Money Saving Tips For…Using Water
If you’re looking at ways to save water usage in the home then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a number of handy hints and tips that could save you money and water in the long run.
Use a baby bath for a baby
If you’re bathing a baby then use a baby bath. Bathing a baby in a full size bathtub will use at least 3-4 times more water than bathing in a smaller bathtub.
How long does an average shower last for? An average shower lasts for five minutes. If you manage to cut 30 seconds off your daily shower you’ll have saved enough water for three extra showers in a month. Over a year that’s a month’s worth of showers you could save.
Conserve water when cooking
A common practice when preparing or cleaning food is to leave the tap running whilst slicing and dicing various food items. Try to prep food in advance. Once you’ve cut and prepared it for washing you’ll have used less water compared to cutting and washing food at the same time.
How many times can I wear it before it needs washing?
A very common waste of water is to wash clothes when they don’t need to be washed. Underwear aside you could save a lot of money by ignoring that tiny spec of dirt on your trousers and get another wear out of your clothes. How many times could you wear it before you wash – assuming it’s not really dirty:
- T-shirts, trousers and skirts – at least two.
- Dress, work shirts, blouses – either one or two.
- Jeans – anything between two and 12 times assuming it’s general use.
- Bath towels – anything between three and five uses.
- Bed sheets – once a week.
- Swim and sportswear – once.
Any new clothing you buy is always worth washing before you wear as you don’t know where it’s been or who has tried it on before you.
Chilled water in the fridge
A number of people usually let water run before putting a glass under the tap in order to get ‘colder’ water. An easier solution to this would be to keep a bottle of water in the fridge. The water is cold, you don’t need to let the water run and you’ll save on washing up as well.
Multitasking in the shower
Cleaning your teeth in the shower is quite an easy solution to put in place. Brushing, with the tap on, will use about five litres per minute compared to one litre in total if you turn the tap on to rinse and clean your brush.
For every person in your household you could save a litre a day by simply brushing in the shower. In a household with two adults that’s 730 litres in a year. That’s equivalent to 18 showers.
Short flush option
On most modern toilets you’ll find a ‘flush button’ that will let you pick either a long or short flush option. A long flush will tend to use between 6-8 litres of water compared to a short flush of between 3-4 litres. So remember to flush wisely. Older toilets which use either a flush lever or chain normally use up to 14 litres per flush so it may be worth upgrading depending on your circumstances.
Some people do use a device that will reduce the amount of water that is in your toilet cistern. Anglian Water have a quick guide on how to install one. Beware of installing incorrectly – as it could interfere with the water inlet in to the tank, and possibly stop your toilet working properly.
Take showers, not baths
Most people these days tend to have showers. However there are some that still do have a bath at least once a week. Depending on the size of the person the average bath with use between 70-80 litres of water. A five minute shower will use around 40 litres – saving at least 30 litres, the equivalent of another shower! Over the course of a year, assuming you take one bath a week that’s 39 more showers you’ve had.
Wash the car less – this may not apply to some of you
So depending on how often you like to clean the car an obvious choice is to rely on the great car wash in the sky – rain that is. An average hand car wash is likely to use between 3-5 buckets of water. Worth remembering if you’re washing the car a few times a year.
Boil the kettle for what you need
A report from the Energy Saving Trust in 2013 estimated £68 million was being wasted by overfilling kettles. Unless you’re entertaining a number of guests it pays to fill up only what you need, both for heating and consumption, to save money in the long run.
Use the quick wash option on the washing machine
Most modern washing machines have a feature called ‘quick wash’. As described it will run a cycle that is quicker than a regular wash and will also save you money. This is handy for ‘refreshing’ clothes that aren’t quite dirty but you still want to wash.
It’s not something we’d recommend for towels or bedding as these fabrics normally require a little more time, and higher temperature, to wash properly. As an easy way of saving water quick wash is definitely worth using from time to time.
Water plants using ‘collected’ water in the garden
If you have plants that need looking after you’ll be familiar with having to water them on a regular basis. A quick and easy way of saving water in this instance is to collect rain water in a container and use this to hydrate your plants. If you’re using a litre of water every two weeks that’s 26 litres you’ll use in a year.
Check for dripping taps, inside and out
If it’s outside you may be more likely to ignore it as it’s only dripping on to the ground. The European Environment Agency suggest that a dripping tap can cost up to 1 litre of water an hour. Which is the equivalent of a bathtub of water per week. If you do have a dripping tap get a plumber round to fix it.
People who live in rented homes take note – your landlord should be checking your gas boiler at least once a year so it’s wise to get the plumbing checked at the same time.