Peeing in the Shower Is It Sanitary or Should You Stop?
In a world full of debate and struggle, no arguments ever get more heated, impassioned, and violent than those pertaining to the bathroom. Mankind has been fighting over the proper way to suspend toilet paper and position the toilet seat since Thomas Crapper changed the world. One of the more recent debates to enter this arena is whether or not it’s ok to pee in the shower. People have been doing it for a very long time, but only recently has society reached a point where we’re ready to argue with strangers on the internet about it. What a time to be alive!
Today, we’re going to look at both sides of the argument. There are genuine reasons to support both cases. You’ll eventually get to make your own decision, armed with facts. But, most of you who think you already have the answer might be surprised. There’s more nuance and trade-off than people often give credit to this great debate.
Why You Should Pee in the Shower
Some of you just cringed. Should you really be included in this group of people? Most of you smiled, nodded, or felt otherwise vindicated. That’s right. We’re on to you. We know that you already do it. So, let’s begin by discussing the pros of golden showers (no, not those kinds of golden showers).
A lot of people like to start here. Science is on the side of shower sprinklers. There’s no beating the simple math that peeing in the shower will save water. In fact, the math is so easy that we should do it together.
Leading estimates say that somewhere around 25 percent of all home water use comes from flushing toilets. If you’re an average adult, you use the toilet roughly seven times a day (props on staying hydrated!). Not all of those are exclusively for urination, and we’re definitely not ready to talk about pooping in the shower. That’s unsalvageable.
But, if you shower daily and go ahead and let it flow while you do, that saves one flush per day. That reduces your total number of flushes by about 14 percent. It reduces your total water usage by roughly 3.6 percent (assuming you don’t take an extra-long shower when you pee). That might not seem like a lot, but for most people, it amounts to more than 500 gallons a year. That’s a pretty good conservation effort.
To add a little wind to your sails, if the entire country did one piss in the shower every day, it would save 185 billion gallons of water a year. That’s a huge number!
The best thing about saving water by pissing in the shower is that it’s literally the easiest conservation effort imaginable. You already shower. Chances are that at least some of the time you shower without pissing first. The running water gets to even the best of us, and before you know it you’re doing a little dance while you try to rinse shampoo out of your hair. If you just relax, you get to enjoy your shower a little more, and you’re doing your part for the planet and all while you do.
Even if you don’t care about conservationism, it’s easier to pee in the shower than not. Just stop using the toilet before you hop in the water. It saves time. You don’t have to worry about aim (mostly). Also, peeing in a warm shower is particularly relaxing. The warm water helps your muscles relax, so it’s the best pissing experience you can get. It might even be good for your bladder and stuff, but we don’t have any real science to back that up. When you feel how great a shower piss is, you’ll probably believe it’s healthy, too.
Conservationism and money benefit from the same math, but they speak to very different motivations. This one is going to be pretty short and sweet. Any water you save when you shower is cut from your water bill. So, unless you live in an apartment that covers this expense for you, pissing in the shower is good for your wallet.
Let’s see just how good it is for your bottom line. Using 2017 numbers, pissing in the shower would save an average of $20 a year. Maybe that’s not redefining your finances, but it’s still money in your pocket. And, need you be reminded, it’s money you get for doing things the easier, more enjoyable way.
Ok, the cleanliness of pissing in the shower is a little complicated. Some of this pro is also going to be a con later, but we’ll be clear about the why’s in both cases. Before we suggest that peeing in the shower is clean, let’s rule something out. If you have a bladder or urinary tract infection, don’t pee in the shower. Those infections can potentially be serious, and you want to keep them contained to the toilet. Once you’re healthy, you can go back to discoloring your shower.
With that out of the way, there is an element of cleanliness in pissing in the shower. The simple truth is that most of us don’t clean our bathrooms as often as we should. If you ever let your toilet turn a little too yellow before you bust out the bleach, then you should consider pissing in the shower. By reducing toilet discoloration by one piss a day, you actually slow down how quickly your toilet gets gross. Ultimately, you need to clean your toilet because poop is way worse than urine, but that’s a point for another day.
Even if you’re a little lazy about cleaning the shower, you should theoretically be doing a partial clean of the place when you wash your body. Your soap and shampoo should have some antimicrobial properties, and they’re scented. In both ways, they keep your shower from getting gross as fast as your toilet does in the same number of bladder releases.
Everybody Does It
We probably just triggered your mom’s voice in your head. She’s saying something about jumping off of a bridge. Ignore that. We’re not convincing you to start your own meth lab. The simple truth is that at least 75 percent of adults pee in the shower already. Most of you reading this are among them. There are two reasons why this matters.
First, you’re already getting all of the cons of peeing in the shower if you share a bathroom. Your roommate is exposing you and the shower to urine already. You’re not saving anything by holding it in. You might as well reap the benefits.
Much more importantly, those bastards are basically pissing on your feet. You absolutely must get them back. Otherwise, the primal laws of nature and instinct kick in. Ask any dog. If someone pees on you and you don’t pee back, you’re their bitch. You can’t beat nature.
Why You Shouldn’t Pee in the Shower
Those are some compelling arguments. What could anyone possibly say to convince you not to participate? It’s not like you’re going to give up on urinary revenge. You actually might. While all of the pros of peeing in the shower are real and true, so are the cons. For the most part, the cleanliness and hygienics of pissing in the shower are grossly misunderstood (pun intended). If you think that peeing in the shower sterilizes it and keeps it extra clean, well, that’s pretty much the worst thing you could believe.
Urine Is Not Sterile
Let’s start with the most important point. No one is entirely sure how this myth started, but urine is not sterile. It’s not sterile in your bladder, and it’s not sterile when it comes out of you. Even if your bladder was magically free of microbes, urine still has to pass through the urinary tract and urethra to exit the body. Those are both clearly full of microbes.
If you have doubts, consider the evolutionary argument. Generally speaking, people don’t like the smell of urine. Why do you suppose that is? It’s the same reason you don’t like the smell of crap. It’s full of stuff that can hurt you. Some of the urine smell is chemical. After all, it’s full of the stuff your body is excreting, so you don’t need it anymore. Some of it, though, is actually from the microbes interacting with those chemicals. In fact, one of the easiest ways to detect a urinary tract infection is by the onset of a new, strong, unpleasant odor. Clearly, you can follow your own nose to discern that urine is not a healthy substance to spread all over your home. Conventional wisdom strikes again.
The thing about urinary bacteria is that it’s typically harmless when it’s confined to the usual spaces. Your bladder handles those particular bugs just fine. So does the rest of the tract. That does not mean such microbes would be harmless if they ever got past your skin or ingested. So, at the very least, never pee in the shower if you have cuts, sores or legions on your feet. That’s asking for trouble, and anyone who suggests pissing on an open wound to clean it clearly doesn’t know how any of this works.
Even if your feet are fine, peeing in the shower will lead to a buildup of bacteria in the area. Soapy runoff might help a little, but it’s a losing battle. We’ll get into this more in a minute, but if you pee in the shower, you have to clean it more.
Lastly, you shouldn’t pee in the shower if you do any kind of shaving there — especially manscaping. Even though you probably don’t rub your junk on the floor, showers are humid. That enables the bacteria you introduce to thrive, and they can grow and move from the floor to other places. When you shave, you create at least small fissures in your skin, and you’re more susceptible to skin infections. Do you really want a UTI on your balls?
You Don’t Clean Your Feet
We need to be real. You’re a man, and by default, you’re disgusting. If you’re one of those higher beings, lording over the rest of us with your impeccable hygiene, you can skip to the next section. The rest of you need to pay attention. Letting soapy runoff collect around your un-scrubbed feet when the drain is partially clogged does not count as cleaning them.
We just explained that there is definitely bacteria in your urine. If you pee in the shower, you’re going to stand in it. If you share your bathroom, other people pee in the shower, and you’re going to stand in it. You can overcome this con by actually washing your feet. Otherwise, you need to abandon the shower piss (and probably the shower beer that inspires it) and get better at cleaning your shower. Speaking of that . . .
You Don’t Clean Your Shower
Even some of you who have great hygiene still get lazy about cleaning your bathroom. Here’s the major difference between pissing in a shower and pissing in a toilet. You don’t stand on the toilet. It’s pretty obvious, right?
Let’s not beat a dead horse. If piss regularly touches your shower, then bleach should do the same. Easy enough?
You Have Roommates
If you live alone, then the arguments against peeing in the shower lose a lot of impact. Sure, we joked about vengeance, but the simple truth is that adding people to the equation accelerates bacterial growth in the shower. It has to be cleaned more often, and since we already established that you’re lazy, you have to weigh your options. If you really aren’t going to clean extra to make up the difference, then reducing daily urine stains by one is still better for your bottom line.
You Aren’t Actually Saving Water
Let’s clarify. There is an element of conservationism in peeing in the shower, but it’s overstated by people who want to rationalize something they already do. For starters, peeing in the shower doesn’t actually save water. What about those numbers we just talked about? They’re still true, but a lot of people misunderstand what it actually means to save water.
The water that goes into our sewage systems isn’t lost. It gets cleaned. Thoroughly. That might not be true around the world, but a lot of countries have pretty advanced water treatment systems. When you “save water,” you aren’t actually increasing the amount of useful water that we have on the planet. Pissing doesn’t somehow destroy the liquid in the toilet bowl.
Instead, saving water means that you’re reducing your draw on already existent water systems. Those water systems clean the water that comes from the tap (including into your shower and into your toilet), and they treat your waste water (regardless of which drain collects it). What saving water really does is reduce strain on those systems. It still adds towards conservation, but by a lot less than you think. Our water systems are pretty efficient, so when you save 500 gallons of water a year, the overall environmental impact is extremely small. Your carbon footprint, for example, would be better impacted by taking cooler showers or simply turning off your car in the drive through.
So, for the conservationists out there, peeing in the shower can be part of your effort, but it’s not enough to spend the rest of your day guilt-free. It’s literally the least you can do.
The Final Verdict
What’s the real answer? Should you pee in the shower or not? As with most things in life, the answer is a boring, “It depends.” Pissing in the shower is definitely less sanitary than a lot of people believe, but it’s not the grossest thing you can do. If you live alone and clean up after yourself, go ahead and enjoy the release. There’s no harm in it.
Even if you have roommates, peeing in the shower can be just fine. Cleanliness becomes twice as important, but it can still be a net good thing. Just make sure you do things in the right order. If you’re getting nice and pristine before you piss all over yourself, you’re doing it horribly wrong.
Whatever you choose, there’s a good argument in your favor, but there’s one thing we learned above all else. Men who pee in the backyard are doing a real hero’s work.