Bucket Bathing: What Is It And Why You Should Start Doing It

Bucket bathing is a practice that is not new to me since I have been practicing it from way back. Although I never thought it was worth writing about. But after noticing it’s an age-old practice in India and quickly catching up in California, L.A., I knew it’s time to write about it from experience.

Since my first encounter with bucket baths, I have taken every opportunity available to take a bucket bath.

It All Started In India

India has the most extended history of bucket baths. This is due to the shortage of water and also the high temperatures in the country. Due to this shortage, residents are forced to dig up wells to supplement the irregular supply of water they get from the authorities.

According to a study carried out in 2017 by the Asian Development Bank, in 20 cities, the average duration of supply was only 4.3 hours per day. None of the 20 cities had a continuous supply. The most extended supply period was 12 hours per day in Chandigarh, and the lowest was 0.3 hours per day in Rajkot.

According to the results of a Service Level Benchmarking (SLB) Program carried out by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in 2006 in 28 cities, the average duration of supply was 3.3 hours per day, with a range from one hour every three days to 18 hours per day. In Delhi, residents receive water only a few hours per day.

This prompted the residents to improvise ways to save on the little water, a bath bucket being the most favored option.

In India's Sultry Summer, Bucket Bathing Beats Indoor Showers : Goats and Soda : NPR

What is Bucket Bathing?

As the name suggests, bucket bathing is using a bucket full of water to take a bath. Some may prefer to use a jug to pour the water over their body, while others prefer using their cupped hands to pour the water over their body during a bucket shower.

Why Use A Bucket?

Trust me; there are many reasons you should take your first bucket bath right after reading this post. The main reasons include:


By using a bucket to carry water to the bathroom, you are almost assured of safety since it’s scarce to fall because you can see where you are stepping. This is unlike the case when you’re carrying a basin of water.

On the other hand, you can also carry the bucket with one hand as the other necessities for bathing like soap, shampoo, towel, shower gel, etc., making it much more manageable.


You tend to use less water during a bucket shower than in any other type of bathing. For those living in urban areas where water is scarce or costly, a bucket bath saves you money since you make fewer trips to the water vendor.

If, after bathing, there is some water left, you can add to it and use it for washing your laundry.

A Less Messy Bathing Method

 utilizing a bucket bath small room, you are assured of a cleanroom even after a bath since the spillage from a bucket is more petite than spillage from a basin.

Additional Benefits

  • It saves time. A bucket bath will save you time since you are not distracted as opposed to a shower where you may enjoy the flowing water and forget the disadvantage of it; water wastage.
  • It’s refreshing and enjoyable.

(Caution: You might fall in love with bucket bathing)

Where To Take Your Bucket Bath

  • In the kitchen: For those who live in a house with a fireplace, and considering you are comfortable bath there, it’s very relaxing to have bucket baths and then dry yourself by the fire.
  • It will give you that relaxed feel, especially in the cold season or a cold evening.
  • Out in the sun: It can also be enjoyed behind the house in a private place, then drying yourself in the sun as you sit on a stone.
  • In the bathroom: Even if your bathroom contains a shower, you may ignore it and try out this ancient bath.

NOTE: A bucket bath isn’t necessarily confined to the places mentioned above; you can take it to any site you’re comfortable with.

How To Get The Best Out of Bucket Bathing

Bucket Baths. They beat bathtubs and showers hollow | by Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh | The Haven | Medium

To ensure you get a nice and enjoyable bucket bath, here are few simple things you should consider:

  • Bathe on a raised surface: It’s best, if available, to use a raised space to place your bucket with water. You can also use a plastic or a wooden stool to make a raised surface or even construct a simple wooden raised surface yourself.
  • Bucket size: To minimize the amount of water used, one should opt for a medium-sized bucket.  It helps carry the water to the bathroom or any place that you want to enjoy your bucket bath.

To help you kick-start your bucket bathing experience, here are some instructions:

  • Pour a cup of water over your head as you stand. Make sure you wet the whole of your body.
  • Stand close to the bucket to make sure most of the water goes back into the bucket after pouring it over your body.
  • Dip the washcloth into the bucket; while it’s wet, soap it up outside the bucket, then use it to scrub your body.
  • When you are convinced you are clean, use your cupped hands or a small jug to pour water over your body to remove the soap.
  • Wipe yourself with a clean towel, and that’s everything you need to know about bucket baths!

Now you know what a bucket bath is, how to take it, and the benefits it comes with. If you’re living in areas with water shortage issues, you’d want to adapt this bathing method from now onwards due to its water-saving nature.

Have you taken your first bucket bath already?

Bucket Bath vs. Shower Baths

The debate on bucket bathing vs showering is becoming hotter as days go by. Some people want to start their day with a hot shower, while others want to soak up in a bucket before they carry the day. In the modern world, showers seem more advanced and westernized. On the other hand, bucket bathing seems all old-fashioned and a thing of the past. In countries like India, a developed country, bucket bathing is more into them than showers. You may conclude that they are strictly adhering to their traditions, but it is not so. Indians tend to enjoy bucket bathing more than showers. Which one of them suits you and why? Each has its health benefits and also has risks associated with the type of bath;

You do use a lot of water when showering; therefore, your body is exposed to minimal water. Too much water exposure can eliminate natural oils on your skin, leaving your skin vulnerable to infections. A bucket bath involves too much soaking of your body hence the danger of excessive natural oils from your skin.

Too often and prolonged showering is harmful to your skin; your skin may chip off, causing irritations and inflammations.

Did you know that longer showers are among the numerous underlying causes of dehydration? Your body is vulnerable to dehydration as a result of prolonged hot showers. When the skin comes in contact with hot showers more often, the pores tend to open up excessively; this may lead to massive water loss from your body, thus dehydration. Keep your showers as much as possible.

Your skin has beneficial bacteria referred to as the skin microbiome. They are the instructors of your immune system that jealously guards your body against infections. The skin microbiome also alerts the immune system in case of foreign organisms in the body.

Doctors recommend you exercise short baths and showers to avoid washing off the beneficial bacteria on your skin. The non-existence of the skin microbiomes on your skin leads to mild infections that later become more severe. The skin can partially clean itself; therefore, avoid excessive scrubbing and washing your body for hours.

In both showering and bucket bath advisable to make it quick and preferable with lukewarm water. Concentrate on the areas that are likely to produce odor if left unattended, e.g. armpits, feet, and groin areas. Please do not overuse bathing soap since it might get rid of natural skin oils that might turn out to be highly infectious.

On the good side, a hot bucket bath is the best day of freshening your body after a long day. Soaking up yourself will help you relax after a stressful day. Hot showers, too, are an excellent way source of warmth ideal for a chilly night. It is the best way of inducing sleep after a long stressful day.

A bucket bath is an ideal option for people suffering from eczema; the reason behind this is it won’t cause irritations and inflammations. Showering is like adding salt to injury for eczema patients; it deteriorates the condition.

Top Ten Cold Water Bucket Bath Benefits

Nothing feels relaxing and cooling like a cold water bucket bath on a hot sunny afternoon. When you are on your holiday away from home, basically you relax in a sauna the whole day. It feels better to take a cold bucket bath. You feel like you have freshened your body entirely. A cold water bucket bath is a good way it kick-starts your evening.

Athletes take a cold water bucket shower after morning or evening exercise; it relieves tiredness after strenuous activities. Chilly showers are not for everyone in the morning, whereas some prefer a cold water bucket bath and carry the day to some. However, the benefits of cold water are a handful; here are some of the expected benefits of it;

Relieves Sore Muscles and Eases Pain

It is known as the best and most readily available remedy to treat sore, painful muscles. Interestingly, athletes prefer to use ice cubes bath after long runs to ease their muscles rather than ointments. The cold water bucket bath remedy regulates blood down the legs, bringing health issues later on.

A Coldwater bucket bath reheats your body and rejuvenates your muscles; hence, new blood reduces lactic acid. Excessive lactic in reduces oxygen in the blood leading to bruises, painful muscles, muscle cramping, and severe fatigue; all these are after strenuous activities. It is the cheapest and available remedy for any person out there.

Do you have painful muscles after a long day of sports? Your ideal cure is a cold water bucket bath.

Boosts Immunity

Back in your mind, the idea may sound too good to be true. But in the real sense, a cold water bucket bath improves your immunity. According to research, people who take cold water bucket shower has a low chance of catching a cold-related illness. On the contrary, people who enjoy hot showers are the most vulnerable to cold-related diseases.

Ice bucket bath at least thrice per week increases your white blood cells; these cells guard your body system. White blood cells primary function is to shield your body against infections and diseases. Therefore besides consuming vitamin c from various foods and supplements, take an ice bucket bath also.

The cold water bucket bath provokes the immune system due to the coldness by increasing the metabolism; the white cells attack the cold feeling like a foreign body in your system.

Increases Blood Circulation

A cold water bucket bath may be too chilly to stand, but the good thing is that they help in blood circulation. Proper blood circulation keeps us healthy at all times, particularly for the cardiovascular system. When the body is struggling to retain its recommended temperature during cold showers, the blood circulation increases.

Consider taking cold showers for proper and efficient blood circulation.

Helps with Depression

Depression is hitting numerous people each day globally. At least if not a family member, you know someone suffering or has suffered depression. You face so many challenges today that might lead to depression. However, with so much depression out there, a cold water bucket bath remains the cheapest and most effective Depression remedy.

The cold water act as a brain stimulant hence producing noradrenaline, therefore, preventing depression from occurring. 

Enhances Glowing Skin and Shiny hair

Regular hot showers remove natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and brittle with a dull appearance. For a cold water bucket bath, retains your skin beneficial natural oils keeping rejuvenated at all times. Like we mentioned earlier, a cold water bucket bath helps in blood circulation; efficient blood circulation helps in maintaining your skin glow

.A good look is everybody’s wish; why not try the cold water bucket bath? Strong, shiny hair symbolizes your health status is good; a strong scalp significantly impacts your hair development. During a cold water bucket, shower hair cuticles are closed, thus making your hair strands shiny and smooth.

Lowers stress and Promotes Emotional Resilience

Excessive uric acid is commonly known for causing stress in human beings. A Coldwater bucket bath lowers uric acid in blood levels, therefore minimizing the stress levels. The more often you take a cold water bucket bath, your body system becomes more resilient to stress effects.

Promotes Fat Loss

Brown fat in your body is responsible for heat generation that keeping your body warm and healthy. An increment in your body activities helps burn up calories at a significantly higher rate than when resting.

Improves Fertility

The benefit here is attractive. Did you know that men who take hot showers are continuous three weeks are likely to impotent for six months? However, the negative effect is reversible if you opt for a cold water bucket bath. A cold water bucket bath multiplies sperm count in men. It is a good booster for women’s fertility.

Any couple to have babies should befriend a cold water bucket bath at all times.

Provides an Early Morning Wake-up Call

A little cold splash on your face is enough to keep your eyes wide open. A cold water bucket bath is an excellent way to kick-start your day. Someone who takes a cold water bucket bath is more energetic and ready to carry the day than those who take hot showers.

Advantages of A Baby Bucket Bath

child lifting water dipper


The most crucial benefit of a baby bath bucket for the newborn baby is that the narrowness and warm water give the baby the security it already knows from the womb. A child feels limited when they are being washed in the bucket. When they are bathed in the bucket, they enjoy being swaddled and exceptionally comfortable in the sling.


Another important and advantage of bathing the baby in the bucket is that the baby is very safe. Babies sit in the bucket in fetal position instead of lying. When the baby can keep its head upright alone, a baby can even sit in the bucket with supervision without help.

Constant Water Temperature 

The recommended bathing water temperature for a baby should be at least one hundred degrees and at utmost one hundred and twenty degrees. Constant temperatures for your baby’s bathing water prevent scalding. You can use an old way of testing the baby bucket bath; your wrist or elbow is a good water thermometer.

Your water temperature remains constant when bathing a baby in a baby bucket bath; it eliminates scalding and chills during the bath. Baby bucket bath keeps water warm for a long time. It is tall nature advantageous because the lower water surface prevents too cooling of water and baby.


Colic, abdominal pain, flatulence are primary digestive systems in babies. A warm baby bath is an effective remedy for the stomach, as mentioned above upsets. It is always recommended to position your baby in the baby bucket together with water temperature. The baby has relaxing and antispasmodic effects when the legs are tucked up and the warmth causing the digestive tract to stimulate.


Babies’ safety is Paramount at all times, and bathing time is not an exception. Raised grounds can be safer than lower shaky grounds. Babies are prone to uncontrollable falls and slipping hence the need for stable bathing grounds. A baby bath bucket manner of construction, stabilize it; thus safe for a baby’s bath. Besides being stable, the baby bath bucket is also non-slip due to its bottom rubberized feature, hence the best bath option for babies. 


There is minimal water usage when using a baby bath bucket, unlike in sinks and bathtubs. Saving bathing water helps keep your utility bills. The bath bucket uses less water than all other conventional methods, making it ideal for bathing your baby.


The bucket is not heavy even with the baby due to its compact design and its small size. The bath bucket is very light, and it can be a relief to mums shortly after the c-section 

Sleep Promoting 

Naturally, babies recommended sleep should be fourteen to seventeen hours within twenty-four hours. Adequate sleep for your baby enhances their mental development and learning. Babies’ brains overgrow when they are asleep. Enough sleep helps in boosting your baby’s immune system. Most babies enjoy a warm, soothing bucket to the point of sleeping soundly. The comfort in the baby bath bucket is a good promoter for babies’ sleep, giving room for babies’ development and steady growth.

Place Saving

Like mentioned earlier, the baby bath bucket is light and compact hence making it easy to load at any stable ground. It occupies less space than typical bathtubs. Its ability to economize space makes ideal for home with space limitations.

Disadvantages of Baby Bath Bucket

Washing Limitations

The major downside of a baby bath bucket is narrowness, thus making it difficult to bathe your little ones. It requires high expertise to wash your baby in a baby bucket.


Due to the high demand for baby bath buckets, their price keeps skyrocketing, thus makes it affordable for only a few.

The Size

Babies grow very fast; over time, the bucket can no longer fit the baby. Choose a larger baby bath bucket for prolonged services.

The benefits of a baby bath bucket outweigh its few disadvantages; therefore, a baby bath bucket is an ideal option for your baby’s bath.

How to Bathe a Baby in a Baby Bath Bucket

Caution: Never leave your baby all alone near any water, be it, typical bathtub, baby bath bucket; it is highly hazardous.

Now that you know the safety of your baby is a priority; it’s now time to bathe your little one;

Firstly put water in your baby bath bucket to the recommended mark; bathing water should be at the shoulder level of your baby.

The correct position to place your baby in the water is popularly known as the flying baby position. By now, your little one is completely naked.

Using the other hand hold his neck to support his head. Now your baby can start to enjoy its warm bath.

Bottom Line

In many developed countries, bucket bath is a thing of the past. However, in some countries, it is rapidly dominating the bathing world. A bucket bath has proved to be an economical, safe and healthier way of cleaning your body.

1 thought on “Bucket Bathing: What Is It And Why You Should Start Doing It”

  1. An old plastic bottle with Holes in the lid works even better than a cup- as a mini sprinkler/ shower – using even less water& directing it where you want it!! 🙂


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