Wood-fired Hot Tubs – Cleaning made easy

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Wood-fired hot tubs are an indulgent retreat that bring any garden to life, but as with any natural timber, they need to be maintained properly to ensure their longevity.

Exactly how to clean your hot tub will depend on the type you have – fibreglass and lined hot tubs are usually faster to drain and fill again, and have fewer hard-to-reach areas which can slow down cleaning.  We’ll cover each type here.

Cleaning your tub

To get started, you’ll need to drain your hot tub water.  If you have a drain tap fitted you can connect a hose to the drain, otherwise just remove the bung in the bottom of the tub (yes, you’re going to get below the water level into cold water for this bit!).

Once the tub is empty, you’ll need to scrub the internal surfaces with a soft brush and a hot water/soap solution.  Formation of mould and bacteria can occur on these surfaces, resulting in a slippery coating and poor water quality so it’s important that this is carried out thoroughly.

If you’ve left your tub for an extended period between cleans, you can also use a disinfectant solution for cleaning, to ensure no nasty bugs or bacteria remain.

Fibreglass hot tubs, and hot tubs with a polypropylene liner are usually quicker to clean because there are no hard-to-reach areas which can make scrubbing awkward, but the cleaning process is the same for all tubs.

Once you’ve finished cleaning your wooden hot tub, rinse down the inside thoroughly to get rid of all traces of soap.

With rinsing complete, you can then close the drain and begin to refill with clean water.

Cleaning your wood stove 

The stove must be left to cool prior to cleaning.

This process will vary, depending on the type of heater you have.

For an external stove, you can simply remove and empty the ashpan.  You can use the ash as garden fertiliser or compost it.

For integrated and internal tub stoves, use the tools provided to remove ash from the stove.  When empty, check for any signs of tar and soot build up within the stove – this could be a sign that you need to change the fuel you’re burning.

General Maintenance

If your wood-fired hot tub has a timber exterior (and most of them do), cleaning is a great time to treat the outside of the tub too.  Applying linseed oil protects the timber from the elements, helping it to resist water ingress and cracking in hot/cold weather.  

Treating the exterior should be carried out at least every year.


This is very important!  A wooden hot tub relies on water soaking into the timber in order to close up the gaps between slats.  As the wood absorbs water it swells, causing the planks to press against each other and seal.  If water can’t penetrate the timber, the tub will leak.  

The straps around your wooden hot tub should also be checked each month, to ensure that they’re in good condition and not too tight/loose.

A wooden hot tub can last well over 10 years with little maintenance required if looked after correctly.  

Of course, if you’d like to discuss living with a Royal Tub in more depth feel free to drop us an email at info@royaltubs.co.uk or give us a call on 0845 9011 440

Go back Read Next: The Wood-Fired Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide