Ask a Question forum→Watering with Dish Water

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Johnston, IA
Jun 16, 2021 9:46 AM CST
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?
Foothills of the Italian Alps
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.
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
-Charles Darwin-
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Jun 16, 2021 10:03 AM CST
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
Award winning beaded art at!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jun 16, 2021 10:35 AM CST
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.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Jun 16, 2021 11:39 AM CST
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.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)

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