Below are answers to the most common questions about our wood-fired bathtubs. This information can come in handy if you are choosing between a wood-fired bathtub, a hot tub or an outdoor spa.
Remember to consider your particular needs before making a purchase.
+ 1. A wood-fired bathtub or a hot tub?
A wood-fired bathtub is the best choice if you prefer bathing with your partner, a friend or by yourself. It heats up fast and doesn’t need much water, which makes it good for spontaneous baths. Our costumers also love the design, which makes us happy.
+ 2. What are the heating times and how much wood is needed?
If you start out with a water temperature of about 8 °C, it takes about 80–90 minutes to heat the water. That is true from spring to fall. During the winter, from a water temperature of about 4 °C, the heating time is about 120–140 minutes.
During the winter we recommend that you use a groundsheet on the surface as a lid for the water. We have been taking lovely baths outside at temperatures of -20 °C. If you try that, however, make sure to keep your head warm with a ski hat!
During the warmer seasons you need about 30 litres of wood (10 kilos) for a bath. A sack of wood of that size can be found in stores. Try using wood from broadleaved trees, in particular dry birchwood.
+ 3. How do you get the water temperature right?
Stir the water with the stick that comes with The Bohemian once in a while during the heating. Use a bath thermometer and go easy with the logs on the fire when you reach a temperature of about 36 °C. After that, keep the fire burning steadily but not wildly. If the fire is too hot, close the air supply to the stove. We recommend that you try and keep the temperature around 40 °C.
+ 4. Do the metal plates on the tub become so hot that you risk burning yourself?
No! The plates stay the same temperature as the water. If the water is 40 °C the plates will be too. The water close to the stove may however feel hotter after a while. If that is the case, stir the water with your arms to even the temperature.
The plates on The Sooty Cauldron will be hotter underneath because of the fire directly under it. You will not however experience any heat under your bum. We solved this by putting a protective metal plate on the bottom of the tub’s inside and a wooden sitting pad on top of it.
+ 5. Is there a lid or cover available?
Yes, there is a cover made of awning cloth for The Bohemian. We will soon add a wooden lid for both The Bohemian and The Sooty Cauldron to our store. Until then, make your own cover out of plywood and boat varnish. It’s good to protect the bathtub from falling leaves.
+ 6. Can I place my wood-fired bathtub on a terrace?
If you own the model of The Bohemian that has an integrated stove inside the tub, you may place it directly on a wooden terrace. Make sure it stands on a supporting beam, as it weighs about 850 kg with both water and people inside. For The Sooty Cauldron you need a fireproof foundation of gravel or a stone bed, since the fireplace is underneath the bathtub.
+ 7. How do I empty the tub after a bath?
You connect a tube to the flange of the mortise. Then lead the water to, for example, the storm water drainage of your house. The gutters usually have drainage for their water as well. If you have your wood-fired bathtub on the countryside you could always lead the water to a ditch.
+ 8. Can I move my wood-fired bathtub?
Both The Bohemian and The Sooty Cauldron are easy to move if you would like to bathe in a different location. Remove all the equipment from the tub to make it lighter before moving it. Two people can easily carry an aluminium bathtub shorter distances, something that is hardly possible with a hot tub. The Sooty Cauldron will even fit in the trunk of a larger station wagon. Make sure to measure before trying.
+ 9. When and how am I allowed to make my fire?
The Bohemian has a stove in the tub, which means no open fire. The Sooty Cauldron can be heated both with an open fire or a stove. If you’re not familiar with the rules in your area regarding where and how you are allowed to make fires, contact the local authorities. Keep in mind that the smoke might disturb your neighbours.
+ 10. How do fires affect the environment?
Wood and other types of bioenergy are renewable sources that are part of the natural cycle. Biofuel – usually wood – is renewable and releases carbon dioxide when burning. The forest grows and uses carbon dioxide to build new biomass and the cycle of the carbon dioxide is a closed one.
+ 11. Are there any other ways to heat the bathtub?
If you’re interested in bathing outdoors without making a fire, we’re happy to tell you that we are planning to release an accessory made out of stainless steel that can be placed in the stove under the Sooty Cauldron. You will then be able to use your bathtub in densely populated areas, by filling up the tub with hot water from your home and keeping it warm with environmentally friendly bioethanol of the type used for indoor fireplaces. Remember to pave under the tub for protection against the heat. We recommend never using anything other than environmentally friendly bioethanol.
+ 12. What if I have a very limited amount of water and am unable to change water between baths?
Use water percolation if you want to use the same water for an entire week. The percolation removes particles and dirt from the water, but not germs. For germ removal you need to add salt tablets. Do not use chlorine, since it will tarnish the aluminium.
+ 13. How do I store my bathtub during the winter?
Bathing during the winter season is no problem. If you would like to store the tub inside during winter, however, make sure to remove all loose details. Lubricate the wooden frame (including the exposed edge) using for example teak-oil. Wipe away any oil that ends up on the aluminium. Place two heavy wooden beams on the ground and turn the bathtub upside down. Make sure air can flow freely between the tub and the ground.
If you cover the tub with a tarpaulin, make sure air can flow between the tub and the tarpaulin. Clean and lubricate the loose details when they are dry. The best place to store the wooden interior is in a cold storage.
+ 14. How do I maintain the oak interior?
The loose details of your bathtub have been treated with vegetable canola oil before delivery. We choose this oil out of respect for your health. If you choose different oil, it’s your responsibility. You should however be able to lubricate the frame above the water with different oil, for example linseed oil or teak oil. Remember to wipe away oil that comes in contact with the aluminium.
Clean the wooden interior with soap, water and a brush. Let it dry completely before using oil. Make sure you lubricate the crosscut end of the battens carefully. Hone dark spots on the interior and then use oil. Some costumers prefer a rustic feel to the interior and use no oil. The interior will then slowly turn silver grey.
+ 15. Can I use the tub without a stove?
Yes you can. On a hot summer day you can fill the tub with cold water and cool yourself down. Children usually love using the tub as their own pool. Always remember to supervise bathing children.
The tub can also become a nice complement to a sauna. Imagine cooling down after a hot sauna!
If you fill the tub with hot water from your home we recommend that you have a heat source that keeps the water warm (read question 11 for tips on alternative heating). The Sooty Cauldron is designed to also function as a beautiful outdoor bathtub.
+ 16. Why are you using aluminium in the bathtub instead of stainless steel?
We like our bathtubs to be easy to move and we love watching them age beautifully. Over time, spots and scratches melt together with the aluminium as it oxidizes, which is a self-protection process.
Clean your wood-fired bathtub with soap and use only soft cloths or sponges that won’t cause scratches in the metal.