Ask the grumpies: Baths vs. showers?

Leah asks:

what are your opinions on baths versus showers?

#1:  I love both, but one thing I do not understand is how OCD germaphobe John Green can wax so poetically about baths and so stridently against showers.  Does he not realize that you are wallowing in germs when you take a bath?  Plus if the bath hasn’t just been cleaned and you’re not careful about drains and things, some of those germs might belong to other people.  These concerns don’t generally bother me (well, I don’t do hotel Jacuzzis), but I totally would have guessed the opposite for John Green’s preferences.  Er hem, back to the original question.  I love a good soaking bath, but I usually take showers because they’re faster, our bathtub is so big I feel guilty using it except when I really need a hot soak, and because I’m allergic to the water in our town and we’ve got a shower filter set up but not a bath filter (we could and should probably get a whole house filter now, but previously we couldn’t afford it– the shower and kitchen sink filters combined are an order of magnitude cheaper).

#2:  I like baths but they must be in a separate tub that nobody showers in.

15 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Baths vs. showers?”

  1. hypatia cade Says:

    Showers for being clean. baths for reading books and unwinding. A good bathtub is a lovely thing in a house.

  2. SP Says:

    I love baths, but I usually take showers. Mostly because they are faster, but also for the opposite reason as you – my standard sized tub just isn’t that nice for soaking. Plus, I have to make sure it is cleaned but without cleaning product residue. We wash off our dog in the tub, so this is critical even though I’m not very squeamish about germs in general.

    On the rare occasions where I stay in a very nice hotel for work, I love taking baths in the deep soaking tubs. And true or not, I insist on believing the hotel staff does a great job of cleaning them. Please don’t inform me otherwise (although I’m not a germaphobe). It is one of my favorite things about the trips I’ve had to Dubai – nice tubs. I’m easy to please, I guess.

    • SP Says:

      Also, I feel a little guilty using water in the tub in a dessert, but… it is rare enough that I just do it. Plus, I like to do it after the LONG flights.

  3. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    When we remodeled our bathroom (25 years ago?) we put in a deep tub and a separate shower stall. Over the years, we’ve used the tub less and less—probably less than once a year now. It is hard in drought-prone California to justify the enormous amount of water that a deep tub requires.

  4. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    Showers, especially the ones with multiple shower heads that you can switch between. So good! Not that I’m so fancy as to have a shower like that. I just really like the pinpointed pressure and heat.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    Showers. Find baths qua baths more trouble than they are worth.

    I like a whirlpool tub once in a while (on vacation) preferably when the tub is big enough for two. [insert wiggling eyebrows here]

  6. Joe Says:

    I like showers mostly because it’s easier and quicker. I’ll save the bath for when we go to a hot spring.
    We have a hot tub at our condo so that works too. W

  7. Linda Says:

    I love to soak in a hot bath or tub. Unfortunately, the tub here in my house is cramped and shallow. The one in the rental house was a nice, deep jetted tub. It was a pain to clean it really well (and super gross to clean the jets out when I first moved in), but I admit I took a few hedonistic soaks in it despite the CA drought. In a perfect world, I’d have a private hot tub/spa in my back yard where I could soak anytime I wanted. I know that’s not the same as a soak in a bathtub, where one can add all sorts of indulgent products like bath bombs and salts, but it gives me the deep hot water soaking I crave regularly. There are natural hot springs here in the Valley up in Calistoga, but the only way to get a hot spring soak is to visit a day spa and pay a lot of money for a massage.

    • chacha1 Says:

      I read somewhere that the easiest way to clean the jets of a whirlpool tub was to run it with a dose of dishwasher detergent … but I don’t know if that was for realz, or somebody’s idea of a great frat party prank.

      • Linda Says:

        Ha, ha, ha. Probably the latter. The tub was so gross when I first moved in that black gunk was ejected from the jets. (No, I did not find that out when I was planning to actually bathe, but when I did my first deep cleaning as a new tenant.) I had to actually get a special tool, remove the jets, and soak them in bleach because there was black crud visible inside them. Really, really gross.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Having deep cleaned our jacuzzi is why we can’t use one elsewhere. So gross.

  8. CG Says:

    We removed the giant bathtub from our master bathroom last year and replaced it with storage (there is a separate, nice shower). I had used it twice in seven years, both times just after having babies. There’s a bathtub in the kids’ bathroom if I ever have a dire need for it, but it seems unlikely.

  9. Susan Says:

    Shower all the way. Baths are a waste of water & the water gets cold too quickly. About 1/3 of our bathroom is taken up by a giant claw foot tub. Someday it will be gone & we will either have a larger shower, a double vanity or both.

    We save extra water by having our toddlers shower with us. They love it.

  10. Leah Says:

    I suppose I’m in the minority, tho I still do prefer a shower for the getting clean part. I typically follow a bath with a shower except for when I do tons of sitz baths post-childbirth. Or now, when my 3 year old kid is asking me to get in the tub with her. I indulge mostly so I can wash the baby at the same time, and it’s a bit of fun time for her too.

    I mostly take showers but do love an indulgent bath. Our tub in our new place has a slope built in that makes bathing nice. It is a super narrow tub but is decently long and deep, which is nice.

  11. Donna Freedman Says:

    Showers when I just wanna get clean. Baths for when I have time to lounge properly — the hottest water I can stand plus a glass of iced tea nearby equals frugal sybaritism.


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