How to Use Less Water While Brushing Your Teeth

How to Use Less Water While Brushing Your Teeth

How to Use Less Water While Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene. However, it can use a significant amount of water if not done mindfully. Here are some tips to help you brush your teeth while using less water:

Turn Off the Faucet While Brushing

The simplest way to conserve water while brushing your teeth is to turn off the faucet. Many people leave the water running the entire time they brush, which wastes gallons of clean drinking water.

I used to be guilty of this until I made a conscious effort to turn the faucet off after wetting my toothbrush. This alone can save up to 4 gallons of water per minute. Here are some suggestions:

  • After wetting your toothbrush, turn the faucet off while you brush for the recommended 2 minutes.
  • Rinse your mouth by taking a sip of water from a cup instead of rinsing under running water.
  • When finished, turn the faucet back on and rinse your toothbrush briefly.

Turning off the tap is the easiest way to conserve water while maintaining your normal brushing routine.

Use a Cup to Rinse Your Mouth

Rather than rinsing your mouth under a running faucet, you can save water by using a cup. Follow these steps:

  • After brushing, fill a cup with a small amount of water.
  • Take a sip, swish it around your mouth, and spit into the sink.
  • Repeat until your mouth feels clean.

This technique allows you to rinse thoroughly while only using a few ounces of water. It prevents wasting water by letting the tap run continuously.

Install a Low-Flow Faucet Aerator

Faucet aerators are inexpensive devices that regulate water flow from the faucet. Replacing your current aerator with a low-flow version can significantly reduce the amount of water used:

  • Low-flow aerators restrict water flow to around 1 gallon per minute.
  • Standard aerators typically allow 2.2 gallons per minute or more.
  • Installing a low-flow aerator is a simple DIY project requiring just a few minutes.

With less water coming out of the faucet, you won’t waste as much when brushing. Low-flow aerators also help conserve water for other uses like washing dishes and hands.

Brush With a Water-Saving Toothbrush

Innovative toothbrushes can help brush your teeth with minimal water use:

  • Toothbrushes with water-saving reservoirs hold enough water to brush without needing the faucet.
  • Electric toothbrushes with built-in timers help you brush efficiently for the recommended length of time.
  • Manual toothbrushes with moisture-retaining bristles stay wet longer, reducing the need for added water.

Although these toothbrushes require an upfront investment, they can rapidly pay for themselves through water savings. They also make it easy to brush properly while conserving water.

Opt for Electric Over Manual Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are generally more water-efficient than regular manual brushes. Here’s why:

  • Electric brushes have short automatic brushing timers to ensure you brush for the full recommended 2 minutes. This avoids wasting water by brushing too long.

  • Electric models are more effective at plaque removal. This means you require less water for rinsing compared to a manual brush.

  • The high-speed oscillating motion of electric heads requires less water to clean effectively.

So if you’re in the market for a new toothbrush, consider a quality electric model. Although the upfront cost is higher, you’ll conserve water every time you brush.


Brushing our teeth is essential for oral health, but it doesn’t need to waste water. With some simple techniques like turning off the tap, using a cup to rinse, and upgrading your toothbrush, you can drastically reduce the amount of water used. Conserving water while brushing saves this precious resource and money on utility bills. Try out some of these tips and see how much of a difference you can make. Your teeth and the environment will thank you!