4 items in 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 in 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 sulfate-free, 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 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 after

The good news is that it’s very little. After trying 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 to create conditioner and pour it over my head with the measuring cup. 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, because it’s more available at stores and you can frequently buy it on sale. I fill the measuring cup with 1/5 apple cider vinegar and the rest with water. I pour it in my hair and repeat once more.

Whether using apple cider vinegar or Dr. Bronner’s concentrated citrus rinse (shown in picture), be sure to dilute it. For the citrus rinse, I only use a capful per 1 cup of water for my long hair. For short hair, use half a cap or less.

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 to not be wasteful, but now that I know how little I need, I wouldn’t be afraid to make the small investment.