How to use household waste water on plants

How do you water your plants when your area is experiencing drought? Can you use dishwater, bathwater without hurting your plants?

Household wash water is also called gray water. It can be made up of bits of food scraps which can attract insects and rodents. It can also have bacteria and viruses that could cause illness in your plants. Laundry and cleaning water may have chemicals that are toxic to plants. What are some best practices?

  • Mix wash-cycle laundry with the rinse-cycle water to reduce the concentration of chemicals
  • Monitor for plant damage
  • Don’t pour gray water directly at the base of tree trunks or shrubs. It may cause crown rot. Instead, pour it away from the trunk where the feeder roots are.
  • Use gray water for landscape and flowers and save clean water for vegetables, fruits, and salt-sensitive plants like azaleas.
  • Alternate between gray and clean water so that soil organisms have time to break down whatever is in gray water.

Start typing and press Enter to search