Water Saving Tips for Your Home

Bruges bicycle sculpture and fountain

Here are some water saving tips to help cut your usage.

There are lots and lots of ways to cut your water bill. Some of these also help you cut other energy bills, too, such as gas or electricity.

By using less water you are also helping cut carbon emissions away from your home; your water provider will benefit from reduced energy demands too.

Clearly it is in all our interests to try to conserve water at home.

Here’s a shortlist of ways to cut your water usage.

Picture above: Every town and city uses lots of water, sometimes even  for entertainment and keeping tourists happy! This is the wonderful bicycle sculpture in Bruges, Belgium.

Water saving tips for kitchen and utility room

  • Always use a full load when you use your washing machine if you can - and select the eco option, if available. If you really have to do a small load use the shortest, coolest cycle available.
  • The same goes for the dishwasher - opt for a full load whenever you can. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t run water to rinse. Use a bowl of water instead. If this is impractical, collect together everything needing rinsing and set the faucet to run at a slow rate just for the duration of rinsing.
  • If you need to buy a new washing machine, make sure you select one with a good energy efficiency rating. In the US this is shown by a star rating. In the UK we have an alphabetical system with triple A now being awarded to the most efficient machines.
  • It might also be worth considering buying a machine with a large drum size. Although this uses more water, you should – if you fill it up each time you use it – be able to reduce the overall water usage. I’ve now cut my wash loads to three or four a week since I bought a machine with a 7kg drum. I like it because I do fewer washes and more large items such as duvets fit in it. 
  • In your kitchen, avoid using the garbage disposal, if you have one; they can use a considerable amount of water. Vegetable waste is far better composted and used in the garden. If you do not have a garden, consider keeping a compost bin and donating the contents to someone who can use it. 
  • If you are rinsing vegetables or fruit for cooking or eating, reuse the waste water.  It is perfectly useful for watering the houseplants or patio plants. Use less water by soaking salad materials in a bowl of water for half an hour. If slugs and pests are suspected I add a little salt. This water does not get reused as salt is damaging to plants. I’m going to try it on the patio weeds but I doubt if it is strong enough to stop them from flourishing!


Water saving tips for the bathroom

Install low flush toilets and if this is not an option in the short term, install a plastic “hippo” or similar device which limits the water of each flush. These items are placed in the cistern and displace a certain amount of water so that each flush is smaller. They work well in old-fashioned toilets that have unnecessarily large cisterns. A brick is said to work equally well! Alternatively, fill a simple plastic container with a waterproof lid with water and place it in the cistern.

Install reduced water shower heads to avoid wasting water when showering. If your shower is particularly powerful you may be able to save water this way. I’ve not done this, as our shower is already quite weak. If you have a quite powerful electric shower which heats up quickly, a reduced water shower head will save both electricity and water.

Domestic taps can also be changed for low-flow versions.

Leaks and drips

It goes without saying that minor leaks and dripping taps need dealing with if you really want to cut your water bill. Monitoring your meter may be helpful in detecting hidden water losses. Replace faulty washers or replace the whole tap if need be.

Prevention is best

Avoid leaks occurring in winter by lagging vulnerable taps and pipes. Most hardware outlets sell lagging materials. As a temporary solution, bubble-wrap, old clothes cut into strips or even paper will provide some protection. Securing a plastic bag filled with paper or polystyrene peanuts around the whole tap can offer some protection. Tape it in place to prevent wind damage.

You can buy purpose made faucet protection.


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Water saving around the house

Use a steam mop or steam cleaner for washing floors; they are fairly miserly with water. Some types can also be used for cleaning carpets and furnishings. Even clothes can be spruced up and refreshed with a steam clean, saving on water used again because you can substitute this for a full wash in some cases.

Use grey water wherever practical - for example for flushing the loo, or for watering plants. Grey water is usable water from washing and other domestic usage. Using grey water for garden watering is quite practical. See my page here for more on this and other garden water saving tips.

For grey water recycling you need a siphon so that you are not messing about with buckets of water. These are available from a number of outlets. Amazon has syphons on sale but they are not specialised for this purpose.


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For more on water saving please also see this page on water conservation in the garden.



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On other pages

Pure Water for Your Home

Some Causes of Water Pollution

Laundry Day Tips

Cycling in Belgium




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