Supplementing your garden with bathwater helps save cash.

How to Use Bathwater for a Garden

by Jaimie Zinski

During periods of inadequate rainfall, homeowners are forced to supplement their garden's needs by turning on the outdoor spigot, which can get very expensive. However, there are untapped sources of water you're literally letting pour down the drain: bathwater. Instead of pulling out the garden hose, recycle your leftover graywater and use it to keep your flower garden or ornamental garden thriving when Mother Nature isn't providing enough rain.

Transport the bathwater to the garden using large buckets or basins. Another option is to transfer the water one bucket at a time into a large barrel or 5-gallon bucket near the garden.

Pour the bathwater directly onto the soil. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst recommends avoiding pouring the water into an overhead sprinkler system or allowing it to splash up and touch any portion of the plant sitting above-ground.

Continue to water the plant until the ground around it is evenly moist, not soaking wet. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst says to use graywater only on flat areas to avoid runoff.

Cover the area around your ornamental plants or flowers with a thick layer of organic mulch. According to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the mulch helps speed up the soil's decomposition rate, which eliminates the wastewater's chemicals that much faster.

Alternate watering your flower garden with graywater and fresh water. During times of drought, using only graywater, which contains the soaps and chemicals used during your bath, can lead to damage.

Items you will need

  • Plastic buckets
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Organic mulch


  • Avoid using graywater on edibles including your vegetable garden, especially root crops or leafy vegetables.
  • Switch to an environmentally safe soaps and shampoo, if watering with leftover bathwater, suggests Discover Wildlife.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images