Putting harsh chemicals into your septic system can effect how it functions and may even stop functioning altogether. The septic system works by using key bacteria to keep it up and running you should always ensure that you use septic-safe detergent for your septic system.
If you are new to a septic system then always check the labels of the products that you buy and ask for advice from the installer of the tank if you need to. We do not want you to make costly mistakes with your septic system so will review the products that will work for your system.
This article takes a look at recognizing septic-safe detergent and analyzes the best products on the market. Usually, you will want one that has low levels of surfactants and does not produce excessive amounts of foam.
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What to Look Out for When Choosing Laundry Detergent for Septic Systems
A septic system requires regular maintenance and monitoring so that it works effectively in homes where wastewater does not drain into a sewer system.
Most septic systems should be pumped every 2-3 years and care shocks are taken to look after the system in the meantime, which means using the best detergents possible. Harmful chemicals will destroy the good bacteria that benefit the system and allow waste to build up that will affect the system.
You will want to consider the following factors when choosing a laundry detergent for a septic system.
Liquid Detergent vs. Powder
Ask everyone who has a septic system whether they use liquid detergent or powder and you are likely to get an array of answers. Some homeowners will only use liquid detergent and others swear by powder.
The truth is, it does not matter whether the detergent is liquid or powder as the most important factor is what ingredients are in the detergents.
Powdered detergents often contain powdered plastics that act as a filler and this can build up in the tank and cause problems so, for this reason, it is advisable to use liquid detergent although with regular maintenance you may get away with using powder.
If you choose a powder make sure it is biodegradable as this will not cause a build-up of filling materials and plastics. If you are choosing a liquid detergent ensure that it does not contain bleach or chlorine as these will be too harsh for your septic system.
You will see many commercial detergents with septic-safe labels on them. These products are designed to contain no ingredients that will degrade the septic system in your home so should be safe.
You may want to choose regular detergents that are not advertised as septic-safe but you need to pay attention to the ingredients if you do so. You should not use any of the following ingredients in your septic system:
- Artificial whiteners and brighteners
- Chemical preservatives
- Chlorine bleach
- Chemical surfactants, sulfates, and enzymes
- Chemical dyes and fragrances
- Synthetic foaming agents and thickeners
You should be safe when using biodegradable laundry detergents and any commercial detergents that use plant-based ingredients which you will find in any green or environmentally friendly stores.
You will find some level of bleach in a lot of commercial detergents but you should be careful as to how much you use if you have a septic system.
Some small levels of bleach will be ok if you are wanting to get rid of stubborn stains on whites. It is important to choose phosphate-free products, however.
10 of The Best Laundry Detergents for Septic Systems
ECOS Laundry Detergent
ECOS laundry detergent is an excellent biodegradable laundry detergent that is safe to use in your home septic system. It is an effective cleaner, it smells amazing and it is eco-friendly.
This is a concentrated detergent that can clean up to 100 washes and, most importantly, not is free of harmful chemicals and parabens so are safe for both your home and your skin.
This product has a built-in fabric softener so leaves your clothes feeling soft and comfortable and is very cost-effective.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Concentrated Laundry Detergent
This detergent earns major brownie points for being friendly to the environment and is another that is good for those with sensitive skin and children. It is unscented, which some people prefer, and can wash between 50 and 60 loads of laundry depending on what size bottle you buy.
We found this to be one of the most septic-safe detergents that are tough on stains despite it being kind to delicate skin.
Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Odor Blasters Laundry Detergent
A budget-friendly option that is great for cleaning laundry that is very dirty and smelly. Its odor-busting ingredients leave your clothes smelling clean and fresh and are especially good for sportswear.
This biodegradable detergent will clean up to 70 loads of laundry and is popular among homeowners with a septic system.
Method Free + Clear Laundry Detergent
While most biodegradable laundry products are ok to use on sensitive skin this scent-free product is especially friendly to those prone to dry skin and breakouts. If you don’t enjoy the strong odors that some detergents have or you have a very sensitive sense of smell then this is a good option for you.
Despite its delicate nature this detergent is tough on stains and will wash up to 66 washes without any problems.
Solimo Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent
This is a concentrated detergent that can clean an impressive 128 loads, making it very cost-effective, particularly for families who create a lot of washing. This brand makes a variety of detergents in different scents such as clean linen and lavender and you also have the option of a scent-free detergent.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent
This fabulous smelling verbena biodegradable detergent is friendly to septic systems and is very good at fighting stubborn stains.
There are lots of different scents that use natural essential oils but the verbena one is our favorite. This product comes in various sizes to suit all needs and budgets.
Dropps Stain and Odor Laundry Detergent Pods
If you like using pods rather than liquid detergent then Dropps Stain and Odor Laundry Detergent Pods are a great addition to your laundry room.
They offer convenience for busy homeowners and they create less mess as you simply pop the pod in with your washing rather than having to measure the detergent out.
You get 140 pods per box and they are available in a variety of scents made up of biodegradable ingredients. We like this product due to the 100% eco-friendly packaging and overall ethos of sustainability.
Charlie’s Soap Fragrance-Free Laundry Powder
For those who do prefer a powder Charlie’s Soap Fragrance, Free Laundry Powder will not harm your septic tank. This is an eco-friendly powder that does not contain fillers and is biodegradable and eco-friendly.
It comes in 2.64-pound pouches that clean up to 100 washes. The powder is suitable for all clothing types and does not create a lot of suds and residue as some powders can do.
Meliora Laundry Powder
Meliora is another brand that laundry powder that will not cause build-up in your septic system. Washing soda, baking soda, sodium cocoate, glycerin, and coconut oil are the only ingredients that are in this product meaning it is one of the most natural on the market.
While it does have natural credentials the packing is not as eco-friendly as we would like but it is an impressive product and one that will leave your clothes clean and fresh and your septic tank healthy.
Earth Breeze Laundry Sheets
Earth Breeze laundry sheets use non-toxic chemicals, are biodegradable, and will not kill the bacteria in your septic system. These sheets are great on white and light-colored clothing that has stains such as grass and tea as despite being eco-friendly and natural they are powerful on stains.
They are one of the best smelling products that we tried with lots of different scents to offer variety to your laundry. As a bonus, this company gives away 1% of their profits to their eco endeavors which gives you good eco-friendly points.
When it comes to doing your laundry when you have a septic tank you must read the labels to make sure it is safe to use. Using strong detergents that are packed full of toxins and chemicals can ruin the functionality of your septic system and cause it to break down altogether if you are unlucky.
Regular maintenance and using the correct eco-friendly and biodegradable products will ensure the smooth running of your system and leave you will clean and fresh washing.
Last update on 2023-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API