Blog Stuff, Fun Stuff, How-To, Rwandering

Bucket Showering 101: The Khadijah Method


Rwanda is not short on new experiences and I have started to develop some new skills. Below, you will find my step-by-step method for bucket showering, a very useful skill when staying in a home without much running water. Unfortunately, for censorship reasons I will not be including pictures at this time. ENJOY!

Step 1: Acquire Necessary Supplies for Showering

This would include, of course, a bucket. You will also want some water. If you are on good terms with the host girl, she can boil some water for you. If not, lets hope you enjoy cold showers. A towel for your body and a wash cloth are also helpful. Soap, shampoo, and conditioner are up to your selection and need. A small cup can be more useful than you know. Shower shoes for your feet are also a nice addition. I also bring a face towel and a t-shirt to wrap my hair at the end. Now you should be set!

Step 2: Locate the bathing room

If you have read previous posts, you will know that most houses have a room with a drain that acts as a bathing room. You will want to locate this room with all of your recently acquired supplies.

Step 3: Washing the hair

Of course, I have a lot of thick hair so this method my not be applicable and this step may not even be necessary depending on your hair situation. Start by adding about a third of your jug of water to the bucket. Dunk all of your hair into the bucket to get it completely wet. If you brought a cup, use it to help get water at the bottom of your scalp. Make sure that you keep as much water in the bucket as possible. Once hair is wet, take some shampoo and start to lather it on your scalp. Once you have a rich lather, begin to rinse with the water and the cup. Make sure to squeeze out hair to get out water and dirt. Feel free to repeat this process again if the hair is especially dirty or if its been a particularly long time since you washed.

Step 4: Conditioning the hair

As any owner of a lot of hair will tell you, conditioning is important. Once your hair is rinsed of the shampoo you can add the conditioner. Anyone who conditions regularly knows that you need to allow the conditioner to set before you rinse it. You will now proceed to the next step to allow this to happen.

Step 5: Rinsing the body

At this point, the water that you used to wash your hair is probably looking pretty dirty and murky. You don’t want to waste it, so use that water to rinse your body for the first time. Simply take the bucket and pour it out over your body. Don’t worry, there will be another rinse to get rid of whatever dirt the water just added to your body.

Step 6: Washing the body

Your bucket should now be empty if you completed the previous step. Add another third of your jug of water to the bucket. Get the wash cloth wet and put some of your soap on it. Use your soapy wash cloth to wash your body. This part will feel familiar to experiences in other places. What might be different is that you should rinse your wash cloth in your bucket and then scrub your body to make sure all of the soap comes off. Use the water in your bucket to rinse your whole body again, using the same method from the previous step.

Step 7: Rinsing the conditioned hair

You should have a third of your water left. Fill your bucket with this water. It is now time to do the final rinse of your conditioned hair. The previous step should have taken an adequate amount of time for the conditioner to set in. With the clean water, rinse your hair using the same cup method from earlier steps. Again, make sure to wring out hair to make sure you get as much water and dirt out as possible.

Step 8: Drying the body and hair

Use the t-shirt to wrap your clean hair (Shout out to my girl Alaryana for this method!). Then use the body towel to dry off.

Congrats on the completion of your bucket shower! Repeat whenever necessary.



3 thoughts on “Bucket Showering 101: The Khadijah Method”

  1. This reminds me of the tub my mother put in the kitchen in whlich all the kids in our family took turns.
    Anyway, you managed and got cleaned up. You may get some opportunities to find a shower at some point, but I’m sure you have learned to adjust and appreciate what you had in Wisconsin. Enjoy and take csre.


  2. Welcome to the conditions your Great Grandmother grew up in and your Grandmother until she was about 10 years old when we finally got running water in our house. Love to you always. Grandma


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