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Body hygiene- Which is healthier and cleaner: shower or bath?

Updated on September 11, 2011

And the victor is.....SHOWERS!

If we're talking purely about cleanliness, I have to believe that showers would be better than baths, as a general rule. After reading this request, I decided to do a quick google search and found opinions on both sides of the debate. On one hand, when you take a bath, you can completely immerse yourself in the water, which inevitably makes it easier to get filth out of places where, well, the sun doesn't shine. Those spots may not be so easy to reach when you're trying to get yourself clean in the shower. So in that regard, a bath could be superior. But here's the rub. Where does all the filth go? That's right, into the very water that your hairy butt is sitting. So how clean are you getting? That's why I would presume that a shower would be more hygienic than a bath, because a nice warm bath can quickly become a cesspool, depending upon how dirty the body is and how long the body remains in the bath.

I have a recollection of watching a television show back in the early 80's titled "That's Incredible." They had an enormously funny sketch one time about little bugs that literally cover your body, and there's nothing you can do about them. In fact, when you bathe, THEY MULTIPLY! BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS!

Then we have to consider other forms of wellness. Let's face it, our mental health needs a good cleaning from time to time, and when those times call, there is nothing as therapeutic as a nice long soaking bath. Why, just earlier today, when my kids were going absolutely bonkers, I turned to my wife with a smile and said, "Calgon! Take me away!" (Do they even sell Calgon any more?)

Then there's this little matter known as negative ions. Ever hear of those? Basically, wherever there are bodies of water, there are negative ions. Negative ions are good, and therapeutic, which is why sitting by the ocean and just soaking in the rays can be incredibly relaxing.

To be sure, there are negative ions floating around showers and baths, but my mother used to tell me to take a shower instead of a bath because it would save water. So in that regard, I would say the shower would win the battle of the ions.

One last point that I think should seal the debate. My four year-old daughter, ever since she was a baby, as soon as she gets into the bathtub just can't help but to relieve herself right into the water....the very same water that she'll be spitting out of her mouth in a matter of minutes. Yes, I know, it's gross, but I've learned after many a battle that it is a battle I will not win.

By the way, did you know that the average human being will eat about 15 pounds of dirt during their lifetime? Of course, what they don't tell you is that about 10 pounds of it come in the first 10 years of life!



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