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A navy shower (also known as a "combat shower", "military shower", "sea shower", "staggered shower", or "G.I. bath") is a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy by turning off the flow of water in the middle portion of the shower while lathering. The total time of this kind of shower can last less than two minutes – using an initial thirty seconds or so to get wet, followed by shutting off the water, using soap and shampoo and lathering, then rinsing for a minute or less.
Navy showers originated on naval ships, where supplies of fresh water were often scarce. Using this method, crew members were able to stay clean, while conserving their limited water supply. The concept has also been adopted by some other people who wish to conserve water and the energy needed to heat the water, for both environmental and economic reasons. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating is typically the second-largest energy expense in homes (after space heating).
In colloquial terms, a GI shower takes place when a soldier or sailor is dirty, won’t wash, and his fed up fellow troops hold him down and scrub him with heavy duty scrub brushes and cleanser.
Maritime cruisers often take navy showers when they are not in a port with easy access to fresh water. A ten-minute shower takes as much as 230 liters (60 U.S. gal) of water, while a navy shower usually takes as little as 11 liters (3 U.S. gal); one person can save up to 56,000 liters (15,000 U.S. gal) per year.
- Saltwater soap, also called sailors' soap
- "Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home" (PDF). US Department of Energy. September 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
- "The Conservation Balancing Act: Part II, In the Bathroom" (PDF). University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Services Electronic Data Information Source. 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2007. Retrieved 2006-06-29.
- "Special Document 333: SSC San Diego Guide For Fleet Support Personnel". Systems Center San Diego. 2000. Archived from the original (Text) on March 24, 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-01.
- Barrett, Grant (December 23, 2007). "All We Are Saying". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
Navy Shower: A very short shower in which you turn off the water while lathering up. This old term is also known as a G.I. bath, but it's new to many in the drought-stricken Southeast. Its antonym is the Hollywood shower, a long, wasteful one.