If you own any hot stone massage rocks, then you’re probably already aware of how important it is to keep them clean and sanitary before using them on your clients.
While there are many cleaning methods available, all of which seem effective at first glance, I’ve personally found that the steps below work the best.
They’re also easy to follow and don’t take very long to do so it’s easy to make sure that your hot stones are always clean before using them on clients or even your friends and family!
1) Put hot stones in cold water
Once you’ve finished using hot stones, it’s important to thoroughly clean them before putting them away. Hot stones will be very hot and can potentially burn skin or catch a towel or rag on fire, so make sure they’re cool before you put them away for later use.
Never leave a hot stone in your sink or bathtub—or any container of water—for an extended period of time, as it could crack and break from thermal shock (or possibly start leaking asbestos).
Put used stones in cold water until they’re no longer warm enough to comfortably hold against your skin, then wash them with soap and rinse well. Wrap wet stones in towels and gently press out as much moisture as possible with both hands.
2) Put the hot stones into a colander
When you’re not using your hot stones, it’s important to keep them clean. The best way to do that is by washing them and drying them thoroughly before putting them away. To wash your stones, simply fill a large colander with hot water and add in your stones.
Swirl them around gently for a minute or two, then drain off all of the water through a fine-mesh strainer. The easiest way to dry your stones is with a hair dryer on cool setting, but you can also towel dry if preferred.
The idea here is not so much to get rid of any remaining water but rather remove any excess heat from inside each stone.
3) Use baking soda
Vinegar is a cheap, effective way to remove mold from your hot stone massage rocks. Just spray or sprinkle on some vinegar and let it soak in overnight. The next day, scrub off any remaining residue with a plastic scouring pad.
That’s it! Your rocks are now ready for use again. Alternatively, fill a basin with water and add some vinegar to make a solution before submerging your rocks. Let them soak overnight before scrubbing them clean.
4) Spray or sprinkle vinegar
You can easily clean stones with a spray or sprinkle of vinegar. This is one of my favorite options because it’s so easy, but you do have to be careful not to get it on your hands or skin.
You’ll want to make sure that your spray bottle is made of plastic, otherwise it could react badly with natural stone. Be sure that you test any other sprays on an inconspicuous part of your massage rock before spraying it on a larger area!
5) Scrub with an old toothbrush
Once you’ve removed stones from their hot oil bath, give them a good scrub with an old toothbrush. The bristles on a toothbrush are great for reaching between rocks and crevices, so no stone will be left unturned.
It will also help your stones dry faster once they’re rinsed off. Make sure you check every nook and cranny – inside, under, around – because dirt trapped in these little spots can build up over time and cause discoloration when your stones heat up.
6) Empty water, rinse with cold water
Once you’ve removed your hot stone from your massage table, it’s time to clean it. Turn on your faucet and let it run over your rocks. This allows you to rinse away any moisture that has accumulated on top of them while in use.
After rinsing with cold water, turn off the water and allow all excess water and moisture to drain off of your rocks before moving on to step 7.
7) Dry hot stone massage rocks
While stones do naturally absorb oils and bacteria, it’s always a good idea to clean them before use. First, scrub each stone with an old toothbrush using a mixture of 2 tablespoons per cup of water. Let them dry in between uses.
However, if they are particularly soiled you can use a mixture of half white vinegar and half water in place of dish soap. Make sure to rinse well after cleaning!
8) Put hot stones in a plastic bag and freeze overnight
Place stones in a zip-top bag and make sure they’re completely covered in water. Freezing your stones will harden up any lotions, oils, or other liquids on them.
If you don’t have enough time to fully freeze your stones overnight, you can also put them in a freezer for an hour or two before hand. The goal is just to get them as cold as possible!
9) Put hot stones in warm water after frozen overnight
Since hot stones are typically used in a massage session, they will be quite cold when they’re first put in a bathtub or bucket of warm water.
When you have time after a massage session is over and before you head home, run your rocks through warm water that’s had some soap added to it. Let them soak for at least five minutes.
Rinse with cool water: Once you’ve finished soaking your stones, rinse them with cool water that’s mixed with a little bit of salt. This helps remove any leftover soap and gives your stones back their original polish!
Soak more: If there are still stubborn spots on your rocks after rinsing, consider doing another round of rinsing and soaking.
10) Repeat 2–3 times per month to maintain cleanliness of the hot stone massage rocks.
Wash hot stone massage rocks and absorbent materials in a solution of 1/4 cup (28 g) of trisodium phosphate (TSP) or liquid household cleaner, 1/2 gallon (1.9 L) warm water, and 2 teaspoons laundry detergent for each pound (0.45 kg) of stones.
TSP is considered more effective than other cleaners at removing oil and grease from natural stone surfaces. It’s also safe for human skin if used as directed in hot soapy water.
However, be sure that you rinse thoroughly and do not leave stones soaking in a TSP solution any longer than necessary as prolonged exposure may cause damage to some stone types.: Rinse your hot stone massage rocks with clear water after they’ve been cleaned in TSP.
It’s important to understand that hot stone massage is a therapy for your body as well as your mind. It relaxes you and soothes tense muscles, which makes it great for a relaxing treatment before bed or an energizing experience after a long day at work.
Since people come from all walks of life, it’s important that hot stone massages are easy to clean and sanitize. Hot stones can be washed with soap and water just like any other service table in your spa or massage parlor.
You might even want to get an extra set of stones for washing only—just make sure they are dry before using them on another client!