How can we save water? This is such an important question, both on a large scale – for the environment and a smaller one – for your household budget. It’s especially tricky when you’re looking for ways to save water whilst cleaning. Cleaning involves water by definition, right? Not so fast! Here are 5 ways to save water while still keeping clean.
Did you know that many ways to save water could help you cut down on your energy bill, too? Approaches like only using as much water as you need when heating water for coffee or tea are a great way to conserve both of these important resources. Read more about saving energy here.
1) Clean Rugs and Carpets without Water
Cleaning a carpet without water might sound impossible, but dry carpet cleaners exist and are the perfect answer to the question of how to save water while still getting your rugs clean. You can buy a variety of dry carpet cleaners, or you can make your own using:
- A blender
- A sprinkle-top container
- 2 cups (240g) baking soda
- ½ cup (60g) corn-flour
- ½ cup (60g) polenta
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- Optional – 1 tablespoon Borax
Pulse your ingredients on a low setting in the blender until the consistency is even, then transfer them to a sprinkle-top container and sprinkle over your carpet or rug. Let the mixture sit for two hours, then vacuum it up or sweep away with a stiff brush. This will leave your carpet smelling fresh, and cloves and bay leaves have antibacterial properties. Better still, it’s completely safe to use in homes with children or pets!
2) Spot Clean Your Clothes
How can we save water when it comes to cleaning our clothes? By spot-cleaning stains instead of throwing them straight in the machine, of course! Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon are all known to help remove stains from clothing without the need for machine washing, be it a sweat stain, a tea stain, or even a blood stain. Apply your chosen cleaner on clothing, leave it to act for 15-30 minutes, rinse the area with cold water, and leave it to dry outside (weather permitting). You will still need to wash your clothes regularly, of course, but minimising the use of your washing machine is a great way to save water.
3) Clear Up Grease Stains with Very Little Water
When we spill something, we instinctively blast it with water in the hope of getting rid of it. With grease spills, however, that’s not such an effective approach – the grease will simply float to the top of the water and possibly spread around. Here are a few ways to save water – and patience! – by finding alternative ways to tackle grease stains.
- For large areas, cover the area with newspaper soaked in water, then weigh it down and let it dry. This is not a completely waterless method, but you’ll still save water compared to the repeat mopping you might have tried otherwise!
- For clothing, apply salt or corn-flour to the stain whilst it’s still fresh. Let it sit and absorb the grease, and it should simply brush off after around half an hour.
- For grease that’s baked onto pans, stovetops, and even ovens, sprinkle baking soda over the area and leave it to act for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Then, simply wipe it away with a damp cloth. You might need to repeat this a few times.
4) Clean with Soda Water
When looking for ways to save water, this tip might seem a little counterintuitive, but sparkling water makes for a great window cleaner. Simply put a small amount in a spray bottle, spray it onto your window or mirror, and wipe it down with a cotton cloth or an old t-shirt. If you’re worried about grease, add half a spoon of lemon juice before you start. Sparkling water is also great for cleaning jewellery and removing rust!
5) Avoid Using Sponges
Sponges may seem convenient, but if you’re wondering how to save water while cleaning, you might want to avoid using them. Not only do they absorb a lot of water, but they’re also difficult to clean and become unhygienic quickly. Save water by using cloths and rags instead. You can make rags from old t-shirts and bed linen, and launder or dispose of them after use.