Introduction: How to Save Water by Showering Navy Style

Picture of How to Save Water by Showering Navy Style

If you use this method when showering you can save tons of water and tons of money on your water bill.


This technique was developed by the navy as a way to save water on ships. They did this because when they were at sea they cold only hold so much water. This saved more for drinking and cooking.

Step 1: Lather Up

Picture of Lather Up

First jump in the shower and turn the water on. Once you're all wet turn the water off. Now take your soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. and lather up.

Step 2: Rinse Off

Now that you're all sudsy turn the water back on, rinse off, and you're done. Get out of the shower, dry off and you're now ready for the day know that you just helped save the environment!!!

Step 3: Point of This

Picture of Point of This

By turning the water off while you soap up you save a lot of water from going down the drain. Showering like for a whole year can save 56,000 liters of water. That is a lot of water. Considering the average American family has 4 people showering like for a year as a family would save over 200,000 liters of water each year!!! If you think about it it makes sense, why leave the water running when you don't need it. So if you want to save money, and the environment take a navy shower.


thepaul93 (author)2008-10-24

how does this help save wales

pdc (author)thepaul932009-03-27

I agree. Wales seems to get an annual rainfall well above the average for the rest of Western Europe. I do believe, however, that even if you do live in Wales, it's still a good idea to follow the "think globally, act locally" principle.

Elainek10 (author)pdc2017-07-05


spencers (author)2008-11-07

OK this is kinda WIERD

xaenon (author)spencers2009-01-02

Not so weird. This is how it was done in the Navy when I was in, only there wasn't a 'shower head'. It was a sprayer gizmo on a hose with a sort of push-button control. You hosed yourself down, lathered up, and then rinsed off, all using only about a gallon of water. Not only does it conserve water (and how!), but it speeds the process up considerably. In and out in only about two minutes, and you were just as clean as if you'd taken a civilian (or 'Hollywood' shower. It was necessary because the ship's engineering plant could only produce so much fresh water each day. You'd be surprised at how quickly you get used to it.

aceone71 (author)xaenon2014-01-22

Hey I know this in old thread but I also had to use this method because I didn't want the powers that be to impose "water hours". I'm trying to teach my kids this method or I will install one of these hose units. Of course they are not welcoming the idea!!

djsc (author)xaenon2009-01-22

I want one of those sprayers! Buckminster fuller proposed a fog gun that would spray a fine mist of water for exactly this purpose (he spent some time in the navy) and also for cleaning dishes etc.

lycoris3 (author)djsc2010-11-19

if you search on the internet and in curtain survival books, there is this shower thing that you can use. You basiclly take a gallon plant sprinkler, hook it to a branch overhead with a rope attached to the head. Then you take half of a crate or something simular to stand on so your feet don't get muddy and take a shower. I forget where I read this, found it a few years ago.

velorna (author)2011-05-11

I do this sometimes when I'm trying to save my hair style.... I will do it a lot more and teach my kids to.

Dream Dragon (author)2010-09-22

For what it's worth, I've used a similar method using a "garden sprayer" (it was never used for chemicals) and used only 3 Litres of water. Though I suspect one COULD get away with less, I think that's near the minimum effective quantity for the purpose.

How about the "nay-sayers" try walking 1 mile and CARRYING every litre of water they think they need. They might decide it was worth saving the resources then.

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2008-01-06

OH MY WORD DO YOU PEOPLE THINK WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF WATER OR SOMETHING???? the earth is 2/3 water and its not like its evaporating into space or anything. I can understand saving the energy used to pump it, but people act like theres not enough water.

James, Yes we have lots of water on Earth, but only 1 to 3% is potable water. I live in Florida and our aquifers are drying up and we are running out of water. We are also running out of fresh water due to pollution. Our fresh water supplies in the US are also contaminated with all kinds of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial pollution which are difficult to remove even with filters. Desalinization might have benefits, but environmentally it is questionable.

it becomes potable everytime the wind blows across the ocean. i have gone to school. as winds blow across the ocean it evaporates the water leaving behind the salt and the bacteria. then it forms clouds. from there it gets blown around the world and a good portion of it falls to the ground, its called rain. yes its acidic, and sometimes even tastes funny, but it is still potable. the rain that falls (a good portion of it.) falls into a thing humans built called resiviors (sp i know science major). now for statistics. i refuse to share them on the internet, you can look them up for yourself. look up yearly rainfall for the planet, you'll need it in cubic inches, i suggest you don't trust scientific america. then look up the consumption of water per human in a year. then look up global populus. i want you to multiply the yearly consumption by the populus, then subtract that number from the global rain fall. lemme know what you get.

greenpixi (author)freshnessninja2010-08-02

People don't live everywhere that the rain falls, and plenty of people live in places where rain doesn't fall very much at all. I live in Michigan, and the Great Lakes, the largest source of freshwater in the United States, are being polluted and drained. The water levels aren't what they used to be.

freshnessninja (author)greenpixi2010-08-03

I live in Washington and I'm telling you there is enough to export. and its not just Washington state, its anywhere there is a mountain, besides I happen to know for a fact that you can purify ocean water. I know, I've done it. so do the people in Peru, at least I think it's Peru, I'd have to check. the process is called distillation I believe (its been a while since I last read about this.) its where you evaporate water, and collect the steam with a net, like a screen door screen; and you get pure potable water every time. Now you may say there are people who live in the desert who cannot get ocean water, but I say to you if you live in the desert, you gotta like the DRY heat. this works for toxins like Alkaline and such as well. In fact there are very few toxins world wide that will stay with the water through this process. I seen it on the discovery channel I think, a Peru special.

greenpixi (author)freshnessninja2010-08-03

But then you still have to process the water. Being able to -process- more salt water is not the same thing as having fresh water available. And shipping water to other places that don't have is costly and raises the price. Thus conserving water and using less in the first place is generally a good idea. No, we aren't going to use up water the way we're using up oil, but it's going to become more and more expensive once we use up the sources of fresh water that are available to us.

freshnessninja (author)greenpixi2010-08-03

oh lol it is Peru, check the comment below mine.

yes, pseudo geek, your not a geek.  your not even a nerd.  your hands have never even touched a computer.  and your balls are not even dropped, you baby.  go to school

Dear James In certain regions of this planet, people drink their own pee to keep living. In the Peruvian Andes (it's a chain of mountains in South America, in case you don't know) they developed a way to "harvest" water from the night mist using plastic nets, as they don't have ANY OTHER form to get water to drink. Also, I live in Brazil, in the most southern state, and in my city we have the most advanced technology avaliable to water treatment, and yet WE DON'T HAVE 20% OF OUR SEWAGE TREATED! They throw the sewage untreated into the same river they colect the water to treat! In two years from now, there will be five treatment plants to the sewage, but until then... ANY way to keep the drinkable water to a minimal consume is the most HUMAN thing we can do. Or we can choice to act like wild animals and do what we please. Remember: we don't received this planet from our parents, we borrow it from our children...

dudaott (author)dudaott2009-05-14

Just a correction: we DIDN'T receive................... I was thinking in Portuguese..... my bad....

it certain areas of the southwest, especially on reservations, they have to drive 20 miles, fill four buckets, and use that water for an enitre week. There isn't even a gaurentee that the water is clean, and thats what small children are drinking. At least seven heavily populated states, southern california included, all use water from the colarodo river which is only replaced by snow. And there is less and less snow every year. Even if you live in a completely different part of the country using less water can help because eventually freshwater from the midwest may need to be shipped to the southwest to sustain the economy there. Desalination is still expensive and pollutes the water we already have.

See comments above (Kiteman)

We are running out of water. Especially in the American Southwest.

not enough clean water...

Calorie (author)Derin2008-10-03

Not enough clean freshwater. Less than 2% of water is non-saline.

zleebme (author)2009-03-16

I think in order to save water we should drink more alcoholic beverages some are just as cheap as bottled water. and if you drank as much beer as i see people drinking dasani or whatever you would no doubt be passed out in a drunken stuper thus not consuming water, but possibly sharing with the earth some of your own liquid

greenpixi (author)zleebme2010-08-02

Ah, but what about all the water you consume the next day to get over your hangover?

Darcy777 (author)2010-07-19

I've been doing this ever since I've been out on my own. My BF thinks I'm nuts (for a lot of other reasons too). My only complaint is in the winter time. Darn bathrooms are cold! um... I guess you all didn't need to know that.

sebergast (author)2010-05-20

 hej pseudo whe are running out of DRINKABLE water xD that 2/3 is most sea and the sea is salt and humans dont like salt water

sanity (author)2007-08-16

Dont shower, dont brush your teeth, dont shave... thats the next level.

SkH (author)sanity2007-09-14

Yeah. So good. I'm in the next level then!! =D

damntourists (author)SkH2007-10-13

ew lol

qwerty90210 (author)damntourists2007-12-03

Well, i guess the ultimate environmentalists are hobos....I knew they were the key to the future

ronmaggi (author)qwerty902102009-09-29

When I first moved to SoCal, lamented the lack of recycle bins. I then noticed that transients would pick through the trash anyways, and recycle for you! I would then just leave my recyclables within easy reach for them. I remember another time that I saw t transient picking through my apartment's dumpster, I just gave him all my separated recyclables as I really didn't want to haul them to a recycle center myself!

DaNerd11 (author)sanity2008-04-07

lol, thats prolly tru3.

SkH (author)sanity2007-12-08

Eh... well, THAT'S TRUE!!!! :O

nifty1a (author)2009-07-02

We aren't running out of water... Certain areas of the world may not have enough water or clean potable water to support the populations currently living there. But that is a socio-political issue. If the governments in those areas prioritised their spending on technical solutions to the problem of sustaining their populations instead of warmongering, or self agrandissement, then everyone would have enough. This goes for USA and UK to, how can 'civilised' countries wage wars and meddle in other countries affairs, when they have so much poverty, in their own backyards? They should sort those issues out before worrying about spreading the 'American dream' to the rest of the world.

iwilltry (author)2007-08-14

An issue that has not been discussed is the energy you use to heat the water. This energy consumption does much greater damage to the environment (greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, dammed rivers for hydro power generation, coal mining for coal powered electrical plants, nuclear waste from nuclear power plants, etc) than the "loss" of good drinking water. Dumping hot water down the drain is arguably hundreds of times worse for the planet than dumping cold water down the drain. Heating the water also costs you much more money than the water itself. The method suggested in this instructable would appear to reduce hot water use considerably. Good work.

dudaott (author)iwilltry2009-05-14

And we always will have the solar power to give a little hand - it's very inexpensive to build a solar water heater, and easy too.

Derin (author)iwilltry2008-10-03

also,i put the plug in so i can sit down and use that soapy water again...

jbird1972 (author)2009-03-01

I was raised to shut off the water and then turn it back on but haven't been doing for a while now. Thanks for the reminder. I really need to do this every time and will start doing it again for biggest logical choice, too save drinkable resource water.

caveman42 (author)2007-08-03

I may have missed something in elementary school science class, but it seems to me that this method wouldn't be actually saving or conserving any water at all... just not using as much. No matter how much you use, water will evaporate, leaving anything that you put in the water behind, condense in the atmosphere and precipitate back down, thus, no lost water... it's a renewable resource, we aren't going to run out of water... unless we electrolytically seperate the oxygen from the hydrogen and burn all the hydrogen in our futuristic h2ICE vehicles that we have been promised for the last 10 years.

xaenon (author)caveman422009-01-02

You're forgetting that it takes energy and resources to purify it for use, and in the home, you also have to heat it. The more water you use, the more of that energy and those resources are used up. And also, don't forget, you're billed for the water you use, for this very reason.

AnarchistAsian (author)caveman422008-10-23

uhh.... DUDE

that's only true if the water goes to it's natural place.

but humans were stupid, and tried to treat it, instead of letting it evaporate, and let the earth purify it.
of course, that treating takes up energy, and the water will eventually go to the ocean, but until then...

kristo (author)caveman422008-10-22

you may have heard of Global Warming and climate change -- ultimately, the water reservoirs which collect all our rainwater that ends up flowing through your tap are not filling as fast because shifts in global weather patterns mean water is predominantly falling in other areas (than in recent human history). so we can build all new dams across the planet and hope to catch a little more water, or use less and reuse (greywater) what we have left now. apparently some rock people don't accept the Global Warming thing (yeah, it's all just a conspiracy dreamt up by Al Gore to sell videos and steal jobs from American automakers and oil companies:-) howsoever you want to look at it, you may want to consider that many countries around the world are already spending billions to recycle water (eg. Singapore, UK, Belgium even USA) -- that amounts to heavily treating sewerage, then mixing it with fresh water back into the mains pipes. so the more you waste, the more of your own ____ you will end up drinking -- not a pleasant thought!

Kiteman (author)caveman422007-08-12

The resource being saved is drinking water.

70% of the planet may be covered by water, but only a tiny amount of it is fresh, and only a tiny amount of that is drinkable (by modern standards).

Much of the rain that falls, falls on the sea, so is instantly rendered salty. Other drinking-water supplies are taken from water-tables (wells etc), which are falling faster than they are being replenished (you know all that stuff on mineral-water adverts about water being percolated through mountains for thousands of years? Think about it...)

All the water from your tap has been treated to be drinkable. That costs money, energy and chemical resources. Yet most of the water you use goes down the toilet, is used for washing (dishes, clothes, you), or gets sprayed on your garden. None of those uses require drinking-quality water.

Anything which saves tap water saves one of the most valuable (dwindling) resources on the planet.

nanor11395 (author)Kiteman2007-11-26

70 percent is oceans 29 percent is frozen 1 percent is drinkable

Kiteman (author)nanor113952007-11-27

When you factor in accessability, only 0.08% of the world's water is drinkable by humans.

20% of humanity - over 1billion people - have no access to safe drinking water.

50% of humanity - over 3 billion people - lack safe sanitation.

(Source: BBC News )

sn00per (author)caveman422007-11-10

Which, incidentally, would create h2o vapour...

true, but like iwilltry said, it saves energy.

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