Maybe you don’t pee in the shower. But you almost certainly know someone who does: A recent study found that a minority of 48 percent of Americans claim to never do this, while 52 percent of us readily admit to it. And for good reason—peeing in the shower really isn’t as gross as it’s made out to be.
For starters, it’s more hygienic than peeing in a toilet, which results in a significant amount of splashback—on your jeans, on your hands and even on your face. Conversely, when peeing in the shower, the running water reduces splashback, dilutes your urine and sends it straight down the drain before it dries up on the floor. Plus, there’s a near 100 percent chance you’re washing your hands afterward since soaping up is pretty much the reason you’re showering in the first place.
It’s also better for the environment. Or at least so claim the leaders of “Go with the Flow,” a campaign that encourages students at the University of East Anglia to go no. 1 while they’re taking a shower instead of using the toilet beforehand. They believe that doing so saves a ton of water. As they told Slate, “We’ve done the math, and this project stands to have a phenomenal impact. With 15,000 students at UEA, over a year we would save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times over.”
Finally, for those of you who are concerned about how clean your urine actually is, we have some good news. Pee contains a very low amount of bacteria—less, in fact, than what’s normally lingering on your skin—and it’s healthy bacteria. So go ahead, whip it out in the shower. Your jeans will be cleaner and your lawn will be greener.