Decor Snob Interior Design Ideas and Inspiration
Is Shower Water Safe to Drink?

5 reasons why it might not be the best idea

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Is Shower Water Safe to Drink

Do you ever drink the shower water and wonder “is shower water safe to drink”? In an emergency shower water is better than nothing, but the safety of your shower water depends on the source of the water and more.

As a general rule it’s best to not drink your shower water. Drinking shower water should not pose any serious threat to your health, but it also is not the best source of drinking water.

If the shower water is hot it is not advisable to drink it because hot water tanks can contain bacteria. Shower water should not be drunk because it could contain chemicals and bacteria.

If you are considering whether or not shower water is safe to drink, keep reading for a detailed explanation. There are different factors that could influence how safe it is to drink shower water.

Shower Water is Bad For You: Fact or Fiction?

Mothers across the world can say “I told you so” because drinking shower water is in fact bad for you. Of course, if you are in an emergency situation and drinking shower water is your only choice, it is better than nothing and unlikely to kill you. However, if you are someone who drinks shower water while you are in the shower, you should probably stop.

The main problem with drinking shower water is that it is usually warm or hot, and water from the hot water tank can contain harmful bacteria.

When the hot water tank heats up and cools down it creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

Another reason why drinking shower water could be dangerous is that old pipes could contain lead. When lead was found to be harmful to human health the lead pipes were replaced in most kitchens, but the bathroom may still have lead pipes in the connection.

Things to Consider

While drinking shower water is unlikely to be deadly, there could be some potential hazards to be aware of. Here is a list of things to consider before you drink shower water.

Storage Tank

The way the water is stored and travels through the pipes is one factor to consider when itt comes to the drinking safety of the shower water. Some houses may have separate water sources for the kitchen and the bathroom, or they may come from the same storage tank. If the bathroom water tank is uncovered there is a higher chance of contamination.


If you live in an older home there is a chance that your old pipes contain lead or other harmful chemicals. Lead pipes can release small amounts of the dangerous chemical into the water. Lead has been found to have numerous ill effects on your health, especially on children and pregnant women.

Lead poisoning is a serious condition and so drinking water from lead pipes is highly discouraged. Most homes have replaced the kitchen water pipes with lead-free pipes, but they may not have changed the bathroom pipes.

You might want to get lead testing done if you live in an old home.

Filtration Systems

Your home may have a built-in filtration system that makes the water safer to drink. The filtration is usually only in the kitchen, so you should stick to this for your main water source and avoid the shower water.

Water Softener

Some water contains high amounts of minerals. “Hard water” is safe to drink, but it can cause skin irritation, dull hair, and mineral spotting on the shower. Water softeners are used to fix the negative effects of hard water.

If a water softener is being used to prevent the effects of hard water in the shower, then the water may be unsafe to drink due to high levels of sodium. Kitchen water is usually free from a water softener.

Hot Water

Drinking cold shower water and drinking hot shower water are two different things. Hot water from the kitchen or from the shower should not be drunk because the hot water tank often contains bacteria.

The hot water taken heats up and cools down which promotes the growth of bacterias which could be harmful to human health. It is not advisable to drink warm or hot shower water.


Drinking shower water probably will not kill you, but it is not advisable. Drinking warm or hot water from the shower is especially bad because of the bacteria in the hot water tank.

You should try to get your drinking water from the kitchen instead of the bathroom to avoid any hazards. Potential health hazards from drinking shower water includes hard water softeners, bacteria from the hot water tank, contaminants from an open water tank, and lead poisoning from old pipes.

Some people get thirsty in the shower because the heat causes them to respirate and lose hydration. If you are tempted to drink shower water, start bringing a water bottle in the shower with you.

If you have no other choice than to drink shower water then it is better than nothing, but in general, you should avoid consuming shower water.

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