Is Shower Water Safe to Drink? Is Shower Water Safe to Drink?

Is Shower Water Safe to Drink? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever tried drinking shower water? Just fill your mouth with shower water and then gulp it down; have you ever thought of doing this? Is shower water safe to drink? Should you drink it without any worries?

According to the experts, it is NOT safe to drink shower water because of the contaminations it contains. Though drinking shower water may not cause any serious health issues unless it is really contaminated, it is not recommended.

Do you know drinking shower water can cause respiratory diseases along with impacting your skin and hair quality? Curious to know more?

Is shower water safe to drink? If you want to be sure about that, we are here with a detailed guide.

Let us explore the details about shower water and why it is not safe for drinking purposes.

The Shower Water Quality 

The Shower Water Quality 

Before digging into the details concerning shower water, it is important to be aware of its quality. The shower water has the same source as that of the tap water in your home. It undergoes a minor treatment process to remove certain harmful microorganisms; however, it doesn’t get completely safe and clean.

As a result of the other contaminations and disinfectants, the quality of the shower water is not considered safe. Usually, the shower water is hard because of the presence of chlorine, which further affects its quality. Overall, it can be said that the shower water isn’t of the best quality for drinking or consuming purposes.

The Possible Contaminations in Shower Water 

Irrespective of the various water filtration techniques, shower water is considered unsafe for drinking. Is shower water safe to drink – Well, it’s not because certain impurities are still present in it even after filtering.

Shower water contains chemicals and minerals like fluoride, lead, magnesium, sulfur, hard salts, and other heavy metals, making it highly contaminated. Besides this, even the old plumbing system can make the water moldy, dusty, sandy, and rusty; thus, it can be problematic to drink it.

The Health Risks of Shower Water 

The Health Risks of Shower Water 

Is shower water safe to drink? Clearly, not as the various health risks display the transparent evidence. Shower water is absolutely safe for external use (bathing, washing clothes, cleaning, etc.), but it’s not recommended for consumption.

The various impurities, harmful chemicals, minerals, hard salts, etc., can result in skin and hair problems. It can affect the hair and scalp quality, causing dryness, irritation, redness, fungus, and discoloration. Moreover, consuming shower water can worsen the condition of people suffering from pre-existing diseases like asthma.

According to health experts, the several contaminations in shower water are also unsafe for people struggling with allergies or any kind of sensitivity. The regular consumption of shower water can exacerbate the symptoms, resulting in harmful side effects.

Reasons Why Shower Water is Unsafe for Drinking 

Is shower water safe to drink? Before we reach any conclusion, it is important to understand the various factors that affect its quality. Just because you can safely use the shower water, it doesn’t become safe even for drinking.

Your shower water is highly contaminated, making it unfit for drinking. So, the next time you are tempted to drink shower water, keep in mind the following reasons highlighting why drinking shower water is not recommended.

1. Old Pipes

old pipes

Do you live in an old house with lead water pipes? If yes, you should avoid drinking shower water at all costs.

Usually, the people living in old houses or buildings don’t change their water pipelines for many years. This even becomes worse if the water pipelines are made of lead; believe us, it gets really dangerous with old lead water pipelines.

Lead is one of the most dangerous elements for both adult’s and children’s health. When present, even in small amounts, it can cause respiratory and hearing problems, hyperactivity, lower IQ, increased blood pressure, constipation, headaches, and abdominal cramps/discomfort. Additionally, it causes skin irritation, scalp problems, redness, itching, etc.

If your shower water is contaminated with lead or steel, it also affects its quality, appearance, and taste. You may feel the shower water much harder than usual and stinking at times. Moreover, you may sometimes witness sediment buildup, confirming the presence of lead in it.

Thus, it is highly recommended to avoid drinking lead-contaminated water to protect against these harmful health conditions. It is also suggested to replace the old lead pipes at your place; however, if that is not possible, you should definitely use water filters. Lastly, it is suggested to regularly test the shower water and pipelines to avoid any major consequences.

2. Stained Shower Heads

Stained Shower Heads

The next reason to be worried about the quality of the shower water is having stained shower heads. Not many people pay attention to the fact that it may be their shower heads contaminating the shower water quality.

If you witness stained shower heads or mold growth, be very sure that you have contaminated hard water in your shower. The stained shower heads contain minerals and rust buildup that can leach your water supply, resulting in bacterial growth. Thus, consuming this contaminated shower water can cause nausea, respiratory diseases, and diarrhea.

Apart from these harmful diseases, using such bacteria-contaminated water can also cause skin problems like irritation, itchiness, redness, allergies, etc. One of the best ways to avoid such staining on shower heads is to use water filters. These filters can easily block unwanted chemicals like chlorine, pesticides, etc., and thus prevent the risks of any major health or skin issues.

It is always recommended to get your shower heads inspected from time to time to avoid any buildup that can affect the overall water quality. You should take professional assistance if needed to control the bacterial growth in the shower heads. The early detection of any such stains will not just be beneficial for you but also to improve shower usage.

3. Uncovered Water Storage Tanks

Uncovered Water Storage Tanks

Do you believe that the water stored in storage tanks becomes safe for drinking? Well, this is not the case.

If you store the water in an uncovered storage tank, it is highly prone to getting contaminated by the impurities in the surroundings. As a result, the water becomes absolutely unsafe for use, especially drinking.

On the other hand, even if the water storage tank is covered, the stored water may become stagnant, thereby attracting more impurities. Moreover, the stagnant water promotes the growth of bacteria, which further degrades the water quality. If you consume such contaminated shower water, you may face various health issues.

Additionally, if the water tank is not regularly cleaned and sanitized, organic substances like dust, dirt, leaves, etc., collect at the bottom of the tank. This is also one of the symptoms of water contamination degrading the water quality. You should also regularly check the water tank for any cracks or leaks that can attract any kind of harmful germs, dust, dirt, or contaminated substances.

To avoid any such scenarios, it is recommended not to create any abnormally large water storage tanks, especially with poor water flow. Moreover, you should frequently inspect, clean, and sanitize the water tank to avoid any contamination buildup.

4. Use of Water Softeners

Use of Water Softeners

Using water softeners is one recommended solution to treat hard water. Generally, the hard water contains calcium and magnesium ions, which makes the water unsafe for use. The water softeners use the ion exchange process to replace the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions.

Thanks to the generation of sodium ions using the ion exchange process, the hard water becomes soft and, thus, safe for use. However, the excess sodium ions in the water make it unsafe for drinking. Thus, if you are using water softeners for converting hard water into soft water, you should never consume it for drinking purposes.

You can use the soft water for various other household tasks like washing, cleaning, laundry, etc., but never consume it for drinking. The consumption of water with excess sodium ions can cause stress on the body vessels, increase the blood volume, and also affect the functioning of the kidney. When such water is regularly consumed, it may also cause high blood pressure, resulting in heart failure.

The best solution to avoid the health issues caused by salt-based water softeners is to avoid consuming them. Also, you should frequently check the quality of the water softener to avoid any contamination or bacterial growth.

5. Use of Water Heaters

Use of Water Heaters

If you ever feel tempted to drink warm water from your water heater, you should stop immediately. Even if the warm water from the heater is safe for bathing, washing, and cleaning, it is absolutely unsafe for drinking.

Moreover, if the water heater is faulty and not maintained properly, it can be the cause of various health issues. The regular use of water heaters causes sediment buildup, which results in corrosion, affecting the taste, odor, and overall quality of the shower water. This shower water is extremely dangerous when consumed even in small quantities.

Moreover, as we use the water heater for heating the water and then to cool it down, this process causes the growth of many bacteria. These bacteria further thrive in the surrounding atmosphere, thereby making them more dangerous when consumed. With time, it may also make your water stinky and sticky when used.

Additionally, various surrounding contaminations, hard salts, chemicals, etc., may enter the water heater with flowing water. This further makes the water highly unsafe for drinking, causing several critical health problems.

To reduce the risk of contamination in the water heater, you may use a water filter. However, water filters are not completely helpful in making the water safe for drinking. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to avoid drinking shower water to avoid such problems.


Is shower water safe to drink? Well, it will not kill you, but it is also not recommended for consumption. The potential contaminants in the shower water make it absolutely unsafe for drinking. Even using water filters or softeners cannot control the contamination completely.

You never know what contaminations, bacteria, dust, chemicals, hard salts, etc., the shower water may have. Thus, its consumption should be avoided in all situations. However, if you feel thirsty in the shower, you may take a filtered drinking water bottle along to take a few sips. Is shower water safe to drink?

If you still need more clarity and information, you can write to us in the comment section.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Happens if You Accidentally Drink Shower Water?

Well, drinking shower water may not kill you, but may affect your health conditions. If the shower water is badly contaminated, you may face severe health problems such as nausea, diarrhea, respiratory and digestion issues, etc. Moreover, it can impact your skin and hair quality, causing various problems.

Can You Drink Shower Water After Filtering or Softening It?

Using water filters and softeners may reduce the contaminations up to some level; however, it is not removed completely. The shower water, even after filtration, contains many harmful chemicals and substances, making it unsafe for drinking purposes. Water filters can minimize the damages but cannot completely remove them.

Are Shower Filters Healthy and Safe?

Let’s get this straight: Shower filters are the need of the hour. Shower filters minimize the contaminations in the water, making it better for use. Moreover, the use of shower filters is beneficial for improving skin and hair quality by removing heavy metals and harmful chemicals.

Can You Drink Boiled Shower Water?

According to the experts, it is not beneficial to drink boiled shower water. Boiling the shower water doesn’t remove all the harmful chemicals and contaminations and, thus, can still cause dangerous health issues. Thus, to be sure that shower water is safe to drink, you should better get it tested by professionals.

Is Shower Water Good for Your Skin?

Shower water is usually good for the skin; however, you can use water softener if you have hard water in your shower. Moreover, you should avoid frequent hot showers as they can dry the skin, causing irritation and itchiness. Cool and lukewarm showers are the best to maintain skin and scalp quality.

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