The Q&A Archives: recycling washer water

Question: I was told that an individual uses washing machine waste water on his lawn and that it is gteen and has no insect problems. He drains the water into a barrel and uses a drip system. Is this a good idea with the soap chemicals and bleach ?

Answer: I understand your desire to conserve water and in some instances gray water (such as from your laundry) is okay to use in irrigation. But, it is never recommended for vegetables - only for ornamental plants. If you use soap rather than detergent, the soap won't harm ornamentals. Detergent will harm them and so will bleach. So, to be on the safe side, use only organic soaps, never use bleach, and direct the gray water only to ornamentals or lawns.

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