While septic systems offer many benefits, they also require special care to keep them functioning properly. One of the most important factors to consider is the type of laundry detergent used. Unfortunately, not all laundry detergents are septic system friendly. The question then arises, what is the worst laundry detergent for septic systems?
The worst laundry detergents for septic systems are those that contain harsh chemicals, high levels of phosphates, and artificial fragrances. These ingredients can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in a septic system, leading to clogs, backups, and other problems. Some specific examples of worst laundry detergents for septic systems include those that contain bleach, chlorine, optical brighteners, and enzyme cleaners.
In this article, we will dive into the ingredients and properties that make a laundry detergent unsuitable for septic systems and provide a list of the worst offenders.
- Worst laundry detergent for septic systems and their impact on the environment
- Is laundry detergent safe for septic systems?
- The best and worst laundry detergents for septic systems
- What will ruin a septic system?
Worst laundry detergent for septic systems and their impact on the environment
The worst laundry detergents for septic systems are those that contain harmful chemicals and ingredients that can have a negative impact on the environment.
When these detergents are used, they can cause harm to the bacteria in a septic system, which are responsible for breaking down waste and keeping the system functioning properly.
One of the most common culprits in laundry detergents is phosphates, which can lead to the overgrowth of algae in waterways and contribute to eutrophication, a process that results in the death of aquatic life.
Phosphates are also harmful to septic systems because they can disrupt the balance of bacteria, leading to clogs and backups.
Another ingredient that is harmful to septic systems and the environment is bleach. Bleach can kill bacteria, including the helpful bacteria in a septic system that is responsible for breaking down waste.
As a result, the system can become overwhelmed, leading to clogs and backups.
Artificial fragrances in laundry detergents can also be harmful to the environment. These fragrances can release harmful chemicals into the air and water, which can harm wildlife and plant life.
To minimize the impact of laundry detergents on the environment, it’s important to choose detergents that are labeled as “septic safe” or “low sudsing”.
These detergents are specifically designed to be gentle on septic systems and the environment, and they typically use biodegradable ingredients that break down easily in the environment.
Is laundry detergent safe for septic systems?
To determine if a laundry detergent is safe for septic systems, look for labels that say “septic safe” or “low sudsing.” These detergents are designed to be gentle on septic systems and typically use biodegradable ingredients that are less likely to cause harm.
If you have a septic system, it’s also a good idea to use a low-suds laundry detergent and avoid using large quantities of laundry detergent, as excess suds can lead to clogs and backups.
Below you can find a list of those laundry detergents that I do not recommend and those that I gladly use without fear of harming my septic tank.
The best and worst laundry detergents for septic systems
A. List of laundry detergents that should be avoided
- All Mighty Pacs: This detergent contains artificial fragrances, dyes, and other harsh chemicals that can disrupt the balance of bacteria in a septic system and cause clogs and backups.
- Gain Original: This detergent contains high levels of phosphates and artificial fragrances that can be harmful to septic systems.
- Downy Liquid Fabric Softener: Contains ingredients that can clog pipes and harm the bacteria in septic systems.
B. List of laundry detergents that are safe for septic systems
- Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder: A plant-based, biodegradable powder for a thorough cleaning.
- ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent: A plant-based, biodegradable detergent with a natural, hypoallergenic formula.
- Cleancult Laundry Detergent Pods: Convenient, biodegradable pods made with plant-based ingredients and free of fragrances and dyes.
What will ruin a septic system?
There are several things that can ruin a septic system, including:
- Chemical products, including harsh detergents, can kill the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank and damage the system.
- Overuse of water: Overloading a septic system with too much water too quickly can cause the tank to overflow and damage the drain field.
- Flushing inappropriate items: Flushing non-degradable items such as wipes, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and other items can clog the pipes and damage the septic system.
- Tree roots: Tree roots can grow into the pipes and cause blockages that can disrupt the flow of wastewater and damage the system.
- Improper maintenance: Neglecting routine maintenance, such as pumping the septic tank, can lead to clogs, backups, and other problems.
- Driving or parking on the drain field: Driving or parking heavy vehicles on the drain field can compact the soil, causing damage to the pipes and making it difficult for water to filter through.
Check this section to find out what else our readers asked about the worst laundry detergent for septic systems.
What are the worst laundry detergents to use?
The worst laundry detergents to use are conventional laundry detergents that contain ingredients such as surfactants, enzymes, fragrances, and synthetic brighteners that can harm septic systems.
What detergents are safe for septic tanks?
Safe detergents for septic tanks are biodegradable, plant-based detergents free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and brighteners are safe for septic systems.
Can you use powdered laundry detergent with a septic system?
Powdered laundry detergents can be safe for septic systems as long as they are formulated for septic systems and contain the appropriate ingredients.
In conclusion, it is essential to choose the right laundry detergent when using a septic system. The use of the wrong detergent can harm the delicate balance of bacteria and enzymes in the system, leading to clogs, backups, and other issues.
Some of the worst laundry detergents for septic systems include Gain, Downy, All, Bounce, Fab, Arm & Hammer, Cheer, OxiClean, and Purex.
On the other hand, there are several laundry detergents that are safe for septic systems, such as Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent, Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda, Attitude Super Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Method 4x Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Laundry Detergent, Maid of Heaven Laundry Detergent, and Cleancult Laundry Detergent Pods.
When choosing a laundry detergent for a septic system, it is important to read the ingredients label and look for products that are biodegradable, plant-based, and free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and brighteners.