The 5-Minute Shower Challenge comes to a close

After three hot summer months, we are nearing the end of the 5-Minute Shower Challenge (which was recently mentioned on Consumer Reports – woot!). I thought the turnout was great at over 110 participants. Thank you to everyone who gave it a go! You rawk!

As the challenge comes to a close, I have these questions for you:
A) How did you do? Was it easy? Hard? A pain in the ass?
B) After the challenge ends, will you continue to take shorter showers?

I recently started using a low-flow shower head (courtesy of USALandlord – it’s great BTW and I highly recommend you all replace your shower heads if you haven’t already) and have noticed that my shower times have gone up slightly. Overall, I’m sticking close to 5 minutes, though I do have the occasional day where I “need” to stand under the water for one or two minutes longer. (I know, for shame.) But there are also a couple of days every week where I go stinky au naturale and skip the shower all together so I feel like it all evens out. I plan to keep taking my quickies AKA 5-minute showers, even after the challenge ends.

I’ve got some ideas up my sleeves for future challenges. If you have any as well (especially ones that you think would kick ass), feel free to email me. ;)

Lastly, if you emailed me that you wanted to sign up for the challenge and I inadvertently never added you to the list (in the right sidebar), please drop me another email. I’d like to do one last blog about the challenge with links to all participants and don’t want to leave anyone out. Thanks. :)

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31 thoughts on “The 5-Minute Shower Challenge comes to a close

  1. I try. I really do. I have cut down to showering only once per day right after my run or swimming but I miss those wake up morning showers!!

  2. I am going to keep going. It hasn’t been that much harder, and it’s a game to me. Now that I’ve been doing this I’d feel so wasteful just letting the water run and run while I’m soaping up!

    One thing I was thinking of doing, but I’m not sure how to monitor or measure it, is a laundry challenge. In the winter our clothes are bulkier, but some of them aren’t dirty after only being worn one day. It would save at least one load of laundry a week if we evaluated our shirts and pants at the end of the day and hung them back in the closet if they were still clean. (Especially my husband–he wears an undershirt anyway.) I work part-time and usually wear my work clothes for the rest of the day, but I’m thinking about coming home and changing into home clothes. That way if Suzi smears banana on my pants, which she frequently does, it won’t affect my ability to wear my pants to work another day. Not only would it save water and detergent and electricity, it would make the clothes last longer. Clothes fade and get a little more worn out each time they are washed.

  3. I really enjoyed this challenge. While I’m generally a pretty quick shower-taker, it was good to be conscious of my shower time. I’ll definitely keep up the effort to cut down on my shower time in the future.

  4. Like you, I haven’t made it in 5 minutes every day, but I’m certainly not taking the 12 minute showers I was taking before starting this challenge. I think I’m probably down to about 6 minutes on average. (And the extra 6 minutes of sleep–wonderful!)

  5. I never signed up but have been trying very hard to be a five minute woman. In the TMI department, my biggest problem is my curly hair which requires Ouidad conditioner w/2-minute leave-in before rinsing. I just do it first thing and then rush with the rest, counting as I go. I try to be out of the shower by 240 which gives me some wiggle room. It’s certainly worth the effort.

  6. I found that I can take a three minute shower, almost every day. That includes washing hair, body and face with different products. (I obviously don’t shave my legs everyday) It is mostly out of necessity, with three small kids running around, but I don’t mind it AND our water bill has gone down to $15.34!

  7. When I was in the Navy we were allowed THREE minutes of water per shower. We had a device like this one. You get in, get wet, then use the valve to stop the water while you soap up, shave, shampoo – etc. When done, open valve and rinse.

    Simple!

  8. I didn’t formally take the challenge, but do have very short showers generally. My biggest problem is that it takes about 2 minutes of running the water to get hot water in the bathroom if I am the first one in the shower in the morning or if noone has showered in a while. So the best way to conserve water is to have everyone that needs to shower, do it right after each other (or together!), so that we only have to do the 2 minute warming the water thing once.

  9. I have to admit, I thought this was really hard! I did it (most of the time) and my showers overall are definitely shorter. And I figure that has to be better than nothing….right?!

  10. yes, we all take shorter showers now. i think it’s an awareness thing – we are aware that we *should* be taking shorter showers and so we make the effort. we already hvae a low-flow shower head, hooray for us!

    great challenge, i look forward to more.

  11. Well, I am trying to be honest so don’t all throw your bars of soap at once, but I really struggled. I was cold a lot and maybe I’m just the whiny ‘wussy’ type. I can say that my showers were shorter but I aimed for cutting them from 30 mins to 15 instead. And question – are you (safely!) able to shave your legs in 5 mins or less? If you have any tips about that, let me know…thanks!

  12. I was doing the best I could with my long hair, trying to take shorter showers. I didn’t regularly time them, but I knew they were under 10 minutes, which was a big decrease from my huge tub… But then my mom bought me a shower timer and it turns out that I was at just about 5 minutes. So it was good news, and I was doing better than I thought! I didn’t take a bath the whole time, which saved a bunch of water because I have a large, two person tub.
    I will pretty much continue the shower challenge in the future. However, I will probably get back into the tub habit because I love relaxing in it and warming up in the winter time!!! But certainly not as often as I used to (every night…).
    Great challenge! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  13. I will admit being a bit slack at timing my showers. My morning shower is about 3 minutes unless I wash my hair when it’s about 7. So I figure it evens out.

  14. I will definitly keep doing this. I have been doing this and also catching the run-off and using it to water my plants in my pots. Most days I am in and out. I have gotten really good at teaching my daughter that she needs to be out of the shower before the pot fills up, lol.

  15. I will definitely keep rawkin the quickie each morning…the threat of Sweetpea waking up mid suds is enough to keep me moving anyway. We have always used low flow showerheads b/c it helps with the pressure (we are on a well) and I don’t notice that it lengthens my showers, but it might have at first.

    Looking forward to some future challenges! :)

  16. I loved it. I have the Shower Coach and even my husband tried so beat it, and he was a 15min shower guy!! I only shower after my runs (3x/week) and I always beat the clock. I will continue to do this. I have a low flow showerhead and an on/off valve, so I can stop the flow and soap up. Both of these 2 little devices are cheap and make the water use even less. THANK YOU.

  17. I went ahead and created a blog post for my answer :D. Short version is that I’ve gotten great at 6-minute showers, and I plan to keep taking them.

  18. This was a great challenge for me! We have had an awful, hot, ridiculous summer here. But with our HOA commanding green lawns…I have been pleased with the shower challenge. Some days I would choose not to shower to save water, other days were spent wetting down- then turning off the water to soap up all over, then on again to rinse. I did run into problems with timing while shaving my legs, but I don’t mind filling up the sink before my shower and swishing my razor there. My kids take baths and the problem there was also solved by running less water in the bathtub and also planning activities better. We would have fewer super dirty days a week, which meant less baths and less water wasted. Thank you!!!

  19. I found the shower challenge relatively easy. What I’m struggling with is the beautiful new tub in our new house. I haven’t allowed myself to take a bath yet and it’s killing me! Great challenge – I’ll definitely br able to keep it up!

  20. Way to go on the Consumer Report mention! That’s so very cool! I’ve always been a power shower person. With a two-year-old running rampant, five minutes would probably seem a luxury! I got it down to a science I’m certain! Just leave a toddler loose and listen to all the racket, and you get in and out of there quick. Haha!

  21. Well, I must admit that since we’ve gotten rain her and are no longer considered “in a severe drought”, my showers have gotten longer and less frantic ::ducking:: But I still only shower about every other day, so it all balances out, right? I have been harping and nagging at my husband so much that he’s started taking shorter showers, but since it’s summer, we’ve been showering more and our water bill has gone up again. BUT, I have a consciousness about it, and I will never feel “OK” taking a long, unproductive shower again.

  22. I started the challenge by already doing short showers so I added an extra challenge for myself. I put a bucket in the shower to catch water while the shower heated up and while I was showering. Then I used the water to water my herbs on my patio.(Sadly, I don’t have a rainbarrel.) I liked the additional water savings and my herbs liked it because I actaully remembered to water them often!

  23. I moved a month ago, and since then, I have not been keeping track of the time as closely. However, I have maintained my speedy ways…I never imagined that a 5 minute shower could really be so long!

  24. hehe. amy this so cracks me up. you know how energy conscious i am, but i am laughing because my TEN MINUTE LONG SHOWER ONCE A WEEK (yes, once a flippin week) has nothing to do with my longtime lifestyle choice (which compared to the western world’s norm is very simple and happy, striving for zero waste). I think it’s super funny that people shower every day anyway. i love the smell of my own body’s evidence that i work hard; in the yard, making milk, chasing after my kids. i think dirty is the new sexy.

    love ya
    mb

  25. Timely post. My inlaws have instituted a 90 second shower policy and only once per day at their cabin. This is driven more by a limited amount of well water, but its surprising how much you can accomplish with 90 seconds of water pressure.

    The key seems to be turning the stream off when soaping so you don’t waste water time unnecessarily.

  26. Nobody told me it was over! I plan on continuing- it is so easy to do and a great Money saver as well.I rthink I had one day suring the whole challenge where I went over 5 minutes, but that was due to a muscle ache and the Shower handle in full massage mode helps out with those.

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