Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

washing at work with no shower

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

washing at work with no shower

Old 05-22-09, 02:48 AM
  #1  
eggnoggbubble
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
eggnoggbubble's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: okinawa, japan
Posts: 136

Bikes: Surly Pack Rat (size 54 - I'm 5'11")

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 6 Posts
washing at work with no shower

Hi,

anyone any tips on a full body wash when you get to work, without a shower because there isnt one?

It's 15km to my work and a thousand humid degrees in the shade here in Okinawa, so I will be sweaty and needing to wash and change, but there's no shower at work. Also I teach in a small university so I'd just as soon not strip wash at the bathroom sink because some of my students may see me and i dont need that exactly. Oh but I dont have my own office so I can't hide in there to wash either.

(if you're wondering why the uni has no gym with showers, they just knocked it down to build a new one, and apparently (I asked the maintenance guys) there is not a single other shower in the whole school)

I'm thinking about filling a small washbasin with water (or maybe two, one for soap and one for clean water) and taking it into the (thankfully spacious) toilet cubicle with me. Anyone got anything to add to that? Or found any clever ways of dealing with a similar situation?

thanks
eggnoggbubble is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 03:00 AM
  #2  
Dr_Robert
AKA Nathan
 
Dr_Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Something we learned in basic training: in a pinch, baby wipes are a suitable substitute for a shower. Give yourself ~10 minutes to cool down after your ride (so you stop sweating), then wipe down while you change clothes (paying special attention to "problem areas," i.e. pits, groin, feet, etc.). Add fresh deoderant & a dash of cologne afterwords and you should be good to go.

-DR
__________________
'08 Bianchi San Jose
'06 Giant OCR C3
'04 Specialized Hardrock Comp
Dr_Robert is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 07:05 AM
  #3  
Pscyclepath
LCI #1853
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Scott. Arkansas
Posts: 663

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2, Fisher Caliber 29er, Orbea Onix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If a shower can't be had, take a "sponge bath." All you need is a restroom sink, washcloth, soap, towel, comb and deodorant in order to be a pleasant person to work beside the rest of the day. For more privacy you might be able to use the sink in the janitor's room, where you also can change clothes if you don't have an office with a door.

An effective alternative to soap and water is rubbing alcohol on a washcloth. Just pour some out and wipe yourself down. Very quick. The alcohol evaporates to help you dry, and it kills odor-causing bacteria. Give yourself several minutes to cool down and stop sweating after you arrive at work. Then your clean-up will be much more effective.

For perhaps the easiest clean-up, try one of the various brands of disposable moist towelettes. You pull these out of a canister or tub one by one, like tissues. You can choose from various scents, and some even have antibacterial properties. Check a drugstore to find a selection made for various purposes—all equally as useful for an after-ride clean up.

Best results: Shower before you leave out on your ride. Then after the post-ride cleanup, put on clean work clothes from the skin out.
Pscyclepath is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 07:15 AM
  #4  
ibcrewin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Astoria, NY
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm with Dr. Robert. Wait until you stop sweating, then wipe your self down with a damp washcloth. I find showering before leaving the house helps a lot.
ibcrewin is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 07:35 AM
  #5  
vena_cava
Senior Member
 
vena_cava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
An effective alternative to soap and water is rubbing alcohol on a washcloth. Just pour some out and wipe yourself down. Very quick. The alcohol evaporates to help you dry, and it kills odor-causing bacteria.
+1

I buy boxes of individually-wrapped alcohol swabs (the same kind that hospitals use to clean your skin before administering a shot); they're more convenient than carrying a bottle of alcohol around. Just put a few of the swabs into your bag, ride to work, wait a few minutes til you stop sweating, open up a swab and wipe down the problem areas.

I also swear by this stuff: https://secure.tccd.com/shoponline/De...lSprayMist.asp Some of my friends have told me it doesn't work that well for them, so ymmv, but for me it's just as effective as alcohol and I carry a bottle of it with me all the time.
vena_cava is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 08:34 AM
  #6  
pkarandi
Estrada or Nada
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 45

Bikes: 2007 GT Zum 5.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I really appreciate this thread. I work in a building with a shower right now, so all is good. But, I'm expecting to work in another building a few miles away pretty soon that does not have a shower. I talked to one of the managers there about this and he mentioned that I could join the health club (1 block away) and shower there. Of course, then I have to pay health club dues, which sux, but probably worth the money if I ride in enough.

Since you work at a university, are there nearby dorms you could use?
pkarandi is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 08:36 AM
  #7  
GreenRiver
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 177

Bikes: Gary Fisher Zebrano

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hoo-Ahhs field towels might work for you.

https://www.hooahhs.com/
GreenRiver is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 08:55 AM
  #8  
Bm7b5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 44

Bikes: 09 Kona Honk-y Tonk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Supplies:
1) full water bottle
2) washcloth
3) liquid soap
4) flip flops

Steps:
1) Shower before leaving
2) Cool down before cleaning
3) Fill water bottle and get washcloth soaking wet
3) Go to bathroom stall, strip down, but wear the flip flops
4) wipe self down with the dripping wet washcloth
5) squirt a little water from water bottle on critical areas
6) liquid soap in washcloth, then scrub body
7) use water bottle as shower head to rinse

with a little practice, you should become quite good at this. I've done similar types of showers with good success, and I sweat A LOT. I did this outdoors, though, so I'm not sure about the mess it leaves. You may need to create your own cleanup strategy for the stall.
Bm7b5 is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 09:57 AM
  #9  
joeyfrench
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a small Ortlieb folding basin that I fill with water from a sink in the lab I work in. Washcloth for wiping down in what could be considered an oversized broom closet. A small fan that I brought from home for this specific purpose helps. Wipe down, dry off a little bit, put on deodorant, clean clothes, done.

My commute is about 10 miles one way, in South Carolina, the armpit of the south. I know where you are coming from (regarding sweating profusely), and this method has worked for me for years now.

Joey French
joeyfrench is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 11:36 AM
  #10  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
It is generally more efficient to cool down on the bike. Use the last km for cooling; ease up on pedalling, dont work hard, raise yourself up to catch the wind. Squirt some water over your hair and inside your jersey and over your shorts and legs so you can cool by evapouration without needing to sweat. Use a wet wrist-band and neckerchief for added cooling. This works better in hot dry but its worth a go in hot-humid conditions.
If you add some ice to the water it should be prettty cold by the 14km mark.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 12:02 PM
  #11  
lil brown bat
Senior Member
 
lil brown bat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boston (sort of)
Posts: 3,878

Bikes: 1 road, 1 Urban Assault Vehicle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There needs to be a sticky for this, really. It's been asked several times in the past couple of weeks.
lil brown bat is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 12:44 PM
  #12  
bkrownd
kipuka explorer
 
bkrownd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hilo Town, East Hawai'i
Posts: 3,297

Bikes: 1994 Trek 820, 2004 Fuji Absolute, 2005 Jamis Nova, 1977 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bucket, sponge, large bush...instant "shower"!
__________________
--
-=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
Friends don't let friends use brifters.
bkrownd is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 12:58 PM
  #13  
jimmyr
drain brammaged
 
jimmyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Northeast Ala-bammy
Posts: 82
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Baby wipes for me...either that or it's "stank!"
jimmyr is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 01:08 PM
  #14  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,986

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 486 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6907 Post(s)
Liked 1,561 Times in 987 Posts
MichaelW, that doesn't work in hot humid conditions.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 01:24 PM
  #15  
trekker pete
pedalphile
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: ellington, ct
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: trek 1200, 520, Giant ATX 970, Raleigh Talon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I keep a decent sized hand towel at work. I take it to the bath room, soak it, go to the big handicap stall, strip and wipe down.

Works like a charm and I feel just as fresh as if I had taken a shower. Well, almost that fresh.

I find the important part is to do it within a few minutes of getting to work. If you sit around and let the sweat dry, it won't come off as well.
trekker pete is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 02:26 PM
  #16  
Dr_Robert
AKA Nathan
 
Dr_Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GreenRiver View Post
Hoo-Ahhs field towels might work for you.

https://www.hooahhs.com/
Heh, those are the ones. We went through those like crazy in basic.

-DR
__________________
'08 Bianchi San Jose
'06 Giant OCR C3
'04 Specialized Hardrock Comp
Dr_Robert is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 02:30 PM
  #17  
Square & Compas
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 825

Bikes: Vision R40 Recumbent

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I buy these at Wal-Mart, in a yellow package though. Work great. https://www.drugsdepot.com/viewitem.p...MOIST_WIPES_35

As others have suggested shower before you go to work.
Square & Compas is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 04:28 PM
  #18  
dhofmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 115

Bikes: Giant Cypress

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use this recipe: https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/449909-ladies-how-do-you-get-ready-work.html#18
dhofmann is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 06:30 PM
  #19  
eggnoggbubble
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
eggnoggbubble's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: okinawa, japan
Posts: 136

Bikes: Surly Pack Rat (size 54 - I'm 5'11")

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 6 Posts
wow thanks guys, very encouraging that you all figured out methods that work (even in humid conditions!), I'll give all that some experimentation and figure out my method. Reading your posts I'm reassured that it can be done!

oh, but a 'sticky' about no shower at work? eeurrgh, that's what i was hoping to avoid!hahahaha

thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes
eggnoggbubble is offline  
Old 05-22-09, 10:01 PM
  #20  
nkfrench 
Senior Member
 
nkfrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,846

Bikes: 2006 Specialized Ruby Pro aka "Rhubarb" / and a backup road bike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 4 Posts
Supplies - shampoo, liquid anti-bacterial soap, microfiber washclothes, microfiber towel, small bucket, ziplock bag for other toiletries.

Technique
- Ride easy the last few blocks to get heartrate down.
- On arrival at office, retrieve stashed supplies from secret hiding place next to restroom
- Dunk head under restroom sink faucet running cold water and completely drench face and head. Shampoo. This will make you feel about 100% better. This is done with shirt and bike shorts on but barefoot as the sink is viewable by anybody in the office area if the door is opened. It's OK to do this for a while to help cool you down.
- Dry head with towel
- Fill bucket with clear water.
- Wet down washrag and squirt in a little soap and rub it into the rag.
- Head into toilet handicap stall with all supplies and clean clothes
- Strip
- Use washrag to completely wipe down body, working from top to bottom. Do a few extra passes where it needs it the most.
- Rinse out washrag in clean water (or use 2nd washrag). Wipe self down.
- Dry self with towel. Pour bucket of water into commode; flush.
- Dress.
- Remove all traces (drips, splashes) so nobody complains that you're a nuisance.
- Dry buckets and replace into hiding space. Wet towels go to the desk to hang up to air-dry.
The office restroom is well-ventilated and air conditioned, so I actually feel much cleaner than trying to dress in a steamy shower/lockerroom. The bathroom is pristine early in the morning. This actually takes less time than my previous office location where we had showers that were in an outbuilding requiring a 5 minute walk from my building and where I couldn't keep any supplies overnight. This has worked fine for me on some 95+% humidity rides where I arrive slimed up pretty good with road grit making me feel all sticky.
15 minutes tops.
nkfrench is offline  
Old 05-23-09, 07:15 AM
  #21  
eggnoggbubble
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
eggnoggbubble's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: okinawa, japan
Posts: 136

Bikes: Surly Pack Rat (size 54 - I'm 5'11")

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 6 Posts
nice! I'm pretty much gonna follow your method i think (i have somewhere to hide a bucket), love the bit about running your head under the tap first. I'll let you know how it goes!
eggnoggbubble is offline  
Old 05-23-09, 05:02 PM
  #22  
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Posts: 6,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
When I was commuting, it was baby wipes.

I always slacked off for the last bit of the ride, basically coasted in. Sat outside on the bench for ten to fifteeen, downed a bottle of water, chatted the girls up and generally cooled off.

Inside to the locker room. Dried off any remaining sweat than a wipe down. Anti-perspiration and some baby powder and we were good to go.

I kept my hair cropped short, the benefit being I could shower at night and not have bed/helmet hair.
__________________
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
dobber is offline  
Old 05-25-09, 08:39 AM
  #23  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 25,331

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3874 Post(s)
Liked 1,059 Times in 740 Posts
Do you have private access to a bathroom?

1 hand towel
1 diluted shampoo & paper cup for rinsing
1 washcloth
change of clothes
plastic bag

strip naked - washup with the washcloth and rinse the same way - use diluted shampoo so it rinses easier from your hair, any hand soap will do for your body - change clothes

pack carefully and use a rear rack with a decent rack trunk - I use a soft folding beach cooler for my rack trunk. then stow everythign where no one can see it - keep your laundry in the plastic bag in your rack trunk

another big secret is arrive an hour before the first person. most places will let you shift your work hours too so you can leave early and avoid evening commuter traffic, well the worst of it at least
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 05-25-09, 03:16 PM
  #24  
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Posts: 6,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
most places will let you shift your work hours too so you can leave early and avoid evening commuter traffic, well the worst of it at least
Where are these wonderful places?
__________________
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
dobber is offline  
Old 05-25-09, 03:51 PM
  #25  
Gabbo
Never get out of the boat
 
Gabbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Posts: 113

Bikes: Fuji Sportif, Fuji SLM, Sanino Super Record

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's my technique for pulling a bum shower in the john; it has worked really well for me:

1. In my desk I keep a few items -- witch hazel, deodorant, and baby powder.
2. Along with my clothes, I bring a wash cloth and a small towel.
3. Before I ride, I shower off with deodorant soap.
4. When I get to work, I stretch out, pound a good bit of water and cool off -- but I do not *dry* off. Dry sweat stinks way worse than wet sweat and that stink is harder to clean off.
5. Go to john, wet the wash cloth and pour a few capfuls of witch hazel on it. Witch hazel breaks down sweat and body odor like nobody's business. I clean up with that.
6. Dry off with the small towel, use baby powder and deodorant to finish up and then get dressed. Finis. All cleaned up and no stink with a minimum of fuss and supplies.

PS: Almost forgot -- wearing a beanie or doo-rag is good for fighting helmet hair.
Gabbo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.