To achieve and maximize the desired outcome of an isolation tank you must reach a level of comfort, both physically and mentally. This can be perfected with practice, but knowing there are certain checks and balances in place can both prevent and alleviate some mental discomforts. Simply thinking about sharing a bath tub with a handful of other people is enough to make anyone quiver in disgust. While this is very true for baths, this is extremely far from reality when it comes to float tanks. Here are 4 reasons why you should not be worried about cleanliness when it comes to floating in a properly managed facility:
There is a reason it is called the Dead Sea. Salt makes it nearly impossible for any organisms to survive, including bacteria. Based on his work as an environmental chemist Dr. David K. Ryan stated, “The only organisms that could possibly live in this environment are halophylic or halotolerant bacteria that have adapted to high salt concentrations and are found in the environment at places like the Great Salt Lake or the Dead Sea. These organisms are not pathogenic and do not pose a threat to humans.”
An average float tanks contains between 800 lbs and 1400 lbs of Epsom salt, which is more than enough to keep any microorganism from surviving.
It is required that all floaters shower before and after each float minimizing any outside factors from contaminating the tank. In addition, it is recommended to float in the nude which helps limit any outside chemicals or other corrupting materials that might be attached to clothing.
A great deal of float tanks, especially newer designs contain a filtration system that is used after each float. The system is turned off during the float to maintain silence, but often the water is filtered 3-5 times after each float. Filters are also changed frequently. If cleanliness is something that concerns you, call ahead and check if your nearby center has a filtration system in place.
4. Rules & Guidelines
The Flotation Tank Association puts out best practice guidelines for float facilities. Their mission statement reads, “The mission of FTA is to define and disseminate best practices in floatation for optimal quality of human experience and continued exploration and research on the benefits of floatation toward sustainable well being.” According to the Flotation Tank Association recommended maintenance schedule for public float locations, every 1000 floats (about every 6 months) the entire solution in the tank should be replaced if the solution is being difficult to keep clean and clear. These guidelines also rely on the facility having a filtration system in place for each tank.
If quality clean care is still a concern be sure to ask questions before you float so you can focus during the experience on more important thoughts.