How can I reuse or recycle water from a condenser dryer/air conditioner/dehumidifier?

We’ve had an email from Mark:

What is the best way to recycle small quantities of hot water from a condenser tumble dryer?

I know i could pour it down the toilet, put it on the garden etc, but what are the economical benefits of reusing this clean water. Can it be used (when cold) for anything beneficial? Recycled/redirected to a dishwasher etc

In yet another of those great-minds moments on here, I’ve been thinking a similar thing lately – we’ve had a dehumidifier running in our office after a series of leaks over the summer and while it’s thankfully slowed down a lot of late, we’ve had bucket upon bucket of water from it over the last few months. For me it’s less about the “economical benefits” and more about hating throwing anything away that might be useful.

Wikipedia describes this type of water as “a rather clean kind of greywater” – but various articles online advise against drinking it/letting animals drink it (because of possible bacterial/fungal spore/heavy metals contamination, and also because it’s been distilled & will taste weird). Watering well-established houseplants with it is probably ok – actually better than tap water if you’re tap water is very soft – although because of the possible bacterial/heavy metals issue, it’s still probably better to avoid using it on vegetables, particularly leafy ones.

Mark mentioned putting it down the toilet – I’m not sure whether he means just to get rid of it or in lieu of flushing. The latter will have an “economical benefit” if your water is metered — toilet flushing accounts for a huge proportion of most people’s water usage: just keep a bucket of water next to the toilet and pour some into the bowl to flush it. I’m not a water expert but based on the advice about possible contamination, I’d probably be more inclined to use it for clothes washing than dish washing (although it would probably be fine for that too, especially at hotter cycles).

Anyone have any experience reusing water from condenser dryers, air con units or dehumidifiers? What do you use greywater for around your home/garden?

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle water from a condenser dryer/air conditioner/dehumidifier?”


  1. Alexis says:

    we have a big orchid collection – and the water from out dehydrator comes in handy there as it is soft. We have a few 5ltr “camp” style water carriers in my other half’s office where we store it. I’ve used it in soap making.

  2. Kim says:

    I use the water from my condenser dryer to wash my floors too. If i get to it as the dryer stops it is still warm enough.

  3. Melinda says:

    I’ve used it in the washing machinewith no problem. If one is concerned about bacteria, the container can be washed out periodically.

  4. I use it for houseplants. Funnily enough, I tested my water for PPM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parts-per_notation and found that the water from the dehumidfier and the condenser from the tumble dryer (was being used regularly wduring bad weather) had the least PPM of all the sources of water in my house…so that must be a plus.

  5. Andrea says:

    My mother-in-law always used water out of the dehumidifier to fill her iron…as it’s essentially distilled water and wouldn’t clog up the vents like tap water would.

  6. I think it’s going to be used best for watering plants and for flushing toilets. I’m a little hesitant when it comes to using it for washing clothes though. Maybe I’ll have to try it first and see the possible benefits.

  7. jstone says:

    I always throw the water into my washing machine… just keep the collection buckets clean and your water will be perfect. It is amazing how much water is collected this way. If I don’t wash for a few days, then do so, my washer is half full of water. Saves tons of water.

  8. Nick says:

    Hi; we live in a really hard water area and due to lime scale build up have had to replace our steam-iron on aveage every 12 months. Since using only the water from our condenser dryer our existing iron has lasted 5 years without any lime scale build up at all.

  9. aneesah says:

    I use it by putting it in the iron . Is it safe to drink when it is cold. Any other suggestions

  10. jayglish says:

    I got around 50 pints a day from my dehumidifier. I usually use it to water the plants in my garden. Sometime I used it to wash my car.

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