I moved to a new apartment that has sinks with 2 knobs rather than 1 lever.

enter image description here

When I wash my face, I like to turn off the faucet to save water. But then, to turn it back on, I have to touch the knobs with my soapy fingers.

How can I turn the water back on without getting the knobs soapy?

  • I don't want to leave the water running, since that's wasteful.
  • I can't easily turn the water back on with the side of my hands or my elbow, because of the way they're designed.
  • I'd thought about picking up a wash cloth and using that to turn the knobs. Then I could rinse the soap out of it. But afterwards I'd need to let it drip dry somewhere, and I'd like to avoid that if there's a cooler solution.

1 Answer 1


On the water-saving front — before you turn the water on to soap up, pull that center lift rod up to close the drain stopper and save the initial water you use in the sink basin below. Start soaping up your hands (leave the fingers so you can operate the faucet).

Now turn the water off and wash as normal.

When you've washed your face, start rinsing your hands and face with the water you already saved in the sink basin. The water will be somewhat soapy from washing (and now rinsing), but you'll be surprised how well the saved water will work to do an initial rinsing (I'd say 80% effective).

All that's left is to let the water out of the sink and do a quick rinse with clean water from the tap. Even if you're hands were still a bit soapy when you turned the faucet on, they should be clean enough to get the job done without making a mess.

Bonus that most of your washing and rinsing is done with the tap OFF. You'll only need a few seconds of clean running water for that final rinse instead of leaving the tap on the whole time.

And anything you get on the water knobs is easily removed with a quick wipe.

  • 3
    Robert, I'd forgotten how smart you are. Thanks for this great answer!! Feb 23, 2018 at 19:17
  • 2
    I'm using this now, and I have one refinement: I don't need to rinse both of my hands in the water in the sink. I only need to rinse the thumb and forefinger of my right (dominant) hand! Then I use those clean digits to turn on both faucets and lower the drain stopper. And now that the water is running, I rinse off both my hands and then my face. :) Mar 4, 2018 at 0:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.