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A breakdown of what's involved in preparing a bath

Are you more of a bubble bath kinda’ person, a shower kinda’ person, or maybe something a bit more avant garde like the nearby spring, a cold plunge, etc.?

Full immersion bathing in the Georgian era was arduous, hence why most people preferred the washbasin method. From the ordering of the bath to the completion would take several hours and need to be well coordinated. One simple bath involved carrying tubs up and down stairs, buckets to and from the nearest water source—which likely wasn’t near at all—firing the hearth, heating one bucket at a time in the kettle over the fire, carrying one bucket at a time up several flights, etc.

Most households coordinated so this needed only be done once. If someone wished to enjoy a bath of their own, they might make a social event out of it by inviting friends to breakfast, gossip, and dress with them as part of their morning toilette.

Unless one had several hours and ample servants to devote to a full immersion bath, the washbasin was the way to go. Floral scented soup, a sponge and wash cloth, a basin, a pitcher of water 1-2 gallons of water, and away we would go in our cleaning process!

Interestingly, there were public baths in larger cities, but usually those attracted unsavory guests. There were also standup showers from 1767 onwards but they were cold water only and uncommon. The fanciest of households may very well have a plunge pool for a spa-like bathing experience. Indoor plumbing was patented in 1822 but wasn’t seen in homes until around the 1870s.

The later we are in the Georgian era, the more cleanliness is valued. The earlier we are in the Georgian era, the less it is valued since the medical industry claimed bathing was unhealthy. Anyone who did not heed the quackery of doctors would have happily enjoyed a life of cleanliness.

Enjoy this more detailed post on hygiene practices:

Golden Romance Research: Hygiene

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