Navy Shower or Hollywood Shower?

Ask anyone in the Navy what a Hollywood shower is. (Hint: a Hollywood shower is the exact opposite of a Navy shower.) Let’s review the two: 

navy shower (also known as a “sea shower”, “military shower” or “staggered shower”) is a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy by turning off water during the “middle” portion. An initial thirty seconds or so are used to get wet, followed by soap and lather, which is then rinsed off in a minute or less. The total time for the water being on is typically under two minutes.

Navy showers originated on naval ships, where supplies of fresh water were often scarce. Using this method, crew members were able to stay clean, while conserving their limited water supply. The idea has been adopted by many people who wish to conserve water and the energy needed to heat the water, for both environmental and economic reasons. Maritime cruisers often take navy showers when they are not in a port with easy access to fresh water. A ten-minute shower takes as much as 230 litres (60 U.S. gallons) of water, while a navy shower usually takes as little as 11 litres (3 U.S. gallons); one person can save 56,000 litres (15,000 U.S. gallons) per year.

The United States Navy phrase Hollywood shower contrasts with navy shower, and refers to long lavish showers without limits on water usage.

So it follows, that when a ship returns from deployment, Sailors are itching for baths:

A resident snow monkey bathing with her infant at Yudanaka’s snow monkey park, near Nagano, Japan. Although heavily photographed the monkeys appear fairly wild and have adopted a daily ritual of bathing in the hot springs.

4 thoughts on “Navy Shower or Hollywood Shower?”

  1. Sorry! I learned to hate a Navy Shower when I had to take them because our evaporators broke (the things that converts sea water to drinking/ cooking/ bathing water) and we couldn’t use much water. Only the sweaty Snipes got to shower everyday. The rest of us had to shower every two or three days. I love a shower. A shower is one of my two favorite things and happens many times after the other favorite thing.

  2. Our summer home had a septic tank, so my Dad would bang on the bathroom door, yelling at his daughters – “No Hollywood showers!”

  3. I was so confused when we went to the Marine camps in Iraq and the signs in the shower said: “Take Navy Showers.” I was in the Army, I had no idea what it was…and I didn’t want to ask. So, I just took “Combat Showers.” And I still do even back in Calif.

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