How to Sanitize Hot Stones for Massage

The following video is for massage therapy professionals who want to know how to sanitize their hot stones properly. This is the method that I use in my private massage therapy practice. I hope that all therapists consider how important this topic is and do their own research in order to thoroughly clean their hot stones. Essential oils are not a proper method of sanitization. Consult your local health board and professional organizations before implementing any of the information and suggestions on this website. 

Find out more about hot stone massage on this page of my website

To properly clean your hot stones for massage:

Consider using antibacterial soap, followed by a ten-minute isopropyl alcohol soak, and the use of a hospital grade disinfectant. Finish off with a ten-minute soak in boiling water and rinse thoroughly.

Video: How to Sanitize Hot Stones in a Professional Massage Therapy setting

The following is a loose transcription of my video on the proper sanitization of hot stones for massage

Hi, this is Sonia, the Haleiwa Massage Muse at Integrated Massage. Today, I wanted to do a little video about hot stone sanitization. It’s one of my pet peeves, and I see this question come up on massage therapy boards all the time. How do you clean hot stones? And no, the answer is not by adding ten drops of tea tree oil to the water and using them on the next client. That is disgusting and completely unethical, and yes, I do know of places that do this!

Here is how I clean my hot stones for massage:

  • Scrub them clean using antibacterial soap. I know that there are people who advocate against the overuse of antibacterial products, but this is for the home setting, not when you are working with the general public who may or may not have something contagious and may have small unnoticed nicks, scratches or broken skin.
  • Next, wet them down with hospital-grade disinfectant. I don’t want to advocate any one brand over another. As long as it says that it’s hospital grade, it should be fine. It should have a very long list of things that it is effective against, such as staph. strep, hepatitis, fungus, mildew, etc. Tea tree oil has some amazing properties but is not a safe method of sanitization. It is unbelievable how often I see therapists and spas who advocate using essential oils as a safe method of sanitization. This is not safe when you are talking about a professional setting that offers services to the general public.
  • Follow the instructions for the amount of time the product must remain wet.
  • Wash the disinfectant off and dry them completely
  • I use boiling water from an electric kettle to give a second rinse just prior to setting them up as well.

  • I feel like this is the best, most ethical method to sanitize your hot stones in a professional massage therapy setting. I know that there are many other ways. I have come across people that put them in their dishwasher, I also know of therapists that use pool chemicals, and there was some word a few years ago that the CDC approved a ten-minute alcohol bath for cleansing. I’d love to hear your comments on this subject.

    Thank you so much for listening to my Haleiwa Massage Muse video blog. I hope you tune in next time and visit our massage therapy clinic in Waialua on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii soon. We offer a free mini hot stone add-on with every custom massage session, and we also offer a full hot stone massage session for an additional charge.

    *Please consult your professional organizations before making your own decision regarding sanitization. 

    Sonia Beauchamp
    The Haleiwa Massage Muse