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General Care: Septic System Friendly Detergents

Posted by SepticWorx on

In the United States, around 25 percent of residential properties use a septic system to handle their sewage and water disposal. While that isn’t the biggest percentage when you estimate that from the U.S. population of 323 million people, it’s a much bigger number than you originally thought. Essentially, whatever issues you come across with your system, there will be information out there about how to fix it, how to understand it, and how to avoid further issues. Access SepticWorx LLC if you're in need of septic tank supplies. If you’re attempting to avoid issues before they become a problem (recommended), then check out these detergent and laundry tricks to keep your septic filters and the entire system in tip-top shape.

Water Usage Tips

Your septic filter is constantly at work, and your laundry adds quite a load to that already hefty pile of todos. So, to start, try to limit your loads per day down to one or two. Spread out the week's laundry to relieve the pressure. If you’d really like to prevent further maintenance or replacement of any of the parts of your system, then try purchasing a high-efficiency washer. This is a smart financial decision, as your washer is much less expensive to upgrade than it is to replace your abused septic system. These nifty high-efficiency washers use 15 gallons rather than the average 40-gallon load from your current top load washer.

Where The Water Goes

This tip will be a little harder to execute as it may require a plumber. See if you can adjust your laundry wastewater into the septic tank instead of the septic system drainfield. This is because all of that soap scum can plug the soil pores and actually cause your entire system to fail. Even though it’s a little more inconvenient, it’s probably one of the most important septic tank life extenders.

Soap Usage

If you follow the directions on the package when you pour soap into your machine, then you’re probably doing fine. Your pipes are equipped to carry the appropriate amounts of those things and dispose of them. If you’re going overboard, however, that’s a different scenario entirely. Quite a few of the common detergents you can pick off the shelf have high concentrations of nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants. This is the chemical that makes your detergent effective because it pulls the soil particles off the fabric of your clothing. If you over pour on these chemicals, your septic tank won’t be capable of pulling all of them out of the water supply and it can then damage the groundwater and surface water supplies. The other thing to be cautious about is using popular powdered detergent types.They’re capable of forming clogs in septic systems and reducing septic tank processing powers and speed. In severe cases, this powder can coalesce in the bottom and block your septic drain, which is disastrous. This occurs when the powdered detergent you’re using contains a lot of fillers or carriers. The filler you’ll really want to worry about is called montmorillonite clay, which is commonly used to seal soils. Thus, it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes level intellect for you to deduce why you definitely don’t want that in your drains, let alone your septic system- the only thing separating you and your home from rivers of septic water. The solution to either of these issues is to just use a single dose pod of detergent, much like you would with a dishwasher. The less popular, but certainly greener, option is to use homemade laundry products because they won’t have soil clogging fillers.

Recipe for Homemade Liquid Detergent:

This type of soap is best for cold water washes because there’s no powder to dissolve.


  • Bar of Pure Soap, or 1 cup flakes of soap
  • Borax
  • Baking soda
  • Sodium carbonate


Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater for one cup of soap flakes, or purchase regular soap flakes. Add to a saucepan and mix with 4 cups of water. Stir this mixture on medium heat until the soap melts. Then, combine the melted soap flakes mixture with 1 cup baking soda, ½ cup borax, 1 cup sodium carbonate, and two gallons of hot water in a five-gallon bucket. Be sure to wear gloves during this process, as the sodium carbonate could irritate your skin. Stir everything and cover it the new mixture. Let it sit to allow it to sit overnight.

Use two tablespoons per load for a great, safe wash for your septic system.

Catch our next blog for more septic tank management tips. We’ll cover septic tank cleaning products, as well as what plants you should avoid planting so as not to upset the equilibrium of your septic tank. If you’re in need of septic chlorine tablets or chemicals, be sure to think of SepticWorx LLC as your most convenient access to septic tank supplies. Contact us if you have any questions about our products—we’d be happy to help you find what you need.