How to Recycle Water How to Recycle Water

What You'll Need
Washing machine discharge hose
Sink hose
Water storage container

If you're looking for a great way to be environmentally conscious, cut back on your water bill or conserve water in times a drought, make sure to recycle water. Recycled water from your home's sinks, bathtubs and washing machine can be utilized for a variety of different uses.

Step 1 - Recycling Bath Water

Your home's bath and shower water can be used to soak dirty clothes, clean your home's floors and water your lawn and garden. Collecting this water is a simple matter of plugging your drain whenever your tub is in use, then using buckets to scoop out the water once your bath or shower is complete. If you don't intend to use the water immediately, you can pour it into a water storage container for later use. Many people store these containers in basements, although storing them in garages and tool sheds is fairly common as well.

Step 2 - Recycling Sink Water

You can recycle water from your bathroom and kitchen sinks in a very similar fashion to bath water. However, as sinks are considerably smaller than showers and bathtubs, cups are generally the preferred scooping tools for this task. After being scooped, this water can be used immediately or transferred to a larger storage container. For health reasons, when recycling water from your kitchen sink, make a point of not reusing water in which meat, poultry or fish were washed. Additionally, water in which dirty dishes were washed should only be used for watering plants and be administered in small amounts.

In addition to housecleaning and gardening purposes, recycled water from your bathroom sink can be used to fill your toilet. By attaching a hose to your bathroom sink that discharges into your toilet tank, the tank will be filled whenever the sink is in use. Furthermore, you can flush your toilet by simply pouring a bucket of recycled water into the bowl, although this may get a little messy if you pour the water too rapidly.

Step 3 - Recycling Washing Machine Water

If you'd like to recycle water from your washing machine, you'll be pleased to learn that it's a very simple undertaking. To do this, simply place the exhaust end of your washing machine's discharge hose into a large bucket or water storage container and allow the bucket or container to fill up.

Alternatively, if you're interested in using recycled washing machine water for gardening or lawn care purposes, you can do so by purchasing an exceptionally long washing machine discharge hose, dragging the hose out to your garden and administering water as the washer is running. Also, when watering your lawn and garden with recycled washing machine water; or any other type of recycled water, for that matter, keep in mind that the general rule of thumb is to administer no more than a 1/2 gallon of recycled water per square foot of soil each week. Many commercial cleaning products contain sodium salts that, over time, can break down soil structure, so take care to alternate between using recycled water and fresh water for your gardening needs.

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