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Do Household Cleaning Products Affect Your Septic Tank?

If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party this week, it’s likely you’ll do some cleaning to get your home looking nice for your guests. If you have a septic system, you’ll need to monitor the types of cleaning products you use so that you don’t cause damage. You may be wondering how in the world can cleaning products hurt anything. Well, your septic tank relies on bacteria to break down waste as part of the wastewater recycling process. Unfortunately, there are toxic ingredients in some cleaning products that kill these working microorganisms. Let’s take a closer look at some of these harsh chemicals so you can be sure you’re not using a harmful product.

Household Cleaners
If you are not using a large quantity, most household cleaners are ok in diluted amounts. However, you need to minimize your use of things like bleaches, disinfectants, and ammonium because they kill bacteria in your septic system. Antibacterial soaps are also not recommended because they will kill the good bacteria. It’s a good idea to check labels for environmentally safe ingredients and opt for biodegradable brands.

Dishwashers and Washing Machines
Cleaning agents for dishes and laundry are a little different but similar rules apply. These detergents often contain surfactants and phosphates which are also dangerous to your tank and the environment. Again, reach for biodegradable varieties and choose liquid forms. Powder detergents contain clay which is harder for a septic tank to break down and result in clogs. Fortunately, there are several “green” detergents available as a liquid on the market now.

Be Anti Antibacterial
We realize it is sometimes hard to part with a brand that works well that your mother and grandmother also used. However if you have a septic system, your beloved cleaner could end up costing you lots of time and money in repairs. The good news is there are plenty of safe and effective options out there, and your septic system will thank you for making the decision to switch. In addition to environmentally-friendly brands from the store, you can also create homemade cleaners very inexpensively. For example, baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil are 3 safe ingredients that make great household cleaners. For more information on products that are safe for your septic, Contact Wind River Environmental.

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