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

Really? Right now? I can’t believe am bringing this topic up, because I haven't been giving it a serious thought until later that I thought it could help someone.

The bucket bathing practice is not a new thing to me since a have been practicing it from way back then, although, I must admit I saw it not worth writing about.

But after noticing it’s an age-old practice in India and quickly catching up in California, L.A in the U.S.A, I knew it’s time to write about it from experience.

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

It All Started in India…

India has the longest 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 20017 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 longest duration of supply 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 they had- bucket bathing being the most favored option.

What is Bucket Bathing?

As the name suggests bucket bathing is the using a bucket full of water to take a bath.

Some may prefer to use a jug to pour the water over your body while others prefer using their cupped hands to pour the water over their body during a bucket bath.

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 very rare to fall because you can see where you are stepping. This is unlike the case when you’re carrying a basin of water.

You are also able to carry the bucket with one hand as the other necessities for bathing like soap, shampoo, towel, and shower gel, etc., on the other hand- making it much easier.


You tend to use less water during a bucket bath than in any other type of bathing.

For those living in urban areas where water is scarce or and 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

By using a bucket to bath and in a small room, like your bedroom, you are assured of a clean room even after a bath since the spillage from a bucket is less compared to 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 that has a fireplace, and considering you are comfortable having a bath there, it's very relaxing to have a bucket bath then drying yourself by the fire.
  • It will give you that relaxed feel especially if it's 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 above-mentioned places; you can take it in any place you’re comfortable with.

How To Get The Best Out of Bucket Bathing

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

  • Bathe on a raised surface: Its 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 by yourself.
  • Bucket size: To minimize the amount of water used, one should opt for a medium sized bucket.  It helps in carrying the water to the bathroom or to any place that you want to enjoy your bucket bath.

One More Thing…

Just 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
  • Leaning your head over the bucket and wetting your hair by pouring water over it, rinse with your head over the ground instead of the bucket
  • 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…

…and that’s a bucket bath!

Last word

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?


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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