How Can I Use Less Water in My Appliances? 8 Water-Saving Tips

Mom and son do laundry together

Want to save money on your water bill? Discover the top ways to reduce water usage for home appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher and more!

Between the shower, washing machine, faucets, toilet and dishwasher, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water every day at home, according to the EPA. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

The good news is, you can easily cut down on your water use — and help save money and the environment in the process. Here are eight simple things you can do to help reduce water usage when it comes to your appliances. Remember to consult your owner’s manuals first for information on how to properly care for your specific appliances.

1. Replace old appliances.

If your appliances are at least 10 years old, you can safely assume you’ll lower the cost of your water bill by buying new. Today’s dishwashers and washing machines are much more water-conscious, especially those that are approved by Energy Star. New washer models typically use 40% less water than older models, and Energy Star-certified dishwashers are about 15% more water efficient. Added bonus: They tend to be quieter, too.

2. Wash only full loads in your dishwasher — but don’t overfill.

Washing full loads of dishes is an economical use of water, but there’s a fine line here. Overfilling will stress your machine and won’t get your dishes clean. Too many dishes stuffed in the dishwasher will prevent the water and detergent from circulating. Space is necessary for the dishwasher to do its job. If you overfill, you might need to rewash — a complete waste of water.

3. Ditto for your washing machine.

Clothes won’t agitate if you pack your washer too full. Not only will that put stress on the appliance, but your clothes won’t get clean and you’ll need to rewash. It’s a lose-lose.

4. Set the right water level when doing laundry.

If you need to wash a small load, at least choose the correct water level. Many front-loading machines and high-efficiency top-loaders will sense the size of the load and adjust accordingly, taking the guesswork out of the situation for you.

5. Use the proper amount of laundry detergent.

How can measuring laundry detergent save you money on water? Using too much in high-efficiency washers can cause them to extend the rinse cycle because they detect too many suds. Also, make sure you’re using HE detergent in your HE washer or you’ll have a bubble fest on your hands — requiring even more water to clean up.

6. Invest in a new toilet.

Older toilets can use up to 6 gallons per flush, whereas newer models can use less than 1.3 gallons. That’s a dramatic savings.

7. Put a bucket in your shower.

You read that right. Think of how much water you waste when you turn on the shower and let it run while the water warms up. Don’t let it go down the drain! Catch that water and use it for plants or household cleaning.

8. Switch to a low-flow showerhead.

You probably won’t even notice the difference, but your water bill will. Regular showerheads typically flow at about 5 gallons per minute — low-flow fixtures cut that in half.

Some simple changes can add up to big water savings. The environment — and your wallet — will thank you.

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