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The ultimate guide on how to save water at home

Thames Water Employee

Looking for tips on how to save water at home? From your kitchen to your bathroom, even the smallest changes can make a big difference.


We’ve got loads of simple ways to save water, so let’s dive in…


How much water do you use each day?


We all know we need to turn off the taps while we’re brushing our teeth and washing the dishes, but using the kitchen sink and bathroom basin only accounts for 23% of the water we use. So, what happens to the other 76%?


How much water.png


According to our research, we only drink around 2% of the water we use every day. Even our flowers drink more than us, with an average 4% used outside in the garden!


It’s not surprising that flushing the toilet, running the bath and hopping in the shower use up the most water. So, where better to start with our water-saving advice than in the bathroom?


8 simple ways to save water in your bathroom


1. Take shorter showers

Such a small thing can make a huge difference. On average, a shower uses 10 litres of water a minute.  That means a 10-minute shower can use 100 litres of water. If a family of four reduced their shower time by just one minute, they could save £45 on metered water bills, up to £52 on energy bills and as much as 11,648 litres of water a year.


Best of all, cutting your shower time down to four minutes won’t just save water – it’ll also give you a couple of extra minutes in bed in the morning...


2. Skip the shower from time to time

In warmer weather, it can be tempting to hop in the shower multiple times of day just to cool down. If you know you’re a serial showerer, consider cutting down to only one shower a day.


If you’re struggling in the heat, why not fill a spray bottle with water and spritz it over your face and body for a quick cool down? It’ll use way less water, and it’ll be like walking through a cloud!


3. If it’s yellow, let it mellow

This one may not be for everybody, but you could help to save water by flushing the loo less often. After all, there’s no law that you need to flush every single time.  Each flush of an older lever-handle loo uses nine litres of water, while a push-button dual-flush uses three to six litres every flush.


If the thought of not flushing makes you cringe, why not install one of our free save-a-flush devices instead? It could help you conserve one whole litre every single time you flush.


4. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth

Even though we all know we should do this, it can be surprisingly hard to get in the habit of turning off the tap every day, especially if you’re manically running around trying to get the kids ready for school. But a running tap can use six litres of water a minute, so this really is a simple and surprisingly effective way to save water at home.


You can also turn off the tap while you’re washing your hands, washing your face or shaving. The couple of hundreds of litres saved a week will make a big difference!


5. Fix leaky loos

A single leaky loo can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day, which is the equivalent of five full bathtubs. If you’re on a metered bill, that could cost you as much as £300 a year.


Worried you might have one? Find out how to fix your leaky loo now.


6. Fix dripping taps

While you’re checking for leaky loos, check for dripping taps too! A single dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water a week. That’s the same as 39 bathtubs of water a year.


Need help fixing a dripping tap? Check out our list of approved plumbers to get it sorted ASAP.


7. Pop a bucket in your shower

Do you ever run the shower for a minute until it’s warm enough to get in? We understand why, especially when it’s cold outside and the thought of freezing water makes you want to cry. But all that lovely water shouldn’t go to waste!


One simple way to save water is to pop a bucket in your shower, catching the flow as it falls. You can then use this bucket of water for almost anything, like washing your car or watering your plants.


8. Put the plug in

We know how important it is to get the temperature of your bath *just right*, but we recommend putting your plug in before you start testing the temperature. That way, you won’t waste a drop.


Don’t forget to keep on top of the temperature while you wait for your bath to fill. Then you won’t need to add extra hot or cold water right at the end – or even worse, let some water out to top it straight back up…


8 simple ways to save water in your kitchen


1. Fully load your dishwasher and washing machine

If you pop the dishwasher on half empty, you’ll use the same amount of water and energy you would have if you’d filled it to the brim. Why not wait until it’s full and save yourself the hassle? You can also do the same thing with your washing machine.


Top tip – if you’re planning to replace either appliance soon, check to see if your new one has a water label or a Waterwise Recommended Checkmark. These models can help you to save water well as energy and money.


2. Keep cold water in your fridge

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of water. Instead of running the tap until it turns cold, just fill a reusable bottle or jug of water and pop it in your fridge.


3. Use a washing-up bowl

Hands up if you hate washing up! If you leave the tap running for 10 minutes, you’ll probably use around 60 litres of water – way more than you’d need to fill a standard size washing-up bowl.


To save yourself time as well as water, why not leave things like pots and pans to soak? This will help to lift stubborn traces of food without you needing to scrub them for so long under the tap.


4. Don’t fill the kettle to the brim

Overfilling the kettle may not seem like a big deal, but don’t forget you’ll also use unnecessary electricity to heat the extra water up. Try to only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need for your cuppa – you can make one for your other half too, if you’re feeling generous 😉


5. Use the right size pots and pans

This is such a simple way to help save water in daily life. Instead of just grabbing the saucepan closest to hand, think carefully about the size and how much water you really need. Only boiling a couple of eggs, for example? Go for the smallest pan you have.


6. Save leftover cooking water

Whenever you cook pasta, steam your veggies or boil rice, don’t let the leftover water go to waste. Just pop the pan on the side, let the water cool down and then use it to feed your plants. The water will be packed full of helpful nutrients, which your plants with love!


7. Spot clean your floors

Every now and then, you’re going to want to do a deep clean of your kitchen. But for minor spills, leave the mop and bucket in the cupboard and reach for a damp cloth instead. Spot cleaning your floors can help to save around 13.5 litres (a standard bucket size of water) each time.


8. Fit free water-saving devices

Our free water-saving devices can help you save water, money and energy in the kitchen. Fit a swivel tap and you could save as much as one litre per minute, totalling approximately 2,900 litres a year.


They’re super easy to install and won’t affect the performance of your tap. Find out more about our free water-saving devices now.


3 simple ways to save water everywhere else


1. Skip the car wash

This one gives you a nice excuse to put your feet up! We all love it when our car gleams, but it doesn’t have to shine brighter than a diamond all the time.


If you’re washing your car every weekend, why not cut down to washing it once a month or once every couple of months? If you’re on a metered bill, you’ll save money, too.


2. Go green in the garden

Whether it’s recycling rainwater, planting more trees or turning off the hose, there’s loads you can do to be more sustainable in the garden.  Your plants and lawn don’t actually need drinking quality water, so capturing rain with a water butt is a great saver.  Find out how to save water in your garden now.


3. Keep an eye on your bill

Smart meters can help you to track how much water you use. If you have one, take the time to look for any unusual spikes in your water use. If your bill seems unusually expensive, you may have a leak.


Don’t have a smart meter yet? We’re slowly rolling them out across our region to put customers like you in control of your bill and make it much easier for you to save.


If you’re still not convinced, take a look at our water-saving calculator to discover how a water meter could save you water, energy and money.


Ready to start saving water at home?


As our population keeps growing and our weather becomes more unpredictable, changing our habits will become more important than ever.


It doesn’t have to affect your daily routine – simple changes can make a huge difference. After a few weeks, we reckon you’ll make habits for life.


In the short term, you’ll save money on your water and energy bills. In the long term, you’ll help to protect our water supply and planet for future generations to come.


Got any more water-saving tips for us? Let us know in the comments!


Thames Trooper

Greetings from Burford,

I'm Stefanie, a teacher at Burford Boarding School. We organize Water Saving Weeks twice a year for kids. These are events that help understand why we need to know about water conservation and how to save water at home.




Stefanie Albrecht, South Staffs Water editor


Thames Trooper

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Thames Trooper

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Thames Trooper

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Thames Trooper

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