Bucket Baths: At Least I’m Saving the World

StreamHave you ever wondered how many gallons of water you use when you shower? I’ve been wondering; I put it at over 5 gallons.

Well, I only need about 2 gallons to bucket bathe. My apartment doesn’t have hot water—most people in Paraguay get hot water by using an electric showerhead that heats the water as it comes out—so on these cold days there is no way I’m showering. Instead, I’ve been heating up water to take bucket baths. I heat up almost 2 liters of water using my electric water boiler and add maybe 6 liters of cold water and mix them in a basin I also use to wash clothes.

Bucket bath technique:

  • Once water is mixed, use a pitcher or cup to wet your hair over the basin (to conserve water) and to pour water on you so you are dripping.
  • Wet your washcloth and make sure it has a good lathering of soap.
  • Put shampoo in your hair, scrub down with the washcloth, and shave if needed. All this is done without using more water. If you are shaving your legs, you might have to rinse your razor a couple of times.
  • When all the scrubbing is done, use the pitcher or cup to scoop water out of your basin to rinse. Start with rinsing your hair, in a standing position, so you also start to rinse off the soap on your body. Use the rest of the water to rinse off all soap.

The bucket bath technique is surprisingly efficient, both time wise and resource wise. It’s not particularly relaxing; my house is rather cold because it isn’t heated, but it is nice to know you are conserving water resources.