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

The $9 Gadget That’ll Improve Dryer Performance and Keep Clothes Lint-Free

The $9 Gadget That’ll Improve Dryer Performance and Keep Clothes Lint-Free

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.

You’ve probably been there — your dryer completes a cycle, and as you begin pulling the warm garments out, you find that they’re covered in irksome white fluff. To your horror, you realize you didn’t clean out the dryer vent after running that faux fur blanket. Or, maybe you’re just now discovering that your appliance even has a vent that requires cleaning. Don’t be embarrassed; at AT, we revel in the opportunity to share our favorite laundry hacks. From the best stain removers to editor-approved sheet detanglers and portable washing machines, we’re here to help turn one of the most tedious chores into a headache-free function.

With regards to lint buildup, yes, you should be cleaning your dryer vent gap semi-regularly and the outside tubing at least once a year to prevent clogging. Personally, I like to wipe my dryer’s vent every two-to-three cycles, as I’m perpetually wary of damaging the machine or having to subsequently lint-roll my dark clothes for ages. I was never sure exactly how to go about doing so, opting for a wet paper towel and awkwardly brushing the buildup off of the vent filter and into the trash can. But with the Holikme dryer vent cleaning kit from Amazon, this task now has a more streamlined system.

This two-piece kit is really just comprised of two wire brushes that are conveniently bristled and flexible enough to reach that difficult crevice at the front of your dryer. With more than 13,500 five-star reviews from buyers, it’s evident that the set guarantees a quick and straightforward solution. “This is perfect for the price… and you get 2 of them!” one reviewer shared. “The minute it arrived, I tried it and loved it! It got all the lint way down past the screen and scooped it out!” Each brush is 29 inches long and features a 4-inch wooden handle for easy maneuvering.

Not only will the kit help keep freshly washed and dried clothes as clean as possible, but it’ll also improve dryer performance, as not cleaning the vent and exhaust pipe can cause longer cycles, which can in turn increase utility bills. One reviewer can attest to this. “… Recently the dryer hadn’t been drying as well as it should have,” she shared. “I got so much lint out of the dryer where the lint trap goes that I was APPALLED!” Removing lint buildup can also help prevent fires, making this tool potentially life-saving. (No hyperbole here!)

Adding to this product’s many pluses, buyers lauded the kit for being surprisingly sturdy, the brushes’ wooden handles thick enough to withstand even the most severe bending. So it appears that for less than $10, you can be the proud owner of a tool that simultaneously keeps your fits looking fresh and prevents home disasters. Fire safety has never sounded so appealing!

Samsung’s Smart Dial Washer Speeds Up Laundry Time

Samsung’s Smart Dial Washer Speeds Up Laundry Time

Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash
Samsung’s new Smart Dial Front Load washer has a huge drum and can clean an eight-pound load in less than half an hour. (Photo via The Home Depot)

The new Samsung Smart Dial Washer makes your laundry routine faster and more efficient.

With an AI-Powered Smart Dial, Samsung’s simple-to-use Smart Washer learns and recommends your favorite wash cycles and lets you customize your cycle list.

With its Wi-Fi connection, you can receive end-of-cycle alerts and schedule cycles on your time right from your smartphone with the SmartThings App.


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.


Need clean clothes fast? No problem! With the Samsung Smart Washer, you can wash an 8-pound load of laundry at full performance in just 28 minutes! 

Plus, if you need to do your laundry late at night, Innovative Vibration Reduction Technology+ reduces noise and vibration for quiet washing. So, you won’t disturb anyone! 

Its large 4.5 cubic-foot capacity also means fewer loads and less time in the laundry room.


 Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash
The AI-powered Smart Dial learns your most-used cycles, so your laundry routine is a breeze. (Photo via The Home Depot)

Samsung Smart Washer’s Easy Maintenance

With this Samsung Smart Washer, you won’t have to wait on time-consuming pretreatment to get rid of stains. This washer uses the power of steam to gently remove them. 

The drum releases steam, saturating every item in the load and ensuring a deep clean.

And, with a new improved drum pattern, more water is extracted faster during the rinsing cycle.

This Samsung Smart Washer makes maintenance easy. You’ll no longer worry about when you need to clean your washer. The Self-Clean+ feature notifies you every 40 wash cycles when it is time for a cleaning.

You’ll also have peace of mind in between cleanings. High-touch areas and the washer drum are treated with antimicrobial technology to give long-lasting protection and keep the drum and bottom detergent drawer smelling fresh.

Listen to learn all about this Best New Product! 

Find the Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash at The Home Depot.


Further Reading

Samsung Smart Washer Speeds Up Laundry Time

Samsung Smart Washer Speeds Up Laundry Time

Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash
Samsung’s new smart washer has a huge drum and can clean an eight-pound load in less than half an hour. (Photo via The Home Depot)

The new Samsung Smart Washer makes your laundry routine more efficient and faster.

With an AI-Powered Smart Dial, Samsung’s simple-to-use Smart Washer learns and recommends your favorite wash cycles and lets you customize your cycle list.

With its Wi-Fi connection, receive end-of-cycle alerts and schedule cycles on your time right from your smartphone with the SmartThings App.


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.


Need clean clothes fast? No problem! With the Samsung Smart Washer, you can wash an eight-pound load of laundry at full performance in just 28-minutes! 

Plus, if you need to do your laundry late at night, Innovative Vibration Reduction Technology+ reduces noise and vibration for quiet washing. So, you won’t disturb anyone! 

Its large 4.5 cubic-foot capacity also means fewer loads and less time in the laundry room.

 Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash
The AI-powered Smart Dial learns your most-used cycles, so your laundry routine is a breeze. (Photo via The Home Depot)

With this Samsung Smart Washer, you won’t have to wait on time-consuming pretreatment to get rid of stains. This washer uses the power of steam to gently remove stains. 

The drum releases steam, saturating every item in the load and ensuring a deep clean.

And, with a new improved drum pattern, more water is extracted faster during the rinsing cycle.

This Samsung Smart Washer makes maintenance easy. You’ll no longer worry about when you need to clean your washer. The Self-Clean+ feature notifies you every 40 wash cycles when it is time for a cleaning.

You’ll also have peace of mind in between cleanings. High-touch areas and the washer drum are treated with antimicrobial technology to give long-lasting protection and keep the drum and bottom detergent drawer smelling fresh.

Listen to learn all about this Best New Product! 

Find the Samsung Smart Dial Front Load Washer with Super Speed Wash at The Home Depot.


Further Reading