Cleaning Products and Septic Tanks: What’s Safe?

septic tank emergency

The wastewater from your home needs to flow into your septic tank easily. Septic tanks can withstand a lot of chemical corrosion. However, it is important to know how chemicals affect your tank. Everyday household products ultimately make their way into the septic tank. If they are not considered safe, their presence might cause an emergency.


Why Do Chemicals Harm Septic Tanks?

A septic tank contains over 100 chemical pollutants. Many of these come from cleaning products that are not disposed of correctly. Products that contain toxins that will definitely harm the system. Therefore, harmful chemicals should not be poured down the drain in large doses. This will contaminate the beneficial bacteria that breaks down wastewater.


What Products Should Avoid the Septic Tank?

The average household contains approximately 3 to 5 gallons of products that are harmful to a person’s health. If these kinds of products reach the septic tank, you may have some issues.  For this reason, use the product until the bottles are empty.  Or, discard them at a waste management facility.  Products to avoid include:

  • Fuels
  • Motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Solvent-based lubricants
  • Pesticides
  • Lawn care products
Septic Tank Maintenance


Is Anything Safe?

Some products are in fact safe to pour down the drain of your kitchen sink. Ammonia, bleach, and laundry detergents don’t usually threaten a septic tank’s performance. These products become diluted when they finally reach the tank. Disinfectants, bathroom cleaners, and pine cleaners are other good examples of cleaners that are “septic tank safe”. Why is this? These cleaners often contain ammonium compounds like alkyl dimethyl or benzyl ammonium chloride.  Products like these are safe for septic tanks and groundwater. Before disposal, you should obviously read the directions on the label.

In conclusion, it is important that you are careful about what chemicals make their way into the tank. Our team wants you and your family to be safe. If you have any questions about maintenance of your septic tank, the Cesspool Pros are here for you.