Shower Temperature

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Posted by nutter (2397 posts) 30 days, 23 hours ago

Poll: Shower Temperature (161 votes)

Ice cold 4%
Luke warm 43%
Skin-meltingly hot 53%

Alright, duders...I recently got to the point where I’m turning the shower up only to the point where I get decent pressure. No heat. Nice and cold.

This started as a post-workout habit to aid muscle recovery. I gradually went colder and colder and am now accustomed to the coldest water my shower will produce.

This got me thinking two things:

1) I need to watch the slippery slope of becoming some sort of psychopath

2) What the shower temperature breakdown is here.

Are you down with icy, healthy showers, or are you a scald-you-skin-off like Jeff Gerstmann

Feel free to chime in about beer in the shower, dark showers, and other such nonsense. The community needs to know!

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#1 Posted by cikame (2957 posts) -

In the winter i like it very hot, and i reduce the flow so i can have nice long showers without fear of running out of hot water, it also helps to warm the room so i don't have a heart attack when leaving the shower.
In the summer i have it warm, on the hottest days i might have it cool but not cold.
I live in the south west of England so the temperature varies between average 2-8°c in winter and 23-26°c in the summer.

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#2 Posted by Efesell (4640 posts) -

The absolute threshold of Too Hot. Bathe in Cleansing Fire.

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#3 Posted by Rorie (5923 posts) -

I have never been able to take an actual cold shower. gimme it

No Caption Provided

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#4 Posted by frytup (1367 posts) -

I hate saunas, hot tubs, and any situation in which being hot is a requirement. It baffles me that people are into that.

Ideal shower temp for me is just warm enough that I'm not shivering.

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#5 Edited by deactivated-5d5f33a6b34f9 (210 posts) -

I used to be a hot shower person. Now I take lukewarm or cold ones. It's only the first like 5 or so seconds that is a bit of a shock with a cold shower, but after that it's okay, and it wakes you up much much more effectively. It also helps me not take too much time. If I take a hot shower, then I'm likely to stay in there for like 15-20 minutes sometimes. If it's cold, then I want to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. No stalling.

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#6 Posted by Lego_My_Eggo (1333 posts) -

Its changes with the season. In winter i will let it be as hot as the water heater is set, sometimes no cold water running at all. In the summer i will keep it at body temp or a little lower and cool off, only on hot days do i really have it set where i would consider it cold.

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#7 Posted by Cure_Optimism (89 posts) -

I try to wash off the shame but they just don't make water hot enough!

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#8 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@farleyslundgren: I’m at the point where long cold showers are fine. Refreshing as hell!

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#9 Posted by kzeus (6 posts) -

I always like to start it off hot and then turn it down a bit through. I tried cold showers for a month or so and both are fine if you get used to them.

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#10 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2666 posts) -

I like to start off warm and work my way up to hot as my body adjusts to the temperature. Sometimes I do like it near-scalding, backing off just enough to where it doesn't hurt.

If I just got done working out or if I'm super hot, I will take a cold-ish shower. I usually don't make it really cold unless I feel like I'm going to die from heat exhaustion.

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#11 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8958 posts) -

Warm, then hot. My water heater has the capacity of a thimble so it all generally devolves into an ice cold shower after the first few moments of bliss.

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#12 Posted by wollywoo (325 posts) -

What, nothing in-between luke-warm and skin-melting? How about pleasantly sweltering?

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#13 Posted by Zeik (5245 posts) -

There's definitely such a thing as "too hot", but "skin-melting" is closer to acceptable than lukewarm. Lukewarm is almost worse than ice cold.

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#14 Posted by stantongrouse (243 posts) -

Warm, unless it's a super hot day or post exercise, then it might be cool. I used to love a hot shower but then realised I was just setting off the sweaty mess switch in my body and ruining all the good work the shower has just done.

I brush my teeth in the shower rather than take a beer in. Thought this was perfectly normal until moving in with my partner who thinks it's the habit of a lunatic.

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#15 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2120 posts) -

I start it out nice and lukewarm and gradually build it up to hot. Not stupid hot. Not like my wife. God damn if I get in the shower after her and don't remember to turn it down first it's like an inferno how do women do that?

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#17 Posted by Justin258 (15693 posts) -

Scalding. I can't do anything less than hot, even post working outside in summer weather all day.

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#18 Posted by Rahf (544 posts) -

Never ice cold. I tried that for a while, realised it was doing nothing and then decided to start enjoying life.

To quote a recent study on the subject:

The findings indicate contrast water therapy and contrast showers did not accelerate physical recovery in elite netballers after a netball specific circuit; however, the psychological benefit from both interventions should be considered when determining the suitability of these recovery interventions in team sport.

- Influence of contrast shower and water immersion on recovery in elite netballers. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Aug;28(8):2353-8.

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#19 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7696 posts) -
That's my type, that's my type
That's my type, that's my type

Luke warm


Very warm

Hot ---------------------------------------------------------------->

Prickly hot

Scaldinlinly hot

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#20 Posted by Forrester90 (1010 posts) -

Only psychotics and Cosmo Kramer take cold showers.

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#21 Posted by ShaggE (9313 posts) -

Hottish. Not trying to come out looking like a lobster, but it's gotta be hot enough to get a good steam going, too. Comfortably hot, I guess.

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#22 Posted by someoneproud (669 posts) -

As cold as it goes, nothing wakes me up like a freezing cold shower and heat doesn't agree with me generally. I don't feel uncomfortable from cold until it gets to about -10C but 30C weather is absolutely insufferable to me.

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#23 Posted by Brian_ (33 posts) -

Turn up the hot all the way with just a slight bit of cold. So not "burn my skin off" hot, but pretty close.

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#24 Posted by FinalDasa (3241 posts) -

Hot. Boil. Melt.

Then, cause Florida is already a warm state, gradually drop it down.

I've definitely exited the shower sweating before. Gotta cool off a little bit.

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#25 Posted by mochibunny2005 (9 posts) -

It depends! In the morning I take a quick hot shower using shampoo for everything, for a quick clean before school or whatever I’m doing that day. Then when I get home I like to rinse off and really scrub good with cool but not cold water (is that lukewarm? I dunno!). But if I swam that day then I like to take a really hot shower to thaw out! Either that or I like to take a hot bath =)

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#27 Posted by BoboBones (291 posts) -

@rahf: I came to the same conclusion. After taking hot showers my entire life, I switched to freezing cold for quite a while. I recently switched back, and am finally enjoying them again.

For a brief moment at the end, I still go full blast cold on my head and face. That is usually enough to wake me up without taking an ice cold shower.

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#28 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@someoneproud: It just feels more refreshing. The warm water feels...not dirty, but less cleansing. I’ve gotten accustomed to it.

I’ve also noticed my co-workers all wash their hands in hot water at work. I crank that shit to the right an wash ‘em cold.

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#29 Posted by Efesell (4640 posts) -

@nutter: This feels so backwards.

How can one clean anything in cold water, let alone yourself.

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#30 Posted by someoneproud (669 posts) -

@nutter: I love the feeling of a cold shower, gets me clean and invigorates me. Room temp does nothing for me and I just can't enjoy it when it's really hot. I took warm showers until I was about 15 but after a couple of cold ones I was thoroughly converted.

I do enjoy a good hot-spring when circumstances allow but I suspect I'd get more out of some sort of cold spring(?), if they're a thing? Liking a cold shower also comes in handy if I'm stuck somewhere without hot water, it's been real nice not having to think/worry about it.

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#31 Posted by Panfoot (339 posts) -

Hot all the way, even during the last hurricane when we lost power for a week and the house was in the 90s the entire week, cold showers were still miserable.

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#32 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -
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#33 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@someoneproud: Yeah, it makes washing in the wild, or cleaning with stowed water at sea easier, never mind a power outage or something.

Not having to squirm around because it’s too cold is pretty liberating.

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#34 Posted by SethMode (2109 posts) -

I live on a tiny island where the humidity is such that it feels like it is higher than 100% yet never rains. At one point in my life, I was of the "as close to burning me as possible" crowd, but anymore, if I take a hot shower where I live I am sweating by the time I'm done drying off. I now prefer lukewarm, although lukewarm leaning towards cold. So I guess, best descriptor, would be "cool" showers. I think as I get older I just run too hot to take hot showers anymore.

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#35 Posted by Rejizzle (1147 posts) -

Hot as hell. But if I go actually use my muscles, moving heavy furniture or some such, then that shower needs to be ice cold.

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#36 Posted by Ben_H (4209 posts) -

Warmish. I used to go for as hot as possible, but I've been having issues with dry skin that hot showers make 100x worse. I've also cut my shower time in half.

If I was running out in the heat or something I'll sometimes go for a cold shower to help cool off, but that's rare.

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#37 Posted by JasonR86 (10274 posts) -

I wouldn't say skin-melting hot, but I want that shit hot. I want to know I'm killing all the things that are on me.

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#38 Edited by NTM (11907 posts) -

I take a shower every day (twice if I work; once before, then after) but considering that's not actually good for your skin, and the hot temperature is terrible for your skin (if your skin turns red, it's too hot) then I just do slightly above lukewarm. I've done cold, and while you feel good once you're out of the shower, and skin feels less itchy if you have itchy skin, I can't keep up with it. You also risk getting hypothermia depending on how long you shower in cold water as well as even heart attack if you're not used to the cold water since as you gasp for air your heartbeat becomes irregular. It's not for everyone but it does have its benefits. It's recommended that if you like to do cold showers, do a lukewarm one for the most part, and then the last 30 seconds to a minute of the shower you turn it to cold.

Also, I stopped using soap aside from in my armpits and groin. I sometimes don't even get in there, and sometimes, though rarely use shampoo. It just depends on how much I sweat/stink. I've never had dandruff which I'm pretty sure has to do with the everyday showers. I only take a shower every day because I hate bed head and dried up sweat which can't be fully fixed with just a rag and water. I used to take showers as a way to relax, but now I just try to get myself clean and get out. I don't want to waste water and an excess of water is bad for the skin; I try to shoot for about five minutes but it's a little more and sometimes a little less depending on my activity level or what I choose to do in there, like shampooing. Coincidentally, just a few hours ago I was seeing whether there was a shower temperature gauge so I can get it just right.

I prefer using handheld showerheads so you can get every. single. part. I think it's interesting though that people think hot showers are better than cold when it comes to getting bacteria off. If anything, the hot shower strips you of the good bacteria you have as well, but really to kill more bacteria from a hot shower than a cold or lukewarm one, you'd have to have water that burns your skin. Water temperature for bacteria on your skin doesn't matter, what matters is the soap you use (or lack of soap). Also, there's a misunderstanding about soap. Using in excess can ruin the skin since it'll take the natural oils off your skin and make your skin dry. While I don't really do cold showers, I do splash my face and hair with cold water after I shave. I don't get zits on my face really, but cold water on my shaved skin helps make it so I don't get ingrown hairs. If I used hot/warm water only, I might get them and that's annoying.

TL;DR: If you plan on putting soap all over your body, you have to do research to find the right one because many just aren't good for your skin. Hot water isn't good for your skin.

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#39 Posted by Efesell (4640 posts) -

Wanna take a real firm stance on no matter what temperature please always use soap.

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#40 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@efesell: Good Christ, Man! I hope this goes without saying!

On the topic of shower tips, and I’m sure someone will tell me this is actually terrible (because everything somehow is), I love these scrub cloths:

My wife bought us some a few years back, and they do a great job. I’d imagine those seeking to purify their filth in the scalding waters of hell would also appreciate the way these things scrub your skin like sandpaper. They’re actually not that rough, I love ‘em!

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#41 Posted by BonelessSpirit (68 posts) -

@nutter: I've been thinking of buying a couple of those. I've seen people recommending them more than once. I think my skin is pretty sensitive, though, so I need something that gives a light scrubbing. I currently use natural loofahs, but I've found them to be too rough on my skin, so I recently ordered some regular washcloths to use instead.

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#42 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2314 posts) -

Luke warm just about all the time. In winter, but a bit warmer, but in summer, I usually like it just not cold to the skin. Never really steaming hot. If I can be a little less terrible to the environment as a human, I will try. Same thing with only taking a 5 minute shower.

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#43 Posted by RichyHahn4 (307 posts) -

I'm a hot shower guy, also I like hot showers, lol

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#44 Posted by nutter (2397 posts) -

@bonelessspirit: If you want to scrub with reckless abandon and really put your skin through some shit, these will do it. You can do a full shammy routine and just really get everything easily.

You can also go lightly and bunch it up with some body wash and it’s basically like a loofah.

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#45 Posted by tacobelmont (17 posts) -

Lukewarm. I only mess with hot water in hot tubs. Cold water is fine on a blistering hot summer day in the south though.l

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#46 Posted by haneybd87 (435 posts) -

Lukewarm is the best for your skin and for keeping cool. Cold showers will actually heat you up.