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-   -   How to lower water bill (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1450286)

BeccaSueCongdon 10-03-2012 11:46 PM

Ever since we started using cloth our water bill has doubled from $50 a month to $100 a month. I wash two-three times a week and I know that's where the extra money is from. Each load is (all on high level);
1 cold wash cycle
1 hot/cold cycle with soap & bleach
1 warm/warm + extra rinse

I've tried everything to change our wash cycle to use less water and this is it. :-( it's either this or stinky diapers.

******

My DD is 18 mos and PLing, so my plan is to keep her primarily in Gerber training pants at home, and add covers when we go out. The undies can be rinsed and washed with regular laundry.

********
my DS still wears overnight cotton trainers that STINK and have to be washed alone.
*******
any ideas for how we can reduce our water bill?

We have a dishwaser.
DH and I shower once/twice a week each (gross, I know, sorry).

lensesforeyes 10-04-2012 01:11 AM

We have successfully kept our water at the minimum monthly payment most months. Summer is a bit different because on real hot days we let the kids play in the sprinkler. We wash one load of laundry a day and we, too, have to wash our diapers about as many times (only with soap the first two washes), and wash them twice a week. Just to give you an idea of where we are compared to your washing.

We only run the dishwasher every 2-3 days, when it is very full. To help with this, each person gets one cup/plate/bowl each day, which gets rinsed between uses.

When we shower, we plug the bath. We bathe the kids right after we get out when the water is still warm if they need a bath (they get baths twice a week unless more is needed, they have skin issues). I only shower twice a week, DH has to daily. After kids have been bathed if needed, we leave the water and use a bucket to scoop it and flush the toilet. Can usually flush it 6-8 times per shower.

I try to always shower right after DH when I do so the water does not need to warm up for me. Sometimes this doesn't happen since he showers at 4:30am some days.

If one of the little kids (2.5 and 1.5) needs a bath when there is no warm water in the tub, we wash them in the sink-warms up faster and you use a lot less water.

I avoid small wash loads at all cost.

We are very aware of running water. When we rinse dishes, we only keep it on when we are actually rinsing, for an example. Basically we are anal about always turning it off. We also don't leave it on when washing hands, just enough to get our hands wet, then off while we soap them up, then on just long enough to get the soap off. We are teaching the kids to do this, too.

Not sure how old your kids are, but we talk about the importance of conserving water and electricity. Kids love to play with the water the second you turn your back, so this can help. My kids love fish, so we checked out some books at the library that explained how conserving water helps the fish, now that is DS's big thing (he is four).

That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more if I think of anything.

abunchoflemons 10-04-2012 01:25 AM

Re: How to lower water bill
 
We flush toilets every 2 to 3 pee & after every poo usually with at least 1 pee.wash bigger loads no small lods. If dishwasher yea few times a week or wash in sink & not use lots of water. Barhe together( one washes & 1 rinses so no waste) or sometimes my dad used to shut off after wet do all wash then rinse..... we double to tripple the people in shower. Limit amount in baths & always 2 at least if not more... especially if just doing bodies. I wash 1 tim3e week with toddler about same age. Do u have hard or soft water? Do u do wet pail? I found I could wash & rinse if I did wet pail although my front load he uses less than the old top loads 4 sure.

BeccaSueCongdon 10-04-2012 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abunchoflemons
We flush toilets every 2 to 3 pee & after every poo usually with at least 1 pee.wash bigger loads no small lods. If dishwasher yea few times a week or wash in sink & not use lots of water. Barhe together( one washes & 1 rinses so no waste) or sometimes my dad used to shut off after wet do all wash then rinse..... we double to tripple the people in shower. Limit amount in baths & always 2 at least if not more... especially if just doing bodies. I wash 1 tim3e week with toddler about same age. Do u have hard or soft water? Do u do wet pail? I found I could wash & rinse if I did wet pail although my front load he uses less than the old top loads 4 sure.

I dry pail, but could easily wet pail. Just water and dipes soaking, right? I could let the stinky overnight trainers soak, then hand rinse and save the water for flushing.

BeccaSueCongdon 10-04-2012 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lensesforeyes
We have successfully kept our water at the minimum monthly payment most months. Summer is a bit different because on real hot days we let the kids play in the sprinkler. We wash one load of laundry a day and we, too, have to wash our diapers about as many times (only with soap the first two washes), and wash them twice a week. Just to give you an idea of where we are compared to your washing.

We only run the dishwasher every 2-3 days, when it is very full. To help with this, each person gets one cup/plate/bowl each day, which gets rinsed between uses.

When we shower, we plug the bath. We bathe the kids right after we get out when the water is still warm if they need a bath (they get baths twice a week unless more is needed, they have skin issues). I only shower twice a week, DH has to daily. After kids have been bathed if needed, we leave the water and use a bucket to scoop it and flush the toilet. Can usually flush it 6-8 times per shower.

I try to always shower right after DH when I do so the water does not need to warm up for me. Sometimes this doesn't happen since he showers at 4:30am some days.

If one of the little kids (2.5 and 1.5) needs a bath when there is no warm water in the tub, we wash them in the sink-warms up faster and you use a lot less water.

I avoid small wash loads at all cost.

We are very aware of running water. When we rinse dishes, we only keep it on when we are actually rinsing, for an example. Basically we are anal about always turning it off. We also don't leave it on when washing hands, just enough to get our hands wet, then off while we soap them up, then on just long enough to get the soap off. We are teaching the kids to do this, too.

Not sure how old your kids are, but we talk about the importance of conserving water and electricity. Kids love to play with the water the second you turn your back, so this can help. My kids love fish, so we checked out some books at the library that explained how conserving water helps the fish, now that is DS's big thing (he is four).

That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more if I think of anything.

How do you use other water to flush the toilet? I've never done it but think it'd be a great idea!

lensesforeyes 10-04-2012 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeccaSueCongdon

How do you use other water to flush the toilet? I've never done it but think it'd be a great idea!

You just lift the toilet seat and dump water in until it goes down. Just don't dump it too fast.

You can also put a brick in your toilet tank if it is not a low flush toilet-it will reduce how much water it uses to flush.

BeccaSueCongdon 10-04-2012 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lensesforeyes

You just lift the toilet seat and dump water in until it goes down. Just don't dump it too fast.

You can also put a brick in your toilet tank if it is not a low flush toilet-it will reduce how much water it uses to flush.

I'll give that a try today!

lensesforeyes 10-04-2012 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeccaSueCongdon

I'll give that a try today!

My favorite is to empty our dehumidifier in it. We are very prone to mold here, so we have to use it, especially after shampooing the carpet. That's taking moister out of the air and using it to flush the toilet-can't get thriftier than that! :giggle:

Bhavana 10-05-2012 10:36 AM

Re: How to lower water bill
 
Instead of doing a cold rinse first, you could soak the dipes for 2/3h in bucket of hot/warm water containing soap and bleach right off the bat. Use just enough water to ensure that all the dipes are underAnd then transfer to the W/m. I know you want to rinse the urine off, but this step does save water. You'll then need to do only the last step of 1 warm/warm + extra rinse.

If you feel that it wont be enough, you could put the soaked dipes in another bucket(or empty the soak water into the toilet and use the same bucket) of clean water, swish with your hands awhile and transfer to the w/m.

I do this on laundry day when I dont want to have to wait for a soak cycle. I have 2/3 buckets and soak clothes by color and have them lined up one after the other. Saves on time and water.

BeccaSueCongdon 10-05-2012 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bhavana
Instead of doing a cold rinse first, you could soak the dipes for 2/3h in bucket of hot/warm water containing soap and bleach right off the bat. And then transfer to the W/m. I know you want to rinse the urine off, but this step does save water. You'll then need to do only the last step of 1 warm/warm + extra rinse.

I do this on laundry day when I dont want to have to wait for a soak cycle. I have 2/3 buckets and soak clothes by color and have them lined up one after the other. Saves on time and water.

Does this step replace just my cold rinse, or the cycle where I'm adding soap/bleach as well?

So would it look like;

2-3h soak in soap/bleach & hot water
1 warm/warm cycle & extra rinse?

I could actually try that even just in my washer rather than buckets. We have a small space (less than 500 sq ft, counting storage and laundry room) and itd be almost impossible to keep my kids out of the buckets.

But I could fill our washer to the smallest level with hot & add bleach and soap & agitate for a moment to mix. Then add clothes and just let it soak (rather than agitate on hot with a low water level, which I've discovered promotes pilling).

Then maybe fill it the rest of the way with warm and start that warm/warm/warm cycle...
That's definitely worth a shot!


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