Going to the Russian bathhouse (bania) helped people preserve their health, at least according to common idioms and many medical doctors at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. Yet the thousands of public bathhouses across the empire were often damp, dank, and overcrowded places conducive to the spread of infectious diseases. Were Russian Imperial bathhouses healthy or dangerous? Did they prevent and cure ailments or did they foster the spread of sickness and in turn increase mortality and incidence of disease? Qualitative reports from the period are inconclusive: some cite the benefits of bathhouses, others cite their threat to public health, and many note both. In this paper we use data from reports produced in the 1890s and early 1900s to undertake a statistical analysis of the health effects of public bathhouses in late Imperial Russia. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to apply modern statistical techniques to questions of Russian health and hygiene in this period. We find no evidence to support doctors' claims that banias were beneficial to public health and instead find some evidence that banias were associated with higher incidence of disease.