Things to Consider Before Using Laundry Water for Plants

Recycling household water is a common practice that almost every household does. There are different types of household water, and one of them is laundry water. Laundry water, also known as greywater, is the water you get after you have finished washing your clothes. There are very many ways you can upcycle this water. You can flush the toilet, mop the house, and even water the plants in your garden. When you speak of watering your plants using greywater, there are things you need to consider before doing so. Below is a list that explains some of the things you should review before using water obtained from washing clothes for plants;

The Cycle in Which the Water was Used

When washing, there are two primary cycles namely;

Wash Cycle

The wash cycle is where you add detergents and carry out the washing. The water from this cycle is said to have a pH value of about 9 to 10, meaning it is very alkaline. Too much alkalinity is known to affect the soil and growth of plants negatively. Therefore if you intend on using this water, make sure you have passed it through a treatment unit. However, when you use this water in minimal quantities, it can help in keeping away insects that would otherwise damage your plants.

Rinse Cycle

Watering your plants in the garden using washing water from the rinse cycle is probably a better option because the water in this cycle contains fewer detergents. In essence, using rinse cycle water is safer for your plants as compared to wash cycle water.

When handling water either from the wash cycle or rinse cycle, be cautious, accidents do happen. You may end up damaging your whole house by flooding it with detergent water. If this happens and you are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you do not have to worry. Experts from Water Resto USA do Fort Lauderdale water damage restoration effectively and efficiently.

Rinse Cycle

The Detergents used

Greywater disposal in your garden is suitable. However, make sure you take note of the type of detergents you use when washing if you plan on upcycling the water. The case is more dangerous when you are planning to reuse the water on your plants. The reason for this is because some detergents contain hazardous chemicals like;



Many soaps contain boron, which is a very harmful chemical to plants. Its defects will depict themselves on the leaves of the plant. When gardening using water obtained from washing clothes that have boron, you will see a “burning-like” occurrence on the leaf. Always make sure you use a laundry detergent that is safe for your plants.



Most of the time, greywater contains high levels of chlorine. One of the vital contributors to this phenomenon is the use of bleach when washing clothes. You will see the damage of this on the plant’s leaves as they will appear as if they are bleached.


The Type of Plant

The Type of Plant

Some plants have no problem at all with taking in laundry water to sustain and keep themselves healthy. Other plants are not ok with this type of water, for instance, household plants. The reason is simple. These plants do not have enough soil to disperse the toxic elements that may be present in the water.


Can you use water obtained after washing clothes to water your plants? Definitely, yes. Before doing so, there are a few things that you need to consider. The cycle in which the water was used is one of these things. You should try and go for the water used in the rinsing cycle as it contains fewer chemicals as compared to the water used in the wash cycle. You should also be keen on the type of plants you are watering using laundry water as some plants do not like it.


Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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