Thursday, February 21, 2013

coming clean

You have no idea how literal the title of this post is. Ha.

So last night Matt was hanging out with some dudes and I had the evening to myself at home. After finishing my book and an intense four minutes session of boxing, I decided that it'd be a great idea to take a nice relaxing bath.

Only my problem is-- sometimes, for me, baths aren't entirely relaxing. And I'll tell you why. It's the order of everything related to taking a bath. I feel like figuring out all of the details overwhelms me and stresses me out more than it's worth. I know, it sounds dumb. But it's a real (first-world) problem. Here're some of the issues I face:

1. I shower at night. So-regardless of taking a bath or not- by the time I go to bed, I must have washed my hair and face, etc., and be ready to go. This is a non-negotiable. I've been a nighttime-bather my whole life and I have no intention of ever waking up and doing it in the morning before work. So. Yes.

2. I have been led to believe (either by myself, or maybe my mom? or a magazine? who knows where this belief came from, but it's been there for a long time) that you should not wash your hair in the tub-water if there is bubble bath or bath salts or any other fun bath-supplements in the water. Something about those chemicals not being good for your hair. It seems like a legit concern to me. Ditto with submerging my face in that water. 

THEREFORE, as a result of Facts 1 & 2, you can understand my conundrum. They're sort of mutually exclusive. If I want to take a bubble bath, I can't wash my hair...meaning I must take a separate shower either before or after the bath. Both of these options are totally lame because if I take a shower BEFORE, then there's a shortage of hot water available for the actual bath, plus I get cold standing there waiting for the garden tub to fill up. If I take a shower AFTER, it basically undoes the relaxation of the bath, plus washes all the skin-softening-bubble bath-chemicals off my skin...I mean, by the time I'm out of the shower, it's like the bath never happened. 

So the third option (that I see) is to take a bath-product-free bath first and go ahead and wash my hair/face in the chemical-free water. This gets slight bonus points because I like going all the way underwater and pretending I'm a mermaid swishing my hair around. It gets points deducted, though, because with no bubbles or anything, you have to see the water turn slightly gray and icky and try to convince yourself that it's because of your shampoo and not because you're a really gross person. So then after the hair is washed, I let half of the water drain back out of the tub, while running the faucet to get the water hot again (for some reason, even though it probably hasn't been 10 minutes since piping hot water was coming out of the's back to ice cold and will take 5 minutes of running to heat up again. LAME). This means the tub is about half-full of coldish water, which makes for a very sad few minutes. Once the water warms up again, I plug the tub again and let the hot water fill it up while mixing in my bubble bath or whatever. I can then commence with the 'relaxation' portion of bathing that is the whole reason I started this ridiculous procedure anyway. However, by this point, half the time I'm bored/frustrated with the whole thing anyway and kinda ready to just be done. But I relax for a few minutes anyway because dangit, that's what the whole point was.

So last night while going through this whole admittedly ridiculous process, I was like I wonder how OTHER people do their bath routine? Because most of my routines in life...I'm confident that they're the right way. Maybe not for everyone, but at least for me- I know I'm doing it the right- and most efficient- way. But bathing? Definitely not. So I come to you, dear friends of the world wide web, asking that you bestow your experience and advice on me. What's the most efficient and relaxing way to bathe? What should I do? Is it actually wrong to wash your hair in bubble bath water? Have I been believing a lie my whole life?

As a reward for sharing your wisdom, I will share with you ONE thing I'm pretty sure about:


This Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment is pretty dang awesome when you have super itchy and dry skin like me. It won't win any points for smelling fruity or being bubbly, but for getting your constantly-itchy skin to calm the heck down? Major points. Worth dealing with the hassles of bathing for those few precious minutes of relief. So, there ya go. 

[PS. Ha- after re-reading this before I hit 'publish,' I realized that the last paragraph totally sounded like an advertisement or a 'sponsored post'. It's not. I have approximately 2918 bath products on the side of my tub, and this one just happens to be the best for itchy skin. No one asked me to say that. So...just FYI. :)]

So help me out, wise friends. Some of you seem to be veteran bath-takers. Bestow your wisdom on me and teach me your ways.


  1. girl this post cracks me up! I too like taking baths, but also bathe at night. I have never taken a shower in the morning before work-no thank you. Plus, I can't even think about sleeping dirty...I like the sheets and blankets clean and fresh. They can't be when I am all filthy up in there. So yeah. Oh and now that I am pregnant, I like my baths even more!!! So, I wash my face at the sink with a washrag before getting in the tub...and I also hate going to bed with wet I wash my hair each morning over the tub (I don't get in). I find my hair styles much easier if it is washed in the morning vs. night too. That's how I do it!

  2. You're hilarious!! Being a morning bather, I don't have these issues (I HAVE to shower in the morning to wake myself up and because of hair issues)...but I can totally see how this would be a long and drawn out process. What about taking a bath and then washing your hair in the (clean) kitchen sink? I've definitely done that a time or two before...

  3. This post made me smile and a smile or two is just what I need to get through the rest of this week! I always shower in the morning before work but often I'll have a bubble bath in the evening where I do most of my reading. Lately I've gotten into the bad, bad habit of bringing my phone with me and catching up on the days news of these days I fear my dear little iPhone will go splash!

  4. I totally understand! These are real concerns! Ok - so first i fill the tub with warm water and a philosophy product that is marketed as bubble bath/shower gel/shampoo. I love the scents like birthday cake and gingerbread! That makes it bubbly but I dont think its bad for my hair. I usually read and relax for thirty minutes. Then I dnk my head and wash my hair, rinsing the shampoo out in the bathwater. Then I actually stand up, wash my body, and apply condition. Then (and here is where I am lucky) I rinse my hair and my body with the showerhead. We have a regular bath nozzel on one side of teh bath and a extendable shower head on the other side! Thanks for the product rec!

  5. I think I can classify myself as a veteran bath-taker. When we lived in Augusta I think I took one every day for the better part of 2.5 years. Water has always been super relaxing to me. Showering is a job, taking a bath is lovely. Plus, in the winter we kept the house at basically arctic levels, a bath helped to warm me up! : )

    So here's the thing, I normally separate mine. I would take a bath when I got home from hell (work). This helped me separate myself from the day and not take it out on Sam. 30 minutes of me time. Then right before bed, I shower to wash my hair. The shower is quick because I'm already clean and moisturized.

    Now obviously with your busy life of Zumba and what not, it doesn't make sense to take a bath and then go back out for exercise. Fruitless. But it doesn't sound like you take baths all that often either. Maybe try it on a lazy Saturday. Take a lovely bubble bath (just to relax) and don't worry about any washing. Then go about your day (super peacefully, I might add) and then take your shower at night.

  6. I don't take baths. I hate them. I think I am a cat and do pretty much everything in my power to avoid getting wet. Thus, I am often caught with third day hair. So sorry I can't help you. (When I have (once a year (or less)) taken a bubble bath, I always finish up with a shower so I feel clean.)

  7. As someone who showers in the morning and bathes at night, I prob won't be much help! Could you try washing your hair super quick while the bath water is running and filling up, and THEN add the bubble bath? Not sure if that would work. Good luck to you as you face this difficult conundrum!

  8. I wish I could help, but I am so not a bath-taker. It takes way too long for the tub to fill up, the water gets cold too fast, I hate the fear of getting my book or magazine wet, plus I feel like I'm laying in dirty water the whole time. (Mostly because my tub is dirty, not me.) That said, I take super long showers and find the water pouring over me super relaxing. I also enjoy sitting down in the shower.

    All that being said, what if you showered and as you were rinsing off, started filling up the tub? Could that work? Then you wouldn't have to get out of the shower while the tub was filling up.

  9. I can be of no help to you. . . I hate taking baths. I haven't taken a bath since immmmmmmmm . . . . . high school? I keep seeing my Instagram feed full of bubble baths w/ a wine glass and as relaxing as that sounds I just can't get myself to try. :)

  10. This post makes me LOVE and appreciate you SO MUCH MORE!
    Let me ADD to your list of OCD bathing Tendencies.
    1) one MUST always shower or take a bath before bed if the sheets are clean. I have tried for years to get my husband on board with this. We have compromised with him washing his feet..haha.

    2) If I do take a bath (which is hardly ever, because of small plastic toys that have taken over the bath). I would first take a bath and THEN take a shower to wash my hair and face. Which is admittedly a long process but completely necessary.

  11. I have not lived in a place with a working bath tub in, hum, maybe 6 years? Actually, take that back, the 1920s bathtub in our current house may actually work, but I've never tried it. This shows you how important baths are in my life. :) But, I am totally with you on the hair thing - there is no way to be efficient about bathing/washing the hair. Probably why I never do it!

  12. I don't shampoo my hair every day. So I only take baths on days that are not shampoo days.

    I've been told it is better for your hair, but it does take a bit for your hair to adjust and not be oily looking. Usually the first day I wear it down, second I wear it up.

  13. I've been a bath-taker my whole life...I'm a big fan! For me, it's the most relaxing part of my day (I take a bath at night, usually every other night)!

    I shower every other morning and wash my hair then.

    A trick I learned from my Mom, you can wash your hair in the bathroom sink. I don't ususally do this since I take showers, but it's a lot faster than taking a shower. The only downside is it's a little uncomfortable to lean over the sink.

  14. I always take a quick shower before getting in a bath to relax because I don't think I'll actually get my hair clean and I don't like the idea of sitting in a pool of the grime/feel of the day.

  15. You will shocked to hear this, but I'm just going to ditto Allison's comment.

  16. My husband introduced me to my favorite water relaxing method. It's not a true bath but I have found I love it even more. The only downside is that you can't read in it. But I get in the shower and do all of my cleaning. Then I lay down and let the hot shower water spray away my day! I prefer not plugging the tub (but you could). Thus, you are just laying down in the shower (which doesn't sound like much) but the water stays hot and you stay at a perfect temp. I love to turn out all of the lights. It's like a mini massage as well. I have found the hubs dead asleep lying at the bottom of a shower before. It's quite lovely. Give it a shot!

  17. Hahahaha! I, too, am a night-showerer. However, when I do a bath, I usually get a little sweaty and so as it's draining, I'll just start the shower and wash my hair and face and not my body since it did get a nice soak before. This way, I'm out of the shower faster and still feel well relaxed from the bath portion. Plus, when I sink down to soak the upper half of me, the nape of my neck (and thus, my hair) get into the bath water. But, I say take a bath however you find works best for you! There's no wrong or right way. I'd say whatever is the least stressful. :)

  18. This was the most fun post to read. Hahaha. And the comments! Hahaha.

    I take baths in the morning. I should take a shower b/c my showers are like 5 minutes, and my baths are more like 20 (or more), but I just can't bring myself to do it. Unless i am REALLY late, and then i have no choice.

    I like a hot steamy bath. I know people say they don't like baths b/c you're sitting in your own filth. I try not to think about that. I mean...gross. But baths are lovely.

    I don't use bubble bath or bath salts. I like putting my head under water & swishing my hair all around. :)

    Sometimes, after a really stressful or exhausting day, the only thing to relax me is a hot bath with a novel. So, that's really the only time i bathe at night. As much as i love the whole clean body in clean sheets thing. ;)

  19. Oh no! I start a new job on Monday & since i don't have to be there til 9:30, and my gym is 2 miles from new job, i decided to go to the gym in the mornings.

    Which means i will have to kiss my baths goodbye and take a shower at the GYM instead. Blerg.

  20. You are so funny! Yeah I love a good night bath but I've been showering at the gym in flip flops. I pity anyone who forgets shower shoes...

  21. Well I took a bath the other day that changed my life. I took a shower as soon as James got home. I then took a bath before bedtime. I was already clean from the shower earlier in the evening. I turned out the lights,lit candles and dropped a couple drops of lavender essential oil in he bath. And then the best part...I propped our kindle fire in the corner ( making sure it couldn't fall in.) I then soaked in my bath while watching an episode of Dawson's Creek. Watching tv + bath=magical.

  22. I am a religious bath taker. Three out of five weekdays, it's the first thing I do when I get home. Just that half hour of hot, bubbly relaxation is divine...and by the time the water starts cooling, I'm ready to get out and do something--dinner or some crafting or reading. Then, I have a shower before bed, for I, too, am worthless at morning showers. I just won't get out of bed for them.


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