Learn best practices for starting and running a float center:
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When you run a float tank center, you’re going to get asked a lot of questions.

Do I float naked? Can I drown? Is this sanitary? Many of these are easy to answer: It’s recommended. Not without a conscious, and determined effort. Yes! There are some questions, however, that will be more sensitive or strange. Let’s go over some of the Frequently Asked Questions I have heard in my couple of years working at Float On.


The first few questions may require an informed decision prior to opening. Be sure all business partners agree and all employees know and comprehend the reasoning for your policy.


Can my partner and I float together in the tank?

At Float On, we do not allow floaters to occupy the same tank (yet we still discovered a Reddit post that questioned if we were a “happy ending” parlor). However, we know of places that do offer couples floats. This will be up to you, or your Health Department, if you are regulated. Make sure everyone working at your center obeys the rules (I know, we like breaking rules too, but not these kind!). Current sanitation practices are built on standards that assume one person per tank. If you are considering allowing group floats, make sure you are fully informed before making that decision.


Can I bring my kid in? What is the age minimum?

lauren-qa_taking-son-to-floatOnce, I gave a walkthrough to a very young kid, assuming he would want to keep the light on inside the tank. When I explained the lights to him, he articulately responded, “But then I wouldn’t have the full experience.” How adorably mature!

At Float On, we request that anyone under 14 get parental permission and anyone under 9 have a parent in the room, but we don’t have an official policy. For younger children or those with special needs, we request that a parent or guardian is present. There are no established rules for this, so the bottom line is deciding how much risk you are willing to take on. That said, I highly recommend allowing younger individuals to float, as they have many modern day stresses, too, and could use some time away from the iPad. Plus, we gotta get them hooked early!


The following questions are more common, and should be easy for anyone working the float center to answer. It is good to be aware of these and potentially use them in your informational brochures and website.


Can I float while I am on my period?

Yes, in fact you can encourage women to float while menstruating. Floating can be potentially helpful in easing the cramps and fatigue that are associated with menstruation. Recommend that floaters use a new tampon, both during the float and after. Keep tampons available for customers, and be sure all employees are comfortable with responding to this inquiry. Ultimately, the general guidelines and protocols for floating while on your period are very similar to those for hot tubs and pools.


My genitals have a stinging sensation. What is going on?

Not everyone is willing to ask, but friends and bold strangers don’t seem to have an issue with it. Occasionally floaters (generally women) will mention feeling an irritable sensation in their genitals, similar to the way an exposed wound feels in the concentrated epsom salt. For women, it’s possible that this may be affected by their cycle and personal pH, so you could recommend floating at another time. This has been reported for backsides as well, if there are hemorrhoids, or it’s just been a rough week (a friend once mentioned wanting to purchase better quality toilet paper after a float!) Remind floaters that petroleum jelly is always an option in these situations.



Should I get high before my float? Joe Rogan does!

This may be a question more pertinent to states like Oregon and Colorado, but everyone should have an answer ready for this. Floating is already a trip, man! Honestly though, I think it is crucial to fully evaluate floating as an experience of its own. Encourage floaters to refrain from using natural and manmade substances, especially before their first several floats. If someone appears too intoxicated, DO NOT LET THEM FLOAT! Advise them of the risk and  offer to reschedule their float. Don’t let their decisions become your liability.


Has anybody ever died in a float tank?

We had heard conflicting stories about this, so we recently decided to do some investigation. We are aware of two incidents. One was in a home tank with a woman, probably on strong pain medications, who ultimately passed from water temperatures well over safe standards. The other involved a man in commercial float tank center under the influence of ketamine. Feel free to share these stories as outliers in an industry that has an awesome track record, starting commercially in the early 1970’s. Here are links to those two cases.


The following questions are the most important to answer well. When someone’s physical and mental health are at stake, always suggest they consult their physician prior to floating. Help maintain our reputation as a safe and responsible industry! Your fellow float tank centers thank you.


I have a history of mental illness. Will this trigger my issues?

While it can be incredibly helpful for some, it is important they have a safe zone for after their float. In more severe cases, recommend floaters have a friend, caretaker, or mental health professional with them. For any cases, however, you should recommend that individuals consult a doctor for final approval.


I have suffered with a debilitating physical disorder for years. Will this cure my pains?

Feel free to provide anecdotes, but be sure floaters understand this is not factual, researched data. The same goes for people with less severe physical pains, such as those received on the job or in an accident. Don’t simply agree that the tanks will fix everything, even if it sometimes feels like they do.



Will I turn into a proto-human monkey while in the tank, like William Hurt in Altered States?

At Float On, only about one in twenty customers experience this side effect. Good luck, floaters!


Thanks for reading! Do you have any other questions you hear frequently? Is there anything you would like to add? Let me know: lauren@floathq.com