One of the biggest green killers in our homes is the shower. Heated water is expensive too! It can cost as much as ten cents per minute. So, you know that half hour shower? It's costing you three dollars! Five minutes is plenty of time to take a shower, and for the Tap'dNY contest, I've found the perfect answer. A five minute shower timer timer made from recycled plastic bottles!

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Step 1: What You Need.

For this project, you will need two used plastic bottles, hot glue and gun, a knife and scissors, and sugar (it's better to use fancy sand, aka sugar sand, which you can find at a craft store).

Step 2: Cut Out the Middle Section of Your Bottles.

Cut out the middle portion of your bottle with your knife. The amount removed depends on how large you want your showerglass. Just to be safe, cut out at least the label. Even out your cuts with scissors (no jagged edges).

Dry the sections out with a soft cloth, and let air dry. You do not want any moisture in your green device. Otherwise, its gonna mold.

Step 3: Hot Glue Together.

Line the top of the bottle with the bottom, and hotglue together. Make sure they are level, and that there is no gaps in your hotglue. You do not want any water getting in. Do this for both bottles.

Step 4: Make a Small Hole in Your Cap.

A small hole. Very small. You want it small, and then make the hole bigger (eventually, but not right now). Only in one cap. Leave the other unharmed.

Step 5: Add Sugar.

This is the complicated part. You need to fill one of the bottles two thirds full with sugar, attach the cap with the hole, and flip it over on the other bottle. Time exactly how long it takes for the sugar to transfer from one end of the bottle to another.

If it is longer than five minutes (or desired time), make the hole in the top slightly bigger (a very slight change in size will result in a drastic change, so use cautiously!).

If it is shorter than five minutes, add sugar.

Get it so it is exactly five minutes (or desired time) in length.

Step 6: Cut a Huge Hole in the Other Cap.

Big. As big as you can get it. At least bigger than the previous hole. It doesn't have to be pretty, no one will see it!

Step 7: Glue, Glue, Glue!

Glue the caps onto the bottles, making sure they are air and water tight.

Then, flip one bottle on top of the other, and glue the caps together.

Step 8: It's Finished.

Now go shower up.

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    35 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i live with 2 daughters who both have long thick hair...hence longer shower time.. i have been thinkin about a timer. ha. say for arguments sake that it's $3 for 1/2 hr shower.. which is an easy time est.. . thats $180, just for my 2 kids per month!!! i take faster showers, so say $45 per month for me + 180 =$ 225 !! thats more than my car payment... i really like this showerglass idea :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    why wasn't this featured? it is a wonderful idea!! when i can find some sand deposits in my woods i am SO going to make one of these!! thanks for the instructable.


    10 years ago on Step 8

    What a great idea!! It is great for the kids to see and time their showers, also!! Could the sugar be replaced by salt?

    1 reply

    What's wrong with just using a simple egg timer? Or just put a water resistant clock on the wall and peek at it once in a while?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I could take 5 minute showers if I shaved my head. Till then I'll just try to mitigate the damage by turning off the water if I've got tangles. lol


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Don't take shorter showers, shower with a friend _

    Also, you might want to use something with an anti-caking agent if you're going to have it in a very moist environment, i.e. a shower.

    9 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Alternative timer- the time it takes for you getting in the shower to wake up the person upstairs, who then promptly goes to the toilet and flushes it, killing your hot water >_< it's about 5 minutes!

    The easy way to calibrate it to 5 minutes is to totally fill the top bottle, let it run through for exactly 5 minutes then stop- then you know you have 5 minutes' worth of sand in the bottom bottle. I'd recommend using sand rather than sugar, DeusXMachina is right that in a damp environment sugar may well cake up and become useless.

    I'm not sure about showering with a friend- sharing with the sort of person I could imagine sharing a shower with might lead to "distractions" that could end up with you being in the shower for longer than you intended in the first place...

    speaking entirely hypothetically of course


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hehehehe... It boils down to technique, really. If you alternate who's under the water stream and who's sudsing up, you can effectively save half your shower water. But you're right, "distractions" more or less negate that :-P. But really all you have to do is lessen the total shower time, and you're saving. If one actually kept track of how much water went down the drain and the power usage to heat the water, I bet even with, erm, less than efficient techniques, you'll still end up saving because you're cutting out a lot of waiting for the water stream to warm up. Or you could just get on-demand water heating and turn the water off when you're sudsing :-P


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    SO what you're saying is, to save money in the shower, share the shower with someone, but make sure they're ugly. Got it. I'm taking baths from now on...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It boils down to technique, really.

    As do all the best things in life. Ok, I'm going to stop the innuendo now.

    Being able to stop the shower in the middle would be nice- I have a power shower which probably counts as on demand, but if you turn it off and straight back on again it oscillates between cold and burningly hot for a minute or so while the temperature control gets itself together.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    killing your hot water

    ??? My toilet uses cold water, and so does the upstairs one in the other apt. When they flush, the cold goes away and we get BURNT.