The Sustainability Club

7 Tips to Save Water in the Bathroom

Water is one of the most important natural resources on Earth. It is essential for all forms of life, but, what’s more critical, it is a limited resource. Every person on the planet needs water to survive, and we all have a responsibility to protect this vital resource. The good thing is that some water preservation tips are super easy to do!

People use water in different places in and around the house. Today we will focus on the bathroom, since we all use a lot of the precious H2O for hygienic reasons. Here are some tips on how to behave more responsible in the bathroom, while helping the planet and your water bill…

So, let’s see what can you do to limit the water waste!


1. Take shorter showers 🧼

Based on research done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it takes 8 minutes for the average shower to be over (EPA made a nice, kid-friendly PDF about it!). Most dermatologies are suggesting to cut the water around 5-10 minutes, to fully cleanse your skin and hydrate it. Going above that time, into the 15+ min area, is not only bad for the water consumption, but can mess up your natural oils and dehydrate the skin.

The average 8-minute shower is using around 16 gallons (60 litres) of water. That’s a lot! Just by cutting off the water while soaping or shampooing, you can easily get that water-running time to under 5 minutes, letting the thought of all those saved gallons soak in.

2. Install water-saving shower heads 🚿

While a short shower is better than a long one, you are still putting a lot of water through this shower head. The good thing is that you can eliminate some of this water waste and not compromise on the shower experience by installing a water-saving shower head. Depending on the brand and a model, different technology is being used. The water can be aerated, producing a mix of water and air, reducing the amount of needed water for cleansing. A shower head can reduce the flow rate, but add some pressure and distribute the “watering” area, or even pulsate the stream.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a standard shower head should not produce more than 2.5 gallons (11 litres) of water per minute (GPM). A certified low-flow type of shower head should produce a maximum 2 GPM. Water-saving shower heads produce something in between 1.5 and 2 GPM, depending on the brand. The saved water quantity depends on the Minutes in the GPM of your showering time, but it’s for sure a worthy investment.

You can check our list of the best water-saving handheld shower heads.

3. Take smaller baths 🛁

An average bathtub holds 42 gallons (190 litres) of water. That’s quite a lot, but obviously you are not filling your bath to the very top when you plan to have a bath (that would be crazy! I’m watching you, Archimedes!). That’s why, according to Sacbee, most people use around 30 gallons (136 litres) of water to bathe. And while it can be super relaxing, soaking in the warm water, playing with the foam, 30 gallons of precious water are still 30 gallons of precious water.

To mitigate that, you can do some small, but impactful changes:

tips for saving water
  • Close the drain before turning on the water
  • Fill the tub only half-full, keeping those gallons below 15
  • Re-use the water after your bath (e.g., for watering the plans in your garden)

4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving 🪥

This tip is a very obvious one, and I would love to have more people behaving like that. There is no need for the water to flow, when you are mashing your toothbrush against your pearly whites. After dropping some water on the toothbrush to start the process, just turn the tap off.

Same thing about shaving. While it’s way better to use the shaving edge with some warm water, instead of having it pouring in, close the drain, fill up some of the sink, and use that beautiful, warm puddle to clean your razor.

5. When saving water, the half-flush is your friend 🌊

While we all like to have a clean toilet, we need to be careful on how we flush. Most of the modern toilets (and the current federal standard) are using in average around 1.6 gallons (7 litres) of water per full flush. And that number is going down, with some newest toilets going as low as 1.28 gallons per flush (5.8 litres). On the other hand, older toilets can use as much as 6-7 gallons (30 litres), basically wasting almost as much water as a full (but super quick…) shower!

With that kind of wasteful behaviour, the full-flush seems like a luxury. And the half-flush is sitting there, ready to help you out. Use it more often (or always), and you will see that sometimes the half-flush is all you need.

6. Don’t use your toilet for trash 🗑

While the toilet is an obvious place to store your personal waste (although for a short time…), some people are using it also as a trash can, a handy kitchen disposer. That’s hardly ever a good option, thought, if you consider that…

  • You are wasting a lot of water
  • You should be recycling your trash
  • You should put the biodegradable waste in the biodegradable trash bin
  • You could destroy the plumbing

While it’s super convenient, it’s also bad for everyone.

7. Check your toilet for leaks 💦

An unnoticed leak in your toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons (909 litres) of water per day. Not very sustainable, if you ask me. That’s a huge problem for everyone, especially your wallet. It’s very wise to check all the plumbing from time to time for leaks, but there is an easy tip to do that in your toilet. You can add some food colouring to the water inside the water tank, then wait a bit. If you see the coloured water in the toilet bowl, you have a leaky problem!

As you can clearly see, some of those behaviours are really easy to incorporate into your routine. You will not only protect a natural resource or keep your water bill small – depending on your setup, your electricity bill can also be lower. And nowadays, with the higher chances of draughts, conserving water means that it will be available to the people in need.

Remember, every drop of water saved makes the difference! 💪

7 Tips to Save Water in the Bathroom
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