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How to clean yourself without a shower?

Old 09-15-05, 09:22 PM
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How to clean yourself without a shower?

I'm new here & I'm sure this has been asked many times but here is my question.

I want to start riding most days of the week now, traffic is sucking so bad my 15-20min. 11 mile drive has turned into a 45min., clutch bumping, pulse raising, daily near collision from some idiot on cell phone drifting or changing lanes with no signal or clearance for changing lanes NIGHTMARE!!

I still have a several weeks of hot & humid days ahead of me.

I've ridden to work sporadically several times over the years, but only in comfortable weather.
Even then I felt a little sticky during the day.

I don't have a shower at work but I do have access to a room I can change in.
I'm considering buying some sort of sanitary wipes to freshen up after the ride to work.

What do you all do to clean up at work if you don't have access to a shower?
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Old 09-15-05, 09:25 PM
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I shower before leaving. So really I'm clean and sweaty/hot. Upon arrival I usually just camp out for a few minutes in our changing room in front of a fan and cool off. Blot dry and change. Works pretty good. Baby wipes seem popular too. Just make sure you're done sweating before putting on your work clothes.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:26 PM
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I just bring a washcloth and a towel to wipe myself down and dry off with. You can even use water from your bottle to wash yourself. I don't like the wet naps. I think they're too wasteful when a washable towel will do the same job.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:28 PM
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I shower before I leave and I keep a bar of soap and washrag at work along with anti perspirant. I wet down part of the cloth with water from my water bottle put a little soap on it - rub myself - add more water to rest of cloth - wipe myself to get rid of soap - put on new anti perspirant and put on work clothes. I don't like the smell of most moist or baby wipes and I don't think they are particulary good for the environment.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:54 PM
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There is this towel, I can't remember what it is called, but it like a flat, big sponge and it absorbs tons of water. Shower before the ride and use this thing, or a regular towel to dry off your moist bits. You can probably get it at any camping/mountaineering-type shops.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:09 PM
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It's called a travel towel or a camping towel, you wet it down and it cleans water off you, sort of like using a chamois cloth after you wash your car. It doesn't get you as dry as a cotton bath towel but it dries out faster than a cotton bath towel.

I shower before I leave for work, and I always wear fresh cycling clothes for the trip in. If they haven't been washed in a washing machine I at least rinse them out in the sink. If I feel the need to clean myself off after I arrive at work (or after I go running at lunch) I wipe myself down with a damp washcloth, then use the camp towel to dry off.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:15 PM
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unscented baby wipes
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Old 09-15-05, 10:25 PM
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I rinse with a wet washcloth and then wipe down with citrus-scented Wet Ones. I dry right away in the AC so I don't have to bring a second towel. I apply fresh deoderant and use a body spray. I wipe my hair down with a wet washcloth and usually dry it with a hair dryer.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:27 PM
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I use a camping towel, I cut it up so am using 1' sq:

1. Wipe hair dry from sweat, wipe sweat from face on arrival.
2. Rinse in soapy water, wipe face & hair clean, wipe body down.
3. Rinse clean, wring out hang to dry for next day.

This leaves me feeling as fresh as if I had a full shower, uses a small amount of water, and I don't stink to high heaven. The micro-fibre towel wrings out to almost completely dry unlike a cotton towel which hangs on to moisture like a cactus. I disagree with a previous poster about such a towelette not getting you dry.
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Old 09-16-05, 03:55 AM
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I do an ad-hoc upper body wash in front of the hand basins in the washrooms. I suppose some people do a double-take when they walk in and see some guy in cycling shorts with his hand up his shirt washing his pits, but what the hell. I love pushing the envelope of casual work practices
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Old 09-16-05, 04:02 AM
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- Aquis Adventure Golf Towel:

Blueberry, but Graphite available (less than $15)

- microfiber, super absorbent, fast drying (good for rides in summer, too)

- it also includes a mesh fiber section, so you can also scrub the goop out of your cleats!

:-)
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Old 09-16-05, 07:12 AM
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Hello,

In the same vein as most everyone else, I shower the night before I ride. Then when I ride in, I sit at my desk for 5-15 minutes and check e-mail and such (I arrive at work about 20 minutes before my start time). Once cooled down, I go into the bathroom and sponge off using a bandana (which has double duty as a cloth when riding). After sponging off, I go into the handicap stall (larger than the others) and change into my work clothes.

Sometimes I wind up getting back to my desk a few minutes after my start time, but I figure that I have already put in several minutes of work by starting to check my e-mail.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:56 AM
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Lick hands with raspy tongue and clean thoroughly behind ears, around eyes, and nose. Continue for at least 15 minutes. Pause. Repeat entire procedure as many times as needed.

Crawl under bed or other hard to access spot and cough up any excess hair and nap.

Works really well for my two cats....
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Old 09-16-05, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by french.ace
Lick hands with raspy tongue and clean thoroughly behind ears, around eyes, and nose. Continue for at least 15 minutes. Pause. Repeat entire procedure as many times as needed.

Crawl under bed or other hard to access spot and cough up any excess hair and nap.

Works really well for my two cats....
That's about how it goes at my house too. Funny stuff!

As for cleaning up at work. I think the trick to NOT having to shower at the office is to be clean before you leave home. I take a shower before I leave the house and take two hand towels to work with me. One towel is strictly for sopping sweat during and immediately after my ride, (I also use it to pat-dry the pads in my helmet so I don't have to put it on damp for the ride home). Upon arrival, I ride around to the backside of the building to get out of the sun and cool off for about five or ten minutes, before I even go into the office. I put my bike in the back room, grab towel #2, and head for the restroom. I keep my hair buzzed so I can stick my head under the faucet and give it a good scrubbing. After I've dried my hair and I get out of my riding clothes, I wet one corner of the towel and wipe myself down, (armpits, behind my knees, etc.). I put on fresh deodorant, get dressed and head for my desk. My restroom time is probably about 6 minutes.

Luckily, the office is 90% female, so the odds of someone walking in on me are fairly low.
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Old 09-16-05, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by seeker333
unscented baby wipes
This answer doesn't get enough enthusiasm. Leave a box in the bathroom at work. NOBODY is a big enough jerk to steal baby wipes. I keep them in the cabinet underneath the sink, next to the hundreds of toilet paper rolls.

Has worked on many 90+ degree commutes, 8+ miles.
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Old 09-16-05, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MtbVA
I'm new here & I'm sure this has been asked many times but here is my question.

I want to start riding most days of the week now, traffic is sucking so bad my 15-20min. 11 mile drive has turned into a 45min., clutch bumping, pulse raising, daily near collision from some idiot on cell phone drifting or changing lanes with no signal or clearance for changing lanes NIGHTMARE!!

I still have a several weeks of hot & humid days ahead of me.

I've ridden to work sporadically several times over the years, but only in comfortable weather.
Even then I felt a little sticky during the day.

I don't have a shower at work but I do have access to a room I can change in.
I'm considering buying some sort of sanitary wipes to freshen up after the ride to work.

What do you all do to clean up at work if you don't have access to a shower?
Okay, what's "clutch bumping"?
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Old 09-16-05, 02:26 PM
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mine is a slightly unorthodox approach - I use an electric bike (pedal assist) for the 10 mile commute to work. I arrive hardly breaking a sweat. Which is great because we also don't have showers at work.

On the way home, I can turn the motor off for a normal workout.
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Old 09-16-05, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rus
mine is a slightly unorthodox approach - I use an electric bike (pedal assist) for the 10 mile commute to work. I arrive hardly breaking a sweat. Which is great because we also don't have showers at work.

On the way home, I can turn the motor off for a normal workout.

Awesome...I want one of those bikes
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Old 09-16-05, 03:17 PM
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Well, I'm not dripping sweat when I arrive at work...more like glistening.

What I do at home is put a washcloth in a ziploc bag. Add a heaping helping of rubbing alcohol to the bag and then seal it up.

At work, I just wipe myself down with the damp but not dripping washcloth. Gets rid of the glistening, cools me down immediately and then I'm ready for some deodorant and cologne. Been doing this for 3 years and even my wife's sensitive nose doesn't pick up anything

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Old 09-16-05, 08:45 PM
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I slow down when I'm a mile or so from work to start letting my body cool down. After putting my bike in the bike locker, I sit outside and cool off for a few minutes before heading off to the men's room. Splash my face with water. Wash my armpits with soap and water and dry off with paper towels. Change into my work clothes,brush my hair and head for the desk.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:02 PM
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I found that the addition of panniers (the most critical piece of equipment on my commuter) to replace my backpack virtually eliminated most of the sweat issue...even on very hot days. So. Now I just try to take it a little easier on the ride in, and race on the ride home. And after all, where do you want to get to quicker anyway?
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Old 09-16-05, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by farrellcollie
I don't like the smell of most moist or baby wipes and I don't think they are particulary good for the environment.
I"m sold on those handi-wipes. They're about 1/4 oz and dry quickly. They get softer with each use and you can use one to wash and another to dry.
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Old 09-16-05, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rus
mine is a slightly unorthodox approach - I use an electric bike (pedal assist) for the 10 mile commute to work. I arrive hardly breaking a sweat. Which is great because we also don't have showers at work.

On the way home, I can turn the motor off for a normal workout.
I use an electric pedal assist, too, but my route is so hilly, the assist just "flattens" and "shortens" it. I still arrive a hot, dripping mess, but I live in Texas so walking 100 yards to the mailbox and back can do that.

Actually, I pedal almost the entire time as I have to be sure that I don't run out of battery. So far, I seem to have plenty but I do have occasional thermal cutouts on the way home when it's in the mid-90s.
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Old 09-17-05, 12:06 AM
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Me I invested in some nice wicking and quick dry clothing... and shower myself with Axe, thats how I clean up after my ride to work.
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Old 09-18-05, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by french.ace
Lick hands with raspy tongue and clean thoroughly behind ears, around eyes, and nose. Continue for at least 15 minutes. Pause. Repeat entire procedure as many times as needed.

Crawl under bed or other hard to access spot and cough up any excess hair and nap.

Works really well for my two cats....
My dog does the licking thing after our walk. I tried it...pulled a muscle in my back when I tried to clean my...well, never mind.
If you're gonna do this don't do it at your desk! The boss might not understand.
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