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Is It Illegal to Eat an Orange in the Bathtub? [DEBUNKED]

Ever thought about breaking the law by bringing an orange with you while you take a much-needed relaxing bath? That might sound like a refreshing idea – a hot bath while munching on a fresh, sweet orange – but it could be illegal, or so some people say.

peeled orange

Do you think that sounds absurd? You’re not the only one to think that. But it’s time to get to the bottom of this weird law that should have never existed in the first place.

Where Is It Illegal to Eat an Orange in the Bathtub?

California, The Golden State has several weird food laws, and some you might not even be familiar with or wouldn’t even believe are real. Eating or peeling an orange in the bathtub is just one of them.

For instance, in Rosemead, CA, you can’t eat ice cream with a fork if you are in public. While nobody in their right mind would eat ice cream this way, even in private, it’s not the point. Californians should be able to eat ice cream however they want to, even if it’s with a fork, or eat oranges wherever they want to eat them, even if it’s in the bathtub.

Another strange CA law regarding food is one in Riverside, which prohibits you from carrying a lunch down the street between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Which means no lunches are allowed outside if you’re in Riverside.

Why Is It Illegal to Eat an Orange in the Bathtub in California?

You might think that it’s the strangest law ever passed in California, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth.

But people or lawmakers back in the day thought that this law was a matter of safety for homeowners. Yes, there is a law that prohibits Californians from eating an orange in the bathtub, or at least, there was.

Here’s what everyone knows about oranges, they contain citric acid. The law came about during the 1920s when people believed that the citric acid in oranges could mix with natural bath oils. They believed that citric acid plus those bath oils could create a highly explosive mixture.

When you think of it, their reasoning kind of makes sense, but they were probably being overdramatic. After all, when you’re using bath bombs, which contain natural oils and citric acid, they do start to fizz once they come in contact with water in your tub.

If people got scared enough because of that “fizzy” effect to make a law about it, that is understandable, but calling it explosive might be a little too much.

Is It Illegal Today? 

So, you ask, does the law against eating an orange in the bathtub still exist in California?

There’s no simple answer to that. No matter how absurd these laws sound, if no one has ever repealed them, they could most likely still be in the books, like many other silly laws in the US.

But is it an enforced law? Not likely. Have you ever heard of someone getting fined and apprehended because they ate an orange while taking a bath? Fortunately, neither of us.