Saving water in the home: the best tips

save water
The best tips and tricks for the household

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In our daily life we ​​use many liters of water in the household. This is noticeable in the annual statement and also has a negative effect on our ecological footprint due to the hot water treatment. With our simple tips you can easily save water – see for yourself!

Water means life and is a precious commodity. There is no water shortage in Germany. In principle, it is therefore not necessary to strictly save cold water, but it does not have to be wasteful either! It looks different again at hot water: Here, responsible and economical use makes sense, since for Water heating energy required and which must be supplied in the form of electricity, gas, fuel or solar technology. Around 15 percent of the energy consumption in private households in 2019 resulted from the generation of hot water (Source: Federal Statistical Office). In addition to water consumption, energy consumption is also noticeable – and not only in the annual statementbut consequently also in ours ecological footprint. There are a number of little tips and tricks for saving water, especially in the home and in the garden. We explain how to do it.

This article is part of a focus week in which, as in previous years, RTL Deutschland will deal intensively with questions of sustainability - this year with a special focus on the topic of energy.  From October 24th to 30th you will also find many offers for Sustainability Week in other RTL Germany media (e.g. RTL or Vox).

This article is part of a focus week in which, as in previous years, RTL Deutschland will deal intensively with questions of sustainability – this year with a special focus on the topic of energy. From October 24th to 30th you will also find many offers for Sustainability Week in other RTL Germany media (e.g. RTL or Vox).


Save water in the bathroom

  • Showering instead of bathing: Sure, a relaxing bath every now and then is nice, but the bathtub should remain something special and nothing ordinary. Instead, you significantly reduce water consumption when you shower.
  • Turn off water when lathering: Whether it’s in the shower, shampooing or washing our hands – huge amounts of water are lost when we lather our bodies or hands. The solution: simply turn off the tap during this time.
  • Use toothbrush cup: A very simple tool can also reduce water consumption when brushing your teeth: the toothbrush cup has other functions instead of holding the toothbrush in place. Water for moistening the toothbrush and for rinsing the mouth can be collected in it and thus easily save water.
  • Economy button when flushing the toilet: Every time you go to the toilet, 7 to 9 liters of water flow into the sewage system. A saver button can work wonders and reduces consumption to 5 liters, which adds up to a lot over the year.
  • Broken fittings: A dripping tap or a running cistern are not only annoying, they can also drastically increase water consumption in the long run. It is therefore best to have the defect rectified quickly and replace the seals.
  • Use mixing nozzles: Mixing nozzles (also called aerators) can be attached directly to the fittings and enormously reduce the amount of water flowing through. For example, an economy mixing nozzle can reduce water consumption from 15 to 8 liters per minute by adding air. The water jet still appears powerful and has the same cleaning function. Depending on how the hot water technology is regulated in the household, jet regulators are not always the best choice: For example, a water flow regulator is an option for a continuous-flow heater. Let the specialist staff advise you. Saving shower heads are also suitable for saving water. Here, too, it is best to seek advice.
  • Single-lever fittings instead of mixer taps: With mixer taps, it can sometimes take quite a long time before we have set the right temperature – valuable water is lost during this time. Single-lever faucets can regulate the hot water with one setting. Further saving options are fully electronic instantaneous water heaters, with which the number of degrees can be set precisely, or a shower stopper on the shower head.
  • Save water when washing: According to, doing laundry uses an average of 12 percent of the water consumed in the household. There are many simple ways to save water when washing. You can make sure that you always load the washing machine fully (not overfull), use an eco program or do without the prewash. In general, it is not necessary to wash at high temperatures: with good cold detergents, cleaning is also possible at low temperatures.
  • Replacement of old devices: Devices with a good efficiency class and the “Blue Angel” eco-label save both water and energy than old devices. Even with fully electronic instantaneous water heaters, money can be saved compared to hydraulic ones.

Save water in the kitchen

  • Wash vegetables and fruit: A bowl full of water cleans organic vegetables and fruit sufficiently, you can safely leave the tap closed. Your plants will then be happy about the leftover water. Unfortunately, the situation is different with conventionally grown vegetables and fruit: In order to remove pesticide residues as far as possible, we cannot avoid cleaning them with warm running water from the tap. Afterwards, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables should be rubbed dry with a kitchen towel (rubbing removes some of the pesticides).
  • Energy-saving dishwasher: Also make sure that the dishwasher has a good efficiency class. Modern dishwashers even work with less water than washing dishes by hand. The device should be completely filled. Pre-rinsing the dishes is not necessary, you only have to remove coarse leftovers beforehand. There are often efficient savings or eco-programs to choose from. Short programs, on the other hand, use the most water and electricity.
  • Note the process when rinsing: If you wash by hand, it is best to always clean a large mountain of dishes in the sink. A running water tap, on the other hand, consumes valuable liters when cleaning. Wash less heavily soiled dishes first. For example, start with glasses and then work your way up. The oily pan comes at the end – so you don’t have to change the water several times.

Save water on the terrace or in the garden

If you also want to save water on the balcony, terrace or in the garden, you can follow these tips:

  • Collect rainwater to water your plants: A simple option is a rain barrel, preferably with a lid. The lid is closed on warm days and prevents water from evaporating or animals from falling in. On rainy days, the lid is put aside and the bin catches good rainwater. Appropriate water storage tanks are also available for balconies and terraces.
  • Don’t mow the lawn too often in the summersince it dries out faster when it is short and then has to be watered more frequently.
  • A Drip hose instead of lawn sprinklers entails more efficient irrigation and thus saves water.
  • Avoid pressure washers: Even if they work efficiently, high-pressure cleaners use a lot of water. This can be up to 500 liters per hour. If you can avoid it, use a cleaning rag and bucket instead.

Saving water worldwide: A question of consumption

In principle, our consumption and, above all, food in general also contributes to global water consumption. Around 8000 liters of water are needed to grow the cotton for a pair of jeans. There are over 15,000 liters in a kilo of beef. Cocoa and coffee top it all off: Loud 27,000 liters are needed to grow one kilo of cocoa and 21,000 liters for one kilo of roasted coffee. Accordingly, we can also control global water consumption with our purchasing decisions and with sustainable consumption.

Saving water made easy: conclusion

The many tips presented help to save many liters of drinking water and energy over the course of the year. In general, many small actions, such as turning off the tap when we soap our hands, can make a big difference. We can also pass this prudent approach directly on to our children: In this way, we are taught from an early age how precious drinking water and hot water are.

You are interested in more household tips: Here we explain how you can avoid waste and save gas, how you can make your own cleaning supplies and how plastic-free living works.

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