The only 4 things in my shower

The only 4 things in my shower

The before

I never used to like cleaning my shower. It was a pain because I couldn’t simply wipe it down. First, I needed to pull out all the bottles and toiletries. Once I did that, I realized the bottoms of bottles were slimy and covered in mildew. Where to temporarily set these bottles without making more of a mess?

Why did I need all this stuff, anyways?

At the time, I had most things in a typical shower: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, shaving cream, special shaving cream, razor, maybe a second razor. Regular shampoo and body wash, even the sulfate-free ones, constantly over-dried my skin. Traveling was difficult because everything needed to transfer to 4 oz bottles. And all of this was expensive! $7 a bottle for most of these items that I once thought I needed.

As I ran out of these items, I would experiment with not replacing them. I tested substituting them with various natural products. I was curious to know if using a non-traditional shampoo would ruin my hair or make it less oily. During this transition period, I sometimes caved and purchased an item again. I usually regretted it and then continued my quest to figure out the least amount of items that I needed to properly shower.

The good news is that it’s very little.

The after

After trying many natural shaving creams, different types of liquid soaps, and a range of bar soaps, here are the only 4 items that remain:

  1. Bar soap
  2. Razor
  3. Apple cider vinegar
  4. Measuring cup
items in minimalist shower

The bar soap now serves as shampoo, body wash, and shaving cream. One razor is all I need. I water down the apple cider vinegar and pour it over my head with the measuring cup to remove the soap from my hair. That’s it! The end result is a low-cost, low-maintenance, minimalist shower.

UPDATE: I now use filtered apple cider vinegar instead of the concentrated citrus rinse displayed above, because it’s more available at stores and overall less expensive. I add about 1/4 cup ACV to the measuring cup and fill the rest with water. I pour it over my hair and repeat as necessary.

Lessons learned

  • Finding the right bar soap is the most important. Most that I tried were still too drying. Others came close but were either too expensive or not readily available at many stores.
  • When trying to find the right “shampoo,” I found that sugar soaps left a residue and didn’t clean my hair well enough
  • I haven’t noticed a difference by not using regular shaving cream

Your turn

As with any change in habit, it’s easiest to give yourself a boost and transform your shower in one go. I tried phasing out products as I ran out in order to not be wasteful, but now that I know how little I need, I wouldn’t be afraid to make a change.