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Save water INSIDE the house! 3 places to be more water-wise indoors

We need to save water outside, but we can also save inside!

We know we need to save water. But with most of the focus on outdoor watering restrictions and our soon-to-be brown grass, what can we do inside the home to save up?

Home economist Teresa Hunsaker takes us room to room with solutions to help save water inside.


How to Save Water Inside The House

Save Water in the Kitchen

  1. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge, rather than run water to wait for it to get cold for drinking.
  2. Collect water while rinsing fruit/veggies…or wash them in a small pan of water, rather than let the water run.
  3. Capture the water in a bucket while waiting for water to get hot before taking a shower.
  4. If you’re washing dishes in the sink, don’t just let the faucet run. Fill one basin with soap water and another with rinsing water to reduce your overall water consumption.
  5. Scrape and wipe dirty dishes well before putting them in the dishwasher…rather than rinsing them or washing them beforehand.
  6. Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  7. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
  8. Run dishwashers with a full load…better use of the water already being used to have a full load.

Save Water in the Bathroom

  1. When brushing teeth, turn off the water. Saves 2 gallons or more per minute.
  2. Capture water in a container while waiting for the water to get warm for washing your face or shaving.
  3. Capture the water in a bucket while waiting for water to get hot before taking a shower.
  4. Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor. Saves up to 300 gallons a month.
  5. When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
  6. When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  7. Clean the bathroom while cleaning yourself! If you’re going to have a shower, reuse the water to wash the bathroom.
  8. Check for toilet leaks. You can pick up a toilet dye tab at ETWD or put several drops of food coloring (do not use red food dye) in your toilet tank. If the color seeps into the bowl without flushing, there is a leak. Replacing the toilet flapper valve will most likely fix the leak. Saves thousands of gallons per year.
  9. Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Depending on your toilet you can save from 1.08 to 6 gallons per flush.
  10. Install a high-efficiency or premium high efficiency toilet. Saves 38 gallons per toilet per day.
  11. Take 5 minute showers instead of 10 minute showers. Save 2.5 gallons per minute. AND, a bathtub can use up to 70 gallons or more of water…so take more short showers.
  12. Turn off the water while washing your hair. Save: Up to 150 gallons a month.
  13. Use spray bottles filled with homemade cleaning solutions to wipe down counters and faucets, rather than run water to wet and rinse rags.
  14. Fill bathtubs halfway or less when giving children a bath.
  15. Be conservative when washing your hands…slow water, start washing immediately, turn water off to suds if hands are particularly dirty, etc.
  16. Install low-flow showerheads. Saves 2.5 Gallons per minute or 750 gallons per month.

Save Water in the Laundry Room

  1. Wash only full loads of laundry in the washing machine. Save water and energy. Saves 30 gallons per load.
  2. If certain clothes are needing a pre-soak, do so right in the washer drum, rather than in a sink or a bucket. Then continue to fill with remaining water once clothes are soaked and ready for washing.

General Tips

  1. Install water saving appliances…dishwasher, washing machines. Water-saving showerheads, toilets and faucet aerators can also help cut your water usage.
  2. Insulate exposed water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll enjoy hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
  3. When cleaning fish tanks, use the old water to water plants…it is nutrient rich and does the plants good.
  4. Fix leaky faucets.
  5. Have buckets outside to collect rain water on stormy days.
  6. Limit the use of recreational water toys that use a constant flow of water, or lots of water.
  7. Avoid running the tap continuously when doing your chores. Fill a bucket with the amount of water you need and use only the water inside to clean.
  8. Use a broom to sweep patios, sidewalks, and porches…rather than hose off.
  9. A hose can waste 6 gallons per minute if you leave it running, but using a bucket and sponge only uses a few gallons to wash your car.
  10. By using water-saving features of appliances you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%. This means the average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, could save 44,00 gallons of water per year. On a daily basis, the average household, using 350 gallons per day, could save 125 gallons of water per day. The average individual, currently using 70 gallons per day, could save 25 gallons of water per day.

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