Sauna whisks, also known as vihta or vasta in Finnish, are bundles of branches (typically from birch trees) that are used to gently whip the skin while in a sauna. The branches are bound together with twine and typically have leaves still attached. The whisk is used to increase blood circulation and create a sensation of warmth, as well as to spread water over the hot stones to create steam. They are an essential part of the sauna experience in Finland, where saunas are a cultural institution. Some people also use the whisk to gently massage their muscles and skin. They are also used in some traditional Finnish rituals, such as the "sauna whip" ceremony, where the whisk is used to whip the guests in the sauna, symbolizing purification and protection. SHOP FOR SAUNA WHISKS
How Long do Sauna Whisks Last?
The lifespan of a sauna whisk depends on how often it is used and how well it is cared for. A well-made, high-quality sauna whisk can last for several years with proper care and maintenance. Regular use of the whisk will cause the branches to dry out and lose their leaves. Some people prefer to replace the whisk when this happens, while others may continue to use it for several more months or even years.
To prolong the life of a sauna whisk, it is important to keep it dry when not in use and to store it in a cool, dry place. It should also be kept away from direct sunlight. Additionally, people should avoid using chemicals or harsh detergents to clean the whisk, as these can damage the branches.
Overall, a sauna whisk can last for a long time with proper care, but it's a natural product that will eventually dry out and lose its effectiveness.
What Material is Best for a Sauna Whisk?
Traditionally, sauna whisks are made from birch branches. Birch branches are preferred because they are flexible, durable, and release natural oils that create a pleasant aroma when heated. Other materials such as oak or juniper can also be used. SHOP FOR SAUNA WHISKS
Do People Share Sauna Whisks?
Sauna whisks are typically personal items and not shared among different people. They are used to gently strike the body, creating a sensation of heat and promoting circulation. Because of this intimate use, it is considered unsanitary to share sauna whisks. It is also important to clean them properly after each use.
How Big are Sauna Whisks?
Sauna whisks, also known as vihta or vasta, are typically around 20-30 inches long. The size of the whisk can vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended use. The branches or bundle of the whisk are usually made of birch twigs and are bound together at the handle. The size of the branches or bundle can vary depending on the size of the whisk.
Should I Bring my own Sauna Whisk to a Public Sauna?
It is not necessary to bring your own sauna whisk to a public sauna, as most public saunas will have a supply of whisks available for use by the patrons. However, some people prefer to bring their own personal whisk for hygiene or sentimental reasons. If you do decide to bring your own sauna whisk to a public sauna, be sure to check the rules and regulations of the sauna beforehand, as some facilities may not allow personal items to be brought in. Also, be mindful of others and clean your whisk after use.
Do Sauna Whisks Break?
Sauna whisks can break over time due to natural wear and tear. The branches or bundle of the whisk can become frayed or loose from use, and the handle can become damaged or broken. Proper care and storage of the whisk can help prolong its lifespan. It's important to keep the whisk dry and in a cool place when not in use. Avoid leaving the whisk in damp or humid areas, as this can cause the wood to rot or mold. It's also recommended to clean the whisk after each use to remove any sweat and bacteria. It's also important to note that if the whisk is made of natural materials it will eventually lose its effectiveness and need to be replaced.
Who Invented the Sauna Whisk?
The origin of the sauna whisk is not well-documented, but it is believed to have been used in traditional Finnish saunas for centuries. The sauna whisk is an important part of traditional Finnish sauna culture, and has been used for centuries for both physical and spiritual purposes. Sauna whisks are typically made of birch twigs, which are bound together at the handle, and are used to gently whip the body, creating a sensation of warmth, and increasing circulation. It is likely that the sauna whisk was invented by the Finns themselves, who have a long history of using saunas for both practical and ceremonial purposes.
*Note: content on this page is not updated. Photo: Emilia Hoisko; Visit Finland