Singing in the shower a 'waste of money'
October 22, 2006 5:29 AM   Subscribe

How - and for how long - do you shower? Do you leave the water running all along? Why / why not?

[this question inspired by this piece of news]

I am the quickest showerer - the actual "in the shower" bit takes me about 3mins, and only 1min of this will have the water running. Experience with my friends here (UK) seems to indicate an average of 10-15mins (with the water running the whole time). I found the "average shower length of seven minutes" mentioned in the article above surprisingly short.

So I'd like to know how long you (or people you know) stay in the shower, if you keep the water running all along, and also why you do so. Were you taught as a child not to waste resources? Do you just prefer it this or that way?

And also, of course, where are you from, because that interests me the most.
posted by ClarissaWAM to Society & Culture (101 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Oh and while we're at it, might I add - if you were aware of a (local) water shortage, would that make you reconsider/change your shower habits? (short term or long term)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:32 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm in the UK and I'm out as quick as possible. Normally because I'm late, but also because I just find it boring. My brother regularly takes 15 mins. He'd get through a whole tank of hot water, no problem.
posted by tomw at 5:39 AM on October 22, 2006

As quickly as possible, and no, I don't leave the water running, because our hot water heater is on the fritz.
posted by drleary at 5:43 AM on October 22, 2006

I can be in from anything from 5 minutes up to 20+ minutes; the more tired I am, or the more aching from sport, then I spend longer. The water remains running throughout - I suppose that I use the shower as a relaxing therapy kind of thing.

I was brought up with the understanding that showers use a *lot* less water than baths, but I've never experimented to find out how long it would take to fill the bath just by running the shower; I still suspect that I'm using substantially less water, even during a long shower.
posted by Chunder at 5:48 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm usually in there a little longer than it takes to get the kettle boiling - ten mintues? And you bet I leave the water running. When I was broke, (still am, in a way) that was one of the few pleasures I afforded myself; the heat might be at 56 all winter, but I'll by-god take long hot showers.
posted by notsnot at 5:52 AM on October 22, 2006

I don't think I've ever taken a shower where the hot water wasn't running the entire time. I'm willing to pay the extra 70 cents per month or whatever to not worry about it.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:53 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm feeling kind of guilty here, but can someone please explain what happens during a shower when you don't leave the water running all the time? I've never met anyone who does this, and I'm having trouble seeing how it would work.

Is it Wet>Off>Lather>On>Rinse? Do you turn the water off and on multiple times?

For the record, I take about 12 minutes, during all of which I am actively showering. I have thick hair that takes 4 minutes under the water stream just to rinse.
posted by miagaille at 5:56 AM on October 22, 2006

Usually about the length of one song.
posted by any major dude at 5:58 AM on October 22, 2006

I guess between five and ten minutes, depending on whether I wash my hair, whether I feel like singing, and how damn good it feels to let the hot water wash over me. And now that I've read about that twat from Energy Australia who complains about people singing in the shower, I plan to do it on a more regular basis.
posted by languagehat at 6:03 AM on October 22, 2006

Is it Wet>Off>Lather>On>Rinse? Do you turn the water off and on multiple times?

Yes! I don't get why anyone would leave the water running all along? Doesn't it rinse off the soap/gel/other cleaning stuff before you can even rub it in?
posted by ClarissaWAM at 6:08 AM on October 22, 2006

Why? Because it feels good? Because sitting there dripping and shivering sucks? Because it's one of the pleasures of modern civilization?
posted by Rhomboid at 6:11 AM on October 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

It depends on whether or not I need to wash my hair and how big the hot water tank is--if it's a small one I take army showers: turn on water, wet myself, turn off and lather up, turn back on and rinse. I'm more of a bath person, but because I have long hair, I still need to use the shower to wash it.
posted by brujita at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2006

Around 5-10 minutes, depending on whether I shave or not, and I keep the water running at all times. If I'm feeling really tired, or enjoying the shower too much I might stay in 15 minutes.
posted by jayden at 6:23 AM on October 22, 2006

Sociological data: 29 years old, American (New England).

When my boyfriend's around, we share shower time to conserve water. On an ordinary day by myself, I take between 10-15 mins - more if I'm sick or just out of the gym, less if I'm in a situation where I have to give due consideration to the amount of water being used (e.g., staying at someone else's house, traveling through a city with drought restrictions).

I don't do "intermittent" shower cycles. If the water's off, I'm not in the shower. I'm guilt-free in my water usage: like Rhomboid said, pleasure of modern civilization. I pay out the nose for it in Massachusetts anyway.

Doesn't it rinse off the soap/gel/other cleaning stuff before you can even rub it in?

Adjustable shower heads. Aim it towards the wall/floor for a minute if you have to lather up.
posted by mykescipark at 6:25 AM on October 22, 2006

We rely on rainwater tanks as our only source of water so time in the shower depends on the water levels. I usually have fairly quick showers (5-10 mins, continuous water-flow but with water-saving showerhead) and take my toddler son in with me to save water, but if it's raining and the tanks are overflowing I'll race to have a long hot shower all to myself before the rain stops. Luxury!
posted by harmless at 6:35 AM on October 22, 2006

23, American/East Coast

I prefer showerheads that give decent water pressure, which uses more water per minute, so I try to compensate by turning the water off while I'm soaping up or shaving my legs. Sometimes, if the house is really cold, I leave the water on to provide a little warmth while I'm soaping up.

Sometimes I'm struck by how wacky it is that we have potable water to bathe in and flush our toilets with, when there are people who don't have clean water to drink. Having an appreciation for that makes me want to save water, even though the water I'm saving (obviously) doesn't go to people who don't have clean water.

Showers can last anywhere from 2-3 minutes (if I'm not washing my hair) to 10-15 if I am.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:41 AM on October 22, 2006

I take about 7 minutes, double that if shaving. However, my shower head is adjustable, so I reduce it to a very small stream when shaving.

Don't you get cold when you lather up without the water running?
posted by mkultra at 6:49 AM on October 22, 2006

20-30 minute showers. I'm bad. I sit. I have often closed my eyes and pretended to sleep.

I. Hate. Mornings.

Showers are some sort of post-awakened dream sequence for me where I escape the responsibilities of getting dressed, catching the bus, etc.

I live in China, I'm from Jacksonville, Florida. I'm 25 and I like long walks on the beach. In the evening.
posted by trinarian at 6:50 AM on October 22, 2006 [2 favorites]

I'm at about 7 minutes. That's 5 minutes to do body cleansing activities (my hair is trimmed on a 1 guard, so very little shampoo time), and 2 minutes shaving.

I'm usually 30 minutes bed --> car on work mornings.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2006

It usually takes 5-10 minutes, and the water is running continuously. Wasting water and energy was a big no-no in my house growing up. It was ingrained from an early age to not dilly dally in the shower. People taking long showers or leaving lights or televisions turned on still gives me an uneasy feeling.

My father would turn the temperature down on our hot water growing up, so the hot water ran out quicker. My husband just recently adjusted ours to save energy. I commented to hubby the other day that now that I am an adult and a home owner, I would like to have some hot water, thank you very much. (It's still the same.)

I also use showers as a sort of therapy. I love scented shower gels, shampoo's, etc. But most of the time I am in and out. Sometimes the whole fam damily jumps in there together (we have two small kids).

can someone please explain what happens during a shower when you don't leave the water running all the time?

I sometimes turn the water off to shave my legs while I have conditioner in my hair.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2006

Usually in a hurry, so 5 minutes.

BUT whenever I have time I love a 30 minute shower because I grew up in CA during some droughts ("if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down...") and water rationing, so when I moved away (1990, for good) I was like fuck that I'm a enjoy my showers yo
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:04 AM on October 22, 2006


28, male, US northeast coast. If I'm in a hurry, 5-7 minutes, otherwise 15 or so - or "until I notice I'm about to run out of hot water".

Until reading this thread I never knew there were people who turned the water off while showering. I now have a whole new set of people to feel pity for. (Another set, for example, is the folks who drive around at dusk with their headlights off because it "saves gas". Yes. It does. Physics proves it. And if you did this your whole life, you'd probably save yourself a whole dollar.) Sheesh. Conserve somewhere where it actually makes a difference!
posted by dmd at 7:07 AM on October 22, 2006

10 minutes, shower running all the time.
Brit, 34, living in Norway.
Now I can afford the heating, I enjoy hot showers - one of life's little pleasures.
Another person whose father turned down the thermostat!
posted by arcticseal at 7:12 AM on October 22, 2006

20 minutes usually. I wash my hair every day. I shave my legs every day. Water is always on.

This whole turning off the water while showering is a completely new concept to me. These must be the same people that pull 2 ply toilet paper apart to get 2 rolls out of one.
posted by pieoverdone at 7:16 AM on October 22, 2006

Also, the article mentioned:

He says families can save $100 a year on their electricity bill

I don't know anyone that doesn't have a natural gas water heater.
posted by pieoverdone at 7:18 AM on October 22, 2006

I usually spend about twenty minutes in the shower with the water running. This includes a few different kinds of soap, plus shampoo, plus a medley of however many songs I can include before I'm squeaky-clean -- singing in the shower is generally one of the happiest parts of my day.

I take even longer when I'm shaving or using a mask/conditioner or conducting other extracurricular activities in there. That happens a few times a week, but I can't say I've paid too much attention to how long those extended showers are.

I'm sure I've sounded absolutely horrible so far. However, I have a low-flow aerating shower head, so I think it's about even. I'm not sure of exact numbers, because I don't get those bills, but I know it's using much less than half the water it might otherwise take. We had a propane water heater at home, and now I'm pulling from a giant apartment building's heater -- I don't know what they use, but the water's hot and plentiful.
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:24 AM on October 22, 2006

Varies from 3 minutes to maybe 25 minutes, depending on pre-showing activity, need to wash hair, tiredness, other people waiting, mood, possible events to be attended etc.
The length almost always increases in winter (maybe x~2), because the heat of the shower is so much more enjoyable in contrast to the ambient cold, while cold showers in summer don't really compare for luxuriousness, and are more like a quick relief from hotness. (UK).
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:30 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm guilt-free in my water usage: like Rhomboid said, pleasure of modern civilization. I pay out the nose for it in Massachusetts anyway.

Massachusetts is headed for some serious water shortages in a few decades, although our problems usually stem from too much water usage in the summer (damn people watering their driveways in the middle of the day!)

That said, I generally take 5-8 minute showers, depending on what needs to be done (shaving, washing hair, washing self). I tend to take cool showers in the warmer months. I turn the water off when I shave, although I haven't figured out the best way to turn it back on without having to endure a bracing second of freezing water.
posted by nekton at 7:38 AM on October 22, 2006

but I've never experimented to find out how long it would take to fill the bath just by running the shower;

I have, and indeed even a long shower is much much less water.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm from New England and I'm in and out of the shower about as long as it takes me to wash my hair, so 5 minutes maybe? The only time I've taken a shower where the water wasn't running the entire time was when I was on a boat or a train. Maybe it's a UK/US thing? Since most of the showers here are shower/tub deals, you just step back out of the spray to lather up, step back in to rinse off. I usually shower at the gym in any case because the bathroom at my house is freezing and our water pressure is so low that if anyone uses water anywhere else in the house while you're in the shwoer, the water instantly turns to scalding hot. Thiis was true in the house I grew up in as well so I'm pretty well used to it.
posted by jessamyn at 7:51 AM on October 22, 2006

46, Southeastern USA

I think it depends on the size and capacity of the water heater and the number of people in your household. I remember when I was stationed in Germany, I rented an old house (at the foot of Nanstein Castle) where there were several electric water heaters of varying sizes. Since I shared this three bedroom house with two others, I had to take short GI showers (turn on the water to get wet, turn off the water to lather up, turn the water back on to rinse off) to conserve electricity and hot water.

Since I've been living in the USA from the West Coast to where I am now. I've been living in an apartment complex that have their own dedicated central water heater for each apartment. I take a ten minute shower with the water running and use an ultra-wide six inch "rainfall" shower head. I keep my water heater on the energy heat setting to keep the electric bill low.

Here in the USA we are told to refrain from watering our lawns when there is a water shortage.
posted by plokent at 7:54 AM on October 22, 2006

Yes! I don't get why anyone would leave the water running all along? Doesn't it rinse off the soap/gel/other cleaning stuff before you can even rub it in?

This can be dealt with by the clever expedient of facing the other way.

15 minutes or so, water blasting way hot the whole fucking time, because it's wonderful and we can afford the 'lectricity. And if it was good enough for Jesus and George Washington, it's good enough for me.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:55 AM on October 22, 2006

Showering is definitely my biggest time and resources (in my case, water + oil) waster. 30 minutes is the norm for me. There is nothing like standing there daydreaming while warm water gushes over you. If I hurry, I can get out in 15 or 20 minutes. I did speed things up when I lived for two years in a condo with a very small hot water tank, but as soon as I moved I reverted back to old habits.
posted by JanetLand at 8:06 AM on October 22, 2006

New England. My typical superfast-not-shaving-legs shower is about 8-9 minutes. If I shave, it takes 15-17, which is every other day or so. On the days I use color sealer on my hair & my fancy scrubs in glass jars, it can get over 20 (with shaving). I used to have hair past my waist, so I needed the extra shower time to wash my hair thoroughly. Now it's just habit. I'll be honest: I don't conserve shower water. There have been times I've emptied the hot water heater. I do turn the water down when I'm shaving, but it's mostly to save shaving cream. Oh the other hand, I don't run the water while I brush my teeth or do the dishes & my SO takes 5 minute showers, so in the end I think it evens out.
posted by good for you! at 8:12 AM on October 22, 2006

33, New Hampshire

I turn the water off if I'm shaving my legs. It generally takes me 15-20 minutes to shave properly (slow so I don't nick myself) and I'll usually put conditioner in my hair then too.

But otherwise, the shower is on the whole time. I take 5 minute showers when I'm not shaving.

I absolutely do not get the purpose of watering your driveway, and would love for somebody to explain to me what these nutbars think they're accomplishing.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:15 AM on October 22, 2006

24/F/Southern Alberta, Canada

10-12 minutes, sometimes that's alone, sometimes shared with my partner. Every second day. I leave the water on all the time, with the exception of the 2x per month that I shave my legs. I like really really hot showers, so I probably couldn't stay in longer than that if I wanted to. I am really bad, however, at taking baths really often. It's so comforting, and there are no distractions so I am able to actually get my reading for school done. I agree with those who said longer and hotter showers in winter, that applies to baths too.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:16 AM on October 22, 2006

Oh, I do conserve water to some extent when I do the dishes (turn it on the wet them, off, scrub, on to rinse, and the rinse water wets the next set of dishes), and like good for you! I don't use water to brush my teeth (just to rinse afterwards).
posted by joannemerriam at 8:19 AM on October 22, 2006

17, Texas, female. My showers take about 20 minutes to half an hour, but I only take one every other day (I don't exercise or get very dirty, and no one's told me I smell yet, so...). I also have super low water pressure, although it gets hot quickly. My town is under extreme drought measures right now (we can only water our lawn at night one day a week) but I've never heard anyone mention taking shorter showers as a way to save water. Generally I think they're going after public big water uses, like landscape watering and golf courses and so forth. You can get a ticket for having broken sprinkler heads, etc.
posted by MadamM at 8:19 AM on October 22, 2006

27, east coast. 5 minutes not washing my hair. 10 if I'm just washing. 15 if I'm washing/conditioning.

I actually hate to shower. So I go for as quick as possible. Water always running because I hate to be cold.
posted by heartquake at 8:23 AM on October 22, 2006

24/m, Minnesota.
Anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes depending on if I'm late to work, need to shave, etc. However, My norm's about 10 minutes. And heck yes, I leave hot water running the whole time. My shower doesn't have a simple "on/off" spigot- rather, I have to adjust the hot/cold spigots themselves which also controls the water pressure. This adds ~2 minutes to my shower time to find that perfect temperature.

Also, the article mentioned:
He says families can save $100 a year on their electricity bill
I don't know anyone that doesn't have a natural gas water heater.

Plus, I live in an apartment where water is in included in monthly rent. Reduces the guilt factor a lot.
posted by jmd82 at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2006

I absolutely do not get the purpose of watering your driveway, and would love for somebody to explain to me what these nutbars think they're accomplishing.

In some places it's common to use the garden hose in place of a broom. You stand out there on the driveway/walkway and hose down the concrete (with a high velocity nozzle), in the process rinsing off dirt and debris.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:25 AM on October 22, 2006

I normally take about 5-10 minutes when I'm not rushing. This is because it is always very cold in my apartment when I wake up, and the last 5 minutes I just want to stay in the hot water, it's so hard to get out into the cold!

I was definitely taught to conserve water, I turn the water off while brushing, or washing dishes, etc. I'm American.

I think if it cost more, we would use less. We have a dishwasher, a washing machine, two toilets and showers, etc. Our month water & sewage bill is about $20. Knowing that many people in third world countries have to walk miles to get dirty water to use that they then have to boil before they can drink, makes it seem that much more amazing that I can turn on a tap and get fresh cool water. I think if it was as expensive as bottled water, we'd all use less.
posted by jesirose at 8:34 AM on October 22, 2006

37, M, Portland (OR)

I don't shower. I bathe. I like as hot a bath as possible (except in the heat of summer, in which case I prefer my bath cool). When we remodelled our bathroom, we sought out a large clawfoot bathtub. And I often bathe twice (or even three times!) a day.

I like my baths. Ain't nothing that's gonna stop me from taking them. I don't care what it costs. It's a personal indulgence, I know, but I don't care.

When we first moved into this house, though, there was no bathtub. For an entire year, I was forced to shower every day. I hated it. Like trinarian, I would usually sit on the floor of the shower, eyes closed, and just drift away for twenty or thirty minutes, wishing I was in a bathtub.
posted by jdroth at 8:35 AM on October 22, 2006

Oh I can easily do 20-30 mins every day in the shower and quite often find myself drifting off into a medatitive state where time has no meaning. Once all the cleaning stuff is done (wash, shampoo, condition, shave pits/legs taking about 15 mins) it's time to zone out before facing the day. I'm another 'not a morning person' and so it helps wake me up. Even if I'm running late for work I'll still have at least a 15 min shower. Don't turn the water off and just turn around to lather up.

I find it quite hard not to have a shower every day when travelling tho. But even a bucket shower is luxurious in those times that you can't shower frequently.
posted by floanna at 8:42 AM on October 22, 2006

All you have to do is spend a few months taking sea showers to convince you that on land you leave the water running. My shower is 15-30 minutes, with high pressure and a good heavy spray from a nozzle that hasn't got a flow limiter.

My water comes from a well. I pump it and maintain the system, so I decide how to use it.
posted by jet_silver at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2006

Male, 30ish, large, wooly and increasingly long-haired - large amounts of surface area. American, desert adapted, taught to conserve water.

A "quick" shower for me is at least 10-15 minutes. A long one can exceed an hour, but I shave in the shower with mug shaving soap, brush, and disposable safety razor. I can empty most hot water tanks, and my showers must be stinging, scalding hot. In most households that means all hot, no cold in the mix. (I've measured temps, and I like it at about 115-125 F) If I'm not a rosy pink and on the verge of heat stroke, I'm not clean. Lesser mortals would cook like lobsters, including those cute little screaming noises lobsters make when you toss 'em in a pot.

It literally takes me 3-4 minutes just to get thoroughly wet. Again, large surface area. Wooly. 3 minutes or less and there would still be dry bits on me.

However *cough* I will often go as long as 3-4 days without, as I work contract and freelance from home and sometimes don't have to smell good for as many days. Yeah, I can get ripe, but I try not to bother the public with it.

I also save water in other ways - recycling light grey water for washing or watering, watering plants with water bottle leftovers, etc. I also choose my toiletries and household cleaners to be biodegradable and phosphate free. Hippy shit, y'know?

Despite my monster showers, I'm super water conscious. I grew up in what amounts to various grades of desert - in earthquake country. I've survived 3 days backpacking in the heat of early summer in raw, high Californian desert with less than a gallon of water. I can fill narrow-necked pint water bottles from 5 gallon jerry cans without a funnel and without spilling a single drop. I once had to survive 2 weeks at a rural home in the desert where the electric well had failed, and this involved using toilet tank water and (oddly enough) fresh snowfall for drinking water.

Anyway, as I understand it industry and commerce use (and abuse) much much more water than homes/consumers do.

For example, there's an article out there (I can't find the link at the moment) that talks about how much water it takes to produce a single 12 oz aluminum can of Coke. If I recall correctly it was something on the order of hundreds or thousands of gallons per can when accounting for manufacturing the can, washing the can, filling the can, washing equipment and so forth.
posted by loquacious at 9:04 AM on October 22, 2006

36/M, New York

Depends on many factors: is it a workday? 10-15 minutes. Weekend, 15-25 minutes, sometimes more if I pushed it too hard in the gym the night before. That being said, I don't think it makes enough of a difference. When I lived alone, my water bill was about $80/quarter. When my gf moved in, it went up to $96/quarter. Then, I replaced the leaky toilet and sink I had in the upstairs bathroom and the bill went down to $36/quarter. Moral of the story: that leak may be small, but FIX IT NOW! :)

I don't know anyone that doesn't have a natural gas water heater.

I don't. Used to have one, but I replaced it last year with an electric. Better efficiency simply because I have a timer on it, so it's only on when I'm home (the schedule has it on about 8 hours a day). I can also turn it off completely when I'm going out of town. My gas bill went down $85/month and my electric bill went up $15/month when I switched. Paid for itself in 4 months. I put in a 50 gallon simply to increase the value of the house, so I'm sure it could've been even less. I don't know why anyone would keep a gas heater these days. I realize electric might be more expensive in some areas, but the simple fact that you can it turn off when you don't need it makes all the difference.

Someone else mentioned showers being more efficient than baths. I just tried that experiment yesterday, actually. Not sure why, but hey it's come in handy already! :) I was in the shower for about 20 minutes, and I got the tub about one-quarter full. Since I normally fill it half way for a bath it is more efficient, especially on shorter showers.
posted by Spoonman at 9:09 AM on October 22, 2006

Male USA
I loooove the shower. That's one of the best parts of my day. It's what officially takes me from sleep to fully awake. I think in there, slightly below concscious level. I love the hot water and will just stand under it and almost involuntarily meditate. Time ceases to be. Or sometimes I'll sing whatever tune I woke up with in my head.

But...I'm usually scrambling to get to work on time, so with shaving, I'm usually out in 10 or less. But whenever I have time and am not in a rush, I take a nice long one. I call them tank killers because I go until the hot water runs out. It just feels great. It's a pampering luxury I afford myself. Seems a little girly but I don't care. When I don't get a proper shower, I'm not quite right. When selecting new places to live, I always make sure the pressure is good and the tank formidable.

Given the clear evidence of waste, the shortages, the disparity in world water resources, and the coming water wars, this is definitely one of those things I should feel bad about and stop doing. But much like file-sharing, and for similar inexplicable reasons, just don't care for some reason. Logic suspends and I want my shower.

Yaaaayyyy showerrrr!
posted by kookoobirdz at 9:28 AM on October 22, 2006

Southwest, USA - the desert. 10-15 minutes, because that's how long it takes to do what I need to do. Water running, because it's a bitch to get the water to the right temperature and I don't like feeling cold + hot water is relaxing - my showers have always been large enough to keep one side of my body under the water while soaping the other side; turn & rinse, repeat on other side. I don't sing in the shower, sit down, or othewise 'waste time'.

No, I was not taught by my parents to conserve water resources. But while in school, in the 70's, conservation was a big topic and taught to all of us.

I have never seen any advertisement locally about a water shortage, but if I were aware of one then yes, I'd lessen my use of water - but not of my time in the running shower.
posted by LadyBonita at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm under 5 minutes, and I turn the water off during the scrub cycle. There's really no excuse in this day and age for wasting that much water every day.
posted by Hildago at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2006

28, F, Portland, OR.

I take about 5-7 minute showers two or three times a week, and then a 10-12 minute shower once a week to deep condition my hair. I leave the water on the whole time. Sometimes I shower more often if I do something that gets me unusually sweaty.

I'm a renter and I don't pay for water, so there's no real incentive for me to hurry. Our total electric bill is generally less than $30 per month, and that includes whatever power it takes to get the water hot. Or maybe the landlord's paying for that, I don't know.

When I was a teenager I used to take 20-30 minute showers, and it would drive my mom crazy. I don't really know why it took me so long, because I can get everything done much faster now, and the idea of staying in the shower for another 20 or 30 minutes seems boring.

I used to have a roommate who'd turn the water off and then on again during her showers. I thought it was considerate, because she liked long showers and we had a small tank. I did it myself one summer during a drought.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2006

33, M, Florida.

We are on a well, and septic, so the water usage inside the house doesn't concern me as much - we have a fairly closed system of well to ground which limits evaporative loss and keeps the usage and output extremely local.

Sure, it takes a while for the water to get back down to the aquifer, but I think if everyone had septic tanks and pumped locally, government scares about droughts wouldn't be as dire. I live in Hillsborough county, and ironically, the biggest pumper of water in my area is Pinellas county, as they own HUGE wellfields up here. Most of Hillsborough gets their public water from the Hillsborough river.

I'd actually be very happy if houses were plumbed for greywater usage, as a rule. The water that comes from sink drains and tub/showers isn't hardly dirty and is great for irrigation.

Back to the question:

I shower for between 5-15 minutes depending on what comes next, and how sore or tired I am. I'd say the mean is about 7 minutes. I shave my face in the shower, about once a week. I'm relatively hairless.

My wife has been similarly timed. When we shower together, we are using twice the water, since we each have a showerhead.

My son (9) wants to shower as quickly as possible. He's around 5 minutes.

My daughter (8) sings in the shower, and will shower for 20-30 minutes, easily.
posted by tomierna at 9:44 AM on October 22, 2006

Oh, forgot to mention, we have a gas water heater. I leave it on the stock detente labeled "best efficiency".

Our clothes dryer and cooktop are gas as well, so I can't really say how much of our ~$150/quarter gas bill is just the water heater.
posted by tomierna at 9:48 AM on October 22, 2006

41, M, NYC. I had the 1/2" pipe replaced with 3/4" in the shower when I redid my bathroom specifically so that I could take long torrential showers, and so far as I know I have an infinite amount of hot water available. Normally, I'm in and out in 10 minutes, but if I'm hung over, I'll turn it real hot and sit in the tub and let it pound my head for half an hour.

Also, I drive an SUV.
posted by nicwolff at 9:49 AM on October 22, 2006

31, M, San Francisco.

Typical shower times are on the order of 10-20 minutes for me, hot water the whole time. This is the transition from sleep to wakefulness in my morning. I also daydream there with hot water running over me. Typically I soap up and wash at the end of my shower instead of at the beginning. This is also where I stretch some (eg, I bend down and try to touch my toes - relaxing the muscles in my lower back as hot water soothes them).
posted by aubilenon at 9:56 AM on October 22, 2006

Male, 36, Southern U.S.

On workdays, I spend 10-15 minutes in the shower, and I thought that was an indulgence. Now that I'm reading about 20 minute showers, I don't feel so bad!

On weekends, when I am not in a hurry, I spend more time -- but depending on when my wife took her shower, there may not be enough hot water for me to shower as long as I'd like.

I have been to England a couple of times and have noticed that the expectations of the English concerning their showers seem to be considerably different from those of us in the U.S. I lived in a English university student residence for part of a summer, and the shower was horrible --- a feeble trickle of water, compared to the forceful sprays I am used to in the U.S.

I've never heard of people turning the water off during a shower. That seems like it would be very uncomfortable.
posted by jayder at 9:58 AM on October 22, 2006

Mid-20s male. 10-15 minutes. Strangely, I really like hot showers, and generally I don't think about getting out of the shower after a certain amount of time, but no matter how leisurely I am it always ends up being 10-15 minutes. If I'm in a rush I can easily cut that down to 5.

My former roomie, though, she used to take upwards of 30-45 minutes. You begin to notice the constraints of having a single bathroom fairly quickly when your housemate takes looong showers.
posted by chrominance at 9:59 AM on October 22, 2006

Male, middle-aged, Montana USA.

I wet a brillo pad and scrub myself. Then use a damp cloth to rinse.

Just kidding. Actually, about 15-20 minutes, water running the whole time. I shave in the shower as well. My water is included in my rent, but I pay the electricity to heat it. But I did it the same way even when I paid my own water. My daughter does the same. And she sings.

The only time (before this thread) I even heard of turning the water off during the shower was in the military.
posted by The Deej at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2006

[a few comments removed, if you can't answer the question without calling other people assholes you might want to take it to metatalk]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2006

46, F, San Francisco.

I take longish (10-15 min) showers with the water running, but I compensate by not using very hot water and not showering as often as most Americans. Like MadamM, I don't really get dirty or sweaty and nobody says I smell bad, plus my hair doesn't get greasy very fast, so I see no need to shower every day.

It's not a wake-up mechanism for me - I never shower in the morning. The house is way too cold (both current house and childhood home) and I prefer to shower when I feel like I need some cleansing and relaxation, usually when I get home after a stressful day. Also, the house is usually warmer in the afternoon or early evening, and I freeze my butt off as soon as I get out of the water even so. (I'd probably shower more often if it wasn't for the unpleasantness of freezing afterwards.)

I don't sing, shave, daydream or do anything except wash while in the shower. I took "Navy showers" when I lived aboard a ship for several weeks and I've never lost my appreciation for what the ex-Navy guys referred to as "Hollywood showers". Ahhh, the luxury! But I don't want to abuse it.
posted by Quietgal at 10:22 AM on October 22, 2006

Australians have been told to stop singing in the shower in an attempt to save electricity and water. The average shower length in Australia is seven minutes, apparently.
posted by Huw at 10:30 AM on October 22, 2006

Seven mins. sounds about right for me on average, though 10 mins. probably isn't uncommon if I dawdle, and I can certainly get it down to 4 or 5 mins. if I'm in a hurry. I do try to take warm and not hot showers as a way of conserving a little energy, and don't turn it on full blast to try to conserve water. I've never even heard of turning the water on and off during the course of the shower until this thread.
posted by scody at 10:30 AM on October 22, 2006

oh, sorry, forgot to mention: I'm in the U.S.
posted by scody at 10:31 AM on October 22, 2006

oh, and one more thing: I occasionally skip washing my hair, so sometimes I'll pull my it back and just wash face & body -- those showers run about 3 mins.
posted by scody at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2006

M, Canada (BC). 10 minutes. I shave in the shower and daydream too but I never sing. Sometimes I swear loudly in a primal scream sort of FUCK! way.

Turner-offers: how do you turn the water off and on without it being a different temperature when it comes on? Every shower I've ever tried this with makes a lot of micro adjustments necessary which subtracts from the desired state of practical conciousness the shower encourages.
posted by Rumple at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2006

Female, early-twenties, Canada; 10-ish minutes unless I'm washing my hair, in which case the time practically triples. I have an adjustable showerhead so I just turn it to low-flow when I'm lathering to not run out of hot water.

I grew up in a rental with my own bathroom and without submetering so this whole resource conservation thing was foreign to me until recently. When I lived at home 30-minute showers were the norm--you've gotta procrastinate whenever you can. At school, however, there's three people sharing a bathroom in a chilly house so we've all become relatively speedy to keep the hydro bill low. At least I have enough time to get a couple of show tunes in.
posted by thisjax at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2006

Turner-offers: how do you turn the water off and on without it being a different temperature when it comes on?

I'm pretty sure you can buy showerheads that have a builtin shutoff valve. So, you can stop the flow at the showerhead, which leaves the settings of the main value untouched. When ready to resume the temperature should be identical.

Of course if you leave the flow stopped for a long time the water in the pipes will cool off and you'll get cold water again until fresh hot water makes its way from the heater, but for periods of a few minutes it should remain at least somewhat warm, unless you're north of the artic circle or have really bad insulation.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:25 AM on October 22, 2006

Female, 27, California

If I have to be somewhere, 7-9 minutes to wash my hair, clean my body and wake up.

If I don't have to be somewhere in a hurry, 20 minutes to shave, use lotions and goos and other stuff, and really think about what my day is going to look like.
posted by k8t at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2006

I grew up with crazy parents who only ran the hot water heater for a few hours a day, and who would actually turn off the hot water to the shower if they felt I was taking too long (typically anything over five minutes). I was also required to turn off the water flow during the shower for lathering and shaving. We actually had some special showerhead that, in addition to reducing the flow to a trickle, had a button that stopped the water flow at the showerhead, so you didn't have to adjust the hot/cold mix every time you turned the wated back on.

Needless to say, when I got out on my own, I went all out with the long, hot showers. My typical shower these days is about 15 minutes, hot water, shower running the whole time. I shave my legs every day, so there's no real way for me to cut down on the time I take in the shower. I don't feel guilty about it at all, because I feel like I conserved enough during the first 18 years of my life, and I don't waste water in other ways.
posted by gokart4xmas at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2006

I do leave the water on in the wintertime, since I deeply despise being cold, but I turn it off in the summer when I lather up. The showerhead has a little switch on it so the mix doesn't change--if I got a blast of cold water or had to twiddle the knobs each time I'd have a lot harder time doing it.

I take what I consider to be long showers, probably 7 or 8 minutes, and I feel guilty about that because I thought we were supposed to keep it to three. But I justify it by not showering every day.

I definitely turn the water off when brushing my teeth or washing dishes--it mystifies me how people can just stand there with the tap running straight down the drain. Wet the brush, turn it off, brush two minutes, rinse the brush, turn it off.
posted by bink at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2006

Female, US Southeast, 10-15 minutes of which half or more is without the water running. My dad taught us the Navy shower, I assume he learned about it while in the Navy or just from living in the dry US western states.

Rumple, I have a cheapie showerhead with a shutoff button which makes it easy to shut off the flow while I soap up/use conditioner/shave and then restore the flow without having to mess with restoring the water to the thermonuclear temperature I require.

It helps that we have a tiny bathroom with a space heater which takes the chill out of the air.
posted by Salthound at 11:34 AM on October 22, 2006

I'm not sure how long I generally take, but with an arthritic condition, a hot shower for me is as much about therapy that enables continued movement as it is about being clean. I get uncomfortably chilled when I let too much of myself get out from under the direct stream of water, so there's no way in the world I'm turning the water off and standing there wet and naked. That's crazy talk where I live.

I'd love to see a focus on greywater usage, on lawn and garden sprinklers (especially at businesses) run during high daylight hours, about institutional water usage which is frequently quite wasteful, about incrasing the efficiency of plumbing and water heating systems in older construction, automatic car washes, increased usage of water butts, energy return piping and solar energy for water heating.

If we addressed the foundation that brings hot water out of the faucets and the ways that we waste water for aesthetics and through mechanical inefficiencies, we'd be many steps ahead of the game. Personal water use for cooking and cleaning tasks are areas in which people can examine and address their practices where they are outré, but they aren't the areas from which societally meaningful improvements can be made.
posted by Dreama at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2006

22, F, Missouri.

I take 20-30 minute showers on a daily basis. I can't fully wake up or feel clean without one. When I lived at home before college (and during breaks periods in college), I was forced to take showers 10 mins. long or less to save water and electricity. Never again. Now I rent, so I don't pay for the water, and I'll take showers as long as I damn well please. I would even if I had to pay for the water.
posted by limeonaire at 11:44 AM on October 22, 2006

And I keep the water running the whole time, at a fairly hot temperature. To soap up, I turn my back to the water. And if I shave, that adds about 10-30 minutes onto the time I takeā€”so I don't shave every day.
posted by limeonaire at 11:47 AM on October 22, 2006

28, f, south florida

i love my shower time. i don't know how else i would wake up in the morning. my showers run 15-20 minutes 5 days a week and 10 minutes the other two.

the hot water heater is way on the other side of the house, so it can take 3-4 minutes before the water gets hot enough for use. my hair is obnoxious and needs to be washed just about every day. like some other posters, i will put conditioner in while i shave. i've spent years working on the perfect shower routine and i am terribly cranky if it is interrupted.

i shut off the water when i brush my teeth and do the dishes. i recycle. i never litter. i help little old ladies cross the street.
posted by jessica at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2006

18, M, Rhode Island. I go 25-35 minutes on a daily basis. I go from head to toes starting with shampoo. I apply soap meticulously and thoroughly wash off all lather. It's wasteful, I suppose, but I'm selfish. I live in a dorm with an inexhaustible supply of hot water. If I haven't slept for an entire night I will sometimes shower for 60+ minutes as a relaxation exercise.
posted by JamesJD at 12:27 PM on October 22, 2006

19, male college student from Massachusetts. I usually spend 4-6 minutes in the shower, but leave the (sub par) water flow on the entire time. Just a quick soap, wash, shampoo, wash - and I'm out. To be honest - I find it kind of boring. Just me I guess, as some people evidentley can't get enough of it.
posted by ifranzen at 12:39 PM on October 22, 2006

23, F, California.

I currently live in the country with a well as water source and an electric water heater - and a shower that is partially exposed to the elements (it's covered, but not enclosed from drafts and winds outdoors). It's a low-flow showerhead, 2.5 gallons per minute, and the supply of hot water is absolutely inexhaustible. Believe me, I've tried. One nice thing about an electric water heater, it seems, is that as long as there is electricity, there is hot water on demand.

My average is 20 minutes, water on all the time. Since the shower is semi-outdoors, it's huge, which means that I have all sorts of room to move, and generally shave by propping one leg up on the pipe, away from the water flow. I shower every other day, except when I don't have to see anyone or be anywhere for a few days, and then I sometimes go two or three days if it's cool and I'm not sweating or getting excessively dirty. During the summer I'll shower every day, but only wash my hair/shave/etc. every other day, meaning that my showers alternate between 20 minutes and 4 minutes.

Again, it's an affordable luxury. Heating 800 square feet of badly insulated dead air is a heck of a lot more expensive than simply taking long hot showers, even every day - by a lot. Using space heaters cost us upwards of $210 a month in electricity, whereas keeping the heaters off and the showers long, it stays around $30 a month. Nice!

Were there a drought, I'd certainly conserve more. I grew up during one of California's worst droughts, and was taught by my parents, the media, and my schools to take short showers instead of baths, turn the water off whilst brushing my teeth, and not to water my lawn during the day or more than once a week, and generally I follow those guidelines still. Not that I've ever had a lawn to water, but it's the principle of the thing.
posted by po at 1:24 PM on October 22, 2006

Wow. What a lot of replies. I'll just pipe in again because it seems rude to ignore such a huge response to one's own question.

In defence of "turning the water off" - I don't find it particularly uncomfortable except in the coldest winter (in fact I take cold showers all summer long, but that's a different story). And turning it on to the same temperature is easy with practice.
My mum tells me on French TV people are given tips on how to save water/energy and one of them is to not leave water running the whole time (while shaving/brushing teeth etc) so it's not really such an alien concept.

Oh, and... personally I find showering boring. Maybe one of the reasons I don't stay for 20mins. Glad to see I'm not the only one in that either.

Thanks everyone!!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2006

South East UK.

I love my showers and seem to lose track of time in them. In my last flat there was no heating of any description and in the winter it could get *very* cold. It was usually: mentally gear yourself up for getting out of bed > run to the shower > turn shower on > jump in shower > try not to get out of shower evah as you know it'd be damn freezing. The longest time I spent in there was 40 minutes. Normally, I guess I'm in there about 10>15 minutes with the water running all the time; I'd be in there longer, but I'd be late for work if I did (stupid work).
posted by TheDonF at 2:39 PM on October 22, 2006

Here in South East Queensland, we face our dams drying up by 2008. So my contribution is a low-water showerhead (which still has stinging pressure), 3-5 minute showers, bucketing grey water to the garden (all my washing water - I use a non-phosphorous detergent) and rinse water from the kitchen. Restrictions on water use from the end of the month are bucketing tap water for garden use between 4-8 3 days a week.

However, IIRC (and I can't find the links), most water usage in the area is not domestic but industrial. On the hand, since restrictions have been in place, domestic water usage has reduced significantly the total amount of water used.
posted by b33j at 2:50 PM on October 22, 2006

Like others have mentioned above, I live in an apartment and don't pay for hot water. The usage isn't metered at any point, so I can't even see how much it would cost me. It's just a big question-mark.

Contrast this to my electric bill, which I do pay and is so painful that I actively conserve.
posted by smackfu at 3:04 PM on October 22, 2006

Sydney, Australia. 27

I'm in the 5-10 catagory. I keep the shower running the whole time, though I turned it off during the lathering when I was in Germany because my host parents asked me to. They had a showerhead that made it easy though - one dial for temperature and one for flow. I'm not convinced that I'd save that much water now, as it takes a while to get the temperature mix right.
posted by kjs4 at 5:27 PM on October 22, 2006

I was brought up with the understanding that showers use a *lot* less water than baths, but I've never experimented to find out how long it would take to fill the bath just by running the shower; I still suspect that I'm using substantially less water, even during a long shower.

I actually did that experiment in high school (it had a hypothesis and everything - the variable was time of shower to see how much water could be saved. It wasn't the most original experiement). I'm totally forgetting the details, but I remember purposely plugging the tub and also timing my showers and some 15 minutes or more of showering with the water on the whole time was less than 4 inches in the bottom of the tub. So it's baths that really waste water, though my mother may have also owned a water saving head.
posted by jb at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2006

25 M Sonoran Desert

Water conservation is an issue here, so I usually try to keep my showers short. Though I do leave the water running until I am finished. I tried military style showers when I was in boy scouts, and never enjoyed them. As for length, 2/3s of my showers are ~5 minutes long, but when I wash my hair and scrape my face it's somewhere around 10 minutes.

I live alone and have a huge hot water heater all to myself, so there has been a special occasion or two where a luxurious half hour hot shower was called for.
posted by carsonb at 6:18 PM on October 22, 2006

Usually in a hurry, so 5 minutes.

BUT whenever I have time I love a 30 minute shower because I grew up in CA during some droughts ("if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down...") and water rationing, so when I moved away (1990, for good) I was like fuck that I'm a enjoy my showers yo

Oh: 34/M/Seoul
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:25 PM on October 22, 2006

15-20 minutes water running allll the time. And often two of them a day.

29! Female! Irish but in Toronto!

I never sing. Sometimes I swear loudly in a primal scream sort of FUCK! way.

This sounds like fun. I will try it.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:52 PM on October 22, 2006

I've lived in various parts of Canada, mostly Ontario. 5 to 30-minute showers for me, average maybe 10 minutes.

In my youth, nobody I knew gave any thought whatsoever to conserving water. It was only in the early 1990s, I was about twenty years old, when I first heard of people saying it was maybe a good idea for everyone, even where there isn't an immediate shortage, to not use so much water.

Long showers and other wasteful uses of water are a desirable luxury. I never liked the low-flow shower heads. I currently use as much water as I like without a care. I know exactly where my water comes from and how it gets to my house, and there's plenty of it to go around. It's one of the benefits of living in this here place with all the lakes and trees.
posted by sfenders at 6:53 PM on October 22, 2006

k8t: you are my hero. As a M/26/California, my F/24 roommate/girlfriend and I share a restroom/shower and she takes 20 minutes regularly, like 25-30 if she has to shave. This is her "hurry" mode-weekday shower, too! She has also claimed it to be impossible for a woman to clean her body/wash her hair in less than 15 minutes. So thank you.

I take the apparent average: 7 minutes, under normal circumstances. However, I would say that I run the shower before I get in for about 2 minutes (or however long it takes for me to brush my teeth).

I can't imagine turning the water off during the shower! Who does that? If you're using at least some force while washing (and/of using a towel/loofa/poofy thing), rinsing and washing at the same time is completely reasonable, no? I mean, it's not like the skin has to sit with soap on it for a period of time to clean.

posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever at 7:34 PM on October 22, 2006

18, F, Sydney Australia

My showers normally last 4-6 minutes, rarely more or less because shaving my legs and washing my hair in the one shower period would take a grand deal too much effort. I suppose it helps that I have short hair and dont care if i leave a couple of rough patches on my legs.

I don't turn the shower off while washing because there is normally at least one person having a shower somewhere else in my house and so i would lose the flow of hot water from our (gas) tank. Also, I understand that a suprising amount of people in Sydney don't have natural gas available to their houses.

Also, FWIW, I read somewhere a while ago (though i'll be damned if I can find it) that in NSW (maybe Australia as a whole) domestic water use accounts for something like 10% of all water use. So, while we get ramped up through varying stages of water restrictions, industry is still using a fair bit.
posted by cholly at 9:01 PM on October 22, 2006

21, Male, St. Louis, MO, US

I generally take around 10 minutes, more if I'm half-asleep. I must say it's never occured to me to turn the water off mid-shower. My shower takes a few minutes to heat up (I usually turn it on, then brush my teeth before I get in), so I'm a little hesitant to try.
posted by obvious at 9:57 PM on October 22, 2006

25/F/NW Washington state

Five minutes if I'm not shaving. Fifteen minutes if I am, but water's only on for a third of that. I plug the tub for the first three or so minutes and use that water to shave.

My back tends to get awfully stiff sometimes and I indulge in a hot ten minute shower. Does wonders for the muscles.
posted by hercatalyst at 11:01 PM on October 22, 2006

Female from Melbourne, Australia here. I spend about 5-7 minutes in the shower, and I do leave the water running the entire time I'm in there.

In the current drought with all the water shortage talk I'm acutely aware of the need to save water, but I also grew up on a small farm where we had only tank water, and so got used to rationing shower time (and sharing bathwater, and baling the bath water out in a bucket to water the vegies, and using dam water to flush the toilet so it was always yellowy-brown...)
posted by andraste at 2:09 AM on October 23, 2006

42, M, Southwest US

Like Dreama, I have arthritis (osteo), quite severe, and hot showers are one of the few places and times that I am comfortable. Plus, I've always liked hot showers. I sometimes think the warmth, water, and noise might be womb-like. I have 30+ minute showers.

10 minute or less showers were the expectation in my household growing up and I was noted for taking long showers at about 20 minutes. It's only since I've become disabled and use a shower chair that I've started taking really long showers.

In the last couple of years as I've been more and more miserable, I have come to take these long showers several times a day, when I want relief and comfort. A hot water bath is in many ways more effective for relief from my arthritis, but I can't take baths anymore because I cannot get down in the tub and get back up. I tried a few months ago by holding onto the handicapped bar and lowering myself, but that didn't work out because of my shoulders and I basically ended up both falling into the tub while overextending my shoulder-joint. I won't try that again.

Living in the desert southwest US, water usage is of course a big concern. And I do feel bad about this to a limited degree. But I use one of those ubiquitous stainless-steel, very low-flow, small showerheads with a shut-off valve (which I don't use) so that helps quite a bit. The flow is low but very high pressure and I like it. I now prefer this showerhead indepedent of its water saving feature.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:43 AM on October 23, 2006

49/M/Orig. Michigan
10-20 minutes. I prefer to be able to turn water off for lathering, provided the temperature stays adjusted and the room/house is warm. I always use a cloth and must scrub my entire body to feel right. If the house is cold or the adjustment too difficult, I leave the water running. I find water-saving shower heads waste much time and maybe water, too, because it just takes much longer for an effective rinse.
posted by Goofyy at 6:57 AM on October 23, 2006

My brother hates mornings. In order to wake up he used to sit down in a hot shower and fall asleep until all the hot water ran out and the cold water shocked his system into a conscious state.

Me, I am 32 and live in Bermuda where we get our water from the sky. That does not stop me from taking 15-20 minute showers. I think long showers are one of lifes simple pleasures. If your hungover, take a plastic deck chair, put it in the shower, sit back, relax, repeat if necessary.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:30 AM on October 23, 2006

Definitely one of life's simple pleasures. I'm 26, female, and I live in Chicago. I don't pay for water in my apartment. I shower usually around 20 minutes or so, but I've been known to take a half-hour shower. I LOVE showering, especially with the water really hot and all the lights off - it's my own little sensory depravation chamber. Cheap therapy for a tough day. I've NEVER turned the water off during my shower, I don't see the point of that. I'd get too cold.
posted by agregoli at 11:48 AM on October 23, 2006

"I LOVE showering, especially with the water really hot and all the lights off - it's my own little sensory depravation chamber."

Yay! I'm not the only one who does that! I haven't been doing this much lately, but I've long enjoyed occasionally showering in the dark.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:53 AM on October 23, 2006

Certainly not! I've done it for years - not so much lately with the total darkness as we have a fishtank in the bathroom now and I kind of like the unearthly glow of the tank light. But in the past I've even shoved the bathmat up to the door so no light gets through underneath it. Very relaxing.
posted by agregoli at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2006


I shower until the tank is running low. I have longish hair, and it takes about five minutes to shampoo/condition. Then I shave, then I wash my body. Finally, I stretch with the water pounding on my back and hamstrings. I lean over and relax until my hands are touching the tub floor.

I never take baths to clean myself. How does one effectively rinse? Seems like you're going to have at least a thin film of your own scum and filth when you step out of the tub.
posted by owhydididoit at 5:54 PM on October 25, 2006

owhydididoit: exactly
posted by aubilenon at 9:02 PM on October 25, 2006

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