Thread: Ask a Scientist
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Old 15.01.2021, 21:17
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I am a shower guy, but I have a bath and backside related question! So people who take bath, aren't they really in water that is contaminated by water that is touching their asshole and circulating on to their face and body? Irrespective of how good you wipe your ass?

The Exception would be if you take a full soap shower and then have a bath.
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Yes, of course, although you'd have to be a pretty ineffectual and unhygienic butt-wiper to leave enough faeces around your anus to cause any sort of a problem. Also, whatever dirt was on your skin remains in the closed system of the bath plus your body, so some of it is just redistributed on your skin.

But a bathtub holds on average around 94.6 litres of water (allowing room for the bather to enter and displace water); regrettably I couldn't find any academically robust data on the average quantity of faeces available post-toilet-use for dispersion in the bath, but I am confident that whatever minute quantity of faeces remains after you empty your bowels and wipe your anus would be diluted to homeopathic levels in a bath.

If you're truly concerned about this issue, use a bidet instead of toilet paper (I have no idea what you're supposed to do with that little towel after using the bidet), or better yet, take showers instead of baths. But for the sake of the environment, limit the shower to 10 minutes maximum, as showers use on average 9.5 litres of water per minute and it would be great to save water as well as improve hygiene, compared to using a bath.

All this talk of butt bacteria and baths - and people go swimming happily in the lake, where fish and birds and other animals wee and poo all the time! Not to mention small humans ...

Of course, being a swimming instructor for years, you get a bit blasť about stuff in water - I mean, there are very good reasons why public pools are chlorinated.

Oh, and for a longer shower: get a low-flow shower head. Despite what some people believe, getting clean is more down to the application of soap/shampoo/body wash than the pressure of the water. Temperature helps a bit, but not enough to make it viable to discontinue soap or some form of detergent.
Still, head lice die at about 50 degrees C, so if you run your water above that you'll rarely have lice, no matter how often you come in contact with infected people.

Last edited by Ace1; 16.01.2021 at 11:36. Reason: Removing the part copied to the other thread.
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