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Personal hygiene: how long should you shower and other questions answered

A good shower doesn’t have to be a long shower. Here’s how to keep your showers short and sweet.


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personal hygiene for your kids health

Water conservation has become a hot topic in South Africa. Low rainfall led to a disastrous drought and low dam levels in February 2018 that limited households in the Western Cape to 50 litres of water a day for several months.

While ‘Day Zero’ was thankfully averted, water scarcity still remains relevant and the drought served as a stark reminder that water should be seen as a valuable and finite resource across all of South Africa.  With that in mind, it’s worth being vigilant about how much water you use during your personal hygiene regime. How often do you have to shower? How long to take a shower for? Read on to discover how to take a shower the eco-friendly way.

We recommend keeping showers as short as possible, using shower water for the garden during a drought and practicing other water saving ideas around the house.

How to take a shower to save water

A good shower doesn’t have to be a long shower. Often, there’s no practical reason to take a long shower – sure, the warm water feels great and it’s a good way to unwind, but short showers are the best way to conserve water and play your part in the drive to save water across South Africa.

  • How long should you take a shower for? Keep showers short and sweet – to five minutes if possible.

  • How to shower properly in five minutes? Practice with a timer to get your shower routine down to five minutes or less – think of it as a personal challenge. Or start a competition in your family. Who can have the shortest shower? Make it fun with small prizes and rewards to keep kids engaged and eager to help save water.

  • How to take a shower properly when conserving water? Washing long hair and shaving can be time consuming, and may result in a longer shower. The solution? Turn the water off when massaging shampoo and conditioner into your hair, and when shaving your legs and bikini lines (delicate operations which require care and attention, but not always water).

  • How often do you have to shower? A daily five minute shower is more than enough to fall in line with acceptable personal hygiene standards! On a really hot day you could take an additional one minute cold shower.  

Now you know how long to take a shower, it’s probably time to stop using the shower head as a microphone and performing for all of your (adoring) toiletries. Shampoo in your eyes may put a spanner in the works every now and then – but in general five minutes is a reasonable length for most showers.

How to shower properly in the age of climate change

There are more things you can do to save water besides reducing your shower time. In the wake of South Africa’s water crisis, think of the following not as suggestions, but how to take a shower properly.

  1. Try not to run the shower for too long before you get in

  2. Install a low flow shower head, or use a less powerful setting

  3. Brush your teeth in the shower

  4. Use shower water or ‘grey water’ for the garden

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A few other things you could do around the house to save water include:

  • Only flush the toilet when necessary. In between flushes use Domestos Flush Less Spray to eliminate odour and kill germs so that you can flush less and enjoy a hygienically clean, germ free toilet.

  • Use Domestos toilet blocks to freshen the toilet when you flush, and eliminate any germs that have accumulated between flushes.

  • Choose shorter cycles or the eco-friendly setting when doing your laundry, and run fewer full loads rather than lots of small loads.

  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and washing your hands.

So there you have it – water saving shower tips that you can put into practice from today.

  • Keep showers to five minutes or less

  • Turn the water off when washing long hair or shaving

  • Brush your teeth in the shower

  • Use an eco or less powerful setting

  • Use shower water for the garden

Originally published