Whats The Longest You've Gone Without Bathing?

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Might as well confirm or deny yet another Internet prejudice. Inspired by the joyous sound of a bath running.

My answer: 5 days, while travelling round Europe. Nasty.

Tom, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

72 hours, I believe. No particular reason, from what I can recall. But, damn, it does get funky after a while. And it's not the good James Brown / Prince funk. I'm talking Dave Matthews Phish patchouli funk. Goddamn!

David Raposa, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Does River Bathing Count ?
I am an avid long trip conoeist and often it is a week between towns.

anthony, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I used to get pretty funky during final exams while I was an undergrad and in law school. Would stay in the apartment just studying for days on end, emerging only to get coffee, cigarettes or the mail. I think 5 days was the record during those days.

My "personal best" (heh heh heh), though, was when I had a really bad case of the flu when I was 17. I didn't bathe for 8 days. Then again, I could barely move at all during those 8 days.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

4 weeks.

Michael, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

> 4 weeks.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! Did yer neighbors call the EPA during that time?

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

It was worth it to see the residue left in the bath...yowsa!!

Michael, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

When I was really at my worst depression-wise, I went 2 weeks. I didn't change out of my pajamas either. I basically walked out of my bedroom (at around 2pm), got coffee, checked email, and went back to bed to listen to music. It was during that time that I realized how much time I wasted taking showers, I wish someone would invent a way that people could clean off magically.

Ally, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

many months, i'm afraid. & going long periods without bathing is a habit it's easy to slip back into in winter in dunedin (that's where i am right now 7 that's when i am too [shortest day last wk])

duane zarakov, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

many months, i'm afraid. & going long periods without bathing is a habit it's easy to slip back into in winter in dunedin (that's where i am right now & that's when i am too [shortest day last wk])

duane zarakov, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

shit. sorry bout that mr moderator........

stank ass, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Damn, y'all nasty mofos!

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yurrrk! Cannot recall a day w/o at least one shower. But I s'pose it's happened. I like to be clean.

AP, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I will not count times I was camping in the woods.

All other times: 48 hours. And not by choice.

JM, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

16 days when I was in argentina - I wanted to see how low I could go, but the feeling of having yr pubic haris on fire made me break.

Geoff, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I went about 2 weeks when I was 25. I was in the hospital with pneumonia, hooked up to a tube draining my lungs of fluid, so I couldn't really make it out of bed even if I'd had the energy. I fainted when I finally got to take a shower.

Arthur, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Theory: baths for the UK, showers for the Americans. (Elsewhere..what is it?) I figure since UKers wash less than USers in general, they choose to commemorate the rare washing with luxury and reflection.

A: at least a week. not incuding hiking -- great fun to be had piling into Waffle House hours after emerging from woods wild-haired and dirty

p.s. skin creates thin odorless layer of oil called "sebum" after not washing for two-three days - protects from disease, infection, etc. If you wash every day you never get this.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I refused to take showers until I was 15, because they annoyed me. I took a bath once a week. Boys should be dirty. As soon as I decided I didn't want to be a boy anymore, I started showering daily.

Otis Wheeler, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Glastonbury occasions which is about 3-4 days. At first I think 'ooh, I don't half need a wash' but by the time I get home I'm thinking 'screw the oppressive masses who insist that I wash, I am a crusty and I like being dirty'. This is just laziness of course. I do generally prefer cleanliness.

I have done longer stretches without washing my hair which is very skanky indeed.

Emma, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Have never worked out a way to read in the shower, hence dud.

mark s, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Crist people call me dirty cos I have a two day regime. Showers are great if you have a good shower and its summer, beyond that the lack of ability to read is pretty dud. That said, saw on TV last week a touch screen internet shower booth which I'm sure could alleviate certain problems.

Longest without the all over body was. A five day Glastonbury - came back with a bear too.

Pete, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Apologies. As you know the British countryside is not rampant with bears of any kind. I mean beard of course.

Pete, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Maybe not the countryside, but Hackney must have once been fairly rampant with them if Mark S's why-I-moved-there tale is anything to go by.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Eeeuuuwww!!! If I go 24 hours without a shower, I feel nasty. I think I have only ever twice in my life broken the 2-day mark. Once cause I was in hospital, and they wouldn't let me bathe, and the other because I was on a cross-US train trip, and we were too cheap to buy a ticket for a carriage with a bath.

When I was in my late teens, my parent got in a massive billing dispute with the local oil company. So we went without heating oil (to run our hot water heaters as well as our central heating) for an entire summer. I still managed to get a shower or bath in every 48 hours, through pretty notorious means. I would get myself invited to every party imaginable, then as soon as I got there, lock myself in the bathroom for half an hour. Once or twice I even let myself get picked up by boys, then as soon as we got home, barricaded myself in their showers and wouldn't let them touch me.

Even when I was in the worst depression, I couldn't stomach the not bathing thing. In fact, during the worst times of mental illness, I'd usually shower compulsively 2 or 3 times a day. And wash my hands every 15 minutes. Literally. Like, I would get up in the middle of class once or twice and excuse myself to wash my hands.

Don't mind it in other people, though. I've always been very attractive to dirty boys. The skankier the better.

masonic boom, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

How often, strictly medically speaking, should humans wash? Cause what somebody said upthread about the sebum thing is true - constant washing is not neccessarily good for you. Nor on the other hand is too much dirt. Obviously a lot of people now have got used to the idea of daily baths and would feel horrible without them, but when did this start happening? (and who was responsible for it?)

Tom, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

It happened around the same time that indoor plumbing became standard, I'm guessing. In Victorian times, full body baths were still only done once a week in most households. Then again, the Romans visited The Baths once a day, but that was more of a social thing.

See, this is the sort of thing I *wish* we'd studied in history, not stupid kings and queens. Like the idea of privacy is only a very recent invention in the past 100 years or so. Older houses, even for the very wealthy, never had corridors, you'd just go through all the rooms one after another to get to the others, even if there were people in them. The corridor, as an architectural feature, is only about 150-odd years old.

masonic boom, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

6 Days over Glastonbury weekend once. But it doesn't matter, because everyone else smells too! (No one notices the smell till you return to the real world. You are still pleasantly oblivious.) What worries me is I can't remember if I changed my underwear in that time! I know I went through Reading for 4 days with no socks once, as within ten minutes of arriving I walked through a bog, and didn't have a spare pair since we travelled very light! Didn't wash that weekend, either...

Bill

Bill, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Most hygiene obsessed person in office — now left — was also ALWAYS ILL. I was taught by my mother that "dirt is good for you": not as in not washing SELF, but as in not worrying abt eg eating an apple of a tree , or off HER kitchen floor. Hygienic kitchen floor = slathered in cleaning liquids NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Huge rise in kids allergies owing to NOT BEING EXPOSED TO ALLOGENS WHEN TINY???? (Huge rise in kids generally, owing to NOT BEING EXPOSED ON MOUNTAINSIDE as per SPARTA'S foresightful regime...)

mark s, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

The longest I went without a shower was on a camping trip, something like 10 days. Beyond that, I think there have been weekends where I haven't showered until Saturday night, but only if I don't leave the house and if I'm feeling supernaturally lazy. I really HATE feeling unwashed.

Dan Perry, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My mum was also a big fan of not being over scrupulous about avoiding dirt (though having said that we did bath daily as kids and the house was always lovely and clean) on the grounds of building resistance to stuff. I am not allergic to anything I can think of.

However as a grown up I find that my laissez faire attitude to eating things off the ground causes great disgust among friends who were clearly brought up in Obsessive Compulsive households and are probably allergic to wheat, dairy produce, peanuts, pets etc. etc.

Emma, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I've gotten rather obsessive about showering lately, to be honest. And I definitely don't think it's good for me, just looking at the fact that my face has been breaking out like mad for the past two months and my hair's a bit dry and needs deep conditioner every night (though that might just be due to dying it three times in two weeks). I figure I"m not paying for the water or the heating, so I might as well when I get bored.

Ally, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

10 days. I was on a camping trip where the washing facilities were so unsanitary that it was cleaner not to bathe. In fact, the camp was later closed down for hygiene reasons. I couldn't use the bathrooms at the campsite for those entire 10 days either.

Needless to say, I never went camping again. And never will.

Paul Strange, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Mine's camping too, 5 days on the Isles of Scilly I think.

chris, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Like a lot of others, the longest I've really suffered is the festival w/end drought. Nothing but a wet-wipe under the armpit for five days.

I do like a good shower though, I have one that sprays in a very wide circle so I can position myself in the dead centre and exist in a cocoon of water. I can stand there for ages, it's strangely meditative.

D*A*V*I*D*M, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I once saw some story on the band Motley Crue, and they claimed to have had a "who can go the longest without bathing, and still shag a groupie" contest. I think Nikki Sixx was the winner, clocking in at around a month! If Motley Crue themsleves aren't enough to turn one's stomach.......

I think the daily bathing phenomena is a product of post WWII advertising champaigns. Of course, I blame advertisers for everything, so, I am probably full of shit.

Tom, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Ally, you should charge people to come in off the street and use your unlimited-water shower.

Josh, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

A full week, I think, when at Scout camp in 1991, '92 and '93.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

six months pass...
As Emma has said elsewhere, girls tend to be curiously more relaxed than most men about going without bathing in situations like stinking festivals. Odd.

N., Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Fuckin ages I'd say, I was in Taize in France the last two summers, if any of you have heard of it you'll know showers are kind of not an option. Fuck it though, if I don't care, I don't care if anyone else does. So ten days probably when I was there. I was washing in a sink and stuff so maybe that's cheating. but no shower or bath. actually the second time last year I had a shower a few times.

Ronan, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

How did I miss this one first time around? Daily morning shower without exception. No shower and no shave = Ned gets ANGRY. Grr!

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

NED IS SO...CLEAN. YET I SUSPECT HE LIES AND REALLY HE LAST SHOWERED WHEN LILACS IN THE DOORWAY BLOOMED

Mike Hanle y, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

*cries in shame at revelation*

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Three or four days, while backpacking. The clawfoot tub at the hostel was VERY HEAVEN when we finally got there. I'm sure the other guests were also thankful that we found the bath.

Pyth, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

NED WOULD HATE FRANCE

Mike Hanle y, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

2 days!!!!

Gale Deslongchamps, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

NED WOULD HATE FRANCE

I liked it the one day I visited.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

between four days and a week, backpacking. i don't quite remember. i wouldn't have minded if my clothes hadn't been filthy as well.

Maria, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

MARIA IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN BATHWATER TO CLEANE YOUR FLITH -TRY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST-HE IS CRISPY AND DELIGHTFULLY FRESH SMELLING

Mike Hanle y, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That's one good communion wafer you've bit into there.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

when i was 18 i made a conscious decision to only shower once every three days.

di, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

that only lasted a few months.

di, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

This kinda segues into a body hair thread, me thinks. I have friends roughly my age who still only shower once every three days -- because, well, they can. They all share the trait of being body- hair-less. I'm not sure if that's directly proportional to the amount of sweat one produces, but I've never remembered any foul odors whaffing from their close immediate direction.

Me, it's pretty noticeable when I haven't showered in a day. The most I've gone without bathing was recently... 4 days. Staying over at a girl's place, then train trip down the coast, then staying in the next day.

Brian MacDonald, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Hi – My name is Ahrani and I am a researcher with an independent TV production company in London called Outline Productions. We are making a 10 X 30 minute series for BBC Choice called “Born in the Seventies” about 22 to 35 year olds in the UK. Each programme focuses on a different aspect of the lifestyles of this age group – from Health to Work to Looks to Nightlife etc…

Each show will feature six different stories about people within this age group who live very different lives.

For the Health programme we are keen to speak with people within our age group within the UK, who don’t take care of their personal hygiene; obsessed with uncleanliness and go for days without washing.

We are filming the week beginning 8th April 2002 through until 10th May 2002 and are keen to speak with people at some point this week/ as soon as possible.

I hope you can help!

Many thanks in advance,

I look forward to hearing from you very soon!

Best Regards,

Ahrani Thiriloganathan (Miss)

Outline Productions

E-mail: ahrani@outlineproductions.co.uk

Ahrani Thiriloganathan, Tuesday, 12 March 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ALL LIMEY DIRTHIPPIES REPORT TO THE WHITE COURTESY PHONE!

Brian MacDonald, Tuesday, 12 March 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Phew, I thought it was just me who got that e-mail. My post above didn't seem particularly dirty.

Pete, Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Why are we getting picked on by researchers for all these scummy investigations? First Special Brew drinking now not washing. I AM NOT A TRAMP.

N., Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

five years pass...

megabump! The bathing habits of others always confuse me, since I'll often go a week between showers and it's only after five days or so that I get notably grotty. My skin is as smooth as silk, independent adjudicators have told me that I don't smell, and my hair only descends from 'luxuriant glory' to 'kinda greasy' after, ooh, day four. I am a fairly hairless man, but still. I surely can't be alone in this! Am I just deluded and somehow surrounded by yes men?

Merdeyeux, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 01:47 (thirteen years ago) link

When I was in grad school, I'd bathe once a week. I didn't smell too bad at the end of that cycle, but it wasn't terribly attractive, either. I would help things out a bit by putting chalk in my hair, which reduced the oiliness some. The grossest part was week-old crotch rot & butt itch. Eventually, I decided I wanted to make hump with women who were attracted to men who bathed more regularly, so I started bathing once every other day, and now I bathe every morning.

libcrypt, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 13:21 (thirteen years ago) link


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