Britain's Shocking Bathroom Habits’ Confessions | Soak&Sleep

As a nation, when it comes to our hygiene habits, it turns out that Great Britain is anything but great! Here at Soak&Sleep, we got down to the nitty-gritty, surveying over 2,300 people to find out the dirty truth. The Scots win the Worst Washers Award, with the lowest frequency of both bathing and showering across the survey. Whereas watch-out for folk in the Midlands - they are most likely to pee in the bath!

Bath vs Shower


Shower fans can’t believe that bathers soak in grime-infused water. Bath fans can’t bear jumping in and out of a shower.

Our exclusive Soak&Sleep survey reveals that women are more likely to favour a relaxing bath (61%-39%) whereas men much prefer a quick dip in the shower (74%-26%)

What exactly do women find so alluring about the bath? It’s a symbol of relaxation – which is why there are so many bath products on the market targeted at women. It's time for a glass of wine, a face mask and some bubbles.  

Overall, the bath wins 55% - 45%, but not all bathers are particularly clean…

It’s a common misconception that bathing is less hygienic than showering, but this is not the case.  Dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe says dirt tends to settle away from the skin and is diluted in the bathwater. 

But some Britons have some pretty dirty bathroom habits. Our research reveals that 28% of bathers just soak without actively washing, while 26% share their bathwater! While it is recommended not to use harsh soaps while bathing, you should still be using gentle cleansers with added moisturisers to remove all the dirt and oil from your skin. And please, don’t use someone else's dirty bathwater! 

But perhaps most shockingly, 22% of adult bathers admit to peeing in the bath. And 19% of those also share their bathwater (yep, we told you that was a bad idea!). 

According to our research, the worst wee-ers are in the Midlands, followed by the East of England, Yorkshire & Humber and the South East.


Shocking Facts About Bathers

When should you shower? Most of the science favours showering at night. A night-time shower changes your body temperature and may help you get to sleep faster and more easily. Dermatologists also say the last thing you want to do is leave dirt, germs and pollution on your skin while hopping into bed. (You should also wash your bed linen at least once a fortnight to help keep germs at bay, and ideally use a mattress protector to keep out dust, dirt and spills.) 

The benefits of a morning shower are more obvious: It wakes you up and helps you get in the right headspace for the day.

But some Britons have poor showering habits too.

Only 70% of showerers regularly actively wash their feet. But shoes can be a hotbed for bacteria, so clean those feet! That’s never more true than during exercise, and amazingly, 

13% of showerers don’t immediately jump into the shower after exercise.

And don’t think the bath pee-ers are alone. Brits feel even more comfortable taking a leak in the shower, with Gen Xers more likely to pee in the shower than any other generation. In fact, 36% of our survey admitted to regularly peeing in the shower - that’s 14% more than the bath camp. 

While healthy urine is mostly water, electrolytes and waste products, it can linger on the shower floor so it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect your shower. Or opt for your closest toilet!


Shocking Shower Confessions

How Often Do People Change and Share Their Towels?


Just because you’re squeaky-clean doesn’t mean you’re safe from germs. You could still be drying yourself with bacteria-laced bath towels if you don’t wash them often enough – which can lead to skin irritations and bacterial infections. Damp towels are also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria - so don’t leave them hanging in a moist bathroom where they can’t dry out! Same goes for bath mats, although you are clean getting out of the bath or shower, the dampness can cause bacteria to develop. 

Yet 20% of people admit to only changing or washing their towels every two weeks - or even less frequently!

Dermatologists strongly advise against sharing towels - even between family members. But our survey shows that 24% of Britons admit to sharing towels – with 17% using their partner’s or housemate’s towel behind their back! Men are 25% more likely than women to be the offenders.

Regular washing of towels will reduce the risk of transmitting germs. A normal washing detergent will do the trick; and for best protection, run your wash at 60C. Check out our towel care guide for more advice. 

Wrapping It Up

Delving into the hygiene habits of the UK has shown us that we’re not, perhaps, as clean as we’d like to think. And along the way, we hope you’ve also picked up a few simple steps to improve your washing habits.

Want to spruce up your bathroom and turn it into a relaxing (and clean!) haven? Take a look at our top tips to create an at-home spa in your bathroom that won’t cost a fortune!