Helpful tips to help you save water when you cook and clean.
We use around 10% of our total household water in the kitchen – cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking.
The good news is there are many ways you can save water in the kitchen.
When you're boiling vegetables, use enough water to cover your veggies and keep the lid on the saucepan. Not only will your vegetables boil quicker, you'll save water and energy, and preserve precious vitamins in your food.
At the sink
Collect water by washing your fruit and veggies in a tub in the sink, then use it to water your plants.
Before washing your dishes, scrape off any food scraps into the compost or a bin. Putting scraps into a composter or worm farm is a better option than clogging up the kitchen sink, and a garbage disposal unit can use around 6 litres of water a day.
If you need to run the tap to get hot or cold water, collect the water in a bottle or jug and store it in the fridge until it is cool enough to drink.
If you have a leaking tap, replace the washer or other components as required. A dripping tap can waste 30 to 200 litres of water a day, and up to 12,000 litres a year. A running tap uses about 16 litres of water a minute.
Don’t over-tighten taps. It can wear the washer and cause leaks.
In basins and sinks, it's best to install separate hot and cold taps. Mixer-type taps are usually left in the middle position, which wastes warm water. Each time the tap is run for a glass of cold water or to rinse a toothbrush, hot water is drawn off and left to cool in the pipe without ever being used.
If you need to run a tap to get warm water, collect it to water plants, rinse dishes or wash fruit and vegetables.
Fit flow-controlled aerators to your taps – they are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50%. Check out our simple how-to video.
Washing dishes by hand
When you're washing dishes by hand, use washing-up liquid sparingly, as it reduces the amount of rinsing required.
Don’t rinse dishes under a running tap. Use a plugged sink or a pan of water, rather than running the tap continuously.
If you have two sinks, fill the second one with rinsing water. If you have one sink, stack washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a pan of hot water.
Cleaning your fish tank
When you clean your fish tank, use the tank's nitrogen and phosphorus-rich 'old' water on your plants.
Don’t use running water to defrost frozen food. Ideally, place the food in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.
Evaporative air conditioners
Evaporative air conditioners drain off some water while in use to reduce the build-up of impurities. Make sure that the drain-off rate is set to the minimum required for the air conditioner to work with your water supply.
Turn off your air conditioner when you go on holidays.
Hot water system and pipes
Make sure your hot water pipes are insulated, as this saves water and energy.
Check that your hot water system thermostat isn't set too high – if you need to add cold water to cool very hot water, you're wasting water. New hot water systems allow you to specify the temperature without adding cold water.
Install a plumbing device that allows the cold water to be recirculated until it warms up.
Smart Approved WaterMark
We're working with Smart Approved WaterMark to provide information on water-efficient products and services.
Products and services awarded the Mark have been independently assessed by the Smart Approved WaterMark panel to help you save money and water.
Smart Approved WaterMark is managed by The Water Conservancy, a not-for-profit advisory hub. To find out more, visit smartwateradvice.org.
Rebates for water-efficient products
You might be eligible for rebates, subsidies or free offers on some water-efficient and water-saving products.
Check with your council and water utility or visit the Australian Government's Energy website.