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This or some other article should discuss the history of bathing. There is the common claim that people bathed only once every few months in the middle ages and that it was an insult to say someone bathed a lot. I'm quite skeptical of this claim. While I'm sure bathing was far less common given the lack of potable water amongst other factors I suspect it was more common then most of these claims, even in Europe. Also, I doubt it would have been an insult to say some bathed a lot. It sounds to me like rich people (lords etc) with their servants or slaves would have been the kind of people who bathed a lot since their servants/slaves could carry the water, help them bathe and wash their clothes etc (not that this is strictly necessary but it makes sense). They could also afford the time more easily. Therefore, logically bathing a lot would have been a sign of status. Also, I specifically mentioned Europe early for one reason. I would assume the amount of bathing depended a lot on where you lived and the season. Those in tropical countries who would have sweated a lot would have bathed far more frequently then those in temperate countries (especially during their winter). Presumuably, bathing during winter would have been fairly infrequent compared to during summer. Nil Einne 15:42, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

History of Bathing deserves a space in this article... There's a sort of urban legend that depicts the past as full of people unwilling to bath, that they had the idea that soap and hot water would be a deadly combination (and this reflects in media too; from The Story Teller Dædalus' myth episode to Pinky and the Brain in the Robin Brain episode... The first, althought aimed at children, had serious intentions, the second might had just been part of the goofy humour it has)... So its seen, this is needed too, but with facts... Which I lack. And at the end this could be no urban legend... Undead Herle King (talk) 04:23, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

EDIT; The question had been begged for before... I mean, the answer... And on similar sceptic grounds...Undead Herle King (talk) 04:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


Another possible urban legend to debunk... That Europeans do not bath (And well, that Arabs do not bath very often; The later is an unjustified sentence in the article) Undead Herle King (talk) 04:23, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


"Bath is also the name of the city where bathing is said to have orignated." I did fix this, but notice how the phrase "is said to" (the passive of non-attribution) is so often followed by a misstatement, eh. Wetman 09:45, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

From the Online Etymology Dictionary;

bath O.E. bæð "immersing in water, mud, etc.," also "quantity of water, etc., for bathing," from P.Gmc. *batham (cf. O.N. bað, M.Du. bat, Ger. bad), from PIE base *bhe- "to warm" (cf. L. fovere "to foment"). Original sense was of heating, not immersing in water. The city in Somerset, England (O.E. Baðun) was so called from its hot springs. Bathtub gin first recorded 1930. Bathroom is first recorded 1780, originally a room with apparatus for bathing, now often euphemistic for lavatory.

I ain't sure how to use this data without breaking OED's rights but... It must be considered... Undead Herle King (talk) 04:23, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Suit distinction[edit]

A bathing suit is a garment designed for bathing. A swimming suit or swimsuit is a garment that is more streamlined than a bathingsuit, and is used for swimming.

I have never made this distinction. Do most other share this understanding? Notthe9 05:49, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd always heard the terms used interchangeably. Merriam Webster says "bathing suit" is another word for swimsuit (swimsuit: "a suit for swimming or bathing"). Cambridge's dictionary gives the exact same definition of each. The OED simply says that bathing suit is a primarily North American version of the term swimming costume and that swimsuit is the feminine term. Online stores don't seem to make a distinction, either. The bathing suit article redirects to swimsuit, which lists bathing suit and bathing costume as synonyms. I changed the article to reflect this. Though I'm not sure the description of swimwear belongs outside of the swimsuit article at all. 03:52, 13 October 2005 (UTC)


Is there a particular reason for the semi-colons at the end of each bullet point? --Turidoth 00:47, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Request for clarification[edit]

The article says the Cleopatra bathed in "asses' milk". Is this a mule's milk, or is it diarrhea?

You're too witty for us. Maybe you should apply for a job writing for MAD? KayEss | talk 08:40, 21 May 2005 (UTC)


What is up with the 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' line? Does that belong?

I thought it didn't, so I removed it. --Delirium 13:52, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup request[edit]

  • Bathing - needs wikifying, some history and better definition. - MGM 09:43, Sep 21, 2004 (UTC) 09:23, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • Yeah! "A women's [bathing] suit often consists of two pieces that cover the top and bottom portions of the body" — what, the head and the feet? --Bishonen 02:06, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • Definetely, this needs some wikifying. It seems too subjective and informal. 14:28, 14 February 2006 (UTC)


How often should one be bathing? Daily or every other day? Morning or nights? And do you really need soap? 13:27, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

It depends on the factors you are trying to maximize. Factors include time, cleanliness, freshness, blood-pressure and stress reduction, a good night's sleep, idea-seeking, etc. Other factors include:
  • The level of perspiration causing physical activity.
  • The level of expsoure to dust and/or other toxins and/or germs.
Finally, it is not possible to remove sweat, dead cells, and dirt properly without using soap. Try it...
P.S.: The above is of course not a complete answer and only states what's common sense. --Amit 03:36, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Well I think that you can remove sweat, dead cells, and dirt without soap, it's just a little harder. As for the frequency in washing hair, check out this article. [1] 14:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)


Besides the obvious, what are the negative health effects of not bathing optimally? It may help to see some discussion of this in the article as well. --Amit 03:56, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm wondering if we should include information on hot vs. cold showers and how they affect a person post-bathing. ---

Either here or in the hot tub section, people should be told that a hot tub should never be set higher than 105 degrees F (and C eqiv.). Thus should a person faint while therein or stay in one longer than otherwise good for them (a variable depending on body mass and weight), their body teperature does not elevate to the point of frying their brain cells. --jce

Also, there is no mention of Sitz bathing [2] or whirlpool bathing for muscular therapies.

This could be helpful

Drowning in the bath[edit]

Is it really possible to drown when taking a bath? I would have thought you would wake up before you slid under the water . .

If you pass out, yes. skorpion 13:01, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

You can also drop electrical items in a bath tub and this could lead to death from drowning if the shock does not subdue--Nytemunkey 03:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


I think it would be a good idea to mention that the verb used in British English in reference to taking a bath is 'bath'. We also say we're bathing, pronounced bah-th-ing, rather than bay-th-ing (and yes, my phonetic spelling needs some work). To bathe is to swim, or to clean a wound, the progressive form of which is bathing pronounced bay-th-ing.

Also, we'd never call a bath a bathtub here, in fact, I can't find bathtub (or bath tub) in any of my dictionaries...--Jcvamp 20:02, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Animal bathing[edit]

To be neutral the article could include some information about how animals bathe (in the cases where they do) - for example sparrows, chickens etc are known to take dust baths. Richard001 06:56, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I often see small birds (blackbirds or thrushes) dipping themselves in and shaking off rainwater in puddles in my garden, and I have also seen them do this under running water emerging from a kitchen sink outflow. NRPanikker 15:35, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Bathing or showering for elder or handicapped[edit]

I removed this section since the entire text of the section was, "Access to the shower in the bathroom for people that uses wheelchairs". Unless someone actually wants to write a section on this topic, we don't want an empty section. --Xyzzyplugh 13:52, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Hazards of Bathing[edit]

It looks like someone tried to add the following item to the hazards section, but ended up copying the whole hazards section to the See Also section... Saved below in case anyone wants to put it in the appropriate spot:

Infertility- having too may hot baths can cause infertility in men. This is because the testicles are meant to be outside the rest of the body to keep them cool, they arent cool in lots of hot baths reducing the sperm production

- V6stang 08:35, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Falling asleep in the bath?[edit]

If somebody were to fall asleep in the bath and go underwater, would they wake up? or would they drown?


Hazards of bathing gets a whole section and there is no history section?! Is this a reseource for 6 yo boys paranoid about taking a bath. Is bathing such a hazardous activity??

There is no hazards section in the wikipedia articles on haircuts, or brushing your teeth, although there is a section on food safety in the cooking article, and cuts in the shaving article. Wikipedia is stupid. 14:22, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I have entered a citation needed tag on the claim of drowning in a shower and will remove the phrase after a while if no citation is provided Sultec (talk) 11:30, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Unverified statement "Drowning has been known to occur in a shower, though the risks are less than in an immersion bath." removed. Sultec (talk) 10:52, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Viewpoint one-sided[edit]

This article focuses almost entirely on Western aspects of bathing. There is no mention of bathing practices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia (save a small remark about the time of day) or the bathing traditions of ancient societies. Perhaps some text could be incorporated from other articles about the bathing habits of say... the ancient Romans? It could definitely use some more perspective though.--Chopin-Ate-Liszt! 21:20, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

People in Taiwan usually bath once a day (not twice), in the evening or at night. JimQ (talk) 05:50, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

 Japanese Link corrected [edit]

"Bathing" was linked to ja:風呂=Bathtub, but correctly linked to Bathing=ja:入浴 in Japanese. Please correct all other language edition bathing in Japanese is ja:入浴. I do not understand other than English so I can not work on other languages. Also for external link if necessary. Thanks.--Namazu-tron (talk) 10:46, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Arabs never bath?[edit]

An anonymous user ( (talk · contribs)) insists to add the sentence Arabs are known to go years in between baths. into the article, which - even with the {{fact}} behind it - in this form only serves one purpose: insulting all Arabs, as it is easy to understand as Arabs are dirty. He even chose to call me a Nazi because removing a racist comment - how fitting... As he wrote once in the editing comment that in fact he only refers to the nomads - can someone more familiar with the culture in Arabia rewrite this statement to stop this anonymous in this nonsense editing war. The Arabs living nomadic in the desert due to the scarcity of water have to do other ways of personal hygiene than bathing, but I have no idea on the customs in Arabia. andy (talk) 07:27, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I believe steam bath is the method the Arabs used, not confirm and no reliable source of this... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Minoan Bathtub as the gateway to the underworld[edit]

The Bronze Age and later Iron Age Greeks believed the Underworld was entered by water, so large rectangular bathtubs, large enough to fully immerse the body, are often found in the graves of wealthy Minoans.

Bathing in a bathtub was a very ritualistically complex affair in ancient Greece. It involved heating water in huge copper cauldrons and then taking this boiling, scalding water and carefully mixing it with just the right amount of cold water to reach a comfortable temperature. Homer, in the 8th century bc, wrote about this complexity in his description of Circe's servants preparing a bath for Odysseus which underlines the ritual and formality,

'the fourth maid fetched water and lit up a great fire under the big cauldron so that the water grew warm. When the bright copper was boiling, she sat me down in a bath and washed me with water from the great cauldron mixed with cold to a comfortable heat, sluicing my head and my shoulders until all the painful weariness was gone from my limbs. My bath done, she rubbed me with olive oil, clothed me in a tunic and a splendid robe and conducted me to the hall, where she seated me in a beautiful chair with silver decorations and a footstool below.'

Slight Adjustment[edit]

After reviewing this article I felt that there was indeed a strong Western bias and so labeled the history section thusly. Will attempt to scrounge up facts to use in putting together an Asian History section to accompany it. - P —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


"Bathing is the immersion of the body..." There are two kinds of bathing -- one that is carried in stagnant water and One that is in running water. In Indian tradition they are known are "Kunda Snan" and "Dhara Snan" Respectively. While taking only a shower (with no bathtub) you don't immerse your body.

I think immersion can be replaced with "washing"

Abhimanyu kar kgp (talk) 22:47, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Frequency compression or expansion.[edit]

There is a lot to add to the bathing frequency section, not to mention the controversy attached to it. Nations have a time-honoured habit of accusing each other of being dirty, like a pig. Yet, there are things that can be stated as objective facts.

During the medieval ages, european climate was significantly colder than today, yet water was often infected due to lack of sewage draining and treatment. Therefore people north of the Alps seldom bathed if ever, often only at the time of birth. At the middle of autumn, peasants would rub their skin in the fat of pigs for thermal insulation and literally sew themselves into a long sleeved linen overall, they would not remove until spring was well underway.

In contrast, orthodox christianity continued with the rich greek bathing tradition. When the 4th crusade got sidetracked to invade Constantinople rather than the Holy Land, the knights duly noted that all byzantians must be either gays or effeminated, based on the large many bathouses found within the city.

The ottaman turks were also bathing-addicts. For example they dig up all of Buda, the hungarian capital, as soon as they conquered it in 1541 and built a bath-house over each hot spring they found. They were lucky (or unlucky) to find almost two dozen in a 6km strip alongside the Danube and spent a better part of the circa 150 years of occupation doing balneology construction work in Buda.

In the Austrian imperial house of the Habsburgs, bathing was virtually unknown until the mid-19th century, due to their strong catholic stance with regards to the alleged link between bathing and auto-eroticism. The first ever tub in the Vienna castle was installed at the request of Sissy (Elizabeth von Posenhofen), a young bavarian pricess who became wife of emperor Franz Josef I in 1852. Yet, she was forced to fully cover her tub water with cork shards in order not to admire her own nude body indecently...

Even today, frequent bathing is not universal. Jewish people, while overwhelmingly wealthy, well educated and highly intelligent, seldom bath other than at the ritually prescribed occasions. Rather, they rub their body with a special oil that has fragrance in it. Some jews say a long history of desert-dwelling forced their nation to shun water-wasting bathes and they do not want to give up a such an important heritage, kept for several thousand years.

Furthermore, the french seldom bathe even today. Until the late 1950s, less than a quarter of french homes had a tub or even a shower stand tray, owing to the excessive price of tap water. There is a reason for their large perfume industry, since french men easily go a week without bathing and womenfolk for 3-5 days.

It appears some protestant nations, like the northern parts of Germany and the british, are generally on a tri-daily bath or shower schedule, due to moral strictness and the habit of saving money via discarding of unnecessary indulgences. Such restriction is also applied to their children, with anecdotal medical consequences. (talk) 13:55, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Bathing in which particular location or time-period does this describe?[edit]

At the moment the Types of baths section includes the following: "Bathrooms usually have a tap, and a shower if it is a modern home, and a huge water heating pot. People take water from the tap or the water-heating pot into a large bucket and use a mug to pour water on themselves. A soap and loofah is used to clean the body after, and then rinsed again using the mug." It seems to describe bathing at a particular time or location, but does not make it clear. Does anyone know? The previous sentence refers to "bathing in western countries" but I have not come across the "huge water heating pot" in any western, or eastern, for that matter, country I have been to. FrankSier (talk) 18:32, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Mandi (bath) merging IN to Types of bath section[edit]

Starting merge. FrankSier (talk) 16:57, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Merge completed, I think. I have copied in the article as it was at the time of the end of the AfD discussion, and put in relevant Redirect and Tags, and done a tidy up.
There is still some material that was not in the Mandi (bath) article at the time of the end of the AFD discussion to be considered.
There is just one item I have not been able to work out what to do with: right at the end of the original article was fi:Mandi (huonekalu). As far as I can see it is a link to the Finnish Wikipedia (and huonekalu translates as furniture). Does anyone know what to do with this?
This is the first time I have done this process. I have read Wikipedia:Merging and Help:Merging#Performing_the_merger carefully, but I still might have made mistakes, so someone might like to check.
I will now remove the In use templates.
FrankSier (talk) 18:24, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

History section incomplete.[edit]

We should mention that the first types of baths were mostly used by rich people. The rich among the Ancient Egyptians forexample had their own baths, while the commoners used the Nile. The same was the case among the first baths appearing in most countries of the world.

And btw: One thing I find weird is how the article completely ignores China and the Middle East, especially considering that bathing was an important part of the cultures in those part of the world for centuries.

I am not qualified to write this, but if you need help I could provide the sources. PS. Sorry for my englih. -- (talk) 15:08, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Problems and alternatives to bathing[edit]

Historically haven't some cultures where people have been crowded in cities or have owned farm animals have not bathed as much or bathed differently? For example, although some alternatives are gross, bathing in river water that is fouled by literal human shit is even more gross and didn't some people make do with what they had? I think this is also related to people drinking beer (which has alcohol) and tea (which is boiled). There should be some notes on this or links to a separate article about this.

SStewartGallus (talk) 21:06, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

People against bathing[edit]

There have been numerous people, and even cultures throughout history, that have believed that bathing is unhealthy and un-natural (besides occasionally jumping into some water, and often not even that). I know of a few of them personally; the believe the natural oils etc on the skin are there for a reason, and that washing them off is unhealthy. Given that it's not universally acknowledged that bathing is healthy or necessary, I don't think it should be insinuated that it's a fact that bathing is healthy and good for you; most people do and have believed that it's a positive and beneficial thing, but Wikipedia should avoid making it seem as if its stating it as a fact. "Evidence indicates that" is not the same thing as being an irrefutable fact, and in fact, the most extreme case of this I know is a man who died three years ago at age 98, my neighbor when I was growing up. He claimed he had last bathed in 1925 (or thereabouts, I forget exactly), and he lived alone and was tough and took care of himself right up until the day he died. A very popular man in the region, well known for being generous and kind to everyone, only he had quite a strong smell (obviously). Maybe his age, ability and policy of never bathing are not actually related, but he believed they were (or I suspect he did), and he's not the only one with these beliefs. AnnaGoFast (talk) 20:58, 15 May 2016 (UTC)