Making shower time even better
July 7, 2011 12:18 AM   Subscribe

I love taking showers. Do you have any tips, tricks or ideas to make my shower experience even more enjoyable?
posted by roaring beast to Health & Fitness (61 answers total) 109 users marked this as a favorite
I love showers too. Can you organize a Japanese style stool to sit on as you shower? So nice! I like to do all the things that make baths so lovely for the shower too... Nice smelling body scrub or gel, water dispersible body oil (just put a little bit in the palmof your hand and rub on). Candles are nice. And Japanese/Korean scrubbing mitts. Lotion for after-shower smoothing. A hair treatment masque applied pre-shower and rinsed off last thing is great. And if you can get a hand-held shower - bliss!
posted by t0astie at 12:26 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

How about having a nice cold beer while you are in the shower? It's quite refreshing. If beer isn't your thing, a cold glass of water or lemonade can be very nice as well.
posted by poyorick at 12:43 AM on July 7, 2011 [19 favorites]

Having a super clean shower (tiles scrubbed, new shower curtain, floor clean, etc) does it for me. Actually, an entirely clean bathroom extends the feeling.
Also, natural light if you can rig it. Showering with sun streaming down on you is an awesome experience.
I used to sing in the shower, but I got shy after realizing anyone in the house could hear me clearly... so now I just pump in a really great soundtrack.

Having a freshly laundered, fluffy towel for after the shower is great too.
posted by simplethings at 12:45 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

Fluffy bathrobe.

posted by verb at 12:47 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

the post-soaping lights out experience does it for me, every single time (in my no window bathroom)
posted by ouke at 1:03 AM on July 7, 2011

Get a few sprigs of eucalyptus from a florist and hang them in the corner, they smell nice once the steam picks up.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:07 AM on July 7, 2011 [7 favorites]

We've made some really simple hardware changes that made showers much more enjoyable. We put this rainfall shower head up in our rental to replace the crappy showerhead that came with the shower. Best $15 I've ever spent, and I put it up by myself in less than 20 minutes (and I'm the least handy person ever). It's not even a top of the line shower head, but it's amazing how much more enjoyable my showers are. Another really easy improvement was a curved shower curtain rod. Showering in hotel rooms or at other people's houses without them makes me feel slightly claustrophobic and wonder how I ever survived without it. We saved our old shower head and curtain rod and just put them back up in anticipation of moving, and I'm already dreading the next week of showers.

I personally enjoy blasting music and singing along while I shower, but I find singing really obnoxiously to be relaxing and don't really care what my roommate thinks about my singing, so YMMV.

Don't underestimate the joy of soft, fluffy bath towels. I buy mine from Kohls when they have them buy one, get one free. This also goes for good quality shower curtains and liners- the nice soft ones can be had for cheap on sale, last a million times longer than the cruddy plastic ones, and don't stick together or to you.

Shower things I am currently lusting after include soap/shampoo/conditioner dispensers (less chances to knock bottles over=better for me), a memory foam bathmat (they're so soft!) and a shower squid (which I don't think would serve any real purpose, but would make me insanely happy to see in my shower).
posted by kro at 1:07 AM on July 7, 2011 [9 favorites]

Tankless heater. Shower all day.
posted by flabdablet at 1:44 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

if you have long hair, when you condition, comb your hair with a wide toothed comb while running it under the water until all the conditioner is out. leaves your hair really clean, tangle free, and is a wonderful scalp massage.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:10 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Take your showers with an attractive person of your preferred gender.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:23 AM on July 7, 2011 [32 favorites]

Nthing replace your shower head with a good one. I've lived in rentals pretty much my entire adult life and the shower head that I bring with me is so incredibly easy to install: unscrew old shower head; screw in new shower head. Takes less than two minutes. If you haven't already done this, do it.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:34 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

You need a shower squid!
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 3:34 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by londonmark at 3:35 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, company. As the old advertisements had it, "Save water, shower with a friend".
posted by aqsakal at 3:50 AM on July 7, 2011

A shower brush is a great accessory. I miss mine on long road trips away from home. Hand held shower wands and a diverter valve that lets you select either overhead spray/rainhead, or the hand held wand (or both, in the case of 3 way diverter valve), make for thorough cleaning.
posted by paulsc at 4:08 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Take longer showers. That's all I've been able to figure out so far.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

For hot, humid days, chill shower gel in the fridge before using; same for a light after-shower scent to spritz on yourself.
posted by pointystick at 4:08 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I like to use wax melts to scent the bathroom. They're less messy than burning oil and less smokey than incense.

I usually buy these melts from Dusk and break them into thirds. (Any more than that is overpowering in a small room.) I find them a little pricey at $4 each, but Dusk is constantly changing their range, so you can usually find scents they're phasing out on sale for half price.

If you haven't used wax melts before, you heat them in an oil burner to release their scent.

(I thought you were in Australia, sorry. I'm leaving my answer intact but you'll need to find a local source for melts!)
posted by Georgina at 4:13 AM on July 7, 2011

Put your bathroom light on a dimmer.
Use products that smell yummy.
Get a shower radio/mp3 player.
Keep your moisturizer in the shower, so when you turn the water off, you can stay in the warm steamy shower to apply it.
posted by Kololo at 4:17 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

If your dryer is in the same room as your bathroom, put your towel in to warm up right before you get in the shower in winter.
posted by jeather at 4:34 AM on July 7, 2011

We have a radiator right next to our shower, so I'll hang my towel on it before I get in during the cold winter months. Combined with a big fluffy bath mat, it keeps the chill away while drying off.

Also, the cat will sometimes come in and sit on the sink while I shower, and we can play games.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:41 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Learn how to drill out a showerhead so as to avoid the '2.5 gpm' curse.

Dual showerheads, triple showerheads, turn off valve at the showerhead (no need to re-adjust settings when turned back to open), shaving kit, clear curtain, ferns, ... a virtual rainforrest.
posted by buzzman at 4:49 AM on July 7, 2011

An open shower with no curtain. Skylight in the shower. Looking out an open window while showering - my favorite is a friend's shower on the 35th floor in midtown Manhattan with a window that looks down on Broadway. Something very cool about looking down at Herald Square naked. On the other end of the spectrum, a hot outdoor shower on a cool night at the beach house.

If none of these are physically possible, I second the beer in the shower.
posted by yarly at 5:16 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

One day I discovered I could bring my coffee in the shower with me and position it so that the cup didn't fill with water.

Showering has never been the same since.
posted by bondcliff at 5:46 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Lush makes something called an Emotibomb which is meant to be placed on the floor of your shower. When the water hits it, it foams and releases aromatherapy scents. They are a bit pricey four routine use, but I've gotten them as gifts and they are fun.

Also, a water proof radio with clock.
posted by kimdog at 5:51 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

The cold outdoor shower I took on Maui all week was worth waaaaaay more than the $10/night for the beach side tent site.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures! Wooden platform, bamboo walls, small over showerhead shelf for bottles, 2 hooks for clothes/towel, large utility sink 10 feet away.

I could have skipped the poisonous 6 inch centipedes, but everything comes with a price.

I did bring ratty beach towels, and harbor modest regret that I wasn't wrapping myself in something fluffy before bed each night.

So, tl;dr: go to Maui and camp between the foot of a volcano and the Atlantic.
posted by bilabial at 5:53 AM on July 7, 2011

Someone to share a bottle of wine with while you shower, they shave and the two of you reinterpret pop music classics as blisteringly off-key duets.
posted by guessthis at 5:54 AM on July 7, 2011

Agree with the above suggestions for Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, curved shower rod, and handheld shower. In particular I recommend this shower head; I installed 2 of them at my house about 3 months ago and they have been a big hit.
posted by TedW at 6:20 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used to live in chicago, in a mid-rise buidling, surrounded by buildings no more than 3 stories tall. I was on the sixth floor, and there was a window in the shower. Yes, in my shower. It opened from the top down, and the lowest part of the opening came to my chest, and I was 30 feet above anyone else, and it was awesome. I loved to take showers in the summertime at night, I'd open the window and let the warm breeze in and watch the city lights. There was just something about being naked with warm water, and the breeze and the sky, surrounded by nothing but open air.

Now, this isn't really advice at all, because it's not feasible for you to procure all of these things. I just wanted to tell you how awesome my shower used to be.
posted by shesaysgo at 6:36 AM on July 7, 2011 [11 favorites]

I really miss my clear glass shower door. I rented a place for a couple of years with a large shower that seemed even larger with the clear glass enclosure, add to that a skylight over the shower it was like showering outdoors. Part of me actually wishes I never had that time because now every time I take a shower in my waaaaay too small shower stall it reminds me of the days when I looked for reasons to take a shower.
posted by any major dude at 6:40 AM on July 7, 2011

kimdog: "Also, a water proof radio with clock."

That should be "without", right? You can't put a time restraint on your showers. They are too good.

Also, seconding the cold beer suggestion, though they do tend to warm up quickly, unfortunately. And outdoor showering is also THE BEST. Sometimes I also like to turn the shower up really hot, close the bathtub drain, and lay down and let the shower fill up the tub while I'm in it. Mmmmm so relaxing.
posted by Grither at 6:50 AM on July 7, 2011

It sounds really weird but try eating in the shower. I love a good apple in the shower. And especially when it's right out of the fridge. Think about it: warm water on your face, but cold sweet juice in your mouth. And I'll second the beer as well.
posted by jay.eye.elle.elle. at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Set up a video camera (in a spot that won't get splashed if it isn't waterproof) and do a little dance while you're lathering up. If your camera has a good microphone, you can record yourself singing. If you're comfortable masturbating while standing up, try recording that and sending it to someone special. Practice juggling with wet bars of soap.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:57 AM on July 7, 2011

Shower crayons!

I believe I found mine in a CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid type store several years ago, if you don't want to pay for shipping. Shower time is so much fun when you get to draw! And even more fun if you have someone there to draw with you. If you share a bathroom with someone that you prefer not to shower with, you can write messages for them in the shower and on the bathroom mirror. If you have tiles though, try not to get it in between the tiles, since the rough surface doesn't want to let the crayon get wiped off. It wipes off of smooth surfaces pretty easily with an old washcloth though, so the actual tiles, or plastic shower walls are OK.
posted by at 7:25 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

What has worked for me:

--I take extremely hot showers, to the point of almost burning. Then, near the end of the shower, I make the water relatively cool for a few minutes to cool myself off.

--Also, having a clear shower curtain or a fog-free clear shower door does something for me, especially when there are guests in the house (my wife has a very careless habit of going in and out of the bathroom and leaves the door open while I am in the shower, even when guests are present in the adjoining living room, and they can see me without much effort. I tend to enjoy this--don't judge me).
posted by TinWhistle at 7:28 AM on July 7, 2011

How about having a nice cold beer while you are in the shower? It's quite refreshing. If beer isn't your thing, a cold glass of water or lemonade can be very nice as well.

Since I usually shower in the morning I won't be taking this advice. But how do you keep hot water from getting in the cold beer and ruining it?
posted by madcaptenor at 7:50 AM on July 7, 2011

Brush your teeth in there, with a cool minty type of toothpaste. Hot water + cool mint = awesome (not to mention: clean all over, mouth included, yay!).
posted by springbound at 7:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Next time you're in the midwest, stay here, which has a shower like this (scroll all the way down).
posted by desjardins at 8:17 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Plant a ring of clumping bamboo in your back yard, surrounding a low cedar deck. Install a tankless heater and shower all day outdoors.
posted by flabdablet at 8:35 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another $1 store thing, a pack of novelty LED ice cubes. They're waterproof (duh) and provide enough colorful light to keep you from killing yourself in the dark. Fun in the tub too.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:37 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Cold air + hot water = lovely goosebump cascades.
posted by moira at 9:54 AM on July 7, 2011

For me, the amount of enjoyment I get out of a shower is largely dependent on what activities immediately preceded the shower.

Usual morning routine: shower = meh.

Returning home exhausted and dirty from hiking, climbing, riding, surfing, snowboarding, wilderness-excursion-with-nothing-but-wet-wipes-for-baths, etc.: shower = best thing EVER

Bonus points if you have company.

So my advice: Forget about adding bells and whistles to your shower routine, and go do something exhausting, dirty, and hopefully fun beforehand (Fun is not a strict requirement for enjoyment of the subsequent shower. A hard day of manual labor can make for an especially welcome shower experience.), after which the simple act of standing beneath near-scalding-hot running water will be awesome.

Works best if whatever you were engaged in was cold and wet, and you're so tired you can barely stand.
posted by zen_spider at 10:16 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I made a blog post using a bunch of the suggestions in this thread and some new ones.
posted by rmless at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by JJ86 at 2:12 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

re sitting: I've found that this sort of adjustable stool works really well. Most stools that are designed for use in the shower are too low, which puts you too far below the water flow and makes getting up and down more precarious. This is better.
posted by Corvid at 2:26 PM on July 7, 2011

Turn your back to the shower, put your hand behind your lower back in the "police hand cuff" position- let the water hit right on your wrist. Then switch hands.

This is really great if you've got decent water pressure/a forceful shower head and would like to massage your wrists from working at a desk all day.
posted by yeloson at 2:29 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

If your living situation permits renovations: a heat lamp for the winter is wonderful. Heat up the bathroom 10 minutes before you hop in.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2011

I once dated a guy whose washer and dryer were in the bathroom. For a special treat in the cold months we would occasionally put a towel in the dryer for a couple of minutes to warm and fluff it. Heavenly.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:20 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

On Saturday mornings I really enjoy waking and baking and then taking a nice loooong shower. Maybe a little pumice stone, some leg shaving, a deep conditioning treatment. Or just standing there.

tl;dr Marijuana makes many things better.
posted by corn_bread at 7:49 PM on July 7, 2011

I LOVE my shower sandal foot scrubber. I have the Easy Feet brand, although there are other (more expensive) types available. I find the pumice to be pretty useless, but the scrubbers feel great and your feet get really clean with minimal effort.

I second the Dr. Bronner's suggestion. I've tried most of the scents, and I'm currently crazy for the almond. It makes you feel (and smell) very clean, and feels milder than many of the others.
posted by lrrosa at 8:14 PM on July 7, 2011

A really soft in-shower suction-cup bathmat that makes you feel like you're standing on a cloud.

Another key for me is not making me feel like I have to do too much. I like to relax in the shower so if I shave my legs, I save my Olay Pro-X face scrub for the next day.

I used to listen to music but I've come to prefer the quiet and white noise of the shower, and knowing no one will disturb me in those 10-15 minutes I'm in the bathroom.

Sometimes, especially in the summer, a very cool, bordering on cold, rinse is wonderful.

As a recent shower casualty, let me remind you: safety first. Always have something grippy to stand on. Falling out of the shower makes your subsequent showers much more painful.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:32 AM on July 8, 2011

If you must have a shower curtain, try a fabric one instead of a vinyl one. Also, I have a little doohicky that removes the chlorine from my shower water, which I love. My hair and skin are so much happier now. It's like a brita filter for my handheld shower and it is made by a company called Sprite I believe. Also, Mr. Pumice purple pumi bar and Sonicare!!! I bought a nice shower caddy made by Simple Human that makes organizing my many bath things great too.
posted by dottiechang at 7:44 PM on July 8, 2011

Lifting iron (or your intense exercise of choice) followed up by a nice, large meal is the perfect pre-shower activity.

Any other physical pleasures that you partake in at that point will be multiplied accordingly.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 9:35 PM on July 8, 2011

It's interesting the need to try and make an experience better by adding to it. I think it can sometimes be counter productive. Try doing the reverse: shower without the lights on, or without washing yourself, just getting rinsed off or even try a shorter shower. All different perspectives on la douche.
posted by oxford blue at 11:37 PM on July 8, 2011

Response by poster: Great ideas everyone, thanks!
posted by roaring beast at 7:46 PM on July 9, 2011

oops, I linked to my whole blog not to the page- this is the individual post
posted by rmless at 8:50 AM on July 11, 2011

Sorry, I just saw that question. I was at Camp Olowalu, about 15 minutes outside of Lahaina Town. The whole damn island is created by a volcano! So I stand by my description of the situation of my tent. It was heavenly.

(At 5'7 I'm only tall-ish for a woman, and probably average for my generation.)
posted by bilabial at 12:42 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do not leave the shower to pee.
posted by not_on_display at 9:29 PM on July 11, 2011

For apartments with low pressure, get one of these two:

For fixed heads, this head is excellent.

For handheld, get this one.
posted by sdis at 9:16 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

dim the lights! that is my #1 shower improvement.
posted by milestogo at 3:48 PM on July 13, 2011

Oh. Ha. Pacific! Ha. My brain has been distracted. That is a funny mistake!
posted by bilabial at 4:53 AM on July 15, 2011

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