Germany’s ZDF Public Television Suggests Bathing Once a Week Would Be Beneficial

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin 

Private daily showers to become a luxury for the privileged and wealthy in Germany? 

“What if we showered/bathed only once a week?”

You won’t shower any more, and you’ll be happy, German ZDF broadcaster suggests. Image cropped from ZDF kugelzwei. 

What the BBC is to Great Britain, are what the WDR and ARD public broadcasting are to Germany in terms of television and radio presence.

Just some weeks ago, the Instagram site of WDR kugelzwei presented some tips that save heat and energy for citizens to consider: showering only once a week.

After all: “Around 100 years ago, it was still customary to bathe only once a week,” wrote kugelzwei. “Today, people almost look at you strangely if you tell them you don’t shower several times a week.”

The “benefits” of showering only once a week

Supposedly, there are in fact numerous benefits from showering much less frequently, according to ZDF’s kugelzwei. For example, people would maybe learn to become “a little more tolerant of body odor”, and the unwashed would save time in the bathroom every morning.

Use sinks, not showers

Moreover, fitness studios could replace showers with just plain sinks. After a sweaty workout, one could freshen up in cubicle with with a simple sink and a washcloth instead of using a shower cubicle.

Make the weekly shower a public social event

Another idea proposed by the WDR’s kugelzwei is public bathing: “Maybe showering or bathing could become a weekly highlight,” they suggest. “We would celebrate this in public bathhouses – perhaps also in the company of others.”

WDR also cited research from Great Britain on the impacts that lockdowns had on showering. “In a YouGov survey, 17% of Britons said they shower less since the lockdowns. Among younger people aged 18 to 24, as many as 27% skip showering sometimes.”

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December 28, 2022 10:03 pm


Reply to  sycomputing
December 30, 2022 8:11 pm

Queen Elizabeth the 1st was a bit of a cleanliness fanatic. She was said to have bathed every month, whether she needed it or not.

There’s a reason that cover-up perfumes were invented in Elizabethan times. Think how cold it must have been in the Little Ice Age, without either central heating or electricity.

Alexy Scherbakoff
December 28, 2022 10:35 pm

I’m reasonably flexible so I just lick myself.

December 28, 2022 10:50 pm

There is certainly some benefit to allowing natural bacteria and organisms to live on one’s skin and body in general. Conversely, trying to have the skin and body sterile is dangerous since healthy bacteria crowd out dangerous bacteria.

It’s all about balance… and “antibacterial” soap and mouthwash is generally a very bad thing… though they have their uses…

Last edited 1 month ago by mariojlento
Peta of Newark
Reply to  mariojlento
December 29, 2022 2:16 am

No really they don’t, apart from Listerine.
Check out its history, apparently invented for use as a floor and toilet cleaner.

Nobody needs anything anti-bacterial any more anyway now that ‘most all food in The West is loaded with Glyphosate – a potent and patented antibiotic.

Even better, because if its similar to Glycine, one of the 4 amino building blocks for DNA, it will soon be inside all of our’s DNA.
So no need for soap, antiseptics, anti-bacterials, mouthwashes or even mouths. We wont have any. We won’t even be here to have any.

At least then The Climate can then sigh a heave of relief – this current level of stupidity is gonna get what it deserves.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 29, 2022 5:52 pm

We won’t even be here to have any.”
Well one day we may not be here but it will have nothing to do with roundup.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 30, 2022 4:07 am

Will you please substantiate your assertion that ” ‘most all food in The West is loaded with Glyphosate ” with sound scientific data or publications? The key points are: (1) that glyphosate is present on the food that we buy and eat (NOT when the said food is still in the fields); (2) if yes, quantification of the ” most” in your assertion and, if that is great variation among foodstuffs, to what foodstuffs does it apply; and (3) if so, evidence that the actual concentration in the food that is eaten is enough to be ” a potent antibiotic “.
I would become much obliged for your answer because I eventually missed that information that would be most critical for my professional activity.

Reply to  mariojlento
December 29, 2022 3:00 am

antibacterial toothpastes are useful…for giving you sore gums and sensitive teeth making you spend MORE to go to the expensive products for the problems they created
triclosan was a garage floor detergent originally
it has ZERO place in your mouth!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 29, 2022 4:31 am

Baking soda is the only way to go.

Elliot W
Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 29, 2022 3:15 pm

I was the only person I knew who uses baking soda for brushing teeth! The dental hygienists have conniptions over it, but my dentist approves.

Reply to  Elliot W
December 29, 2022 10:02 pm

It’s good stuff… but be careful with it. It’s a bit abrasive I think. I do use it to get a really good clean… and add some H2O2… but again, ‘gotta be careful… it can be irritating.

Also, vitamin K2 is great for teeth, bones, and getting rid of Ca where it ain’t supposed to be… But now I am off topic.

E. Schaffer
December 28, 2022 11:27 pm

I’ll stick with once a month anyway 😉

Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 28, 2022 11:37 pm

To be fair, unless you have a manual labouring job or work out daily, it’s all you need. Bathing or showering once a day is totally pointless

Tom Halla
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 29, 2022 5:56 am

I would not want to sit next to you on public transit.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 29, 2022 12:11 pm

Ask a dermatologist about daily showering.

Reply to  Tony_G
December 29, 2022 10:03 pm

Ask a dermatologist about daily showering.”

What would a dermatologist say?

Reply to  mariojlento
December 30, 2022 8:44 am

He would say it’s not good for your skin, mario. At least, that’s been my experience with every dermatologist I’ve known so far.

Reply to  Tony_G
December 30, 2022 9:13 am

Thanks for clarifying Tony… it’s not always easy to know if one is being sarcastic :).

For example, I have no idea why Mr David Guy Johnson is getting so many negative responses net of (-8) after responding to my post… maybe people here know him and can deduce meaning beyond his reasonable words.

Reply to  mariojlento
December 30, 2022 1:30 pm

it’s not always easy to know if one is being sarcastic

Far truer these days than it ever was.

Reply to  Tony_G
December 30, 2022 2:25 pm

And I agree skin and hair, and overall health is best when not doing what everyone is telling you to do… wash hands frequently, use anti bacterial… blah, blah and so on.

But, yes, cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze…

By the way, the article nicely referenced in this P Gosselin has the wrong reasons not to shower… I hope we can add some sanity and sense into what being clean is. And, yes, I use deodorant (not anti perspirant) because I want to smell nice…

Lee Riffee
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 29, 2022 7:36 am

That all depends on where you live, what time of the year it is and whether or not you have (or need) AC. In winter I only shower every other day, sometimes I’ll go 3 days without one. In the summer it must be every day (I live in the mid-Atlantic east coast of the US, where it can get mighty humid in summer). When you have been drenched in sweat at least once during the day the idea of going to bed without a shower is seriously gross. It really wouldn’t save me anymore hot water, as I’d be changing my bedsheets way more often!
Besides, there are certain times in a woman’s life where her need for bathing increases….the notion of not being able to bathe regularly at those times – yuck!

Reply to  Lee Riffee
December 29, 2022 5:44 pm

It’s winter here north of Reno, with about 10 inches of snow forecast for the next week, an inch or two a day at our elevation. Recommendation for soaking in the hot tub is showering first.

We especially love to sit in the tub while it’s snowing. It’s just so beautiful watching it fall, steam rising from the frothing water. and yet we’re so warm! “People” soup is disgusting and clouds the water. It takes time to shock the water if you don’t shower. So, we shower every day.

Hey! On the bright side, I don’t use deodorant unless I plan to do some physical labor later. Do I get Brownie points for that? (The wife doesn’t do physical labor.)

Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 30, 2022 8:15 pm

A pair of Australian ‘scientists’ pushed that point a few years ago, claiming that even manual workers didn’t need to shower every week. As you’d expect in one of the hottest climates on Earth, nobody paid them any attention at all.

abolition man
December 28, 2022 11:41 pm

Maybe they can get Rosie O’Donnell to a PSA about stinting on toilet paper as well! That should go over well; pungence comes to mind!

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  abolition man
December 29, 2022 4:18 pm

That was Cheryl Crow saying you only need a single sheet per visit to the loo.

Sheryl Crow takes a swipe at toilet paper use | CBC News

December 28, 2022 11:45 pm

So now the shortage of energy is the public’s fault because we wash too much? Back to the Stone age, here we come!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  davezawadi
December 29, 2022 5:33 am

“So now the shortage of energy is the public’s fault”

Of course! You don’t think the Media and Politicians are going to blame themselves, do you? 🙂

December 29, 2022 12:38 am

Hygiene isn’t green, filth is

John Dowser
December 29, 2022 1:02 am

And I was thinking that the ability to have hot showers, as little or much as you like, without much cost or effort, was sort of the pinnacle of our civilization, so far! Maybe it’s not but tell me then what is! Anything that it’s equally engulfing, individual, total, available, hard to fake and infrastructural like that. Maybe driving around in your car without having to explain? 🙂

Reply to  John Dowser
December 29, 2022 3:02 am

hot running water IS a luxury we now take for granted. as is clean water

Tom in Florida
Reply to  John Dowser
December 29, 2022 4:40 am

As an aside, after Hurricane Ian we were without power for 9 days. Doing several hours of hard, dirty clean up daily in 80F tends to make you want to clean up. Using 1 gallon, opaque plastic water bottles that I would fill up daily at the local Publix (grocery store) where there was a working water machine, I would put 4 out in the Florida sun and in about 3 hours we had very warm water for a “Navy” shower each day. Warm showers make hard life a bit more tolerable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Dowser
December 29, 2022 5:38 am

“And I was thinking that the ability to have hot showers, as little or much as you like, without much cost or effort, was sort of the pinnacle of our civilization, so far!”

Me, too!

We used to use a 50-gallon barrel of cold water elevated above the ground to serve as a shower while I was in the military. There is nothing worse for me than taking a cold shower, other than jumping in a frozen pond. Me and cold water don’t mix very well.

So now that I’m back in civilization, I take very hot, long showers and I think about those cold showers every time, and think how good I have it now. 🙂

Ron Long
December 29, 2022 1:15 am

Shower once a week? Here’s an alert to the possible result: in the Tuscarora Mountains of north-central Nevada there is an old placer gold site, worked by dozens of miners in the early 1900’s. This was a tough life and not many amenities were available, certainly not showers. The name of the placer gold camp is Toe Jam. Would you like some toe jam on your toast? No thanks.

December 29, 2022 1:29 am

When I was a child a bath once a week was the norm. We didn’t have an inside bathroom until I was 12, we used to go to my grandmothers house for the bath.

Reply to  JohnC
December 29, 2022 3:04 am

when usually an overworked mother was the one to have to carry buckets and boil the copper then carry that to the tub, the weekly bath WAS a huge physical effort and no one I know was ever looking to be the one to do that more than 1x a week. a dipper of warm water for a washup or even a rinse of the hair was fine in the interim if required

December 29, 2022 2:58 am

daily showers etc werent usual in Aus till after the 60s or 70s for many. dry continent and bore water or tanks made us appreciate the value of water. and our piped waters always been expensive compared to other places. nothing wrong with a top n tail for the office etc types that dont work up a sweat or get grubby doing real manual work, or work where they DO get dirty enough to seriously need a wash all over daily
ditto the craziness of wearing outer clothes once then washing nearly daily
the waste of water and the chemicals hitting the waterways IS stupid.
underclothes n socks etc can be handwashed with little effort

December 29, 2022 3:12 am

In Germany these people are called: Vollidioten.
And rightfully so.

Steve Richards
December 29, 2022 3:28 am

I thought it was strange when deodorants went to 48hrs life, now I see the theme!

It doesnot add up
December 29, 2022 3:51 am

They really are determined to do down the Great Unwashed.

Rod Evans
December 29, 2022 4:13 am

The decadence of the Germans knows no limit. Bathing or showering once a week in winter indeed. That will remove all the goose fat weekly, and require reapplication, good for the goose farmers though….

December 29, 2022 5:12 am

These people are a mission to make our lives miserable. Ours lives, not theirs. One of my biggest joys in life is the daily hot shower. There is something about hot, running water that makes you feel good. I don’t care how hot it is, a hot shower makes me feel better. The colder it is, the hotter the shower.

Hot showers bring us joy, it must go. For us, not for the eco-warriors. Meat brings us joy, it must go. For us, not for the eco-warriors. Cars bring us freedom and joy, it must go. For us, not for the eco-warriors. Pets bring us joy, it must go. For us, not for the eco-warriors.

Reply to  alexwade
December 29, 2022 8:27 am

When this trucker is getting ready for a multi day run, it is SOP to get a hot shower before leaving the house.

During the cold months it is also SOP to wear under armor. They serve as sleepers also when I take my breaks in the truck.

BTW, right here in Central Indiana several truck stops could not provide fuel because their pumps were frozen up in Christmas Eve.

I never let my fuel state fall below half during inclement winter weather when it is possible to get stranded. Minimum of 5 days provisions carried at all times.

December 29, 2022 5:14 am

It is true that we have become intolerant of BO as compared to several generations ago. As a kid in the late 50s and early 60s, “bath night” was Saturday, preparatory to going to church on Sunday. The adults in my family also did not bathe daily – in part because our older home (built in 1910s) didn’t have a shower, just a single bathtub. As kids, stink doesn’t bother much, just as being dirty didn’t matter much.

Prior to the late 19th century, in the western cultures bathing was considered unhealthy. The development of perfume and cologne was society’s answer to BO. Of course, that was before scientists understood germ theory and how diseases actually spread, which process is greatly aided by dirtiness. Disease rates have plummeted from what was the norm during the stinky days of past.

Toilet paper is also a fairly recent innovation, but considering what happened to TP supplies on store shelves during the recent COVID pandemic, it does not appear that most people are pining to stay dirty down there.

But now that we’re pretty much adjusted to modern expectations, it seems like a difficult slog to expect everybody to stink again and be happy with it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duane
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Duane
December 29, 2022 5:31 am

The Romans famously built baths in Bath and Baden Baden (and many other places, but Bath and Bath Bath seem most apposite).. In the Regency period, bathing became very fashionable once again across Europe, with interest rising over the 17th century. .

Reply to  It doesnot add up
December 29, 2022 10:54 am

Roman baths were not about cleanliness, they were the equivalent of today’s swimming pools and spas. A social and recreational activity. Until they adopted the Gallic “mild soaps” they avoided using soap because their soap was harsh.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Duane
December 29, 2022 2:17 pm

This source disagrees, although it does make clear that the baths had a polyvalent functionality:

One of the main reasons why the baths were used is that cleanliness was understood to be a universal necessity.

Roger Collier
December 29, 2022 7:07 am

Those Germans and their showers…

Lee Riffee
December 29, 2022 7:53 am

Things must have changed since my mom lived in Germany before I was born when my father was stationed there. They lived off base in an apartment complex. The way the units were set up the bathrooms were back to back, and my mom said she could hear the bathtub fill, the sink run and toilet flush in the neighboring apartment. A German family lived there and they had 5 or 6 kids. Every Saturday night my mom would hear the bathwater being run – but it only ran on Saturday night and only once…. Yuck! I can’t imagine that the last family member (maybe the youngest kid) out of the bath would have been any cleaner when he or she went in! It’s one thing for one person, one bath – but to share the same soon to be grimy water with the whole family?!?

My mom also recounted stories about some of the Germans she worked alongside of (she was a civilian working for the Army doing secretarial work). They were always neatly dressed and never looked dirty, but some of them had BO that would have gagged a maggot. One young man would give her money ever so often so she could go to the PX and get him deodorant. Must have been cheaper there than for him to buy it locally….apparently he was one of the few locals who didn’t have BO plenty.

Paul Hurley
December 29, 2022 7:56 am

I seem to recall during the 1970s energy crisis the authorities recommended showering with a friend. Maybe that’s not so politically correct anymore. 😉

December 29, 2022 8:09 am

During WW II the OSS distributed tiny stink bombs for use against the Japanese.

The idea being a kid in China or the Philippines or some other occupied country could naturally get close to a Japanese officer and use the thing that had a delayed action. The officer would then smell like you know what, and lose face.

December 29, 2022 8:12 am

Anyone remember their mother saying “Wash your ears. You could grow potatoes in there!”

December 29, 2022 8:16 am

When going through the first phase of the Special Forces Qualification course that included Thanksgiving time, I went 6 weeks without a bath or shower. Only when breaking the ice during the slide for life into an ice covered pond or doing stream crossings did my funky butt get a bit of a cleaning.

December 29, 2022 10:42 am

Stooges with stogies on Saturday night in the tub.

December 29, 2022 12:14 pm

My grandparents told of getting water delivered weekly by oxcart in the early settlement of the Peace River region. I misremember the order in which it was used for various things. In this, my grandmother had her first 2 infants before her health broke down and they had to retreat East.

December 29, 2022 6:01 pm

When my son returned from a year of public works projects in every province of Afghanistan, I asked him what he noticed most about being back home. He noted that Americans are such clean freaks, showering regularly and washing or sanitizing hands throughout the day. He had become accustomed to eating meat that had just been hanging in a 40C market covered in flies, sharing a meal with a pungent Afghani warlord and his band of merry men.

December 29, 2022 11:48 pm

Bathing couple times a week is ok.
The body itself does not stink.
It is your wear that does, if you wash it in cold water.
Every second stinks here in Germany like he pissed in his trousers just because he washes his clothes at 30-40 C.
One has to wash at 60 degrees C at least.
Otherwise, the clothes becomes a biotop for fungi and bacteria.
Then, you really stink around.

Reply to  alexbuch
December 30, 2022 8:25 pm

Your comment about having to wash your clothes in 60 degrees C strikes a chord. In Canberra, the green government won’t allow hot water systems to be set above 50 C. I don’t see how you can clean dishes, let alone clothes at that temperature.

December 30, 2022 11:16 am

“Around a 100 years ago, it was still customary to die at 55.”

Mary Jones
December 30, 2022 9:57 pm

“Around 100 years ago, it was still customary to bathe only once a week,” wrote kugelzwei. “Today, people almost look at you strangely if you tell them you don’t shower several times a week.”

Around 100 years ago, people also shared the bath water, because it took ages to haul and heat enough to fill the tin tub. So the kids went first, then Mom, then Dad got to bathe last. Should we all go back to doing that too?

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