An outstretched arm pouring a glass of water on to one of two plants placed next to each other

If you have a dehumidifier in your home, you probably have a good idea of just how much water they end up with in the reservoir. Typically, this water gets flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain, but doing that feels like such a waste. 

Many people have plants inside their homes or gardens—but can you use your dehumidifier water to water them? 

Can You Water Your Plants With Recycled Dehumidifier Water?

Research shows that you can use dehumidifier water to water your plants because, in many ways, it’s similar to rainwater.

However, this is only true if your home and water stays relatively clean. Otherwise, the air collects dirt, which transfers to the water as the dehumidifier collects the moisture. 

While it’s perfectly acceptable to water your plants with the leftover water from your home dehumidifier, it’s important to remember that it can become a danger to your plants. 

Greywater can either be practically harmless or carry all kinds of various diseases. However, chances are, if the water is coming from your dehumidifier, it isn’t that dirty.

Greywater and Plants

A greywater sample on the left. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

In general, plants don’t care too much what you water them with.

A lot of people use greywater to water their plants. After all, the soil already carries all kinds of bacteria. 

Houseplants are a bit different, though. 

Why? 

For one, they’re not exposed to outside conditions. In addition, the soil of houseplants usually comes with different fertilizing agents and other protectants. 

Because gray water often comes with at least a few harmful things in it, it can be dangerous to your indoor plants. 

How Dirty Is Dehumidifier Water?

How dirty your dehumidifier water depends on a few things, including how often your tank is dumped, how clean you keep the coils, and how clean you keep your home. 

I know we aren’t talking about drinking dehumidifier water, but you still want to ensure it’s as clean as possible for your plants.

Realistically, using dehumidifier leftovers can be a lot of extra work. 

Oddly enough, research has shown that dehumidifier water is fairly clean if the tank has been emptied regularly. The reason for this is that it’s being converted from water vapor. When water goes into a gaseous state, it’s already let go of a lot of the impurities. 

However, the dehumidifier is also constantly filtering through the dust in your home. 

If you aren’t keeping your house clean and relatively dust-free, chances are that your dehumidifier water isn’t as clean as you’d hoped. In reality, it’s probably pretty dirty if your house is dirty. 

That’s because dust particles, including dead skin, viruses, and bacteria, constantly flow through the air. That’s a lot of disgusting things. 

When the water gets put through the dehumidifier, it starts out as water vapor. The water vapor condenses on the cooling coils, leaving you with water that has turned into liquid.

The water then drips down the drip tray and into the reservoir. 

Unfortunately, if you’ve got a lot of dirt in the air, many of the particles will stick to the cooling coils, and new water will constantly come in contact with the old particles.

So, inevitably, some of this gets transferred into the reservoir. 

A homeowner emptying the tray of a dehumidifier

Speaking of the reservoir, standing water is never a good thing.

When water is left still, it grows bacteria quickly. That said, if you’re thinking about using your leftover dehumidifier water for your plants or anything else, make sure you remove the water frequently. 

What If My House Is Always Clean?

If you’re always keeping up with your house, congratulations.

You can probably use your dehumidified water to water your plants with minimal concern, especially true if they’re outside plants. 

Keeping up with your home chores doesn’t only leave you feeling good mentally. It helps you feel better physically as well since the air you’re breathing is significantly cleaner. 

At this point, the dehumidifier water is almost exactly the same as rainwater.

Of course, it will still have some dust, but it should be no surprise that rainwater is also full of dust.

The good news is that dust isn’t harmful to plants at all. After all, they grow in the dirt! 

Can I Water Any Plant With Dehumidifier Water? 

Technically yes, but it’s not the best idea.

As discussed in the section on gray water and plants, not all plants are receptive to greywater.

Of course, dehumidifier water is a lot cleaner than other forms of greywater, so we wouldn’t expect it to cause much if any, damage to most of these plants.

However, you don’t want to water food-producing plants with dehumidifier water. Always use clean water for these plants. 

Remember, the plant’s roots are soaking up the water and whatever it contains goes into the plant. If you accidentally harm your plant with dehumidifier water, you certainly don’t want it to transfer to you. 

Other Ways To Recycle Dehumidifier Water

Watering your plants isn’t the only way to recycle the water in your reservoir tank.

If you’re just concerned about it going to waste, there are many things you can use it for. 

Let’s look at a few other ways to recycle your dehumidifier water. 

Use the Excess Water for Cleaning

At first, this might sound gross, especially if you’re cleaning food items or kitchen counters, but stay with us.

If you mix the excess water with some concentrated disinfecting products, you’ll eliminate all the bacteria. 

a group of disinfecting products and cleaning supplies on the hardwood floor of a home

Dehumidifier water is excellent for cleaning the floors or bathrooms since you won’t worry too much about possible diseases you could be spreading onto the items your food is near or on. 

Fill Up Your Car’s Radiator or Windshield Fluid

As radiator or windshield fluid is another excellent use for leftover dehumidified water.

Your car is much less particular than plants regarding what kind of water it receives. Not to mention, placing straight tap water in your radiator actually damages your vehicle over the long run. 

However, don’t put straight-up water in the radiator or the windshield fluid tank as a quasi-fluid. Instead, mix half and half with antifreeze for the radiator and windshield cleaning fluid for the wiper fluid tank. 

Conserve Water by Refilling Your Toilet Tank

This application doesn’t get thought a lot about, and it is a bit of extra work, but toilets use a lot of water.

One way to conserve some of it is to recycle your dehumidifier water in yours. 

If you’d like to try this method, flush the toilet and immediately refill it with water from the dehumidifier.

If your dehumidifier makes enough water, you could save up to six gallons (22.71 liters) of water per day

Use It to Wash Your Car

Maybe you’re the type who always takes your car to the car wash. If so, try changing things up and washing your car at home.

Dehumidified water is relatively clean, and using it to get your car cleaner is the perfect way to ensure it doesn’t go to waste. 

The nice part is that the dehumidifier water does not contain extra minerals or chemicals like tap water.

As mentioned, it’s a lot like rainwater, meaning you won’t have nearly as many water spots left on your car. 

Use It in the Steam Iron

Dehumidifier water is safer for some steam irons than tap water. This is because tap water contains minerals that accumulate on the iron’s soleplate as steam evaporates.

Minerals from tap water can be risky because they can clog the iron’s water tank or worse, stain your clothes.

Dehumidifier water is safer because it’s condensed from the air, it’s free of potentially troublesome minerals that can stain your clothes or clog your iron’s tank.

Also, using dehumidifier water will save you money that you would have otherwise used to buy distilled water from the store.

That said, it’s worth noting that you should only use dehumidifier water in distilled water-safe irons to prevent corrosion. Therefore, you should refer to your iron’s manual before using dehumidifier water.

Conclusion

Dehumidifier water is suitable for all sorts of uses, and it’s entirely possible to recycle the water by watering your plants or using it for other things.

Just make sure that, if you use it for your plants, you’re paying attention to how the plant responds to it! 

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