Septic Safe Products: What's the best laundry detergent for septic systems?

June 11, 2021

Septic Safe Products: What's the best laundry detergent for septic systems?

Now that we are so close to summertime cottage season is almost upon us! If you are one of the lucky ones who owns or rents a spot on the water, you'll want to keep the property in great shape. One of the differences between having a house in the city/suburbs and a cottage is that rural properties tend to have septic systems, while urban dwellings are normally connected to a sewer system. If you are unfamiliar with a septic system, you might be surprised to learn that some products can be damaging, including your favourite cleaning brands. Here are some of the key things to look for when choosing your laundry detergent and cleaning brands:

Why is this important?
In simple terms, a septic tank is basically an onsite sewage facility. The wastewater flows into a septic drain field while the sludge and scum should stay in the tank where it is periodically removed by a professional. By using a biodegradable product, less harmful waste will be created.

Why is this important?
Septic systems are not designed to filter out many toxic chemicals. In fact, disinfectants can seriously harm and destroy the healthy bacteria needed in the tank. Avoid petroleum-based chemicals such as fuels, lubricants, pesticides or solvent-based products.

What products should be used with a septic system?

Toilet paper: Use toilet paper labelled biodegradable, recycled and septic safe. Do not flush anything else including feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towels, cat litter or food waste. These items could clog your septic system.

Detergents: Use a biodegradable product that is low-sudsing, phosphate-free and concentrated.

Cleaning products: Most all-natural cleaners should be septic-safe. Make sure they are labelled as non-chlorine, non-ammonia, non-antibacterial, non-toxic and septic safe.

As you can see, once you know which products to avoid, having a property with a septic system isn't that daunting! Just read the labels on anything that might end up there. After all, you should be enjoying your time at the cottage and not stuck worrying about your septic system!

Images courtesy of:

Jonathan Borba

Martin Sanchez

 Charlie's Soap 

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