13 Simple Ways to Save Water at Home

A stream of blue water.

A home’s water bill is known to drive up utility costs, and it’s certainly not unusual for a family to need more money in their pockets month after month. Bringing down water use to save money is certainly possible, and it’s easier than many may think. Conserve water, save money, and help the environment all at the same time by following the listed tips and tricks below.

Saving Water Inside Your Home

1. Don’t Flush Garbage

While it’s not uncommon to flush a facial tissue down the toilet rather than placing it in your waste basket, this practice actually wastes gallons of water. Don’t flush trash down the toilet and you can save tons of water. Instead, throw out or recycle these items. It's just as easy!

2. Only Wash a Full Load

Loading clothes into a washing machine.

Don’t run your washing machine unless you have enough for a full load, as doing so with less than that wastes water. Running your washing machine on the permanent press cycle uses an additional five gallons of water, so also avoid using this setting. If you must wash less than a full load, be sure to adjust water levels to match the size of the load.

3. Take Shorter Showers

Basking in a hot shower may get you squeaky clean and relaxed, but it also wastes an abundance of water. Install a shower timer to keep track of how long you bathe. Just a four-minute shower uses 20 to 40 gallons of water! You can also turn the water off as you lather up and only turn it back on to rinse.

4. Avoid the Garbage Disposal

A woman saving food scraps for a compost bin.

A garbage disposal may be convenient, but it requires a lot of water to work properly. Frequent use of this kitchen appliance also adds a considerable amount of volume of solids to your septic tank, if you have one. Instead of using your garbage disposal for waste, start a compost pile. You’ll save water and create your own useful fertilizer for your garden.

5. Shave Out of the Shower

Avoid shaving while in the shower, as the running water can be a waste. Before you begin shaving, fill your bathroom sink with several inches of water. Rinse your razor in the sink as needed without having to keep the water running.

6. Use Your Dishwasher

A full dishwasher.

This suggestion is a win-win, especially since no one likes handwashing dishes to begin with. Running your dishwasher uses less water than handwashing dishes, since this usually involves leaving the faucet running for a considerable amount of time. In fact, an energy-efficient dishwasher uses half as much water as a regular model and can save you up to 5,000 gallons of water each year.

7. Turn the Water Off When You Brush Your Teeth

As you polish your pearly whites daily, don’t forget to turn off the faucet as you brush. Wet your toothbrush as you begin to wash and fill a cup with water for rinsing. This will save your household an abundance of water day after day.

8. Store Drinking Water in the Fridge

A man grabbing a water bottle from a fridge.

Fill water pitchers or water bottles and place them in the fridge to ensure that you don’t need to run the faucet to let water cool off before filling your drinking glass. This way, you’ll have a refreshing glass of water when you want it without wasting any.

Saving Water Outside Your Home

9. Tidy With a Broom

It’s common for homeowners to rinse their driveways or sidewalks with a hose to keep them tidy. Instead of adopting that practice, use a broom to eliminate the use of water while still keeping your outdoor area clean.

You can save water outside your home as well by making simple changes in your yard. Use the tips below to conserve even more water.

10. Don’t Run the Hose While Washing Your Car

Someone washing a car using a bucket full of soapy water.

When you wash your set of wheels, avoid letting your hose run. Instead, use a pail of soapy water and save up to 100 gallons of water during each wash. Only use your hose for rinsing, utilizing a spray nozzle for a more efficient rinse.

11. Cover Your Pool

Each week that a swimming pool is open, it can lose an inch or more of water due to evaporation, creating the need for the pool to be refilled. To reduce evaporation, keep your pool covered at least partially when it’s not in use. This could save thousands of gallons of water throughout the swimming season.

12. Position Sprinklers Strategically

A sprinkler spraying water on a lawn.

Sprinklers are necessary to maintain a beautiful landscape or bountiful garden, but being smart about their placement makes all the difference. Place sprinklers strategically so that water lands only where it’s needed: on your lawn or garden. Paved areas don’t need water, so don’t allow sprinkler water to fall there. Also avoid watering on windy days as water will be blown away and wasted.

13. Use Rainwater

Use rain barrels to capture rainwater for reuse around your yard and in your garden. This water will help your garden grow better, too, as plants prefer untreated water.

These easy tricks will slash your water usage and bill, leaving some extra cash in your pocket while making you a better citizen of the planet.