5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Water

5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Water

Water conservation is fast becoming a priority for many homeowners. 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that leaks account for 9,400 gallons of water wasted each year. That’s about the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry.

Whether your reason for conserving water is mandated because of a drought or to combat high utility bills, adopt these simple water-saving measures to dramatically cut your home’s water usage.

Here are the 5 hot spots to tackle. 


Hands holding foam insulation on a water pipe
Insulating water pipes with foam helps water heat up faster, so you waste less time waiting for hot water. (nsj-images, Getty Images Signature)

1. Check Fixtures and Appliances

To conserve more water in your home, start at the source. 

First, check for leaks in the pipes.  A visual inspection can quickly reveal any problems that need repairs. 

In addition, read your water meter when no water is being used, then look at it again after a few hours to see if the gauge has changed. 

Fixing the leak could be as simple as replacing a faucet washer, or you may discover a more serious problem such as an unseen leak in a pipe.

Here’s a win-win solution: Installing foam insulation on hot water pipes saves both water and energy by providing hot water faster and keeping it hot longer. This reduces the water wasted from running the tap to heat it up.

Finally, when replacing appliances like dishwashers or washing machines, look for models that have earned the U.S. government’s Energy Star rating, certifying they use less water and energy.

Plumbing fixtures such as faucets and toilets that carry the Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense label use, on average, 20 percent less water than conventional fixtures.


Fluidmaster’s 400H Toilet Fill Valve
Fluidmaster’s 400H Toilet Fill Valve fixes a constantly running, noisy or slow-filling toilet and is one of the quietest fill valves available. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Improve Your Toilets

Toilets are the largest users of water in the home — but some of them are more efficient than others. Look on the bottom of the tank lid, or inside the tank wall, to find the date your toilet was manufactured. Toilets made before 1993 use two to three times the water of new ones. 

If you have an older model, consider replacing it with a new low-flush or a dual-flush toilet that can use as little as 1 gallon per flush for maximum water conservation.

If replacing a toilet isn’t in your budget, add a few inches of gravel or sand to a plastic soft drink bottle, fill it with water, screw on the cap, and put it in the tank away from the float and flapper. The increased volume from the bottle reduces the amount of water in the tank, so less is used per flush.

If you notice your toilet refilling periodically when it hasn’t been flushed, it’s a sure sign your toilet has a leak. These leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water if not repaired.

A constantly running toilet, weak or incomplete flushing and a slow-filling tank aren’t just frustrating — they can also increase your water usage. 

You don’t have to create a shopping list for all the parts to fix these problems. Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit has all the parts you need (including tools!) to repair the toilet

Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit
Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit has all the parts and tools you need. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The DIY-friendly kit comes with a toilet fill valve, flush valve with stainless-steel bolts, Tank-To-Bowl Gasket and color-coded tools for the fastest installation possible and, if necessary, a complete tank rebuild. It eliminates the need for extra trips to the store for an unknown part or tool — and that saves time, money and frustration.

To conserve more water, change up your hygiene routine. Reducing time spent in the shower can save 2 to 5 gallons of water per minute, or GPM. Installing a water-saving showerhead will prevent thousands of gallons a year from going down the drain.

To see if you need a new showerhead, put a 5-gallon bucket in the shower and turn on the water. If it fills in less than two minutes, consider replacing the showerhead with a water-saving model that uses two GPM or less.

Finally, leaving the faucet running while you shave or brush your teeth wastes water. Turn the water off while you brush and fill the sink to rinse your razor.


Dishwasher with clean white dishes
Only running a dishwasher when it’s full can save nearly 320 gallons of water annually. (Irina Drazowa-Fischer, Getty Images)

3. Make Changes in the Kitchen

A few changes in the kitchen can significantly cut down your water usage. For instance, thaw frozen food in the refrigerator overnight instead of using a running tap of hot water — it’s not necessary.

When used properly, a dishwasher uses less water than hand-washing. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and use water-saving settings for more efficiency. Doing this saves the average family nearly 320 gallons of water annually.

If you hand-wash, fill one side of a double sink with soapy water for washing and the other with clean water for rinsing. Letting your faucet run for five minutes while washing dishes can waste 10 gallons of water.

Also, install low-flow aerators on faucets — these reduce water flow to one gallon per minute or less.

Finally, do you drink a lot of tap water? If so, don’t keep the water running until it cools off for drinking. Instead, fill a pitcher or bottle and keep it in the fridge.


Towels in a front-loading washer
Don’t do laundry until you have enough clothes for a full load. (Oksana Vejus via Canva)

4. Adjust Your Laundry Room Routine

Washing clothes accounts for the second-largest water use in the home. Put off doing laundry for the sake of water conservation.

Only run the washer with a full load of clothes and use the shortest cycle for lightly soiled clothing. And if you really want to reduce water use, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses up to 5 gallons more water per load. 

While washing clothes in cold water saves energy by reducing water heating, it uses the same amount of water as warm or hot settings.


Adjusting a sprinkler head with a key
Adjust sprinkler heads so streams only waters grass. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Water Smart Around The Yard

Every year, we waste billions of gallons of water to keep our lawns and gardens green. Much of this water is lost due to overwatering, evaporation, poor sprinkler design or lack of maintenance.

Use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to reduce water use. These methods deliver water slowly and directly to the plant’s roots, and much less water is lost to evaporation.

If you have a programmable irrigation system, install a rain sensor. It will interrupt the program cycle when it rains, so you won’t overwater your lawn. 

Better yet, start at the ground level to keep your water use at a minimum. Choose native and drought-tolerant plants to create a water-smart landscape that’s beautiful and efficient.

Here are some other water conservation options for the yard:

  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them down.
  • Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • If you have a pool, use a cover to reduce evaporation when it’s not in use.

Following these water-saving tips can reduce household water use by 30 percent or more. 

Start simple by changing wasteful habits and fixing leaks, then move up to installing water-saving fixtures and appliances. 

Not only will it save money, but you’ll also reduce the needless drain on one of our most precious resources.


Water Conservation Resources

Water Conservation: Stop Waste In These 5 Areas

Water Conservation: Stop Waste In These 5 Areas

Water faucet with water running
Simple lifestyle changes can conserve water, one of our most precious resources, and save money. (aristotoo, Getty Images Signature)

Water conservation is fast becoming a priority for many homeowners. 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that leaks account for 9,400 gallons of water wasted each year. That’s about the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry.

Whether your reason for conserving water is mandated because of a drought or to combat high utility bills, adopt these simple water-saving measures to dramatically cut your home’s water usage.

Here are the 5 hot spots to tackle. 


Hands holding foam insulation on a water pipe
Insulating water pipes with foam helps water heat up faster, so you waste less time waiting for hot water. (nsj-images, Getty Images Signature)

1. Home Infrastructure and Appliances

To conserve more water in your home, start at the source. 

First, check for leaks in the pipes.  A visual inspection can quickly reveal any problems that need repairs. 

In addition, read your water meter when no water is being used, then look at it again after a few hours to see if the gauge has changed. 

Fixing the leak could be as simple as replacing a faucet washer, or you may discover a more serious problem such as an unseen leak in a pipe.

Here’s a win-win solution: Installing foam insulation on hot water pipes saves both water and energy by providing hot water faster and keeping it hot longer. This reduces the water wasted from running the tap to heat it up.

Finally, when replacing appliances like dishwashers or washing machines, look for models that have earned the U.S. government’s Energy Star rating, certifying they use less water and energy.

Plumbing fixtures such as faucets and toilets that carry the Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense label use, on average, 20 percent less water than conventional fixtures.


Fluidmaster’s 400H Toilet Fill Valve
Fluidmaster’s 400H Toilet Fill Valve fixes a constantly running, noisy or slow-filling toilet and is one of the quietest fill valves available. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Your Bathrooms

Toilets are the largest users of water in the home — but some of them are more efficient than others. Look on the bottom of the tank lid, or inside the tank wall, to find the date your toilet was manufactured. Toilets made before 1993 use two to three times the water of new ones. 

If you have an older model, consider replacing it with a new low-flush or a dual-flush toilet that can use as little as 1 gallon per flush for maximum water conservation.

If replacing a toilet isn’t in your budget, add a few inches of gravel or sand to a plastic soft drink bottle, fill it with water, screw on the cap, and put it in the tank away from the float and flapper. The increased volume from the bottle reduces the amount of water in the tank, so less is used per flush.

If you notice your toilet refilling periodically when it hasn’t been flushed, it’s a sure sign your toilet has a leak. These leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water if not repaired.

A constantly running toilet, weak or incomplete flushing and a slow-filling tank aren’t just frustrating — they can also increase your water usage. 

You don’t have to create a shopping list for all the parts to fix these problems. Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit has all the parts you need (including tools!) to repair the toilet

Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit
Fluidmaster’s Everything Toilet Tank Repair Kit has all the parts and tools you need. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The DIY-friendly kit comes with a toilet fill valve, flush valve with stainless-steel bolts, Tank-To-Bowl Gasket and color-coded tools for the fastest installation possible and, if necessary, a complete tank rebuild. It eliminates the need for extra trips to the store for an unknown part or tool — and that saves time, money and frustration.

To conserve more water, change up your hygiene routine. Reducing time spent in the shower can save 2 to 5 gallons of water per minute, or GPM. Installing a water-saving showerhead will prevent thousands of gallons a year from going down the drain.

To see if you need a new showerhead, put a 5-gallon bucket in the shower and turn on the water. If it fills in less than two minutes, consider replacing the showerhead with a water-saving model that uses two GPM or less.

Finally, leaving the faucet running while you shave or brush your teeth wastes water. Turn the water off while you brush and fill the sink to rinse your razor.


Dishwasher with clean white dishes
Only running a dishwasher when it’s full can save nearly 320 gallons of water annually. (Irina Drazowa-Fischer, Getty Images)

3. The Kitchen

A few changes in the kitchen can significantly cut down your water usage. For instance, thaw frozen food in the refrigerator overnight instead of using a running tap of hot water — it’s not necessary.

When used properly, a dishwasher uses less water than hand-washing. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and use water-saving settings for more efficiency. Doing this saves the average family nearly 320 gallons of water annually.

If you hand-wash, fill one side of a double sink with soapy water for washing and the other with clean water for rinsing. Letting your faucet run for five minutes while washing dishes can waste 10 gallons of water.

Also, install low-flow aerators on faucets — these reduce water flow to one gallon per minute or less.

Finally, do you drink a lot of tap water? If so, don’t keep the water running until it cools off for drinking. Instead, fill a pitcher or bottle and keep it in the fridge.


Towels in a front-loading washer
Don’t do laundry until you have enough clothes for a full load. (Oksana Vejus via Canva)

4. Your Laundry Room

Washing clothes accounts for the second-largest water use in the home. Put off doing laundry for the sake of water conservation.

Only run the washer with a full load of clothes and use the shortest cycle for lightly soiled clothing. And if you really want to reduce water use, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses up to 5 gallons more water per load. 

While washing clothes in cold water saves energy by reducing water heating, it uses the same amount of water as warm or hot settings.


Adjusting a sprinkler head with a key
Adjust sprinkler heads so streams only waters grass. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. The Yard

Every year, we waste billions of gallons of water to keep our lawns and gardens green. Much of this water is lost due to overwatering, evaporation, poor sprinkler design or lack of maintenance.

Use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to reduce water use. These methods deliver water slowly and directly to the plant’s roots, and much less water is lost to evaporation.

If you have a programmable irrigation system, install a rain sensor. It will interrupt the program cycle when it rains, so you won’t overwater your lawn. 

Better yet, start at the ground level to keep your water use at a minimum. Choose native and drought-tolerant plants to create a water-smart landscape that’s beautiful and efficient.

Here are some other water conservation options for the yard:

  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them down.
  • Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • If you have a pool, use a cover to reduce evaporation when it’s not in use.

Following these water-saving tips can reduce household water use by 30 percent or more. 

Start simple by changing wasteful habits and fixing leaks, then move up to installing water-saving fixtures and appliances. 

Not only will it save money, but you’ll also reduce the needless drain on one of our most precious resources.


Water Conservation Resources

This GE Profile Dishwasher Gives You a Smarter Clean

This GE Profile Dishwasher Gives You a Smarter Clean

The GE Profile Smart Dishwasher simplifies kitchen cleanup. (Image via The Home Depot)

GE Profile’s new dishwasher integrates smart home technology into your kitchen routine.

Read to learn how the GE Profile Smart Dishwasher can give your dishes a better clean and simplify kitchen clean-up.


This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


GE Profile Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Top Control Smart Dishwasher with Microban Technology silverware basket
High-touch areas, like the silverware basket, are treated with Miroban technology that prevents bacteria growth. (Image via The Home Depot)

Smarter Sanitizing

Sanitizing is simple when using GE Profile’s innovative Steam + Sani setting. The steam loosens tough soils before any cycle, so you get a complete wash with no pre-rinsing or soaking, and the high-temperature rinse reduces 99.999 percent of bacteria on dishes.

Interior filters and common touchpoints inside this GE Profile dishwasher are equipped with Microban technology that prevents bacteria growth, so the interior stays cleaner 24/7.

Inside, the UltraFresh System introduces clean air to reduce moisture and help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. 

The dishwasher’s exterior features an advanced fingerprint-resistant stainless finish that lets you easily wipe away fingerprints and smudges to keep the outside of your dishwasher looking clean and new.


Bottle jets blast to clean hard-to-reach spots. (Image via The Home Depot)

Strong Enough for Stuck-On Messes

This smart GE Profile dishwasher has a Piranha Hard Food Disposer, so you can use your dishwasher without pre-rinsing. Its stainless steel impellers rotate at 3,600 RPM to pulverize food particles and an anti-jamming design makes sure wash arms stay unclogged. 

Forty powerful cleaning jets blast the silverware basket from top to bottom, to your utensils sparkle no matter which way you load them.

Once you get this GE dishwasher, you can say bye-bye to bottle brushes. The four bottle wash jets in the upper rack blast water and detergent directly to effectively wash hard-to-reach areas. 


Use your smartphone to order more detergent and refill rinse aid. (Image via The Home Depot)

Efficient Design

Enjoy next-level loading flexibility thanks to multi-position, fold-down tines in the lower rack. Adjust them into three different positions and configure your rack to accommodate any item.

This extra-large capacity dishwasher has enough space for 16 place settings and large dishware, making cleanup easy after large gatherings. Plus, an additional rack at the top of the dishwasher is the perfect place to wash spatulas, lids, kitchen gadgets and more.

Dry Boost with Fan Assists means you can ditch the dish towel. This feature gets hard-to-dry items like plastics up to three times drier than heated dry cycles using a fan that pulls moist air out, resulting in table-ready dishes.

This GE dishwasher’s Active Flood Protect gives you extra peace of mind. The water leak sensor detects when water is too high, and pumps it out until a safe level is reached.

Plus, this dishwasher has built-in WiFi, so you can monitor cycle status and automatically reorder detergent through the SmartHQ app.

Listen to learn all about this Best New Product!

Find the GE Profile Smart Dishwasher at The Home Depot.


Further Reading

This Innovative Toaster Oven Has a Pizza Mode That’s Exclusive to the U.S.

This Innovative Toaster Oven Has a Pizza Mode That’s Exclusive to the U.S.

Tokyo-based technology and appliance company BALMUDA is changing the way we cook with its innovative range of products. Having finally launched in the U.S. and mixing sleek designs with convenience and durability, the brand prides itself on its fantastic selection of kitchen appliances.

The best-seller is the BALMUDA The Toaster, which uses steam technology and precise temperature control to enhance the cooking process. Before toasting, you pour a little water into the slot, which is the secret to a golden, crisp finish every time. Choose between Sandwich Mode and Artisan Bread Mode depending on the type and thickness of the bread you’re using.

Not just limited to toasting bread, BALMUDA The Toaster comes with five different modes that allow you to cook up your favorite breakfasts, treats, and even dinners. The Pastry Mode has been designed to emulate a baker’s oven, giving the flavor, texture, and moisture that could once only be experienced with freshly baked bread.

With Oven Mode, the possibilities are endless. This mode offers three different temperature settings (350°F / 400°F / 450°F) just like a traditional oven, allowing you to cook everything from fries and roasted veggies to cookies and baked potatoes.

Finally, a setting that’s exclusive to U.S. appliances is Pizza Mode. You can cook a pie from scratch or reheat a leftover slice or two, giving the pizza a crispy base and melty toppings. Bagels also cook really well on pizza mode, toasting them to a golden surface while also maintaining their chewy texture.

Available at Amazon , Williams Sonoma, and other major retailers across the country, BALMUDA The Oven has received rave reviews from delighted customers.

“Holy moly! Best toast I have ever made. I did a comparison taste test with the Balmuda toaster vs my cheapie $60 toaster oven. You can really taste the difference in the toast with the texture and the moistness of the inside of the toast. Hands down Balmuda blew my other toaster out the water. So happy with purchase.” one person wrote.

Another said: “I’ve been using this to cook everything that’s frozen and precooked. Frozen leftovers included. I wouldn’t limit the use of this to just baked goods and toast, it’s handling everything from sausages to chicken pieces. The food afterwards is incredibly crispy with a soft interior, as promised,”

A third commented: “Just got this toaster 5 days ago and have already used it to make brick toast, revive melon pan, reheat pizza, and perfect eggos. I think I’ve gained a couple pounds just eating so much bread these past few days.”

BALMUDA The Toaster is available in four colors—black, white, gray, and taupe—and is priced at $299.

ALDI Has Released a Line of Retro Kitchen Appliances

ALDI Has Released a Line of Retro Kitchen Appliances

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

ALDI is quickly becoming one of our favorite stores for homeware at an affordable price. Who doesn’t want to buy a full new dining table or patio set while shopping for their weekly groceries. It’s game changing, if you ask me.

Adding to their ever-growing catalog, the retailer recently launched a retro-style kitchen appliance set that’ll keep your countertops looking super stylish. Run, don’t walk.

Whether you’re looking to add an accent to your countertop or coordinate your whole kitchen, you’ll find kettles, toasters, blenders, coffee machines, and more. All products come in both Retro Cream and Retro Green colorways and prices range from $12.99 to $34.99.

The Retro Citrus Juicer ($16.99) has two cone sizes for multiple fruit types and a pulp filter for no mess or bits, while the Retro Portable Smoothie Maker ($16.99) is USB rechargeable for on-the-go smoothie making with ease.

For delicious coffee that will even rival your favorite cafe, the Retro 8 Cup Coffee Maker ($34.99) has a glass carafe and an anti-drip technology. The Retro Kettle ($24.99) has a 360-degree heating base for cordless pouring, and the Retro Round Egg Cooker ($12.99) makes perfect eggs every time, cooking up to seven at once.

Perhaps the star of the show is the Retro Toaster ($24.99). Made from stainless Steel and with two extra wide toaster slots, the appliance is making waves in the ever-popular ALDI Aisle of Shame Facebook group.

“Why no one is talking about these cute retro toasters is beyond me! It even toasts your buns for you. At 24.99 it was a steal! Caw Caw!!!” one person wrote, posting a photo of their new Retro Toaster in the Retro Green color.

With almost 200 comments, fellow ALDI fans were sharing their love for the toaster.

“I want this so bad! I almost bought one for my new kitchen.” one person commented.

Another joked: “*throws current toaster on the floor* ‘BAAAAAAAAAABE….. I think our toaster is broken. I’m going to go get a new one’”

A third wrote: “Cute!!!”

The Retro kitchen appliances are available in select ALDI stores now.