How to Make a Relaxing Bath

Picture this: You're finally home from a long day at work, and the only thing on your mind is relaxation. By some miracle, dinner is prepared and you've got a bit of time up your sleeve. When was the last time you pampered yourself? When was the last time you took time for you?

Picture this: You're finally home from a long day at work, and the only thing on your mind is relaxation. By some miracle, dinner is prepared and you've got a bit of time up your sleeve. When was the last time you pampered yourself? When was the last time you took time for you? It’s probably been longer than you’d like but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with everything you need for a little spa experience at home.

Ahhh… There is nothing like sinking into warm water surrounded by bubbles. If only you could do this every week. In today's busy world, it might seem indulgent, but remember — a relaxing bath is not only good for your body it also benefits your mind. Self-care is important. You deserve to take time for yourself, recharge your batteries, reinvigorate physically and mentally, and what better way than by setting up the perfect conditions for a warm, inviting bath?

It might seem simple enough to run a hot bath, and sure, you could leave it at that, but if you want to up the ante for ultimate relaxation, prepare before you even turn on the tap. Getting this time for yourself is pretty rare so make sure you have the perfect conditions ready before you even set foot in the water. Don’t stress! We are here to help you with some easy tips you can use to make the most of a perfect spa day in your own home.

Declare privacy. It's your special time now

First thing is to make time for yourself — set aside a window of time where you won't be disturbed by anyone. Perhaps you prefer to start the day with a hot bath or soothe your body after a hard work day. Whatever time you choose, make sure everyone in your household knows that for the next hour you are on your own personal time. That means no knocking on the door, or worse, opening the door while you’re in the bath. So what is the best time of the day for a bath? Hint: It’s when you won’t be interrupted.

Studies show that, for a better night’s rest, the best time to have a shower or bath is 90 minutes before you go to bed. It can actually speed up the time it takes to fall asleep by 10 minutes.

Prepare your bathroom

White ceramic tray with home spa supplies on top of a tub

Preparation is the key to an undisturbed hour relaxing in a tub. There's nothing worse than being up to your neck in bubbles and then realizing you forgot to turn off the oven. Start your spa day by making sure everything is secure and turned off in your house. Doors locked, iron unplugged, the cat has enough food and the kids are occupied or asleep. You don't want anyone or anything forcing you to get out of your bathtub once you are already in.

Soaps, face towels and brushes with other various bath products

Gather all your essentials

Next, gather all your essentials: soaps, bathrobes, towels, snacks, a book, essential oils, candles, and music. Make sure you have everything in the room before you lock the door behind you. Once you're in the warmth of your bathroom there should be no reason to leave. Close the door and leave the world behind.

Bath towels stored on shelves of a clutterfree bathroom

Clear up the clutter

Take some time to tidy up your bathroom and set everything in the right place. Make sure the things you might need in the bath are within arms’ reach or close enough you don't have to get out of the bath. Clear up the clutter so you don't have to step over things and your mind can start to relax.

Room and water temperature

Woman checking the bath tub for perfect water temperature

So you’re now ready to draw the bath. Everyone has their own personal preference for how hot they like their water. What’s your perfect water temperature? Do you like it scorching or do you prefer it on the warmer side? Whatever your heat level, make sure that when you step into the water the bath is fully drawn so you won’t need to add more once you are in.

While the human body temperature is about 98 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal bath water temperature is between 104 and 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Bathroom temperature should also be a little warmer than your normal living space - between 70 and 75 degrees is a perfect range, best achieved with underfloor heating combined with towel radiators.

Candles to create a mood

Woman relaxing in a foamy bathtub with candles

You’re now ready to start creating the perfect mood for your time in the tub. The first thing is to turn off the overhead lighting and let the subtle, flickering light of a candle transform the ambient lighting in your bathroom. Fragrant candles not only cover up unpleasant odors, they also help to boost your mood while, at the same time, make your room look beautiful.

Safety around the bathtub

Some rules to remember when using candles in the bathroom. First, don't place burning candles near curtains or other flammable materials. Unattended candles can quickly turn from delightful to dangerous. Make sure your candles are lit in either glass or ceramic containers and are placed on flat, heat-resistant surfaces. A small amount of caution can prevent a catastrophe.

Best fragrance for bathroom candles

Three lit candles for a perfect bath

When you are shopping for scented candles to be used in the bathroom it's always good to consider the percentage of scented oil used. Some candles may smell nice in the shop, but when you light them they may not produce a strong enough scent. If you prefer a strong aroma you should look for candles with “triple scent” or candles with more than 1.5 ounces of scented oil for every pound of wax.

Every scent produces a different feeling or reaction in people. Some prefer the time-honored smell of lavender, others like the simple notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and musk. Just remember: It's best not to use more than two candles with different scents in the bathroom.

  • 1
    Honeysuckle jasmine

    If you’re a fan of floral scents then this candle has a perfect mix of sweet and calming notes. Close your eyes and you can imagine the smell of honeysuckle in the early summer, the familiar sweetness of jasmine, and the wood-based notes of this popular floral fragrance.

  • 2
    Lemongrass & ginger

    Combining the Asian scents of lemongrass and ginger, this candle reinvigorates the senses, revives the mind, and aids relaxation. The spicy, citrusy scent is both calming and refreshing.

  • 3
    Sea Salt & amber

    This candle brings a breath of ocean air into your bathroom with the freshness of open seawater. The clean mix of sea salt and amber will transport you to your favorite beach, with added hints of flower and wooded scents to bring you back to a time of seaside adventure.

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

Burning candle, essential oils and difuser

To make your bath just that extra little bit indulgent, burn some essential oils. There are a range of available scents that promote feelings of relief and relaxation. To prevent skin irritation, it is recommended to use a diffuser, rather than add them directly to bathwater. Add between 8-10 drops of oil to the diffuser water, adjusting to your own personal taste.

Perfect oils for relaxation

One of the most popular essential oils is lavender, which has long been used to promote relaxation. It has a gentle scent, reduces stress and anxiety, and is also used for headaches and insomnia. Eucalyptus might be too strong and sharp for some people, yet it is known to reduce aches and pains in joints and muscles, as well as help respiratory conditions. Ylang-ylang is a lesser-known essential oil that is used to relieve stress and anxiety. Some other oil scents which work great for bathroom aromatherapy include sweet orange, rose oil, sandalwood, and geranium.

Bath Salts & Bubbles

A person adding bath salts in water with a wooden spoon

The bath is ready, but what's the one thing missing? Of course, it's the bubbles. A bath wouldn't really be a bath without bubbles. Go on, get up to your neck in bubbles, and allow them to add that final touch of decadence. Or perhaps you could get that deep, soothing feeling that only bath salts can give you. Adding suds or salts to your bath can help make your time in the bathroom a relaxing and rejuvenating one.

Soothe sore muscles and encourage deep relaxation with bath salts

Used historically for their medicinal and healing properties, bath salts remain a perfect way to treat a variety of conditions like skin problems, arthritis, and sore muscles. The most popular is Epsom Salts, known for its ability to reduce swelling and ease the pain, which is perfect if you are on your feet all day. Dead Sea bath salts combine minerals found in the Dead Sea — Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium — and are perfect for reducing stress and relaxing tired muscles.

Enjoy some bubbles? A classic bubble bath is always fun

Not only is a bubble bath fun, you can also reap extra benefits for your skin. Good bubble-bath liquid should include natural, hydrating oils like vitamin E and jojoba to revitalize and moisturize your skin. Keep away from any bubble bath that contains sulfates, parabens or silicones.

Create a soothing ambiance

You’re almost in the bath! The final thing you need to do is set the ambiance of the room. You already found the right mood with candle lighting, you've added your favorite scents to the room and to the water. The only thing left is to relax your audio sensations: Play either your favorite music or create the illusion of being far away with nature soundscapes. Just remember that you need to keep electronic equipment well away from water.

Binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix

This might just be the right time to catch up on all those episodes that you have been wanting to watch. There are a number of waterproof tablet pouches available these days for every device. As for what to watch? Perhaps Bathtubs over Broadway?

Books for the bath

Woman in a bathtub reading a book

Looking for a good book to sit back and relax with? Perhaps you prefer short stories for a quick dip or longer novels for that extra time in the bath? Reading in the bath isn't just for kids, adults can also lose themselves in story time all from the warmth of their bathroom. Find your favorite and bring it with you into the tub. Just make sure you don't drop it in the water!

Food & Drink

What could be better than enjoying your favorite snacks all from the comfort of your bathtub? Couple that with a hot, refreshing cup of herbal tea, and your spa day at home is almost complete. What are your favorite foods and drinks to enjoy in the tub?

Best bath snacks

Eating in the bathtub can be a problem. You have to make sure that everything you bring into the bathroom won't make too much of a mess both in and out of the tub. Some of the best ideas are fruit, bowls of nuts, sliced vegetables, and cheese with crackers. If you've got a sweet tooth bring along some chocolate, just make sure it doesn't melt before you get to it...

The perfect cup of tea

White fluffy towel and a pot of tea with cup

For the ultimate in relaxation, why not brew a pot of tea and have it ready for you to enjoy when you slip into your bath? Herbal and fruit teas are a perfect way to rehydrate while soaking. The perfect tea for calmness is the classic, chamomile. It helps increase natural serotonin and melatonin levels in your body while leaving you relaxed without feeling sleepy. Peppermint tea is also great, either hot or cold, and can help to soothe tension headaches.

Pamper yourself

It's time now to really get yourself clean. Your skin needs daily exfoliation to stay soft, smooth, and healthy. It’s also good to get rid of the top layer of dead cells and help to promote circulation while smoothing out rough, dry skin.

Deep pore cleansing with face masks

Woman with a face mask in front of mirror

While the rest of your body soaks, you can multitask and use a face mask in the bath to make you look radiant. Most masks have a clay base, which helps draw out impurities, but you can also make your own at home with some very simple ingredients. Try combining honey and avocado, or papaya and citrus. Make sure to always test a small patch on your skin to ensure that your skin won’t react to any of the mask’s ingredients.

Exfoliate with bath mitts and body scrubs

In the wintertime, dry skin can get scaly and rough. Go deep into your pores with special exfoliating hand bath mitts to really give your skin a good clean. Body scrubs can also help clear blemishes and promote skin rejuvenation. Just be careful to not scrub too hard.

Make yourself comfortable

Bathtubs don't initially look like a soft, inviting place to take a rest but once you are in the hot water, and your body is feeling relaxed, you won't notice the hardness of the tub. The only problem can be your neck. Get yourself a special orthopedic bath pillow that provides back and neck support and you will be staying a lot longer in the bath. If you've taken snacks, a book, and your tablet into the bath you might also want to have them organized and at hand using a bath caddy.

After-bath care

All good things come to an end, but when it's time to get out of your bath you can still enjoy a few more luxuries. There's nothing better for keeping the warmth of the water than wrapping yourself in a soft, fluffy bath towel or robe. Or maybe continue your skincare with moisturizing cream and lotions to hydrate your skin. Don't forget to look after your hair as well, if you washed it. Follow up with a leave-in hair conditioning treatment that can help hair color last longer and provide nutrients to damaged hair.

The perfect bath is complete

You've finished your bath and you're looking and feeling the most relaxed you've ever been. Clean and content. Relaxed and rejuvenated. Keep this serene mood by following up with meditation or some gentle stretching. Whether in the morning or at night, an at-home spa bath is a great way to unwind with whatever time you have.