Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

I must say that I have never understood why anyone would want or need to have the tap running when brushing their teeth, especially in some case the hot tap, and have always found this rather strange.

This may, however, be due to the fact that I was raised with the beaker for use with brushing teeth, and we did not have running water, neither hot or cold, though the cold running water could be had when it was raining, as I am of Gypsy stock, and I grew up a rather old way.

Once we moved into a house this habit remained though, that is to say, the use of a beaker of water for the rinse after brushing teeth. There is no need whatsoever for running a tap while cleaning one's teeth, no need and reason whatsoever. If need be then simply wet your toothbrush before you begin and use a glass of water, as I said, to rinse your mouth once you have finished or, if you must, even in between.

Turning off the water while you brush your teeth will save about 4 gallons a minute. That's 200 gallons a week for a family of four. If your water is metered then you will find that you will also make significant savings this way. Where, like here where I live, we are but charged a flat rate – which is unfair in a way to those like myself that save water and who live on their own and do not use that much – there are not financial savings to be had this way but the environmental savings are still the same.

© M Smith (Veshengro), June 2008