The scorching summer weather has been welcomed by many, but now the first hosepipe bans have, inevitably, been introduced in the United Kingdom.
A hosepipe ban is a restriction that prevents you from using your hosepipe to water your garden, clean your car or fill a paddling pool. The fine for ignoring this rule can be up to £1,000.
The first ban of 2018 was introduced in Northern Ireland on Friday, June 29, and limits water use to drinking, cooking and washing.
While there have been no bans introduced outside of Northern Ireland, many water companies across England, Wales and Scotland could now soon follow suit.
Southern Water has asked its customers to reduce their water usage. And Severn Trent Water in the midlands and United Utilities in the north west have asked customers to avoid using their hosepipes and sprinklers – potentially signalling a full ban.
But the good news is there are some tips to get around these problems without risking a big fine.
How do I save water?
A hosepipe ban doesn’t rule out caring for your garden. You can still use a watering can to water your plants, and to do this, water companies advise re-using the water you’ve used to clean vegetables for cooking.
Also, try not to run the taps for too long when trying to get the right temperature, and bottle up some water for later to leave in the fridge.
How do I keep my car clean?
Leaving your car with dirt on it is bad news, both aesthetically and for the paintwork.
If your car is a bit dusty, but not filthy, then you can use a water-free cleaner with a microfiber cloth. Use the Armor All 500ml Waterless Wash & Spray, £10, from Halfords.
Simply spray on the bodywork and use a clean cloth. To ensure that you don’t scratch the paintwork make sure you have several cloths to hand and swap them as soon as they get dirty. Grab a Microfibre Cloths Five Pack from Halfords for £3.
If your car has recently been cleaned then you can also apply Meguiars Wash & Wax Anywhere, £12.80 (save £3.20). There’s no need for buckets when using this product – it leaves a protective layer of wax behind, so the little bottle will have you car shining in less than 15 minutes.
What about a Karcher pressure washer?
Karcher Pressure Washers can still be used; however the water source must be from a recycled source such, as a water butt or pond.
Before you try to connect your Karcher pressure washer to a water butt, there is one extra bit of kit you will need, the Karcher Suction Hose and Filter, now £20.82 (save £4.18).
It is ideal for cleaning in remote locations and the perfect choice for those who would rather use natural rain water to clean their car, patio or deck. It also means you can continue to use your Karcher pressure washer during times of drought or hosepipe bans.
The Karcher K4 Full Control Pressure Washer, now £159 (save £71) comes with multiple pressure options to suit a number of cleaning tasks.
What about my lawn?
You certainly can’t water your lawn with a hosepipe. You can however use rainwater or water collected from your bath or shower.
It’s a bit late to start collecting rainwater now, but you can use a Halfords bucket, £1, to take the kids bathwater and empty it in the garden. You’re also allowed to use a watering can in your garden.
You could also ask a plumber to fit a greywater butt to collect your bath and shower water. This is ideal for keeping your homegrown veg watered but a much more expensive option.
Make sure you are Really Ready For Summer with Halfords. Visit www.halfords.com or go in-store for full details on all offers and services.
Prices correct at time of publication.
This article was written in partnership with Halfords for express.co.uk. Offers end August 5.