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Money saving

Could you cut your energy bills by showering less?

Posted 17 January 2016

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Do you shower yourself and wash your hair too often?

Yes, we know, the title of this blog sounds like we’re asking you to stop showering. Let’s get something straight right from the off – we’re not! What we are going to do is explore whether you could save money by showering less, because it seems we Brits love to shower, and quite often too. And we’re concentrating on showers because we love to do that more than taking a bath, that’s for sure. So, do you really need to shower every day? And if you didn’t, what would be the result?

;First, let’s look at how much money the average family spends on showers.

How much does a shower cost?

According to Which? an eight-minute shower costs approximately 30p, and uses about 62 litres of water, this equates to £416 a year to keep your family clean. This amount shoots up to 136 litres if you have a fancy power shower fitted, as many modern home do, meaning an average cost of 63p, over the year that’s £230, per person!

You could, of course, be super environmentally and purse friendly by re-purposing the water for another use, like flushing your toilet or watering your garden, in which case you will be saving even more. You can only really do this if you have a shower over your bath. If you do, just pop the plug in when you jump in and capture all that water. 

But I need to shower every day, don’t I?

Actually, no you don’t. Here’s the official advice on basic hygiene from the NHS. They say that you only need to fully bath or shower twice a week. As we said, the national average of baths in the UK being five per week, that’s three you can cut out right away.

Of course this advice is for those of the UK workforce who sit in an office all day, not doing very much sweating. Now, if you have a really active job that means you sweat profusely, or you have a job that means you get mucky then of course it’s going to be necessary for you to shower more. 

Benefits of not showering every day 

Reducing the number of showers you take each week has a number of benefits. They’ll be a reduction in:

• electricity or gas costs
• the amount of product you have to use when you shower, such as shower gels and shampoos
• the amount of times you need to wash your towels
• your carbon footprint
• the time spent washing yourself
• your water bills if you are on a water meter

Probably the most important of those benefits is the reduction in cost. If you are on a water meter, you’ll probably be more inclined to take shorter showers anyway, as you’re literally watching money in the form of perfectly clean, fresh water pouring down the drain.

Save your skin

Not only does showering less save the pennies, it also saves your skin. Showering every day, especially with hot water, and harsh products that strip off the skins natural oils that form a layer of protection, can have a drying and irritating effect on the skin.

John Oxford, a professor of virology at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry states that:

A vigorous daily shower would disturb the natural bug flora of the skin as well as skin oils… As long as people wash their hands often enough and pay attention to the area of the body below the belt, showering or bathing every other day would do no harm  …Even twice a week would not be a problem if people used a bidet daily as most infectious bugs hang around our lower halves...We should wash to stop cross-infection, not for grooming reasons.”

If this happens, you’ll more than likely have to put some suppleness back into your skin in the form of a bottled moisturiser, costing you even more money.

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And save your hair!

Same goes for your hair, you don’t need to wash that every day either and you certainly don’t need to lather, rinse, repeat like they tell you on the bottle. There are people who have not used bottled, supermarket-bought shampoos for years and report their hair feeling better than it’s ever felt. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can use as alternative shampoos, if you find you really need to feel as though it’s had some kind of washing. And if you want to see how your hair gets on after a year of no shampoo, here’s an honest review of what it’s like.    

If you really do need to shower every day

If you have a dirty job, or a condition that means you need to shower every day, you can do some things that’ll make it less costly for your purse and your skin. As we’ve mentioned already, the average UK shower is about eight minutes long, so you can start by cutting that in half to begin with.   You should shower using warm, rather than hot, water so it’s less drying on your skin. And you should try to use gentle soaps, or just use plain water to wash yourself.   

You could also think about switching the shower off whilst you wash your hair and switching it back on again when you’re ready to rinse. And there are some great ways to save water too, like water saving shower heads. According to SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com a moneysaving shower head could save you up to 50% on your water bills.  

Times are a changin’

If you decide to change your shower habits, you’ll certainly not be alone, as times really are a changin’. Just google ‘how often should you wash’ and you’ll be presented with a page of results detailing the stories of other people who are choosing to ditch daily showers.  

Take this article for example – Can you guess which of these women showers just once a week? – which highlights how more people are seeing the benefits, and recognising the excesses, of showering every day. Why don’t you become one of them? It’s a winner all round!

There’s nothing wrong with saving money where possible.  But if you feel like you’ve had to put your life on hold to meet your debt repayments then you might have a debt problem.  If that’s the case, why not have a chat with one of our friendly debt advisors. They are ready and waiting for your call. All you need to do is choose one of the ‘contact us’ links on the left of the page.  They may be able to recommend a debt solution that will help put your finances back on the road oo recovery, so you can start to enjoy more of the things you love again! 

by Shelley Bowers

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