I know this probably sounds hypochondriac, but seriously - I learned that some people do shower enemas i.e. taking off the shower head, insert the hose in their anus, and run water. THAT IS SO GROSS if they decide to do that with a shower that other people will use later, e.g. at hotels.

If the worst thing you can catch from using the water source contaminated by these people's various bodily fluids + solids is 1 day of vomiting and diarrhea, it would not be that big of a deal, but can you catch more serious diseases like hepatitis or parasites? Then is there an effective way to disinfect inside the holes of shower and tap water?

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    Maybe this should be in Skeptics. Has anyone got evidence that this has ever happened? Such a strange thing to do. And, thinking about it, which I didn't want to do, when you've screwed the shower head off there's a clumpy metal end visible. I cannot imagine wanting to put it anywhere but back in the shower head actually.
    – RedSonja
    Jun 19, 2015 at 10:43
  • My answer has been deleted - presumably as too OOB, (Out Of Box), but the question that I was trying to raise, in a light manner, is why would you worry when there are so many - much more immediate - possible sorts of infection when staying away from home? BTW where is the unsubscribe button? Jun 24, 2015 at 18:38
  • @RedSonja what you mean by "this has ever happened"? People doing shower enema in hotels? Or other people getting sick from using the same shower? Jun 25, 2015 at 14:51
  • @SteveBarnes unsubscribe from what? Jun 25, 2015 at 14:51
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    OK, I know there's nothing in the world so weird that somebody won't do it, but I cannot believe people take the shower head off and use the hose to give themselves an enema. This must be one of those urban myths.
    – RedSonja
    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:10

2 Answers 2


Maybe I just haven't been in fancy enough hotels, but I've never seen one with the type of shower head that has a hose attached. On the off-chance that a guest actually removed the shower head specifically so they could attach a hose, it would be their own hose and only the hose end would uh.. make contact.

But to answer your question, I've seen a suggested method of disinfecting a faucet or shower head using white vinegar or alcohol, a small plastic bag (like sandwich size or similar), and a rubber band.

  1. Pour vinegar/alcohol into the bag.
  2. Wrap the bag around the shower head.
  3. Secure it with the rubber band.

You may have to adjust the amount of liquid so that it makes full contact with the exposed areas of the shower head.

  • If you really are concerned about germs, I would recommend alcohol over vinegar. But the technique is the same: onegoodthingbyjillee.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/…
    – Bowen
    Jun 18, 2015 at 15:31
  • @Bowen that's a good point, edited the answer. Vinegar works better for scale from hard water. You should be able to mix alcohol and vinegar if preferred (to my knowledge there are no interactions and there are glass cleaners sold with both).
    – briantist
    Jun 18, 2015 at 15:34

Get Disinfecting Wipes. You can put them in your bag and then clean inside and out of faucets. You might need like a pen to scrub the inside of the pipes.

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    Please don't promote a specific product. Rather recommend a product category. For further info, see this meta answer.
    – Alex
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:16

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