steam bath surfaces and wiped or washed away with clean clothes or water.