[Crosswalk, photographed by me]
Now here’s a question: why should Europeans stop caring so much about? Answer: they didn’t. Why should they? They still had the facilities for it in the cities. Nobody really liked being stinky. (Would you?) Most importantly, no one was telling them bathing was bad. All of that stuff that says bathing is harmful to your health? It comes from the 14th century when, you know, there was a plague going around.
On the secular side of things, medieval health manuals also make reference to bathing as something good for the body. The Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, written sometime between the 11th and 13th centuries, says “In the morning, upon rising, wash your hands and face with cold water.” It also says that Spring is a good time for bathing, in moderation. Nor was this the only health manual to say things like this. Medieval cities may have been really dirty, but so were Roman ones. The people in both time periods liked to be clean.
A Short History of Bathing Before 1601
Did people in the Middle Ages take baths?
The Rule of St. Benedict, translated by Timothy Fry
Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, text can be found here