Take a 15-day long bath and you own a record.

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In medieval times, bathing is seen as an indulgence to sexual desires. It is also believed that when water touches your naked self, it’ll cause an illness. But the black plaque reversed the plate and urged people to clean up, since washing up with vinegar, wine or warm water seemed to save lives.

Only those in authority, kings and lords, have access to a tub with petals and lavish embroideries. The peasants have limited access to baths, lucky if they have soap. They bring their families in public bath, so imagine stripping down in front of your parents and brother.

A rumor says that Elizabeth I of England takes her bath every month. In the early 19th century, people wash their hands, feet and face in regularity. The rest of the body was washed in weeks.

Lucky us that now, water was delivered to our very homes through the pipe system. We no longer have to gather water and use it again and again so as to conserve it; while soap is no longer golden. Let’s see how we bathe nowadays:

Time taking the shower. Well, I can take a bath in 5 mins or 30 mins. When I take a 5, I’ll just do what is necessary, which is soap, rinse and done. I take 30 when I lie in a tub and ponder about the meaning of life, then 5 minutes for soap, rinse and done. And that’s decent bathing; people can stay inside the bathroom in an hour.

Hot or Cold. Both have their own benefits, but I prefer cold showers in general. In summer, I take cold showers and hot showers in winter. That’s the best thing – use it when desired.

The Records. Kevin “Catfish” McCarthy took the longest bath to date, for 340 hours and 40 minutes or 14.2 days! According to a survey in 2006, Australians are the cleanest people on earth. Majority bathe once a day, 29% bathe twice a day and 9% bathe thrice a day.

Do we really need to bathe every day? Body odor is a term popularized by deodorant companies because it’s the selling point. It became a social need since we don’t want to smell bad when in other people. Experts say unless we’re always in a crowded situation, daily bath is overbathing and it may ruin our skin as it washes our natural oils.

I skipped bath for four days. What’s the longest time you didn’t take a bath?

Do You Really Need a Daily Shower?; Self.com
World Records: New Work by Maria Forde; Apartment Therapy
Do we really need a daily shower or bath to stay healthy?; The Register
History of Hygiene: Bathing, Teeth Cleaning, Toileting, & Deodorizing; History Undressed