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Avatar for CVenema
Jun 16, 2021 9:46 AM CST
Johnston, IA
We are experiencing a drought in Iowa. I thought a way to conserve water would be to use dish water (I use Dawn dish soap) for watering my summer plants. Will this hurt them?
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Jun 16, 2021 9:48 AM CST

Unless you are in the habit of regularly flushing engine oil and the like down the kitchen sink, grey waters can be used for irrigation no problem.
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Jun 16, 2021 10:03 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
It might depending on which Dawn you use. If you use an antimicrobial one or one with other 'additives', that may harm them. If its a plain one like for hypoallergenic people, that would be best
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Jun 16, 2021 10:35 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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The west coast has been using greywater to water gardens and flush the toilet for years because we live in a constant drought. There are some "rules" but the one dealing with dish soap is usually "don't." The don't has to do with grease and chemicals you are pouring into your garden. But if you must, use dish soap not dish detergent. Soap is made from plant oils and animal fats. Detergent is all synthetic and contains a lot of not very plant friendly additives. If you really want to pour dish water on your plants, water the trees (or you can always use it to flush the toilet).

For your small plants, use the water going down the drain before you hop into the shower.
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Jun 16, 2021 11:39 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
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One summer drought got us in a habit we just cannot break.. a bucket in the shower for that first cold water, then use that water elsewhere.
Plant it and they will come.
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