A shower is more than just a modern utility. It is an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world. Many of these people use their shower as a way to de-stress and relax. That is why so few people care to look deeply into the process and assess whether or not it is truly more efficient than taking a bath. It is true that taking a shower has the potential of using more water than taking a bath, but that does not mean it is always the case, or that there are not ways to shower while remaining financially frugal and environmentally friendly.

How Much Water Does a Shower Consume?

The amount of water used when showering depends entirely on how long you shower, but the global average number of gallons consumed per shower may shock you. An estimated 18 gallons of water is used per individual for every single shower taken. The standard shower head produces about 2.5 gallons per minute. That is 25 gallons of water every ten minutes, meaning that the estimated average shower lasts no longer than seven minutes. Seven minutes is not a long time. There are many people out there who use their shower time to escape the frustrations of daily life, which can take far longer than seven minutes.

This may sound overwhelming, but the average bathtub can hold as much as 30 gallons of water with a single person inside. Although a shower has the potential of consuming more water, it typically does not. That means that the long standing myth that baths are more efficient than showers is actually false.

The Cost of Showering

Toilets and washing machines are the biggest water consumers in a home, but the shower is high on that list as well. When showering, you have to consider the amount of water consumed as well as the energy used to heat that water. A ten minute shower, when factoring in water heating costs, can run you as much as 2 dollars. That is 2 dollars per day for every person living in the home, assuming of course that they all shower.

The cost of showering is a necessary cost, but it can add up. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to reduce your water and energy consumption. The most obvious of which would be to take shorter showers. The next time you shower, be mindful of your individual process. How quickly do you go for the soap and shampoo? Do you stand under the water and daydream for minutes on end? These little moments can mean a lot at the end of the year when you tally the amount of money spent on showering. Another simple technique is to take cooler showers. This may not effect your water consumption, but it will reduce the energy required to heat that water. You could even consider turning the water off when you stop to lather up and apply shampoo to your hair, then only use the water to rinse off. This is called the “Navy Shower”. It may seem like a nuisance, but if your main concern is conservation, than you may want to give it a try.

There are also low flow shower heads that consume far less water in the same amount of time as a standard shower head. Costing as little as 5 dollars, a low flow shower head will reduce your water consumption per minute by at least half a gallon. It may not seem like much, but it adds up. You could be saving 5 gallons of water every time you take a ten minute shower. In one year, that adds up to over 1,800 gallons of water saved.