Showering Habits of the Modern American

American Showering Habits

📌 Key Takeaways

  • The average American showers for 15 minutes 6x a week, amounting to over 4,600 minutes and nearly 10,000 gallons of water annually.
  • Gen Zers are the most eco-conscious generation when it comes to showering.
  • 54% have tried the “no poo” method of washing their hair.
  • Women are more likely than men to pee in the shower; however, men are more likely to poop in the shower.

Coming Clean About the Dirty Truth

With trends like the “no poo” method gaining traction on TikTok, wanted to explore people’s showering practices further. To do so, we surveyed over 1,000 Americans about hygiene habits and their impact on the environment and personal relationships. Dividing respondents by different demographics, we got an unfiltered look at the truth behind the shower curtain. Ready to take a look?

It’s Better Together

Water use is a key concern when managing resources, especially in communities that struggle to meet their water needs. We asked respondents how long they spend in the shower and if environmental concerns have anything to do with it.

Infographic to explore Americans' showering and bathing habits, and how they relate to the environment.

Among the Americans we surveyed, showering is far more prevalent than bathing: 85% said they prefer to shower. In fact, the average American showers six times a week for about 15 minutes each time, amassing over 4,600 minutes and nearly 10,000 gallons of water a year per person. Gen Zers were the only age group who showered less — just five times per week.

Time spent in the shower also varied by generation: millennials took the longest showers, and Gen Zers took the shortest. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z was also the most likely to say environmental impact affected their shower length. Using less water reduces CO2 emissions, so shorter showers can significantly help the health of the environment.

Taking shorter or fewer showers not only benefits the environment but reduces monthly utility costs, too. Showering accounts for about 17% of indoor water usage in the U.S. But there are other reasons why showering daily might not be the best idea; bathing too often can dry out your skin and worsen some conditions like eczema.

Infographic to explore how Americans save water in the shower, and how showering with one's significant other impacts one's relationship.

Bathing two at a time is another way to reduce water usage and emissions. Showering with a significant other is something 67% of respondents have tried, including 85% of Gen Z. Over 60% of respondents also said that showering together boosted happiness in their relationship and created a stronger emotional intimacy between them and their partners.

Baby boomers and millennials, in particular, shared the feeling that partnered showers led to less fighting. It might also foster a happier sex life; baby boomers and Gen Xers concluded that sex is better in the shower (51%), and 66% of Gen Zers agreed.

Still, baby boomers were also the most likely to use the sink to wash their genitals in order to skip a shower (33%), while only a quarter of eco-conscious Gen Zers said they’ve done the same. Sometimes, though, a rinse in the sink isn’t enough. When that’s the case, men were 73% more likely than women to have gone the extra mile and used deodorant on their private parts.

Poo, or No Poo?

Beyond how often Americans wash their hair, we also wanted to know their methods. “No poo” — not using shampoo — has become widely accepted, with people using all sorts of alternatives to wash their hair. What other things are they up to in the shower?

Infographic to explore Americans' alternative showering habits.

According to those surveyed, Americans go about four days between hair washes. More than half (54%) have used something other than shampoo to wash their hair — nearly everything in the kitchen, from egg yolks (45%) to baking soda (17%). Gen Z was the most likely to have tried the “no poo” method, with 3 in 4 saying they’ve used it. It’s no wonder since social media has boosted awareness of alternative hair care with its endless tips and challenges.

As for what people get up to in the shower, men were 37% more likely than women to video chat in the shower. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to brush their teeth or pee in the shower. Only one of those activities is relatively harmless, and it’s not the one you think.

Peeing in the shower saves water since you don’t need to flush the toilet afterward. But save brushing your teeth for when you’re at the sink, where you can shut the water off until you need it. Otherwise, you’re just prolonging your shower time and water use.

Unlike peeing in the shower, singing dominated shower activities; 38% have enjoyed the acoustics of their bathrooms while getting clean. Thoughts of work and daydreams also frequently occupied the minds of those surveyed while standing under the running water. This has led to life-changing decisions in equal measure for men and women, who were also equally as likely to have engaged in self-pleasure while showering.

Keeping It Clean

We’ve got the skinny on how often people shower and what they’re doing in there. Next, we’ll look at how often Americans wash their towels and clean their showers.

“The towel forgets everything by tomorrow” are words of wisdom for those that don’t wash their towels as often as they should. We found that millennials and baby boomers went the longest between changing towels (seven days). Everyone has different towel cleaning advice, but the consensus is: Let your towel dry completely after using it and wash it often. While a thorough weekly cleaning is sufficient for the bathroom, towels need a little extra love to stay fresh.

With respondents cleaning their bathrooms every nine days, on average, and their towels every six days, there’s room for improvement. But there are other ways to reduce contaminants in the shower as well. Using a water filter ensures you’re rinsing off with the cleanest water possible. And unlike cleaning the bathroom or washing towels, you only need to replace the filter about every six months.

Save the Planet, Share the Shower

Poo or no poo, showering together, and taking shorter showers are some of the top ways Americans have adjusted their cleansing habits to help the environment. Gen Z was most willing to adapt their water use to the greater good. Some shower habits are healthier and more eco-friendly than others, but as long as you clean the bathroom and wash your towels regularly, feel free to relieve yourself, reflect on your deepest thoughts, and sing your heart out in the shower — just don’t take too long in there.

Methodology surveyed 1,002 Americans across generations to explore showering habits. Water use was based on a calculation of 2.1 gallons per minute of shower time. Similarly, we based emissions on 0.18 lbs. of CO2 being released to heat one gallon of water.

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