What is Grey Water and How Can I Use It?

In this article: What is grey water and how can it be reused?

You may have heard the term before, but what is grey water? It’s simply water that has been used for household tasks such as washing your hands, doing the dishes, or taking a shower. This water is not contaminated with sewage or chemicals, so it can be reused for other purposes.

Living in an off-grid tiny house, Cully and I conserve water every way we can. We knew reusing our grey water would be one way to conserve.

There are many ways to reuse it, but one of the most common is to use it to water plants and trees. Plants can benefit greatly from it, as it contains nutrients that they would otherwise not get from tap water.

Additionally, using it can save you money on your water bill, and it is better for the environment than using fresh water.

What is grey water

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Reusing Grey Water

If you are interested in using grey water, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, it is important to only use grey water from non-toxic household products. This means avoiding products that contain bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals. Read on for a list of our favorite grey water friendly brands below.

Second, you should always treat it before using it on plants, as it may contain bacteria that could harm them.

Finally, you should not store untreated grey water for long periods of time, as it can become contaminated.

What is Grey Water: Other Common Uses

What is grey water? It’s the water that goes down your sink, shower, and bathtub when you’re finished using it. Many people let this water go to waste, but there are actually a lot of ways you can reuse it around your home! Here are 4 of our favorites:

1. Water Your Plants and Trees With It

One of the simplest ways to reuse grey water is to water your plants with it. Just collect the water in a bucket while you’re waiting for the shower to heat up, or save the water that’s left in the bottom of your sink after you’ve finished washing the dishes. Your plants will love it, and it’ll save you money on your water bill too!

2. Use It to Flush Your Toilet

If you have a toilet that uses a lot of water, consider using grey water to flush it instead. Just pour a bucket of it into the bowl whenever it needs to be flushed. You’ll use less water overall, and your plants will appreciate the extra nutrients!

3. Clean Your Car With It

You can use it wash your car! Just add a little soap to a bucket of grey water and use it instead of hose water next time you need to give your car a wash. You’ll save money on your water bill, and your car will look great.

4. Clean Your Floors

You can also use it to clean your floors. Just add a little bit of soap to the grey water and mop away! This is a great way to save on cleaning supplies while still getting your floors nice and clean.

Clean the floors

Grey Water Friendly Products

The first step in choosing the best grey water friendly product is to identify your needs. Do you need a soap that is gentle enough for daily use? Or are you looking for a laundry detergent that can handle heavy-duty loads? Once you know what you need, you can start narrowing down your options.

There are a number of different factors to consider when choosing a grey water friendly product. The following are some of the most important:


You’ll want to make sure that the product you choose is made with safe, non-toxic ingredients. This is especially important if you have young children or pets in your home. Look for products that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free.


Some people prefer unscented products, while others like products with a light scent. It’s really a matter of personal preference. Just make sure that the product you choose doesn’t have a strong fragrance that could irritate your skin, trigger allergies, or not be safe for grey water use. 


Just because a product is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better quality. There are plenty of high-quality, affordable grey water friendly products on the market. Do some research and compare prices before making your final decision. 

Ease of Use:

You’ll want to choose a product that is easy to use and doesn’t require any special equipment or skills.   

Brand Reputation:

It’s always a good idea to choose a brand that has a good reputation and stands behind its products.

Unsure if a product you’re using is safe? Ask the manufacturer! Typically, a grey water safe product is promoted as such. But, if you find a product that isn’t quite clear if it is safe, send an email to the manufacturer’s customer support and they should have the answer.

Shop Our Favorite Grey Water Friendly Brands:

Treating Grey Water

The first step in treating grey water is to collect it. You can do this by installing a diverter valve on your shower drain or connecting a hose to your washing machine’s drainage pipe. Once you have collected the grey water, it’s time to start treating it.

The next step is to filter it. This can be done using a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or even an old t-shirt (assuming the water can run through it). Once the grey water has been filtered, it should be disinfected using ultraviolet light before being considered for reuse. 

When storing it, it is important to use a covered container such as a bucket or barrel. The container should also be made of food-grade materials such as plastic or stainless steel. It can be stored for a period of time as long as it is kept covered and out of direct sunlight. 

Grey Water versus Black Water: What’s the difference?

Black water is water that has been contaminated with sewage or other harmful chemicals and should not be reused.

Black water contains things that should not be reused including feces, urine and cooking oils and it should be disposed of in a proper sewage system.

Grey water is water that has been used for household tasks such as washing your hands, doing the dishes or taking a shower. This water is not contaminated with sewage or harmful chemicals and can be reused.

Can you Drink Grey Water?

It’s a question that has long puzzled scientists and environmentalists alike. After all, gray water is simply wastewater that has been used for washing dishes, laundry, or other household activities. So what’s the harm in drinking it?

Well, as it turns out, there may be some risks associated with drinking it. For one thing, it may contain harmful bacteria or viruses that could make you sick. Additionally, it may contain chemicals from detergents or cleaning products that could be harmful if ingested. As a result, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and avoid drinking it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to waste all of it. There are plenty of other ways to reuse it, such as watering plants and trees or flushing toilets. So even though you usually shouldn’t drink it, there’s no need to let your gray water go to waste.

What Is Grey Water
A glance at what unfiltered grey water can look like

Is Grey Water Recycling Worth it?

Is grey water recycling worth it? It depends on who you ask. For some people, the idea of recycling water from sinks, showers, and laundry machines is a no-brainer.

Not only does it conserve water, but it can also save money on your utility bills. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love saving money?

However, others are less enthusiastic about the idea of reusing it. They worry about the safety of using recycled water and wonder if the effort is really worth the hassle.

So, what’s the verdict? Is grey water recycling worth it or not? Ultimately, that decision is up to you. But if you’re still on the fence, here are a few things to consider before making your final decision.

The first thing to think about is whether or not you’re comfortable using recycled water. If the thought of using grey water grosses you out, then it’s probably not worth the effort.

However, if you’re willing to give it a try, there are a few things you can do to make sure the water is safe to use. For example, you can install a filtration system to remove any harmful bacteria or viruses.

The next thing to think about is whether or not grey water recycling is actually worth the effort. If you live in an area with strict water restrictions, then it’s probably a good idea to start recycling your grey water.

Not only will you be doing your part to conserve water, but you’ll also save money on your monthly water bill. However, if you live in an area with plenty of water, the financial savings might not be worth the effort.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to recycle grey water is a personal one. There’s no right or wrong answer, so it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family.

What is Grey Water Conclusion

You now know the answer to what is grey water and you also know there are many ways to reuse it. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas of how you can put it to good use!

Not only is grey water good for the environment, but it can also save you money on your water bill.

Whether you use it to water your plants, flush your toilet, or doing your laundry, reusing grey water is a great way to save clean drinking water and help out Mother Nature too.

So next time you’re about to let that precious H20 go down the drain, think again! With just a little bit of effort, you can put that grey water to good use.

If you have any questions or want to share your experience with grey water or how to reuse it, feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time,



What is Grey Water

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