4 water-saving tips: some of it may surprise you

While we lament the recent announcement of the hike in water prices, let us not forget the importance of water as well.
Showering is the most water-consuming activity in the home, followed by dishwashing and laundry. These are obviously daily activities that we cannot do without – so how do we go about reducing water consumption (and soon, household costs) without becoming cavemen? Bosch Home Appliances gives us the lowdowns on the how-tos.
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Myth #1: Handwashing dishes conserves more water than using a dishwasher
It’s a common misconception that washing your dishes by hand saves you more water than loading up a dishwasher. Handwashing consumes an average of 40 litres each time – over 5 times more water than using a dishwasher, which only consumes 7 litres on average. Using a dishwasher for a year could save you around 9,200 litres of water in total – that’s an equivalent of having 5 additional showers per week. As an added bonus, you’ll also save more time and energy instead of washing each dish by hand.
Pro tip – If you have one, load dishes into the dishwasher correctly so that minimal water is needed to achieve perfect cleaning results. To ensure a more thorough and even rinse, place larger and heavily soiled crockery in the bottom basket as it receives a more intensive wash than the top.
Myth #2: It’s better to pre-rinse dirty dishes before loading them into the dishwasher
Many people have the habit of pre-rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. There’s really no need to do that at all. Dishwasher detergents are designed to break down stubborn food remains. Plus, the attached food remains will actually protect the surfaces of your dishes from abrasive cleaners by giving them something to latch onto during a dishwasher cycle.
Pro tip – To maximise water usage, fill up your dishwasher to its full capacity without overlapping dishes. Placing dishes upside down enables water to slip off the surfaces easily, along with all traces of food remnants.
Myth #3: Washing machines use less water and electricity for partial loads
Contrary to popular belief, most washing machines use the same amount of electricity and water to run partial or full loads. This means that running fuller and less frequent loads saves water, time and electricity. If you’re looking to minimize the impact of the water price hike, opt to consolidate washes to get the most out of the water usage for each load.
Pro tip – Use the recommended dosage of laundry detergent to prevent overdosing, which incurs unnecessary rinse cycles.
Myth #4: Don’t fix what isn’t broken – it’s a waste of money to replace a functioning washing machine
It isn’t always cheaper to keep using a washing machine that’s been chugging along for years, as compared to upgrading to a water-efficient replacement. Newer technology has made a lot of water-saving leaps over the years. Hence, it is likely that your machine from 10 years ago guzzles much more water than the washers of today.
Pro tip – When weighing whether to keep or toss your old washing machine, do a side-by-side comparison. Factor in how long the old and new models are likely to last and the costs to operate. For instance, front-loading machines use less water and detergent than top-loading ones. While the former tends to cost more, the savings can add up faster if you’re a frequent washer. It’s also good to be able to have expert advice, readily at hand when shopping around for washers. Remember to ask all the right questions so you can find one that best suits your lifestyle.