Which Laundry Detergents are Safe for Septic Systems?

 In Septic Knowledge Center

In the United States about 25 % of the homes use septic systems to process and treat household wastewater. While you should get your system checked out on a regular basis, there are a number of things you can do on a daily basis to keep your septic system running properly. This includes the types of things you flush down the toilet and the soaps you use. While we have talked in a previous article about what not to flush down the toilet, we haven’t talked about what detergents are safe for your system. Here are three things you should keep in mind when buying and using cleaners that will enter your septic tank.

What Type of Septic System Do You Have?

There are two main types septic systems, gravity powered and aerated systems. If you have a gravity powered system liquid laundry detergent is recommended. If you have an aerated system, you will want to stay with powered detergents. Generally these create less foam in the aeration chamber of your septic system. Make sure all detergents you buy have a label stating that the cleaner is safe for septic systems. While not always true, less expensive brands may have added fillers that could result in clogs in your system.

What is Surfactants, and Why Bad for Your System?

Surfactants is a substance which tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved. One of the best know is commercials for Dawn dish soap. The ability for the cleaner to disperse oil and grease is better for cleaning, as it helps to break it up. The reason these are bad for septic systems is because if you use too much they can leach out into the environment without being properly treated. So whats the alternative? Natural or oleochemical surfactants are made from plant oils and tend to generate less suds. These are safer and are a good option.

Biodegradable Detergents

Another tip to keep your septic running properly is the use of biodegradable detergents. Make sure detergent that you purchase for laundry has a label stating it is biodegradable. Also be sure to use the suggested amount. Adding extra detergent to laundry doesn’t get them extra clean! Some examples of cleaners you may use that are not good choices for a home with a septic system include: Ammonia, bleach and drain cleaner. Ammonia and bleach can be very bad for a septic tank. Small amounts, say what you would use for normal cleaning should be ok. But pouring cleaner into a toilet or down a drain may cause damage to the helpful natural bacteria in your septic tank.

If you have questions about a product, need to get your septic tank cleaned and the system inspected, give us a call. We are the area’s top septic system company. Our service area includes Punta Gorda, North Port, Sarasota, Arcadia, Port Charlotte, Ft. Myers, Boca Grand, Englewood, Venice and more. Complete a request for a free estimate online, or give our office a call!

 

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