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In this article

  • Helpful tips to save water in the kitchen
  • How to choose a water efficient dishwasher
  • What to do if you think you have a leaky tap

When was the last time you looked at how much water you consume in your daily kitchen tasks? Even the smallest of changes can make a difference to your water use.

From cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking, here’s how you can make your kitchen the most water efficient room in the house.

Hand washing or dishwasher - which is better?

Believe it or not, dishwashers are so efficient today they use less water than washing your dishes by hand. A WELS 4 star dishwasher uses around 15L of water compared to a standard 22L capacity kitchen sink.

Hold off on running your dishwasher until it’s full. Running a half load doubles your water use, so wait for a full load and use the eco option (if available) to maximise your water efficiency.

Need a new dishwasher?

Before buying a new dishwasher, check the WELS star rating. The more stars the appliance has, the more efficient it will be and the less water it will use. Anything with 4 or more stars is what you should aim for.

Woman loading dishwasher

Scrape off your leftovers

You’re not doing your dishwasher any favours by pre-rinsing your plates, pots and pans before they go in. For a dishwasher to work effectively, the detergent needs food particles to attach itself to. And by pre-rinsing under the tap, you could be doubling your water use.

We also want to keep our drains happy and healthy, so scrape any excess food in the bin – not down the drain. Around 30% of blockages in our wastewater system are caused by fats, oils and grease solidifying in pipes – and it’s not a pretty sight!

Tips for the sink

Did you know a running tap can use up to 50L of water in just 5 minutes? Keep this in mind next time you’re about to wash and prep your veggies. Rather than let valuable water go to waste, use a plug or bowl so you’re only using enough water to get the job done.

When reaching for a glass of water, do you ever find yourself letting the tap run until it’s cold enough to drink? Break the habit by filling up a bottle or jug with water and keep it on hand in the fridge, so it’s ready to go.

If you’re waiting for water to heat up, collect the cold water in a bucket and use it to water your garden.

Cook smarter

Scale back on the amount of water you use for cooking by preparing quick and easy meals using a single pot or pan. One suggestion is cooking up a stir fry. Not only is it quick and easy, but you don’t need to use any water to prepare it.

When cooking vegetables, if boiling them, use just enough water to cover them and keep the lid on the pan. They’ll boil quicker and retain more nutrients, or better still, cook them in the microwave, using far less water. Another option is to steam them instead—this keeps your veggies lovely and crunchy!

Update your fittings

Go for WELS 4 star rated water efficient taps or install flow-controlled aerators.

Are you leak free?

Leaking taps waste up to 10,000L per year! You can use our simple leak detection tool to check whether your kitchen taps are leaking.

Fixing a dripping tap is usually as simple as replacing a washer. For help with installations, call a licensed Waterwise Plumber.

Waterwise product advice

Using waterwise approved products will help you use water more efficiently in the home. Together with Australia’s water conservation label, Smart Approved WaterMark, our waterwise product endorsement program makes it easy for you to identify these products.

Look out for the waterwise logo when shopping, or browse recommended products on the Smart Approved WaterMark website.