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5 DIY Outdoor Solar Shower Ideas

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Outdoor showers have always been popular for beach-dwellers, but they are becoming more mainstream for large, upscale houses and tiny off grid cabins alike.  

An outdoor shower is great for cooling down on hot summer days, but it is also useful for those who spend their days getting dirty in the garden, doing yard work, or as a way to clean up grubby kids and pets. And if the water is heated by the sun, solar showers are incredibly economical.

Outdoor shower

driendl/Adobe Stock

Solar showers can be purchased from a variety of places, but they are also a fairly simple project for DIYers who want to save money. Check out these solar shower ideas – from ultra fancy to super rustic – that can be built simply and on a budget.

1. Deluxe outdoor shower

This gorgeous outdoor shower is a pretty elaborate setup, with lots of space and a huge solar batch heater for the water.

While it looks expensive, the batch heater and plumbing parts were found on Craigslist for cheap. This was built by user Corral Creek on Homesteading Today, where they shared many more images and information about the project.

solar shower

Image: Corral Creek | Homesteading Today


2. Off grid gravity-fed shower

Col Jae on YouTube built this gravity-fed, bamboo-sided shower to accommodate their 8-person household. They reduced costs by using as many free materials as they could find. The black barrel and black roof help the sun warm the water.  See the video for their build process from start to finish. 

Bamboo outdoor shower

Col Jae | YouTube



3. Recycled outdoor shower

Here is another very simple DIY shower that uses all inexpensive, repurposed materials.  The tank is an old water heater painted black to absorb the heat of the sun during the day, the base is a $5 garage sale find, and the walls are cut from a piece of privacy fence.  via Mother Earth News


Photo: Tim Mason | Mother Earth News


4. Outdoor shower with hot and cold water

Unlike many outdoor showers, this one has both hot and cold water. The cold water is plumbed in from the nearby house. Originally hot water was also run from the house, until the builders realized their passive hot water heater – using sun-heated, coiled black hose – provided more than enough hot water for the system.

Outdoor shower

Phrederica1 | YouTube

See a tour of this system from Phrederica1 on YouTube. 



5. Cedar shower made with recycled materials

Here is another DIY solar shower made dirt cheap from recycled materials. The simple water tank is made from a piece of black pipe that provides enough hot water for an 8-10 minute shower. The inside is finished with beautiful cedar siding. See the full setup at Proficient Prepping.


Since the black hose method seems to be so effective for DIY outdoor showers, here is a quick video showing how to make one. This can also be used to heat an outdoor pool or sauna, or anything else you might need hot water for.