Gear | January 12, 2021 11:22 am

A Bath Hater’s Guide to Not Hating Baths

8 products that will help you understand what all those insane bath people are always carrying on about

A Bath Hater’s Guide to Not Hating Baths
Yves Forestier / Sygma via Getty Image

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After roughly 11,000 days on this earth, there is one thing I know to be undisputedly true, which is this: baths are the fucking worst. To say I hate them would be an understatement of epic proportions. I loathe them. Historically, I’ve found them to be grossly overrated and also just … gross. I would be completely and utterly content to live out the rest of my life without ever taking a bath. 

My distaste can probably be boiled down to two basic principles — the most pertinent of which being the temperature. It is always either too cold or (and in my case, more often) absolutely blistering hot. It’s virtually impossible to get comfortable for longer than five minutes at a time, without having to drain the tub and start anew. The other is that I can’t wrap my head around “relaxing” in what is essentially a pool of my own, for lack of a better term, filth. I find myself wanting to shower either before or after the deed, and sometimes both — not at all efficient.

The greatest irony in all of this is that I took baths as a child and according to my mother, thoroughly enjoyed them, so it’s unclear when exactly things took a turn. I also do this (admittedly bizarre) thing where I lay in the bottom of my shower when I’m extremely hungover and let the water just rinse over me, which would also suggest that I might enjoy the occasional bath. I just, quite simply, do not.

But, for some reason that I cannot fathom — I still desperately want to like baths. 

Hear me out.

My personal journey to enjoying the art of bath-taking has been long, and to this point, unfruitful. That aside, though, I do see the appeal — particularly having spent every winter of the past 29 years in the Northeast. Of course I’d love to close my laptop after a long day of working from my couch and soak in a tub full of not-for-consumption bath salts. Better yet, I’d love to be able to work from the tub.

There’s also a ton of research supporting the idea that baths are actually very good for you from a physiological standpoint. According to one study, hot baths on a regular basis may help to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Another found that habitual bath-taking resulted in better sleep quality, and overall health in general. It’s no secret, either, that hot baths can be enormously effective in terms of recovery. By increasing circulation, hot bath water can be instrumental in alleviating muscle soreness and, after having incorporated more HIIT workouts into my quarantine routine, the latter feels like it should be incentive enough for me.

Luckily, because I’m not a quitter, none of my failed ventures have deterred me from trying again. Because we could all use a little more R&R and a little less muscle soreness, I’ve spent some time getting to the porcelain bottom of how to make baths marginally enjoyable for people who hate baths. Most recently, I’ve been left feeling like the secret to a good bath might actually come down to a few key products, all of which can (and should) be used simultaneously to curate what I believe to be the ultimate bathing experience. Thus, my list of most coveted bathtime wares was born:


TILEMALL 2-in-1 Bathtub Caddy and Laptop Bed Desk

I’d been eyeing tub caddies for quite some time, before I eventually succumbed to my impulses and ordered this one. Historically, I’ve gravitated more towards reading in the bath rather than watching something on one of my various devices, but both pose their own series of obstacles. The fact that I can go no more than 30 seconds without my book being properly saturated by bath water has instilled enough fear in me to never bring my laptop anywhere near my bathroom. This tub tray, however, has opened my eyes to the possibilities. It’s surprisingly sturdy, and it houses all of the things I could possibly want to bring into the bath with me, up to and including, a cocktail, should I want one. And I do. Most importantly, it doubles as a bed desk, which I will undoubtedly get the most use out of, even if (and when) the tub tray starts to lose its appeal.


VicTsing SoundHot C6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

I got this little guy as a stocking stuffer the Christmas before last, and it’s still one of my favorite gifts to date. It’s a waterproof Bluetooth speaker with a suction back that you can stick virtually anywhere in your shower, where it will live forever if you so desire. More than a year’s worth of shower steam has seemingly had little negative impact on the sound quality, the battery holds a surprisingly long charge, and I’ve never had any issue with its secureness to any surface. I generally listen to music more often than not in the shower, but it’s recently been suggested to me that I listen to a podcast during a bath instead, which sounds — dare I say — nice?


CBD Bath Bombs

I’d read that if you’re new to incorporating CBD into your bathtime routine you should start with a 25-50 milligram bath bomb. So naturally I went ahead and ordered a 100 mg bath bomb — I don’t have time to waste. Now, I obviously cannot speak to the difference between the two, but I was left feeling sufficiently relaxed post soak and certainly not overly so. I went with the aptly named “Relax” and “Rejuvenate,” or lavender and eucalyptus, respectively. The scent was subtle, but soothing and there was no purple residue in my tub following the bath — a common occurrence where bath bombs are involved, I’m told.


Non-slip Bath Pillow

My only qualm with this bath pillow is that it’s not quite as non-slip as “non-slip” would imply, but nevertheless, it has added an entirely new layer of comfort to bathtime. The two-panel design is particularly favorable to straight back tubs — I was able to really recline into it without needing to rest my head on the edge of my tub, saving me the hassle of constantly having to readjust and stretch my neck. It’s also porous enough that it doesn’t retain a ton of water, so it holds its shape well and doesn’t get soggy. I realize that bath pillows might seem a little frivolous by nature, but if you’re perturbed by the angularity of your tub, they’re a worthwhile investment.


D.S. & Durga Blue Label Candle

Everyone already knows that a burning candle is imperative to the quintessential bath experience. For me, the lighting of candles is effectively a one way ticket to Cozytown, and despite my love of showers, they admittedly don’t allow me to enjoy this simple luxury in the same way that a bath does. Candles scents — much like fragrance — are a deeply personal preference so I’d implore you to go with whatever feels right for you, but this particular D.S. & Durga x Johnnie Walker scent is described as having notes of, “Scottish sea air, moss, malt, oak barrels, and peat that echo Jonnie Walker’s finest Scotch whiskey.” Cozy af.


Fur Bath Drops

Something about bath beads feels nostalgic to me, and so I was genuinely excited to incorporate these into my new regimen. While the CBD bath bomb for its part does help with relaxation, it doesn’t do much in the way of nourishment. This bath bead by Fur encases their signature, Emma-Watson-endorsed Fur Oil, along with a blend of other softening oils, all of which are absolutely essential in the winter months. These beads in particular are also supposed to help soften hair and clear pores, which in turn serves to combat ingrown hairs (hence the name Fur) should you be in the market for such a product. You could probably get away with one drop per bath in a standard sized tub, but for anything bigger (i.e. a jacuzzi), I’d double up. Truth be told, I’d double up anyway — its dry as hell out here.


Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

Initially skeptical of washing my hair in the bath, this scalp massager came recommended to me by a friend, and I’ve since changed my tune. It’s dual purpose in that it’s functional and also gives the illusion of a little extravagance (if not necessarily in the visual sense). I used it for a deep shampoo and then to rinse after, too, but I see no reason why you couldn’t use it solely as a scalp massager. It’s small, so easily stored, and it’ll only run you $9. If you don’t wind up using it, I can guarantee the lady in your life (and shower) surely will.

The Sacred Ritual

The Sacred Ritual Release Bath Salts

If you’re looking for something specifically to help remedy muscle soreness and tension, I’d recommend stirring some of these Sacred Ritual bath salts into your bath water. Created with “overworked” muscles in mind, these salts are a mixture of activated charcoal-infused black lava salt and red alaea salt, and they aim to reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation. They can also — like all other bath salts — double as exfoliants. The peppermint and lemongrass scent is really nice, though if you’re taking the bath salt route, I’d hold off on the bath bomb in order to get the full effect. You might get a little black residue around your drain post-bath, so just be sure to give it a little rinse after your departure.