The shower versus bath debate has raged on relentlessly over the past few decades - with no clear winner in sight. It is a divisive issue, splitting friends and families alike. In an attempt to clear up some of the myths and misconceptions plaguing both sides, we have endeavoured to present only the facts - with the environment, health and happiness all in mind. Whilst we may get one step closer to resolving the debate, let’s face it, it probably won’t be resolved in our lifetime, never mind by the end of this article.
Which will help save the planet?
Showers are the clear winner here - and by some margin too. A typical bath uses up 80 litres of water while, comparatively, a shower of average duration with a standard mixer showerhead, uses just 60 litres. Any shower that takes ten minutes or less is pretty much guaranteed to use less water than an equivalent bath then. And considering the average shower in the UK lasts just 7-and-a-half minutes and 87% of people do not exceed ten minutes in the shower, showers are running away with the eco-crown.
Which will leave you cleanest?
For most of us, the idea of an hour long bath conjures up images of soaking in a swamp of our own making for exactly 60 minutes too long. Is this a fair stereotype though? Will jumping in the shower actually make us any cleaner than lounging in the bath? Research suggests so, just about anyway. Showers are more hygienic, as all of the day’s accumulation of sweat and dirt are swept away down the drain, rather than lingering in the bathwater. The majority of particles in the tub however, settle away from the skin, where they dissolve into the bathwater itself. Having a bath isn’t quite as unhygienic as you probably assumed then, but if you’ve just completed Tough Mudder for example, it is definitely best to go for a shower instead.
Which is best for your skin?
Being clean, and your skin being healthy aren’t one and the same. When it comes to shampooing and rinsing your hair, showers are your best bet, as the chemicals are washed away as soon as you have rinsed. In the bath, the shampoo remains in the water and can strip away natural oils from the skin. Whilst baths can create perils that simply don’t exist in the shower, they can also be used to treat your skin in a way that a shower simply can’t compete with. Add epsom salts to your bath to ease aches and add an amalgamation of oatmeal, whole milk and honey to heal dry or irritated skin. Dermatologists also suspect that baths have anti-ageing properties.
What unites both showers and baths is the temperature of the water. Because extended contact with hot water can dehydrate skin, leaving it undesirably dry, dermatologists recommend using lukewarm water in the shower and the soak-and-smear technique for bathing. For the unfamiliar, pop out the bath every ten minutes to apply moisturiser to prevent your skin from drying out in the water.
Which is the most enjoyable?
We’ve talked about health, but what about happiness? Baths are always going to be associated with relaxation and they have been proven to be an effective stress reliever. Don't get me wrong, belting out your favourite song in the shower can be a lot of fun, but I don’t think it quite tops the therapeutic properties of the bath.
Crowning a winner
When it comes to deciding between a shower and a bath, factors like space and lifestyle are just as likely to be determining factors. A hectic work life and a shared flat is likely to be better suited to quick showers, whilst a retiree’s more spacious detached house is likely to lend itself more to a long, soothing bath. It is all a matter of circumstance. Alongside these issues, environmental, health and dermatological considerations make finding a definitive answer even more difficult.
For me personally, you just can’t beat the convenience of a shower - especially if it is going to leave you cleaner than a bath. And if you have Stuart Turner shower pumps, the decision is an easy one. With an eco-option to conserve water, and an instant and powerful stream of water you can rely on, it really is a no-brainer to opt for a shower over a bath.