Protecting Your Septic Tank from Harmful Chemicals

July 10, 2023
Protecting Your Septic Tank from Harmful Chemicals

Septic tanks are an essential part of many homes, particularly in rural areas where town supplied

sewage systems may not be available. They function by using naturally occurring bacteria to break down waste, turning it into a form that is safe to be released back into the environment. 

However, many common household products can harm these beneficial bacteria, disrupting the function of the septic tank. Fortunately, there are many alternatives that can be used to avoid this issue.

All-purpose cleaner: Use baking soda. Apply it to a damp cloth to clean surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

Toilet cleaner: Make a paste from borax and lemon juice for cleaning toilet bowls.

Grout and mildew cleaner: Dip an old toothbrush in white vinegar and scrub the tile grout to remove mildew and mould.

Dishwashing detergent: Use liquid or powdered pure soap and vinegar for washing dishes in your sink. When using your dishwasher, try baking soda in the soap powder compartment and vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser.

Pot cleaner: To remove burnt-on food, cover the burnt area with water, add two teaspoons of baking soda and bring to the boil. Leave to cool and scrape off.

Bleach alternative: Use one cup of lemon juice in half a bucket of water and soak overnight.

Stain remover: Apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the stain and let it evaporate before washing.

Laundry detergent: Choose a detergent with zero phosphate and chlorine content, and the lowest sodium level.

Please note that borax is available from most pharmacies and eucalyptus oil from most health stores. The key to maintaining a healthy septic system is to use biodegradable products suitable for on-site wastewater systems and minimize the use of chemicals. 

It is best to ensure these substances do not enter your tank.  

  • harsh cleaners such as chemical bleaches
  • nappy cleaner
  • antibacterial soap/cleaners
  • oils, fats and grease
  • chlorine
  • paints
  • medicines
  • pesticides
  • food scraps
  • coffee grounds
  • tea bags
  • sanitary products
  • cleaning wipes/rags
  • nappies.

Do all this and you will keep your septic tank in its ideal stage.  Plus if you need your septic tank pumped out or just give the team at Drain Ninjas a call today on 0800 475 008.

Reference – Help protect our special places by maintaining your septic tank or high-tech on-site wastewater systems – A homeowner’s guide.  Auckland Council

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