How to save money on water in your bathroom
In my quest to pay off debt I’ve looked to reduce my living costs in many ways. Water has been a big focus for me this summer since we started a small vegetable and herb garden caused our water bill rise. I’ve found a number of water saving tips that will reduce your water bill and I’d like to share these you over the coming weeks in a series about how to save money on water.
I’ve complied a large list of tips to save money on water in and around the home. I was going to place them all into an epic post but a couple of friends suggested I break them up into more digestible posts, which made complete sense.
To start this series here are a number of ways to save money on water in your bathroom.
I hope you find some of these useful. If you can think of any more great ideas please feel free to add them to the comments.
If you sign up to my mailing list I’ll let you know when I publish the other posts in the series, there are some great ideas coming for other areas of your home.
Without further ado, here are 15 essential tips for saving water in your bathroom.
Install low flow fixtures
Quality low flow fixtures can achieve water savings of 25-60 percent. For example, a low-flow shower heads use just 2.5 gallons per minute compared to older models which can use as much as 5.5 gallons per minute.
Take shorter showers
A bit of a no brainer but limiting your showers to five minutes with a low flow shower-head will use up about 12.5 gallons of water compared to 37.5 gallons for a 15 minute shower.
Another tip is to wet yourself down, lather up your sponge and turn off the shower whilst you give yourself a scrub, then turn the water back on to rinse off. Doing this will keep the soap on your for longer to help you smell lovelier.
Take a shower instead of a bath
It takes 35 gallons of water to fill a bath. Compare that with the five minute shower I just mentioned and you’re looking at saving 22.5 gallons of water.
Use the shower at the gym
I know I told you to quit the gym, because who needs gym membership when you can exercise in the great outdoors! But if you didn’t listen to me, and you are one of the amazing people that actually uses their gym membership, then make the most out of your gym facilities and shower and groom yourself there.
Not only will you save money on your water bill by using their water but there may be additional benefits. For example, I used to shower and shave at the gym. Before having a shave I sat in the sauna or steam room for 15 minutes which would ensure shaving was a 30 second job, and a quality shave at that by opening the pores and softening the follicles.
I can’t really comment for the ladies who might be wondering if they should shave their legs at the gym. I have no experience there, sorry. ;P
Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth out when you are done.
Rinse your shaver in the sink
Instead of leaving the tap running whilst you shave, fill the sink with a few inches of warm water then rinse your shaver in the water. It works just as well, with far less waste of water.
Install a faucet aerator
Sounds like a fancy tool huh? Well it’s not, it’s a really simple and cheap piece of kit that screws under the bottom of your tap (or faucet if you want to be fancy) to reduce the water flow without reducing the pressure. You can even get some that swivel to direct the water where you need it to go. New faucets (yes, I feel like being fancy) often have them built in.
Here’s how to tell if you already have a faucet aerator installed, and how to install one if not.
Check Toilets for Leaks
According the National Sanitation Foundation, a leaky toilet can waste as much as 500 gallons of water each day!
A simple tip for checking your lavatory for leaks is to place a dye tablet or food colouring into the toilet tank. Don’t flush but stand back and watch to see if the dye seeps into the bowl. If it does, you have a leak that needs to be addressed.
Some bleach blocks that you place in the cistern tank come in colours (normally blue) and have the added benefit to helping you identify leaks whilst cleaning your loo during the flush.
Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket
We’ve all done it. You blow your nose on some loo paper and fling it into the loo and give it a flush. Some people put their cigarette butts, cotton buds and cotton wall balls down the toilet and I’m sure there’s lots of other things that we put down there that could be put in a waste basket. Every time you are flushing that’s five to seven gallons of water wasted. Put it in the bin and save yourself unnecessary flushing.
Replace Your Toilet Flapper Once a Year
If you have a toilet with a flapper valve then you may not know that they can rust or break quite quickly causing unnecessary leakage. It’s recommended that you replace them once a year even if they are good for longer. They cost a couple of dollars but will save you more on your water bill!
Install an Adjustable Flapper
Several manufacturers now offer flappers that you can adjust to your desired flush volume. An adjustable flapper can, apparently, save up to three gallons per flush. Here’s a video to show you how to install one yourself. These can help you control the amount of water used for each flush.
Install a Fill Cycle Diverter
Save another 1/2 gallon per flush by installing a fill cycle diverter in each of your toilets. This simple add-on costs less than a dollar, and is designed to divert overflow water back to the tank during the fill cycle.
Place a Bottle in the Toilet Tank
Fill a plastic bottle with water, and place it in the toilet tank. It’ll displace water, and cause the tank to fill with less water. It will save you an equal amount of water to the size of the bottle that you placed in the tank. For example a half litre bottle will save you half a litre of water per flush. If you need to ensure the bottle sinks place some sand or pebbles into the bottle.
Just make sure the water is kept away from operating mechanisms and that there is at least 3 gallons of water in the tank for each flush to ensure it flushes properly. Don’t use bricks because they may flake off and cause damage to the system.
You could also buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster to do the job. These can save you ten or more gallons of water per day!
Install a low flush toilet
If you are buying a new toilet consider buying “low flush” toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons. Replacing an 18 litre per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 litre flush model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.
Don’t flush unnecessarily
If you happen to toss a piece of facial tissue into the loo then don’t flush right away, wait until the toilet is used again before flushing the tissue away.
There’s also a the good old phrase, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”.I know a few people that follow this rule, it’s always “interesting” when you visit their homes and visit the bathroom to find a pan full of yellow staring back at you. I’m just not used to it I suppose but I’m not keen on surprising guests to my house with a loo full of pee.
I tend to flush regardless but don’t give a full flush if I’ve taken a leak, just enough to clear the water. If you’re really committed to saving money on water then I can appreciate such efforts will help your savings, not to mention the beneficial impact less flushing has on the environment.
Do you have any tips?
If you have any other tips to save money on water in the bathroom please feel free to share them in the comments section. I’m quite sure I’ve not captured them all!