How to Reuse Rain Water in Your Home

a bucket collecting rain

A rainy day can be a bummer—keeping you cooped up inside and depriving you of that vitamin D you crave. But rainy days have positive aspects, too, and one of those is the ability to collect rain water, which can be used in a variety of ways around your home. Not only does this save you money, it's a great way to reduce your water intake, doing some good for the planet. Check out some of these innovative ways to productively reuse rain water around your home after a soggy day.

Collecting Rain Water

If you want to reuse rain water around your home, you have to collect it first. This can be done in simple ways, through buckets strategically placed outside, for example, or it can be a more in-depth process. With a little pipe work, you can set up an intricate rain harvesting system that connects to your gutters, presenting you with a wealth of rain water that can be filtered, cleaned, and guided into the water systems of your home.

It’s important to think about which route you want to take in collecting rain water, and whether you will have uses for any non-filtered rain water, which is not typically safe for human consumption. Additionally, it’s important to look into the laws of your area around this practice, as they differ from place to place.

rain bucket connected to gutter

Watering Plants and Gardens

The water you collect on a rainy day is a perfect temporary replacement for your garden hose. Take the water collected and pour it into a watering can, or hook a hose up to your barrel system if it has enough pressure to push the water out. As the ground dries back out, use your stash of rain to give your plants a drink.


Instilling a composting system at your home is another effective way to help the planet and save money, and rain water can make this process even more earth-friendly! Water plays an important role in decomposition, so your compost pile is another great place to save on piped water by substituting rain water.

For Animals

If you love to support wildlife in your area, you may consider using birdbaths, troughs, or other containers to collect rain water and provide animals around your yard a place to sip and bathe. Animals will appreciate the gesture, and you’ll love observing all the wildlife this attracts to your outdoor space.

Rinsing Vegetables

Even if you’re using unfiltered rain water, you can rinse vegetables harvested directly from your garden. This is particularly great for root vegetables, which tend to be especially dirty. Put your collected rain water in a large bucket and then drop vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or beets into it, mixing the contents around to remove any soil on your harvested items.

watering strawberries from a rain bucket

Car Washes

Washing your car can take quite a bit of utility water, driving up your bill and creating a lot of wasted H2O. Use untreated rain water the next time you’re looking to spruce up your vehicle. This water is also perfect for washing garden tools, lawnmowers, your driveway, or even the sides of your home.

Handy Fire Protection

Especially if you have a fire pit outside, you may want to keep rain water on hand in case of an emergency. A bucket of rain water can quickly end a fire that could become a major threat.

Outdoor Water Features

If you have ponds or fountains around your home, use filtered rain water to supply these features with the flow they need.

How are you using your stored rain water? Leave us a comment below, or post about your system in our Projects section!