septic-safe cleaners

If you have a septic system, it’s important to know what cleaning products are safe to use.

Is Borax safe to use in a home with a septic system? What about bleach?

Using too many chemicals will affect the bacterial balance needed for a healthy septic tank.

When the balance is off, problems arise. Systems start to clog, and the drain field malfunctions.

Everyone has to clean, so for the best results, use septic-safe cleaners.

  • Septic systems can handle small amounts of some chemical-based cleaning products. Don’t go overboard. To be on the safe side, use natural cleaners instead.
  • The best option is to use products with a label stating they are safe to use with septic systems. The Environmental Protection Agency assigns numbers to chemicals and pesticides, and that number will help determine its safety.
  • Environmentally friendly products, as well as biodegradable cleaners, are safe for septic systems.
  • When using laundry detergent, the best are phosphate-free (low sudsing), nontoxic, biodegradable, and non-chlorine based. These cleaners do not have the harsh chemicals that will affect the bacteria in a septic tank. Cleaners with phosphates kill the good bacteria and enzymes in septic tanks.
  • Ammonia products are safe for use in septic systems, in small amounts. Ammonia does not kill bacteria in septic tanks. Do not mix chemicals, such as bleach, with ammonia.
  • Most water-based cleaners (those with water as the first ingredient) are safe for use in septic tanks.
  • Drain cleaner, even septic-tank safe products, should be used sparingly to avoid damage to your septic system. Do not use foam drain cleaners, only liquid.
  • Some products that you already use and have around the house are safe for your septic system. Vinegar (white vinegar and apple cider vinegar), Borax, OxiClean, and baking soda are some products that can be used to clean very well and be septic-system safe. Oxidized bleaches are also a less hazardous alternative to chlorine bleach.
  • Using Epsom salts in a toilet can be beneficial to your septic tank’s drain field, aiding in plant growth because of its increase of magnesium in the soil.
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