There are two types of people in this world; those who like to bathe and those who prefer to shower. My partner loves a shower but hates a bath. I’m the opposite. I love to have baths; the longer, the better, especially in winter. So here’s my guide to running the perfect winter’s bath.
First of all, you need to be in the bath when running it. This is really important, so make sure you have everything you need close by before running the bath; soaps, a good book, rubber ducky. And make sure you’ve added your favourite bath salts or bubble-bath early in the proceedings. (I’m a bubble-bath fan myself.) Don’t expect your bath to be perfect without you. If you haven’t jumped in the tub by the time it’s a third full, it’s too late. Why? Because your body is your thermometer, but it needs time to calibrate. A well-calibrated body thermometer is one key to the perfect winter’s bath.
The next stage is critical. Once you’re in the bath, adjust the temperature of the water so that it feels comfortable to you — not lukewarm, and not hot — just comfortable. You need to have achieved your desired temperature by the time the bath is two-thirds full. (Again, this is why it’s essential to get in the tub early. You really need to give your body time to acclimatise to the bath. Otherwise, lukewarm can feel hot when you first get in the tub.)
The final step is the most important one. Once your bath is two-thirds full and it feels comfortable, fill up the rest of the tub with a hot layer; not scalding, obviously, but warmer than the water already in the bath. You need to run this final layer of hot water in slowly, without disturbing the water already in the bath. The purpose of this final layer is to act as a barrier between the comfortable water already in the bath and the cold air in the bathroom. Think of it as a liquid blanket for your bath.
It’s important not to move around too much when running this final layer of water. You don’t want the comfortable layer and the hot layer to mix together, but to remain separate. So, nice steady movements and no splashing!
Once the bath is run, lie back, get comfortable, and move as little as possible. Just relax and enjoy the warmth of the bath as it fills your body with deep, lasting heat. The quieter you are in the bath, the longer the warmth will last.
If the water does cool down a little, you can quickly mix the hot layer into the cooler layer below, let some water out, and run a new hot layer above it. This technique gives you a potentially infinite bathing experience.
And there you have it! The easy way to run a perfect winter’s bath.