I spent 5 years roughing it in a boarding school in Nigeria and had to bathe this way every morning with water drawn from a well. When you think “boarding school,” you may immediately think preppy, royal, posh. This is far from the truth in most parts of Africa.
Step 1: First, you need to make sure you have enough water for your soap-down as well as rinse-off. Fill up the bucket.
Step 2: The trick is to find a small plastic container, like a small Tupperware dish or, at the very least, a plastic cup. Chances are if you’re using a bucket, this will already be readily accessible to you as well.
Step 3: In this plastic container is where you’ll add your soap with a little bit of water. Fill up the plastic container halfway with water, swish your bar of soap (usually what we use in Africa) around until it foams a bit, and then pour it over yourself while using one hand to aggressively rub all your body parts with the soapy water.
Step 4: Repeat (maybe 3-5 times, foaming the soap).
Step 5: With the same container, scoop clean water from the bucket and pour over yourself, using one hand to spread the water continuously across your body. The hand motion also makes icy cold water easier to tolerate (in case that’s all you’ve got).
By the time you’re done, you’ll still have at least a quarter to half your bucket of water left! Guaranteed.