How to lower water bills in Singapore
Water saving tips
Image adapted from: Your Lifestyle Corner, Hrafnhildur Þrastardóttir
Check your water and electricity bill now and chances are, you’ll probably stifle a little gasp. Between the scorching hot weather and us spending more time at home the last few months, utility bills across Singapore have risen. Or in my case, doubled. Yikes.
Other than common knowledge like turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, here are some of the simple but effective changes you can make to your lifestyle at home, to cut down your water bill. They don’t require much effort on your part so they’re doable, even for lazy peeps.
1. Avoid using running water to thaw frozen food
When talking about water waste in the kitchen, a tip we hear time and again is turning off the tap when you’re soaping your dishes. Totally valid – but that’s not the only source of unnecessary water waste at the sink!
Thawing meat under running water can cause cross-contamination
Image adapted from: The Collegiate Cooker, Your Lifestyle Corner
For many of us, the “default” method to thaw frozen food is to hold it under running tap water – a trick most of us adopted from our mothers and grandmothers. And while there’s science behind this tried-and-tested generational method, it’s probably one of the main causes of your double – or triple – digit water bill.
A speedy water-free alternative is to use a defrosting tray. Typically made of good conductors of heat like copper or aluminium, most on the market can warm up your frozen piece of meat evenly in as short a time as 30 minutes – so there’s little to worry about bacteria contamination.
Alternatively, those who prefer sticking to basic kitchen essentials can turn to the under-utilised function of “defrost” on the microwave, or thaw ingredients in the fridge a few hours prior to cooking.
Get a defrosting tray from Lazada here.
2. Invest in an atomising shower and save up to 70% more water
Image adapted from: Nebia
You probably have heard of rain showers, coveted for providing a relaxing spa-like shower experience. But if you don’t have the funds to install a rain shower system, then a low-cost, high-ROI alternative is to get yourself an atomising shower head. Relaxation-wise it’s a worthy contender with added water-saving elements to boot.
Video credit: Nebia
Perfect for those who enjoy a gentle shower experience to unwind, this new-age shower head soothes the tired body with miniscule droplets formed by channelling water through atomising nozzles at a high pressure.
Compared to a regular showerhead, an atomising one will give you a wider droplet coverage and up to a 70% reduction in water usage – a significant amount, considering showering makes up almost a third of our water use at home.
Invest in a top-of-the-range one with Nebia (from $199), or test waters with more affordable ones you’ll be able to find online such as this $8.70 option from Lazada.
3. Repurpose water used to rinse vegetables
Image credit: @ourseaofgreen
We’re often told to repurpose rice water for things like skin and hair care, but not much is known about repurposing the water that’s been used for washing our vegetables.
Don’t let this opportunity to save water go down the drain – the next time you wash vegetables, collect the water and use it to water your plants instead. Not only does this save you buckets, it’s also beneficial for plants as the remnant veggie bits double up as free and natural fertilisers.
4. Get a front-load washing machine
For those on a lookout for a new machine, consider getting a front-load instead of a top-load washing machine to save on both water and electricity.
Image credit: Hrafnhildur Þrastardóttir
While it’s true that top-loaders are the cheaper option on the market, this is largely because they’re of an older design. Front-loaders on the other hand, are more water and energy efficient and are the option you’d want to consider, especially if you’re living in a busy household.
If you’re wondering, the washing mechanics are what sets the two apart. Unlike top-loaders that work by submerging the clothes fully in water to clean them, front-loaders use tumbling motions and gravity instead, saving you several litres of water – and therefore bills – with each machine run.
P.S. Before you order your machine, don’t forget to check out the water efficiency label and go for those with at least 3 ticks and above. Putting more money down for a front-loader might cost more off the bat, but will ultimately pay off in terms of savings in due time.
5. Fix leaks ASAP
There’ll come a time when the appliances in your BTO start to get a little worn out and problems like leaks start to creep up on you. They’re easy to ignore – until you find out that a tap that drips once per second wastes more than 11,000L of water a year.
Conduct routine checks on all the faucets and taps in your home to make sure you’re not losing any water unnecessarily. If you do spot a leaky faucet, make sure to call for maintenance or replace the appliance as soon as possible.
6. Get a spray or steam mop
There’s no getting around mopping the floor – no matter how painful of a chore it is. But, you sure can avoid the task of dealing with a huge bucket of sploshing water by replacing your regular mop with a spray or steam mop.
Image credit: Xiaomi
With most spray mops, all you have to do is fill the water capsule with a mix of water and floor detergent and attach it into the designated slot on the mop. Things are much easier with this as all you have to do is press the trigger button on the handle to squirt the soap mixture onto the floor. And voila, you can proceed with mopping as usual.
To clean the mop, simply remove the cloth attachment and give it a good scrub. On top of saving water, you’ll also be bidding adios to backaches with this lighter alternative.
Get a spray mop from Xiaomi at $16.90 or Boomjoy $14.90 (U.P. $29.90).
Video credit: Your Best Digs
Those extra-particular about germs can take things one step further by investing in a steam mop, which kills off viruses and bacteria using extreme heat.
Get a steam mop from Lazada from $97.
7. Only do the laundry when you’ve accumulated a full load
It might be tempting to run the washing machine as soon as you get home with sweaty and smelly clothes, but holding out for at least a ¾- or full-load can save you buckets more in the water department.
Those with a low threshold for odour can invest in odour-trapping laundry baskets, or avoid tossing damp clothes in to help make the wait between washes more bearable. Delicates can also be thrown in with the rest of your laundry to make full use of each cycle – as long as you place them in mesh laundry bags.
8. Redeem your free water saving kit from PUB
Image credit: Qanvast
A torrent of water rushing from your tap is taps is shiok, but highly unnecessary. And since many of us habitually turn the lever to the max, this sneakily bumps up the digits on our utility bill.
If you’re struggling to be mindful about water usage, make sure to redeem your free water saving kit from PUB. It comes with a set of thimbles that you can place in your tap, to save water without having to think twice about it.
Get it here.
Saving water in Singapore
We use water day in, day out, so even the littlest change in habits or products used can actually make a huge difference. Try out these easy-peasy, low effort tips, to make sure the water bill stays low, so you can spend it on other things instead. Say… bubble tea?
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