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DYDT: Shower or Bath?

I really love these these discussions.

A few weeks ago, Ana asked, “what’s next?  Showering vs. bathing?

Uh… yes.

I am a shower-er.  No baths for me, pretty much ever.  I like to get clean quickly.  Those showers that have stone seats built in the corner, encouraging the user to luxuriously relax in the warm spray of water… I use those ledges to hold shampoo bottles.

I’m a fan of hot springs like Ein Gedi, but other than something like that, I don’t enjoy… soaking.  I don’t enjoy sitting in a tub of water.

I do have a dream shower, even if I don’t have a dream house.  I want a shower with a window in it.  I wrote about it a while back in the post about the vomiting clown picture:

My friend, A, and I made a reservation to stay in a pensione in Rome for two weeks while we did research. After we dragged our suitcases up six flights of stairs, we learned that the woman who owned the pensione had decided to do some renovations that week. “You’ll stay in my apartment,” she told us, giving us the key to her personal home.

Instead of a small room in a boarding house, we now had an apartment in Trastevere, a much nicer section of Rome, complete with a washer and dryer, several bedrooms, and–my favourite part of all–a shower with a window in it. I’ve always said that it is my dream to live in a house that had a window in the shower. Those who have never been in a shower like this usually respond, “it sounds creepy.” But those who have showered in one know the saying, “once you’ve had the window cracked, you can never go back.”

I still dream about that shower and the little red, circular window.

So, do you prefer showering or bathing?


1 Katherine A { 05.23.13 at 7:53 am }

I am definitely more of a shower person. Every once in awhile I enjoy one of the big tubs with the jets if I find one in a room that’s clearly clean, but for me, a tub has to be sparkling, freshly cleaned, and have not even one single hair in evidence if I’m going to climb into it and put my skin against it. I also don’t sit on those luxurious ledges in showers for the same reason. Just a quirk, I guess.

But I am completely in agreement with you about the showers with windows. Those are awesome.

2 Kitten { 05.23.13 at 7:59 am }

Showers to get clean (I don’t feel like I can get clean enough in a tub; too hard to reach all the places).
Long, hot bubble baths for relaxation (but I still turn the shower on to properly rinse away all the soap and dead skin cells).

3 Peach { 05.23.13 at 8:01 am }

I am definitely a showerer…I don’t particularly enjoy sitting in a tub of water unless it is spotless. I think soaking in a dirty tub is like bathing in a mud puddle! I like how quickly I can shower and I like how clean I feel after.

I do love to swim though, and the idea of soaking in a communal body of water when swimming doesn’t bother me at all! Guess I have double standards! Haha.

4 Sara { 05.23.13 at 8:07 am }

Definitely shower, I love taking a hot shower. I never feel clean if I take a bath. I only use my tub to take an ice “bath” after a long running race. After an ice bath I immediately take a shower.

5 Valery Valentina { 05.23.13 at 8:08 am }

Showers! And what’s more, even our baby girl prefers showers. We tried a baby bath when she was 3 days old. I had read babies love it, to have the water around them just like in the womb, but she started crying after 30 seconds. At one week we tried the tummy tub. She enjoyed that for maybe a minute. Then we tried the shower, and she snuggled up to her father’s wet skin, completely at ease, unfazed by the water sprinkling on her face.

6 a { 05.23.13 at 8:17 am }

Shower for cleaning. Bath for soaking. I don’t take a lot of baths. I guess I’m just more aware of the soap residue floating around me when I’m taking a bath. So, then I have to get in the shower to rinse off. 🙂

A couple years ago, my husband put glass block in one of our shower walls. Now, if you have the blinds open on the large window in our bathroom, you get some very nice light in the shower. But, I don’t like to shower with the blinds open, even though there’s no one around who can see into our bathroom window without a decent set of binoculars. (There’s a small cemetery and some trees between us and the next houses in back, a horse pasture between us and the road/houses on one side, and our house is angled so there’s no view into the bathroom from the other side)

7 Kasey { 05.23.13 at 9:11 am }

Showers. I like a bath every once in awhile, but always shower after. I thought I was alone in this practice, but from the comments it seems I am not.

8 loribeth { 05.23.13 at 9:20 am }

Showers. I like the way it feels & it’s just more efficient, I think, especially if you’re in a hurry. I like the IDEA of soaking in a tub, but it seems like I never do it much anymore.

When I was growing up, my grandparents had a shower but no tub — whereas all the houses I grew up in had tubs but no showers. So a shower was a real treat & something I looked forward to when we visited Grandma.

The apartment we lived in when we were first married — an old mid-Toronto brownstone, probably built in the 1920s or 30s — had a small window over the tub. Our apartment faced a building with a law office, & during the day, we could see people walking around from our windows. We were usually up & showering before people came to work, and I figured the bathroom window was too small & the angle was such that they weren’t going to see much of interest anyway — so it didn’t bother me. It was handy to be able to open the window, since there was no ventilating fan & it got awfully steamy in there. :p There was a wide sill/shelf that was a very handy place to put shampoo bottles. 😉

9 Rebecca Hill { 05.23.13 at 9:22 am }

I try to take baths on occasion, because it sounds lovely – to just sit there, and soak and relax. But I can’t relax. I can’t get comfortable. I can’t stop the litany of thoughts about all the crap that needs to get done. I can’t stop thinking about how much water I’m wasting. So, showers. And, really, I feel much cleaner that way, too.

10 Catwoman73 { 05.23.13 at 9:36 am }

For me, baths and showers serve totally different purposes. I take a shower to get clean, I take a bath- usually with epsom salts- to soak my sore muscles. Though I don’t have much time for baths these days, no matter how sore my muscles are. So I’d say I’m mostly a shower person.

Incidentally- the best shower I ever had was in the jungle in Peru. There was no hot water (or electricity, or modern amenities as we know them in North America), but it was so hot and steamy in the jungle, the cool water felt amazing! I never thought I would have my most memorable shower in that situation, but it really was awesome!

11 Tiara { 05.23.13 at 9:50 am }

Showering to get clean…I do enjoy a soak to relax but have to shower afterwards to feel clean…I stayed at a B&B in Ireland & my ensuite had a tub (no shower) with a huge picture window with the most gorgeous view of the country side, absolutely breathtaking!

12 Kate { 05.23.13 at 12:36 pm }

I’m a showerer. The only time I really wanted a bath was in the month before I had surgery, but the tub in my house is tiny!

13 Egg Timer { 05.23.13 at 1:00 pm }

Our shower has a window in it! I totally get it. It looks out into our big back yard and no neighbours!

14 Pepper { 05.23.13 at 1:17 pm }

I am a showers-only person. It is interesting to me that most of the people who have commented are also showers-only people. Yet the “new thing,” at least here, is master suites with massive master bathrooms complete with a stand up shower and huge, jetted tub. Our new home (built 20 years ago) has just such a master bath. Our daughter has bathed in the master tub a few times due to a brief phobia of her own tub and I expect that is the most use it will ever get. Eh, well. It makes the bathroom nice and large and is apparently good for resale one day… though to whom I do not know since I don’t know any bathers in real life either.

15 k { 05.23.13 at 1:27 pm }

I shower because of its efficiency. I prefer baths. Our new house came with a jetted tub, and unfortunately running the jets makes it sound like someone’s got a jackhammer going upstairs so I’m relegated to simply soaking most of the time. But I could sleep in the tub if you’d let me and if I wouldn’t drown LOL.

16 Shelby { 05.23.13 at 1:34 pm }

I love both! And you know what sounds the most divine? An outdoor shower! (in some tropical location, of course, because I HATE being cold)
I have to admit that I take baths almost as often as showers. It cures all for me. Headache or body ache? Take a bath. Pissed off at the world? Take a bath. My frame of mind is almost always completely altered after a bath. All of my books are warped from my wet hands after long baths spent reading. Add in chocolate and wine and you will have a woman who, no matter what’s happening, will emerge in love with life again. Baths are my cure-all.

Showers are great, too, but pale in comparison for me. My ultimate dream is to have a hot tub. It would be like a giant, unending bath and I know I would spend my days prune-like because of it. My kid is also a water baby, so I think we could really roll as a family in a hot tub. Maybe we should just get one instead of cycling? (seriously-I won’t lie and say it hasn’t crossed my mind)

17 HereWeGoAJen { 05.23.13 at 2:06 pm }

Showers! Faster and more efficient and cheaper on the water bill. I get kind of bored in the bathtub.

One of my favorite blog discussions ever was when I asked everyone about their garage.

18 Sharon { 05.23.13 at 3:12 pm }

Showers! Our house has a large garden tub in the en suite master bathroom, and we lived there for months before we knew that the builder had failed to run a hot water line to that tub because we had never used it.

I don’t find baths relaxing. I can never get totally comfortable in the tub, and I hate my hands and feet getting pruny. Plus, one of my favorite relaxation activities is reading, and if I try to do that in the time, I invariably drop my book or magazine in the watter.

19 Tigger { 05.23.13 at 3:31 pm }

Showers, for the most part. Baths are a luxury with a toddler and I am lucky if I have time to SHOWER, let alone bathe. For me, baths are for relaxing. I go in with a snack, a drink, and a book. I’m usually in there for about 45 minutes or so….but all I do is soak. A hot bath can do wonders for chronic pain. I do, however, wish we had a bigger tub. Deeper, long enough for me to stretch out in.

20 NotWhen { 05.23.13 at 3:42 pm }

Currently? Please, I’d take either one!!!

We’re 2 weeks in to the total gutting and remodel of our only full bath (thankfully we’ve got the necessities – toilet and sink – in our downstairs bath). Save a few trips to friends’ houses and the gym, I’m totally sans-shower and bath. I’m not being nearly as zen about it as I’d hoped I’d be.

When the room finally has walls, floor, and plumbing again? We’ll have both a tub and a shower, but I suspect I’ll almost always use the shower.

The tub has remained for 2 reasons – one publicly discussed and the other silently fretted about. First, we live in an 1870s Victorian that has a turn-of-the-century clawfoot tub. Who in their right mind would toss a freaking clawfoot tub? Add in my dual graduate degrees in history and history-related fields and the decision was kind of an obvious one. I may never use the thing, but the tub stays.

Second, though, was further evidence that, after 3.5 years of infertility, that diagnosis permeates every single aspect of your life. “Do you intend to have children?” the contractor politely asked as we noted our desire for a stand-alone shower. “If you intend to have kids, I’d encourage you to get a combo shower/tub for those early years,” he helpfully added. So, just as vacations have been cancelled for theoretical treatments, job moves have been delayed due to the potential pregnancies of the future, we have a tub. My only hope is that tub doesn’t become a daily cast iron reminder of what we don’t have…

21 ana { 05.23.13 at 3:59 pm }

Showers, always and forever. Not just for efficiency, but because I just LOVE the feel of warm water pelting down. I can take loooonnng showers if I have the time, but I never pine for a soak in the tub. I don’t find baths relaxing. We have one of those huge jetted tubs, and it seems that friends are envious of it, but we only use it to bathe the dog; otherwise it holds our clothes drying rack. I guess I don’t like how long it takes to fill the tub (and then how quickly it goes cold), the water waste, the thought of the tub not being completely sparkly clean, and the thought of sitting around in soapiness and your own dirtiness (unless you rinse off before and after, I guess?).

22 persnickety { 05.23.13 at 6:30 pm }

Both, but they are fordifferent reasons. I like showers, but realised when I moved to England in my late teens that until I bought my own place (not yet) I was potentially condemned to a life of crappy showers.
Baths- I take baths to relax, to cope with sore muscles, or bad days. best enjoyed with a book and a glass of wine. That said- I looooved Japanese baths- which are in the same room as the shower- you clean before you get in the bath, and there should be no soap and no dirt in the bath, it is for soaking only. One of the places i lived in had a new fangled electric one where you could set the temp for the bathwatter and then the “maintain temp- so it would keep it at 39 degress celsius for hours. fantastic in the winter. The next place had a window, which was also really good. Japanese tubs generally done’t let you bathe completely streched out, they are deep but not long- although i notice the new ones are more western.
this site has some very nice images. If I ever buy a house, putting in a Japanese style bathroom is top of the list for both myself and my husband

23 persnickety { 05.23.13 at 6:37 pm }

Should add- in japan, the bath time is family time- it is extremely common for kids ( including older than toddlers) to bathe with the parents. Best demonstration is in “My neighbour totoro”.
And the cleaning of the “bathroom” (it is its own little room) seemed to be one of the few domestic chores a japanese husband has (although to be clear, this was based on said husbands talking about thier chores, not actual observation)

24 Mrs. Gamgee { 05.23.13 at 8:42 pm }

I’m a shower girl, mostly for a very practical reason. I am a plus size gal, and honestly we’ve never had a tub big enough for me to feel comfortable in. I have enjoyed soaker tubs when on holiday, and my dream house would have one in it.

25 Justine { 05.23.13 at 9:32 pm }

showers. Long, and hot. (sort of like shaken, not stirred.)

26 GeekChic { 05.23.13 at 10:42 pm }

Showers unless there is a medical reason for me to be in a jetted tub (and there can be for pain or rehab). I like jetted baths but we currently can’t fit one in our current place. Regular baths are just meh.

27 Juanita { 05.24.13 at 1:59 am }

My preference is seasonal. In summer I like to take a quick shower in the morning before I get on with my day, whereas in winter I prefer to soak in a hot bath with a glass of wine and candlelight.

28 JustHeather { 05.24.13 at 4:06 am }

I want to write that I love both, which I do, but showers are more practical and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a bath or even the chance at a bath. More often, the idea of a bath is more appealing than the actual bath itself (if the opportunity presented itself). If we didn’t have to pay for the water ourselves, I would take loooong hot showers. Instead, I opt for sauna these days.
And those sitting shelves..definitely glorified shampoo holders.

29 Mali { 05.24.13 at 6:19 am }

Showers definitely to clean, and refresh. I think a shower between long flights is as refreshing as several hour’s sleep. But I love a bath – it has to be huge, deep, with bubbles or smelly salts, soft music and a good book! I stayed somewhere once that had outdoor baths – soaking under the stars was divine.

30 magpie { 05.24.13 at 10:22 am }

I love a bath – but almost never get one. Not enough time, not enough hot water. I content myself with a good soak in my father’s hot tub now and again.

31 Melanie { 05.24.13 at 11:26 am }

I enjoy both. I shower most of the time. I have never been able to perfect the art of shaving my legs in the shower though. So, when I have the time, I take a bath to shave, then shower after. I’ve never felt clean after a bath and certainly couldn’t wash my hair or face in the water I’m sitting in.

In my old house, newer construction, we had the separate soaker tub. It was before children and I did enjoy taking long hot bubble baths. Still showered after. In our current house, built in the seventies, we have only one tub in the kids bathroom. It’s small, with oddly straight sides making it impossible to lay down comfortably. So I only use it to shave my legs real quick. We do have a nice master shower with a rain shower head and I’ve found taking long hot showers to also be pretty relaxing, when I have the time.

32 Ellen { 05.24.13 at 5:37 pm }

Oh, I hate baths! I love a good shower — hot, and then I’ll turn it very cold for the last 10 seconds. It’s awesome. I’ve never happened to live in a house with a great tub for soaking.

33 Battynurse { 05.26.13 at 8:26 am }

Showering totally. And the window depends on the location of the window. Up high? Nice. Chest level? Not so much unless you’re into flashing the neighbors. My house in Washington had this.

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