How to Save Rinse Water in Rain Barrels
Tank Set Up for Saving Washing Machine Rinse Water

One of our biggest problems in the summer is maintaining our trees and landscaping when it's not raining. Saving washing machine rinse water is the answer.  Saving rinse water that is generated several times a week is a wonderful source of water--free water.

The rinse water has considerably less detergent that the wash water and thus should be fine for most landscape watering. Be sure to use phosphate free detergents and little or no bleach.

HOWEVER, we do recommend you use any indoor stored water within a day or two or odor could form. 1-2 tablespoons of bleach in the tanks will help keep odors away without harming plants. Remember when choosing where to put your tanks the dimensions are:30"Wx30"Lx18"H, when the tanks are stacked the height of both tanks is 36". Total capacity of the Standard and Doubler=108 gallons.

For extensive information about greywater recycling we now have books available at the Online Store, check it out.

Place the tanks where it is convenient to have the discharge hose reach.  This particular set up is NOT the only way to do this.  You could install a PVC pipe to have the discharge empty into and lead the water to tanks placed in another room or even outdoors.  You know you own house best and we are simply giving an example of a workable set up. 

Leaving the lid up on the washer allows you to re-agitate as many times as would like to get the clothes clean without re-washing and using more water. When the the lid is down and the clothes have spun out the dirty wash water completely, move the discharge hose to the top of the tanks. This allows the rinse water to be captured into the tanks. Make sure the hose is held in place well.












            BE SURE YOUR Y SHUT OFF IS IN THE OFF POSITION BEFORE ANY WATER IS PUT IN THE TANKS. When these tanks are set up indoors for this purpose all OTHER outlets should be capped off and the spigot outlet should be plugged. . YOU WILL NOT have an overflow hose hooked up. Unlike unexpected rain you will know when you tanks are full and when to not add any more water. Simply leave the discharge hose in the discharge drain.  This is a great idea...take me to the Online Store!


To get the water where you want it a pump will needed.  We now offer an easy to use pump, available at the online store.

How This Set Up Was Done

Santa Fe Standard and Doubler Stacked. All outlets, except bottom Zinc Shut off, were wrapped in Teflon Tape and capped to seal. We added an extra gasket to the Zinc Shut off so it would seal with the levers on top of the shut off. We did not use the inlet drain.

We ran the washing machine with the discharge hose in the discharge drain until all the dirty wash water has been removed. Then we moved the hose to stick into the top of the Doubler tank.  After three loads of wash and some water from waiting for the shower to get hot we had about 108 gallons to get to a tank outside. 

With the way the house is layed out, we used a 20 ft piece of garden hose with female hose ends on both ends. The hose was purchased at Lowe's and we used the hose ends included with the tanks. We then attached the hose to the inlet port on a 115v pump. On the outlet port of the pump we attached the hook up hose end from hose reel we bought at Sam's Club.  We put on a 125 ft. hose on the hose reel.  The length of hose was not needed to get water to the tank but it was a good test for the pump.  We then opened the inlet on the tank and plugged in the pump.  It all worked great and we now can have water where we need it.

Photo: Example of how tanks, pump and hoses could be set up.