Saturday, 3 December 2011

Bath or Shower?

My husband mentioned in passing that he'd come across some research reported in the news implying that showering might not be 'better' than taking a bath. The study actually focused on people's showering habit and it got me thinking about how my own bath versus showering habits have changed over the years.

In my teens I would think nothing of having a bath and staying in it for an hour or so, topping up as it cooled down. We did have a separate shower (I think it was considered a fancy mod-con when my parents bought the house in the early 80's) but I would choose a bath over a shower every time. My Dad worked for Yorkshire Water during the water shortages in the 90's, so I knew well enough not to waste water. Being a conscientious soul, I would generously offer my bath water to some other family member. Once I'd finished turning myself into a prune of course!


When I went off to University, the choice was pretty much shower or nothing. In my first year my bathroom was a 'pod'. Due to some shady wiring, having a shower risked setting off the fire alarm. Tremendous fun as you can imagine! In subsequent years, having a bath meant getting in something that you would have to deep cleanse first. Even then it wasn't terribly inviting. The baths were situated within a communal unisex bathroom with saloon style doors. Hardly a luxurious or relaxing experience! Baths became something to indulge in when I returned home to my parents.

In my 20's baths were strictly for pampering. I'm not sure if I ever took a glass of wine into the bathroom but candles were definitely a feature of my most indulgent baths. Up until my late 20's I could still spend a while soaking in the bath. Although bathroom decor played a role in how enjoyable the experience was. The avocado suite, wood panelling and orange walls we inherited in one house meant you had to keep your eyes closed or risk having your senses assaulted. Pregnancy made baths more of trial too. It's hard to winch yourself back out when you resemble a weeble!

With the arrival of the children, a relaxing soak has become a bit of distant memory. I like the idea of a bath but the reality is quite different. I'm fully aware that I can no longer relax and take my time. Either I'll have someone knocking at the door or I will lay there trying not to feel guilty for wasting time! It's showers all the way now and, when I remember to lock the door, it can be a nice escape for five minutes.


I wonder if I shall ever learn to love baths again? Despite the news that there might not be much difference in terms of energy saving (something that's disputed anyway), I'm not sure I will be able to change my habits. I have wondered if nice bath products would help me indulge but I suspect I would still worry that I should be doing something more productive.

So, what about you? Are you a bath or shower type of person? Do you have a special bath-time ritual or have your habits changed over the years like mine?

PS. I love that one of the Waterwise suggestions for energy saving is to 'shower or bathe with a friend'. I wonder how many blokes have tried that line?!


  1. I can have a 'relaxing' type of bath, but then I need to shower to rinse everything off :)

    When I was last in England I stayed with my partner's family. I had to have a bath (to actually clean myself) on a few occasions and it was horrific. I don't understand how you wash your hair or wash your face in a bath. I guess it's a cultural thing. I do enjoy relaxing in a bath though, but I don't enjoy it for actually washing ;)

  2. shower 7 times a week... soak in a bath once a week :), but I do shower before my soak, and rinse after... I also can't wash my face or hair in a tub filled with bath salts and bubbles :)

  3. Cute! baby in the sink, I love baths, especially in the winter with seaweed and arnica bubbles.

  4. I love both and have no problem cleaning myself in a tub if there's a water wand so I can rinse off thoroughly and wash my hair.

    Both my parents were lovers of baths. I remember as a little girl, my father took one every night after we were put in bed. The memory is so strong not because of his ritual but because I used the light that shone from the crack in the bathroom door to do some sneak reading.

    We had a giant clawfoot tub, and my mother always bathed, never showered.

    I LOVE to suds up my entire body and then submerge under the water surface and wave my head back and forth to let the soap release. I agree with demps that a proper rinse is essential to get the soap scum off (a terrible word if I ever heard one).

  5. I love nothing more than a nice hot soak and whenever I get the chance, Im in the bath. However to me a bath is more for relaxing, you can't get clean in a bath, so I always have to shower afterwards.

  6. I love both but the house we are in at the moment (for the past 8 yrs!) only has a bath and no easy way of putting in a shower. We have one of those hand held hoses you put on the taps but it can't really be classed as a shower.

    When the kids were smaller I was like you, felt so guilty at the time I wanted to spend in the bath so would be as quick as possible.

    Now that they are older and need me less I do enjoy a long bath once again, so there is every chance you will love a long bath again!

  7. When I lived in the UK, I was a shower person only because the water tank in the flat didn't hold enough hot water for a bath! I am still a shower person but if I am sick I will take a hot bath. Or I will take a bath when I just want to be surrounded by bubbles.

  8. xD I have bad knees so it's a bath or a sitting shower for me. I prefer showers for quick washes when i've woken up late but when i'm shaving or exfoliating I prefer a bath.

  9. I love taking baths....especially with some aromatherapy detox bath salts or scented bath oils. It's the perfect time to relax and refresh. I actually loved it so much that I created my own blend of bath salts and bath oils. Great Post!

  10. Having super-dry and super-sensitive skin, I LOVE baths and loathe showers. I take 2 baths a week, on Sunday night and Wednesday night. And I LOVE it :) I don't even have a shower at my place!

  11. I love the thought of a bath, but the ease of nipping into the shower and back out again means I rarely take the time to draw a bath and really enjoy it. Showers suit my hectic lifestyle.

  12. I'm definitely a shower person - I do occasionally take a bath, but it's very much a rarity! My Mum has always taken baths, whereas I think my Dad only ever showers! x

  13. Thank you so much for all of your comments. It was really interesting to hear everyone thoughts on baths vs showers. It was also interesting to read that so many of you need to shower after a bath to feel clean, I do this too and wondered if I was a little odd!

    I do still hope that I might enjoy relaxing in the bath again in the future. I suppose by that time I might be fighting the children for it!

    Jane x

  14. I couldn't live without my bath! I have a bath every night, and it only takes about ten minutes. I did an experiement at school when I was younger, and I discovered that you use exactly the same amount of water in a bath as you do in a shower!


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