Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to Get Clean After a Run Without A Shower

This post contains affiliate links.

Ewwwwww, right?

That was my thought this past weekend when I wanted to run before my son's rugby tournament. I needed to get my long run in. There was the temptation of that beautiful forest preserve path with the 10 mile loop. The weather was perfect with temps in the 70s and low humidity. Sure, I could have gotten up at the crack of dawn and ran at home. But why do that?

Why, indeed. Because I sweat like a pig. And sometimes when I run, I have certain--ahem--personal issues. Without access to a shower after my run, I needed to figure out how to get myself presentable and fresh. I know I was going to an all-day rugby tournament and certainly I wouldn't be the smelliest person there, but still...

I made it work and you can too. Here's how to get clean after a run when you don't have time or access to a shower.




1. Plan ahead. I always have a canister of Wet Ones in the console in my car, but those are for quick cleanups. After a long sweaty run, I need a little more than what those wipes can do PLUS a change of clothes and underwear. Be prepared for anything, and I mean anything.



2. Give yourself a few minutes to cool down. Have a post-run drink and snack. If you start your cleanup while you're still sweating, it will all be for naught.


3. You can use wet wipes in lieu of a shower but have you ever tried the Shower Pill? I had a sample from a race goody bag and I saved it "just in case". On Saturday, I finally used it and Hello, lover, where have you been all my life? Guys, this is just the greatest thing. The Shower Pill is a thick absorbent wipe that cleans and deodorizes. I wiped down my whole body, starting with my face and finished with my nether regions. I truly felt clean after I used it. It felt like I was using a washcloth.


4. My hair is usually as sweaty as the rest of me, so for convenience, I just brush it into a ponytail. If you need to fix your hair and your hair is dry, you can use dry shampoo. I've never used it, but friends that have just rave about it. The brands that I see the most positive feedback about are Batiste and Living Proof. I have no experience with either product so let me know if you've tried either of them.


5. Baby powder or deodorant can absorb sweat and odors. Especially if like me, you just keep sweating for a while after you stop. On the go, deodorant wipes are the most convenient. LaFresh antiperspirant wipes are quick and convenient and will keep you from pitting out your clothes.


6. Once you dry off, you can put on the clean, dry clothes and underwear that you packed ahead of time. Take your sweaty running clothes and rinse them off in the sink. I put mine in the back of my car where they dried in the heat of the day. Once I got home, they went in the wash.


It was amazing how much better I felt after my quick bathroom cleanup. I spent the rest of the day enjoying watching my son play rugby. But I won't lie, I couldn't wait to get home to shower.

Have you ever had to run and go somewhere after without having access to a shower? Do you run commute? What are some tips or products that worked for you?

I'm linking up this stinky post with Tuesdays on the Run aka Marcia, Erika, and Patti as well as Running Coaches' Corner aka Debbie, Rachel, Lora, and Marc.



58 comments :

  1. I had to go to Dimity's (RLAM) house after running a half in Colorado and I was so self-conscious I'd stink! Thankfully I do carry Shower Pill wipes. My only issue with them is if I leave them in a hot car they dry out.

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    1. This was my first time using the Shower Pill but it won't be the last! I'd be pretty sad if I opened mine up and it was all dried out.

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  2. I also sweat a lot and am smelly and sweaty after a run. I have to shower. I once tried something similar to a Shower Pill but still felt icky. Oh and the cat photo cracked me up! I am all about cats. :-)

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    1. Desperate times called for desperate measures and the Shower Pill was awesome. I didn't feel icky at all after. Maybe you want to give it try?

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  3. These are great tips! I'm also a fan of ShowerPill, especially after runs in the summer heat.

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    1. I think I remember you doing a product review on it?

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  4. I'm not a big sweater (you know, like a cardigan), but these past few weeks of humidity have been a whole different animal! I just use regular baby wipes. Much cheaper (though smaller) than wipes marketed toward athletes. I like Pampers over Huggies brand. The Pampers brand are thinner, but I like the texture better and I feel cleaner after using them. The Huggies brand are thicker, but almost feel 'gummy' or like they leave behind a light residue. I keep a couple of wipes in a Ziploc bag in my SPIbelt for long races so I can at least wipe my face down (and then sometimes my pits) after the finish. That's usually enough until I can get to a shower.

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    1. Another good option is the Walgreens Certainty brand adult washcloths. They come 48 in a pack for something like $5.99. My mom has a terrible time with stairs, and our only showers are on the 2nd floor, so we can only get her up there a few times a week. She uses them daily as what she calls a 'sponge bath' and they work very well.

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    2. Oh, good to know! I never thought about "adult" washcloths. Sounds wrong, tho, doesn't it?

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  5. I LOVE Shower Pill! They pretty much live in my gym bag.

    Oddly enough, my hair doesn't seem to get *too* sweaty. Maybe it just absorbs all the sweat and turns it into frizz?

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    1. Maybe your head doesn't sweat? My hair is just dripping after a run. It's so gross.

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  6. LMFAO. SO my husband does not shower much. AT ALL. I cannot show him this post because it will give him excuses NOT to shower more! LMFAO! That being said, I do think WET WIPES are a runner's saving grace FOR SURE!

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    1. I think the no shower thing would be a deal breaker for me!

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  7. I don't think I could ever do anything without shower after my run. Even with the dry shampoo my hair is dripping wet afterwards. I have heard of those shower pills and got a few in a swag bag from a race before but have never used them.

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    1. I had never used the Shower Pill before but let me tell you, I'm going to stock up!

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  8. I love shower pill! I keep one in my gym bag at all times and I also like to have them for post-race when I'm having brunch with friends right afterward. It makes brunch more enjoyable for everyone :)

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    1. Yes, being clean is definitely more appetizing!

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  9. I've never heard of the Shower Pill but it sounds like something I need. I sweat like a pig no matter what the temperature is but definitely more lately. My husband attempted to pick up my sweaty clothes on the bathroom floor while I was in the shower and he got totally grossed out on how soaked they were. :-P

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    1. It's really frightening as a woman in her 50s how much sweat I can generate by doing absolutely nothing.

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  10. I love dry shampoo! My Ragnar team really made fun of me when I used it on the race but hey my hair did look cute in all the photos :)

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    1. You do have amazing hair, I must say!

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  11. These are great ideas! My hair is pretty wet after a run in the summer so I dont think dry shampoo would work- Id probably just also try to put it up, or maybe wear a hat to hide the sweat!

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    1. I'm all about the slicked back ponytail.

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  12. I think changing clothes and liberal use of deoderant is key. Dry shampoo is tricky because it has to be used on dry hair and sweaty hair doesn't count. So I usually put the hair in a pony and ignore it.

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    1. Me too. I only wish I could do the dry shampoo.

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  13. I have heard people rave about the Shower Pill....but have yet to find it anywhere around me (I need to UP my Sherlock Holmes skills). My trick for icky hair is to shake out my hair and pull it back up in my usual messy bun (a visor hides it like a charm). I use dry shampoo, but am not convinced it's the ideal product for me...seems to make my hair feel dirtier.

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    1. How about Amazon? That's where i"m getting my Shower Pill from!

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  14. I love Shower Pill! It is my stink savior! It stood up through my first Ragnar and I assume it will do the same for my Ragnar trail race in November..

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    1. Yes, I think Shower Pill would be perfect for Ragnar!

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  15. My trick is to work in a lab where I'm very unlikely to be the smelliest thing 😉

    More seriously, I will just wipe/rinse sweat off and I that seems to carry most of the stench off. And dry shampoo, because I'm a hippie who doesn't wash my hair every day anyway.

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    1. I don't wash my hair everyday but I've never felt the need for dry shampoo! Maybe my hair smells and I don't know it?

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    2. I don't think my hair smells - it just starts looking flat after a couple days.

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  16. I don't seem to be able to find shower pills here in the UK. But I'm lucky, I have quite an uneventful life and I don't seem to have ever needed to be somewhere after running. I have run to parkrun then volunteered there and had to wait aaaaaages to stop sweating so I could put my flourescent gilet on and not make it gross. I'm also a dripper and a hair-sweater, though I usually wear a buff so could just hide it in there (itch itch, itch itch).

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    1. Yes, the buff is definitely a "sweat saver!" LOL I can only find the Shower Pills on Amazon.

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  17. Great post!!! I laughed my way through it, but you gave some great, useful tips here. I belong to a running club where we have a post-run party, including dinner every week. I marvel at how great my friends look after a run in 90-degree heat and humidity! I always look like a sweaty mess! Now I can clean up after my run, before dinner and look...well, at least presentable!

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    1. See! This is exactly how I felt at the rugby match. I showed up in my sweaty running gear, watched a game, dried off in the sun, and then went to freshen up. I felt so disgusting until I got cleaned up.

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  18. This is something I do all the time. Not always because I don't have access to a shower, but I really don't want to shower every single day. I hate having to dry/do my hair every day and it saves water. So I use wipes when I know I can get by without showering it all off. I also try to keep my pony tail a little loose while running (sometimes that drives me crazy) so that the sweat will drip down instead of get caught and make my hair extra gross. I wash it every 3ish days.

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  19. All of these are great tips, but I'll be honest - this only does me for an hour or a quick errand or fast meal. I am a SWEATY individual, and while I don't know that I smell terrible (I think there's a difference between body odor and sweat), I just want a shower after a hard workout.

    That being said, we do what we need to do. No shame in that game!

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    1. You and me both, my friend. This is a desperate times, desperate measures post--at least for me it is!

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  20. YES - all awesome tips! I am super anti shower even on days I don't run LOL. I love the ShowerPills and use dry deodorant all the time :P

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    1. I'm learning all sorts of hygiene habits with this post! LOL!

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  21. All great tips, Wendy. I've tried a couple of samples of post workout wipes that I've either received from a race or in a Stride Box. In all honesty, I get super sweaty and a shower is often my only lifesaver.

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    1. Oh yes, nothing beats the real thing!

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  22. Geezzz what a jerk am I? My husband made plans with his parents for right after a long hilly bike ride for me and all I did was put on clean clothes and hope no one sat down wind of me.... I'll have to try the wipes. Most times I can find a bottle of water that has been rolling around in the car for a while and 'wash' myself down with that and hopefully a towel not full of bike grease.

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    1. Pretty sure you didn't offend anyone--if your family is like mine, someone would have said something!

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  23. Hahaha....this was hilarious but serious at the same time. Awesome tips! I don't really sweat that badly but then again I am not running in crazy temps and humidity. My hair does get pretty wet so I just throw on a cap. But, I do need to find out more about those shower pills.

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    1. Since I've become a--ahem--certain age, I seem to sweat even more than in the past. I don't think I smell, but that's just my opinion...

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  24. I sweat so much so I totally understand this issue! I definitely need one of those heavy duty wipes for a quick clean. I don't make a habit of it since I do sweat a lot but there will be times where I'll need to go somewhere after a workout!

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    1. It's always good to be prepared, right?

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  25. These are great tips! Wet wipes are awesome inventions! I need to go get some baby powder, haha.

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    1. Baby powder really has so many uses besides keeping baby's bottom dry!

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  26. I've never heard of those deodorant wipes but that Shower Pill is the bomb dot com! We took them hiking because we knew we wouldn't have access to a shower for a few days. I've used them before at last year's BlogFest but this was my husband's first go. He came out of the tent practically dancing after he got "cleaned up!" haha! Smart idea packing extra clothes to change into. Sometimes, I also have "personal issues" when I run and it's uncomfortable even driving an hour back to the house.

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  27. I am lucky and I don't sweat much. And I usually run after work and then go home.

    They say that it is healthier to sweat. So keep sweating.


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    1. Even so, it's really nice to freshen up after a workout!

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  28. Great tutorial! That's pretty much what I do after each leg at Ragnar and it's not so bad; but like you, I can't wait to get home and get in the shower.

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