There was not a useful suggestion from any of you, aside from one about using a big car washing sponge to absorb the water and then wring the sponge out. I bought such as sponge but as it was new, it wasn't terribly absorbent. In the winter, I didn't have to remove water very often with the soft plastic water bottle, by squeezing the bottle, putting the opening in the water to suck it up and then emptying it into a bucket.
Once the electric bill arrived, I realised that the element to steam off the water was using a lot of electricity, maybe near $100 for three months, about a dollar a day. At times it would come on if the just the air was humid.
What to do? Then I thought, this squeezable water bottle won't last forever, what will I do then?
In a $2 like shop, R bought a plastic bottle but because it had a large neck, it lost a lot of water in the transition from tray to bucket. Then he suggested a plastic sauce bottle, and that actually works, although it does lose more water than what I am using. At least I have a replacement.
Come summer the air con is producing a lot more water and I wondered, can I go on like this?
My hours at work are long, as is my travelling time. However, I don't have children to look after, a dog to walk, a cat to cuddle, a bird to whistle to or a fish to stare at. While I take responsibility for my own breakfast and lunch, R cooks me an evening meal most nights, and since he has retired, he does the dishes too.
R does the housework, the ironing, although very little of that is mine, the shopping on his own when I am working on Saturday, and takes the recycling down to the rubbish room. I do the washing and drying and folding of clothes, and extra things like maintain range hood and air con filters, etc. along with all things tech and phone. But I am spoilt and we live very self indulgent lives.
So to save the replacement cost of the tray and element of $1000, plus saving perhaps $400 a year on electric bills, I have decided that I have a new job, that is keeping the water level in the tray down. In ten minutes I can extract five litres of water, say a gallon for you foreign folk. That is not much time and it doesn't have to be done every day.
One problem though, I sit on a chair to do it and the bending over the tray from a chair does not do good things for my delicate back. While I have planned this post in my head for a while, it just came to me tonight. One of the exercises suggested by my chiropractor is squatting, holding on to something for support. I have found after a while that I don't need the support by holding on to things, so I will squat to empty the water in the tray to a bucket. I think that will work well. Me and my plastic bottle and mop bucket are very well acquainted.