As I was bathing my son last night and thinking about how thirsty my outdoor plants are, I wondered if I could use his bath water to water the bushes? Clearly it would take some effort to hall it out of the house to the plants, but hey what is a little effort to conserve some water! : )
We don’t use a whole lot of baby soap, but was wondering if there were either better options for soap or if the water was a little soapy what it would do to the plants. I remember my mom telling me as a kid that soap would kill the grass so I am hesitant to try it without getting some information.
Thanks! Clean Kids and thirsty plants
Dear Clean Kids and thirsty plants,
The old proverb “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” traditionally means: Do not discard something valuable in your eagerness to get rid of some useless thing associated with it. It sounds to me, Clean Kids, like you also see the value in the bathwater!
So, I did this once – plugged the drain in the tub while I showered, then lugged buckets of used water down to my plants. It wasn’t terribly difficult and it made me feel good about my water conservation efforts. That said, it’s not a practice that I continued.
If you use biodegradable soaps at bath time, I’d say it’s okay to re-use the water on your bushes. I’m not so sure I’d use it on my vegetable garden, but who knows; maybe you’ll come up with some new hybrid lavender tomato!
My favorite brand of biodegradable soap is Dr. Bronner’s because you can buy it in bulk (read: you can refill reusable bottles at stores like Georgetown Market, Pogue’s Run Grocer or The Good Earth) and it has multiple uses. I have even used Dr. Bronner’s castile soap to brush my teeth and clean toilets. There are plenty of other biodegradable soap brands out there and you can find them at almost any store these days.
My current bath time water conservation and other green efforts include:
- Using a low-flow shower head
- Using a shut off valve to stop the flow of water while lathering
- Keeping my showers to a 7 (or so) minute routine
- Using bar soap instead of shower gel – no excessive plastic packaging!
- Using shampoo from a reusable bottle, refilled at Georgetown Market or Pogue’s Run Grocer
- Using a Preserve razor with a replaceable blades