Uses of Water in the Home

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Limiting water use translates to saving money, not to mention the environmental impact your household has on Earth. Many households use far more water than necessary, with large appliances and other necessities that keep our homes running smoothly. You can lessen your impact of water use, helping in turn to lessen your area's water shortage issues.

Housekeeping

  • Cleaning is a necessary act, if not a much-liked one, that uses a great deal of water. Most household tasks general involve the use of water, you can always find ways to use less.

    Save on water use while doing your housekeeping tasks. Use a water bottle filled with a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water for a mild disinfectant for everyday use---no need for rinsing, and the bottle will last a while. Use a stronger solution for tougher jobs, such as tubs and toilets. This solution will help lower your water use in those places. Not wearing shoes in the house helps keep keep floors cleaner, meaning you'll need less water to wash them.

    Before purchasing a dishwasher and a washing machine, research the most water-efficient types that will meet your needs. If you live alone, a large machine may be too big, for example; you either have to wait too long to clean what you pile into them, or you have to wash partial loads---a wasteful prospect. Only wash full loads.

    To save more water, switch out faucets and showerheads. Neither should use more than 2.5 gallons per minute. A new toilet will also prove helpful. It will use less water than old versions.

Outdoor Cleaning

  • Sometimes outdoor areas also need cleaning, as do cars; these tasks can waste a large amount of water. Use water as sparingly as possible when washing the outsides of windows and other areas. Use a hose only when you need good pressure for cleaning things; otherwise, use a bucket of water.

    When washing your vehicle, wet it with a bucket of soapy water rather than a hose.

Gardening

  • Many people garden, or at least have houseplants---another task that uses a lot of water. You can also find ways to use as little water as possible for this task, particularly if you have a large garden.

    Conserve water inside and in small garden areas by cooling and using cooking water. Save the water from vegetables, pasta and eggs, which you can mix with faucet water to put on plants if you desire.

    Set up rain barrels outside for outdoor gardens, or larger indoor ones. Placed under gutters, these will collect runoff that you can use safely in the garden.

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  • Photo Credit detail of faucet and sink with running water image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com
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