Washing one’s body on Shabbat

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Showering on Shabbat

  1. One may not wash one's entire body or even a majority of one's body in hot water on Shabbat, even if the water was heated before Shabbat. It is forbidden even if one only washes one limb at a time and altogether one washes a majority of one's body. [1]
  2. Many water heaters or boilers are made so that automatically when hot water is removed cold water is added. If this is the case, it’s forbidden to remove hot water from the water heater, even if the water heater is turned off, because doing so will heat up the cold water which is added (which entails a violation of Bishul).[2]
  3. One may not enter a bathhouse even to sweat (in a steam room or the like). [3]

Washing one's hands

  1. If one’s hands became soiled with mud one may not clean them off by wiping them on a towel or handkerchief however one may wipe them one a cloth which one isn’t concerned about cleaning (like a napkin). [4]

Squeezing water from one's hair

  1. It is forbidden to squeeze water out of one's hair on Shabbat. [5]Similarly, one shouldn't shampoo one's hair on shabbat. [6]
  2. One may wet one's hair if one does not squeeze it out. [7]
  3. One should not shake one's head vigorously in order to remove the absorbed water. [8]
  4. One may tightly wrap a towel on one's hair to absorb the liquid because the liquid is absorbed immediately and becomes useless. [9]


  1. Kitzur S"A 86:1
  2. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 1:39
  3. Kitzur S"A 86:1
  4. S”A 302:11, Mishna Brurah 302:57, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 14:26
  5. Mishna Brurah 326:25
  6. 39 Melachos (vol 2, pg 371)
  7. 39 Melachos (vol 2, pg 371)
  8. 39 Melachos (vol 2, pg 372)
  9. 39 Melachos (vol 2, pg 371)