Most people know that showering means stripping down to your birthday suit to get clean. This is simply the way of things, especially when you want to get down to the nitty-gritty and come out smelling fresh. But what happens when you’re covered in grime? Or when you’ve come back from a run and don’t want your funk staying in clothes until laundry day? Is it okay to take a shower with your clothes on?
Well, there’s certainly no harm in it, but whether or not you should depends on a couple of factors. We’re going to get into the reasons you should and shouldn’t shower with clothes on, so keep reading.
Reasons For Wearing Clothes in the Shower
There are a number of reasons why someone would choose to hop in the shower with their clothing on. Usually, the motivation is to wash the clothes and body simultaneously. For instance, you might have just finished a day at the beach and want to rinse the sand from your clothing and body.
Other reasons include:
- You just finished working out and want to rinse the sweat from everything
- You came in from an extremely hot day and want to cool off
- Conversely, you’re freezing and need to warm up
- Something caustic, like a chemical or gasoline, spilled all over you
- You like the feeling of wet clothing on your body
- You want to wash yourself and your clothes all at once
- You’re bathing in the open and want to maintain modesty (this is common in Asian countries)
In the event you don’t have a washing machine or dryer, washing your clothes in the shower can be a decent but temporary substitute. The only warning here is that clothing washed with body soap might be stiff when it dries. Also, washing machine detergent is much more effective at removing stains, dirt, and odors than soap for skin.
Advantages of showering with clothes on:
- Quick rinse to remove odors or chemicals
- Can act as a pre-soak to remove stains
- Weight of wet clothing might be calming for those with anxiety/having a panic attack
- Body soap can be used on clothing to keep them clean (but won’t remove stains)
- Cool down immediately within stripping off clothing
Disadvantages of showering with clothes on:
- Removing your clothes once they’re wet can be difficult
- Water might ruin or stretch baggier clothing
- Certain clothing can be uncomfortable when wet or damp
Clothes That You Can Wear in the Shower
Wondering which clothes are the best option for wearing into the shower? Contrary to what you might be thinking, some items that are machine-washable shouldn’t be brought into the shower. Natural fibers, for instance, can be damaged from the shampoos and soaps that you use when exposed to them routinely. Also, some fabrics will hold a lot of water and could be stretched or remain damp for too long and smell funky later.
Cotton and denim can be worn into the shower, but there’s going to be one problem. Those items, or anything bulkier than synthetics, will hold onto moisture for a long time. You might end up spending hours in the shower just waiting for your stuff to get even a little dry.
Here are some clothes that are okay to wear during a shower:
- Activewear: sports bra, running shorts, leggings, tank tops, rash guards, bathing suits and board shorts
- Nylon and other synthetics
- Tights and cotton leggings
- Anything breathable
In short, breathable, moisture-wicking materials are the best for showering while clothed.
Clothes That Shouldn’t Be Worn in the Shower
If you’re wearing your clothes into the shower because you’re cold, or it’s a modesty thing, or you simply want to rinse your sweaty activewear, you need to know what can’t come with you. Otherwise, you might ruin those pieces of clothing rather than washing them out.
Here are some clothes you shouldn’t wear in the shower:
- Anything with embellishments. Fancy dress with sequins that got stained at the bar? You’re going to need to take that to a dry cleaner.
- Lace—it’s too fine.
- Wool, cashmere, and other animal furs.
- Anything that can get too heavy and stretch. Chunky sweaters? Hoodies? Oversized shirt dresses? Items that you shouldn’t hang while wet for fear of stretching should be avoided.
- Formal wear, like your wedding dress or a suit and tie.
Or, perhaps the most simple guideline: Delicate items that you would only dry clean should never be taken into the shower.
Best Way to Shower With Clothes On
So you’re considering taking a shower with your clothes on. Now what? How do you make showering with clothes on more effective? We’ve got some tips.
First off, it’s important that you know that showering all the time with clothing on is impractical and won’t be as thorough as showering nude. Trying to clean either yourself or your clothing while you’re wearing them means you’ll only do a partial job on both accounts. If you’re okay with that, proceed.
It’s best you take off your undergarments regardless. That way you’ll have more mobility within the shower (or wherever you’re bathing). Start by dampening your clothes and lathering the places that aren’t clothed. Rinse off and proceed to lift the shirt so you can get underneath to wash the chest and belly. Afterwards, drop your pants to get around the genitals, backside, and legs.
Make sure that you put down something to catch the water that’s going to drip from your sopping wet clothing. Otherwise, you’re going to leave a massive puddle on the floor, potentially causing water damage.
Should You Though?
Is it okay to shower with clothes on? Yes, it is, but you shouldn’t do it all the time. Showering with your clothes on can be a great way to cool down or warm up, rinse your dirty clothing before washing them, or cleansing both your body and garments quickly.