Not washing with soap?

Has anyone heard of this before? People who no longer use soap products but just rinse in water?

David Whitlock has not showered or bathed for 15 years, yet he does not have body odour. “It was kind of strange for the first few months, but after that I stopped missing it,” he says. “If I get a specific part of my body dirty, then I’ll wash that specific part” – but never with soap. As well as germs, soap gets rid of the skin’s protective oils and alters its pH level. Although Whitlock appreciated gaining an extra 15 minutes a day from soap-dodging, his primary motivation was to encourage friendly microbes to live on him in symbiotic harmony. The bacteria get to feast on the ammonia from his sweat and he gets low-maintenance, balanced skin.

So my feeling is while the time-savings might be nice, I enjoy my showers with soap and shampoo.

Yeah I’ve heard of it, instead of soap you roll in the dirt like an animal to restore the ‘beneficial bacteria’ to your skin. Or buy products that achieve the same results. ;)

I guess the friendly bacteria secretions don’t smell as much as ammonia, but I’m sure their waste products have some kind of smell.

I think some (most?) people who do this still bathe, just not with soap. That sounds more sensible to me. I like the clean feel a shower or bath gives.

Says founder of cosmetics company that says their product does a certain thing. Fucking lol.

If only we could verify personally what these people smell like over the Interwebs…

So what about this thing?

Is this the world you want to live in? I can’t imagine most chat rooms smell good.

In theory, the friction from rubbing the skin is enough to dislodge bacteria and other particles, and watering moves them away before they reattach. In practice, it’s a lot harder to do without some kind of soap because you’ll miss plenty of spots.
There’s certainly plenty of chemicals on beauty products that can cause skin reactions, but there’s also no lack of plain-old-soap products that don’t. And if washing up takes too much oil and leaves your skin sensitive, then wash less often, not less effectively.

This is just literally doing it wrong.

Hey, we have one of those, it does have a use, but not for smelly strange people. It removes sulfurous odors. If you chop or handle onion or garlic, that strange bar will kill the smell off your hands. It helps with fish smell too. If we had a stainless steel sink, we wouldn’t even need it, you can just rub your hands on the sink while the water runs over.

I feel like these folks really need Dr. Bronner’s soaps.

It’s an interesting concept. My son had some allergies and I was talking to the doctor about it one day. I asked why we see so many more cases of allergies now. He believed part of it was that we know more about allergies than we used to but it was also possible that we’ve partially as a result of being cleanliness freaks created the situation. There’s an abundance of anti bacterial soaps that get out into the environment, creating stronger germs and changing the things we’re exposed to. He commented that in parts of the world where they don’t have this stuff and don’t wash as much there aren’t as many allergies. We also agreed that our discussion was mostly just conjecture and isn’t a definitive answer for the question.

I don’t plan on ceasing to wash but I would be ok with going back to basic neutral soaps.

It’s both scary and liberating how much dart throwing is involved in medicine.
Anyway, I caught (a discussion about) a paper on reddit on how it’s possible our immune systems are hyper-aggressive because they’ve evolved to take into account the suppressing effects of parasites (those worms that can live inside us). There’s even people (I don’t remember if there are trials) purposely infecting themselves with tame ones (that die off after a couple of years) successfully dialing back auto-immune conditions. Not just symptoms, the whole thing.

Which is certainly something we all should do. Washing with -just- soap is just as effective. The CDC even concluded that.

I generally don’t use body soap at all, just hot water, with the exception of my hair. That needs a proper shampoo otherwise I suffer unpleasant scalp problems. I know what it’s like to go for weeks without soap because I used to do it all the time out of necessity. I think 10 weeks out bush was the longest. Of course I’d dive into freshwater lagoons at least once a day (sans crocodiles) but we never even had soap to use (there is a local plant here which actually creates a soap-like substance if you rub the leaves in water, but we could never find it!). It was fine, but my hair and scalp definitely suffered. As for whether I smelled? Well, we were all in the same situation so I guess we probably didn’t notice!

Yeah, I shower daily and I use shampoo (and a little bit of soap whenever I wash my hands), but I don’t feel like I need body soap and I’ve never had any complaints about smelling bad. (Though that’s not automatically a guarantee I don’t, I suppose.)

Antibacterial soaps are actually banned here in Minnesota precisely because they’re a great way to get resistant bacteria at little actual benefit to the end user.

I have been using the Big-Ass-Brick of Soaps for a few years, I do not believe they are anti-bacterial.

Anway I enjoy the smell of the soap and if the day isn’t crazy hot, and I am not going out in public, I try to go most of it without putting on antiperspirant deodorant.

There was an interview in a major paper about one of these guys a couple years ago. He didn’t bathe, but he was adamant about washing his hands with soap. It’s the best way to prevent communicable disease.

One colleague who works in microbiology doesn’t use soap. Absolutely no body odor. He’s running in the mornings, has a shower (or dives into his pool), rides into work and no smell. It’s a thing.

Microbiologist I know was asked once about what to do with community MRSA. His suggestion was install swimming pools in the communities. They shot down his idea as being ridiculous.

I think the idea is that you want to remove the sweat and grime from skin that water will facilitate. The bacteria will always be there. I only use soap because psychology. My brother always made a big deal about the fact I smelt, yet I never could pick it up leading me to believe my sense of smell was bad. So I use soap to make sure I don’t smell bad. I think my brother is an arse.

Completely agree which is why hospitals encourage handwashing for staff and visitors. Little alcohol dispensers because touch is ridiculously effective for transmission. Likewise, when people have headcold/flu/whatever upper respiratory tract illness, blowing nose, coughing or sneezing, please just wash your hands after and you’ll do everyone around you a favour.

I’m pretty similar - I use shampoo once a day, but only use soap if I’ve been exposed to something particularly icky. I’ve been kayaking a lot lately in a river that’s mostly clean (water rated A-) , but the water leaves you feeling a little slimey/slippery afterwards, so I damn well use soap then or I don’t feel clean.

My wife turned me on to korean washcloths recently, and those could probably scrub most of the grim/dirk off without needing any soap.

The problem with not using soap, is that water alone won’t really wash away oil. That’s the point of soap.

You’d think you’d get greasy like going a day without showering, but I’ve never actually tried showering with just water. Any time I get in there I’m sudsing up.

I do know my hair needs shampoo, that’s non-negotiable.

I assume this fellow never touches dirt, mows, grease, or anything that would require soap to clean? Cleaning isn’t just removing body oil, it’s removing actual dirt from mowing, working outside, ect. Especially dusty environments just get fine dirt on everything and everywhere and it would be just annoying not to be able to wash all that off, and without soap you’re kind of going to leave a film of dirt behind.

When I used to go on week long camping trips my hair really hated me - it felt like a greasy beaver pelt and was outright disgusting (at least to me) but back then i kept it longer than i do now. Shaved or short would have been much more manageable. The uh, nether regions felt like they needed a good washing as well. But these are trips where there is usually little to no water aside from drinking water, so if i had the opportunity to wash without soap in a stream ect it would have made it much much cleaner feeling. But i have to wash my hair every morning really just to straighten out the cow-licks it develops overnight.

I have a recurrent MRSA in my lymphatic system that pops out whenever i get sick (thanks brown recluse bites) that i like to call my “spider alarm” in the lymph nodes under my arms (an alarm because it alerts me when i’m getting sick before otherwise symptoms are noticeable with a dull soreness preceding whatever the actual symptoms would be) Not being able to clean there just seems annoying.

I used to run and the return to work without a shower and nobody seemed to notice, but that’s hardly long enough without washing for a trend.