It is recommended to bathe twice a day: after waking up and at night, before going to sleep. The morning bath, after sleeping, is mandatory.
First you should brush your teeth and comb your hair. After that you can use the toilet and then take a bath. The option of first bathing and then going to the toilet, is compared by Srila Prabhupada to the behaviour of an elephant, which first cleans itself in a lake and then puts dirt on its body. A shower is more preferable than a bath.
During the shower use soap and water. Before you start you can also chant three time… ‘Gange!’ to request Srimati Ganga Devi to be present in the running water.
In a full bath always clean your eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth (rinse it at least 3 times), arms, body, legs, feet and below-waist areas. To have a full bath means to wash yourself from head to toe, for males it is an everyday standard, for females (if they or males have long hair) once in 3-4 days or 7 days. Women also take a full bath (including washing hair) to complete their monthly period (72 hours after beginning or when it ends).
Any time bowel movement happens or if you have slept for more than 30 minutes during the day (after waking up in the morning), or if you had a sexual intercourse, this kind of bath as described above is required. If it is only the passing of urine, then a short bath (described below) will suffice.
After bathing we apply tilak on the body. The information is provided below.
It is recommended to be dressed only in clean clothes.