I just woke up, it's -20 degrees Fahrenheit outside, I have to be at work soon, and now I just found out that the hot water heater isn't working, so the water is freezing cold! I'm smelly as can be and my hair is a mess. I don't want my hair to look like bed hair or greasy. I can't take a shower in the freezing cold! What should I do?

In the past I would prefer using the call out sick routine. But sometimes that is just not a good solution. I also have taken cold showers before, but nothing that would be this cold. I don't think people that live in warmer climates understand just how cold a shower is in this situation. I've also tried just wearing a hat and putting deodorant on, but lots of times I'm not able to wear a hat at work.

  • 14
    hmm.. take a shower and endure it?
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:10
  • What is the length of your hair? Longer hair needs a different solution as compared to shorter hair.
    – user19
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 13:20
  • 4
    If you take a cold shower, everything else will feel relatively warm!
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 18:14
  • 2
    See also What's the best way to take a cold shower? Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 0:59
  • 1
    Do you have a shower at work? Do you have an active gym membership? Is there anyone living nearby who can help share their shower ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 4:57

5 Answers 5


To fix your greasy hair instantly, loosely powder it. This is an instant quick fix.

Dig up a big, fluffy makeup brush, and dip it into a pot of loose powder. Tap it once on the back of your hand to remove the excess, then dust it over your roots. It mops up oil and blends into your strands, so no one will know you didn't shower.

(Source: Cosmopolitan)

Then, squeeze a bit of lemon in some water. Lemon is a natural cleanser and deodorant. You can use this solution to wipe and cleanse your skin.

Now you are ready to leave for work.

Please note these are quick hacks, and you should take a proper shower later.

  • What type of powder? Baby powder or something else?
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 0:07
  • 2
    Yes, baby powder @Sompuperoo.
    – user19
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 3:25

Warm some water on the stove to wet down your hair and maybe take a sponge bath. Use deodorant, wear clean clothes.

  • 12
    Not really a lifehack... More common sense here, right? Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:21
  • That is just what I was about to write! :D Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 20:05
  • 2
    @RichardBernards No it is an answer to the question, a practical answer. It may be the best answer I dunno, but if it is, the question then becomes is the OP posting a on topic question.
    – Jon
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 20:13

Use multiple heating pots or similar things to heat as much water as you can as quickly as possible (Using multiple pots each with only some water in it will give you more hotter water quicker than just using one pot that contains much water; Using all your heating stations is best of course).

Then pour all that hot water into a large container (e.G. your shower after you have plugged it so the water can't get out).

Then fill the container with so much cold water that the water in the container becomes as comfortable as possible.

Separate some water into two pots.

Use the sponge to clean you with soap and shampoo your hair. Then open the sink so the shower drains and use the two pots (one for the hair, one for the body) to wash off the soap and shampoo.

Be certain to dry your hair throughly before leaving the house if its cold outside.


One trick I have used often while camping. If you have available a pressurised plant sprayer - like one of these...

Plant sprayer

... Obviously one that is clean of any weedkiller or insecticide.

Then you fill it with water and leave it in full sun for a while. To finish you can top up with a kettle of hot water. Pressurize it, then spray yourself.

It may sound weird but it works remarkably well.


If you are a member of a sport club then go there. If you are not a member, stroll in with a sport bag, no eye contact, march to the shower and get clean.

  • While this isn't real ethical if you're not a member, many clubs do offer 1 day free trials and the like, so you could just tell them you are interested in possibly joining and if you could test out the place today.
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 15:02
  • Yes. I did this in a place where I had often played as a guest, so they had seen my money plenty of times. I did actually feel guilty about it, but ugh, I needed to shower.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 6:53

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