Although you may not realize it, your septic system works hard for you every day treating all the wastewater coming from your home. Every flush of the toilet, or water flowing down the drain after a shower, or load of laundry is treated by the hard-working microbes in your septic system. Septic tanks require a delicate balance of bacteria and enzymes to break down waste. In return, the bacterial action in the septic tank needs some regular care and maintenance to keep it healthy and in working order.
However, you may be disrupting that delicate process by using harsh dishwashing detergents or laundry soaps. The first way to care for your septic system is to pay close attention to the ingredients contained in the products that you send down the drains. Septic systems, just like pipes, can become clogged. Powdered detergents, particularly when used in large quantities, can clog your septic system and, in severe cases, block drains the same way sludge and debris can clog the water pipes in your home.
When these materials enter your drain pipes and septic tank, they can settle to the sides and build up over time. Eventually, you will have a clog that requires professional removal. However, liquid detergents have far fewer supplemental and filler ingredients than dry detergents.
Liquid laundry detergents will dissolve completely. If you take the time to read labels carefully, you will find some products are available that do not disturb the enzyme balance of your drainfield. Antibacterial soap is made to kill bacteria.
While this may be great for cleaning, it is terrible for your septic system. By its very nature, antibacterial soaps also kill the bacteria inside your septic tank. While a single use of antibacterial soap has little to no effect, using antibacterial products on a regular basis in your home can harm the bacteria living in your septic tank and will seriously affect their performance. Phosphorous is a common ingredient used in all types of detergents because it helps to clean and remove grime at the same time.
Flushing phosphates into your septic tank can kill bacteria and enzymes that reside in your tank and are used to decompose waste. Phosphates can filter through your septic drainfield, eventually, enter the surrounding soil, and transferring into nearby waterways, killing fish, plants, and other wildlife and even causing algae blooms. Detergent manufacturers do not usually list how much phosphate is in their product.
If you read labels, you may find products that list they are free of phosphates. By design, household cleaners are harsh and dangerous. They are intended to break down grease and dirt and kill germs. The more powerful and toxic the cleanser, the more harmful it can be to your septic system. Everything from toilet bowl cleaners and sink or bathtub sprays to hand soaps can contribute to the destruction of good bacteria in the septic tank.
However, trying to find septic safe products is not an easy task and can be confusing. Using septic tank friendly chemicals can prevent expensive repairs and avoid serious health problems. Most all-natural cleaners are septic safe. Non-chlorine, non-ammonia, non-antibacterial, non-toxic, and biodegradable cleaning products may not only be better for some members of your family as well as the environment, but they will also reduce the cleaning agents that enter the septic system.
Keeping your septic tank healthy can extend its useful life saving you time, money, and headaches. Learn more about proper septic tank care here.
The team of experienced and trained professionals at FloHawks have been maintaining septic systems for more than 50 years. We recommend the use of liquid detergent over powder detergent options. To keep your septic tank happy and healthy, FloHawks recommends limiting the use of antibacterial cleaners in your home because bacteria serve a very important role in your septic system.
We recommend you use the least toxic household cleansers possible and that you avoid products containing phosphates as well. Call FloHawks today at to schedule your septic system maintenance or use our online scheduler. Please leave this field empty. For any questions, to schedule a service or to request a quote, fill out the form or give Flohawks a call today!I see on Google that powder laundry detergents does clog pipes but I'm a little skeptical since it dissolves.
What do yall think? It probably does. I do know that powdered detergents gum up the works inside your washing machine. My brother was a repairman, and after 40 years on the job he says one thing he knows for sure, he would never use a powder laundry detergent. It never completely dissolves, creates hard deposits, and eventually causes problems for the machine's motor. I also found liquid like downy water softener added to the rinse cycle was clogging my drain.
I just use the dryers sheets now. Washing in cold water could though. I buy liquids, tho, because I don't like the streaks that some powders leave on clothing, when it does not dissolve. I also use only cold water. The powdered detergent doesn't dissolve well in cold water.
Use the warm water wash and you won't have that problem. There is no doubt that it can adhere to pipes in a washing machine. The cold water that is supposed to wash the detergent from the dispensing tray doesn't dissolve the powder.
It ends up a smelly mess. Which is why it's best to sling the powder into the drum on top of the laundry. I use gel detergent as this stuff dissolves better and starts cleaning earlier. It still goes in the drum in a small dispenser. Answer Save.
How to Use Laundry Detergent Pods Correctly
Fascinated Lv 6. Favorite Answer. Liquid soaps does especially when washing in cold water. I just use the dryers sheets now, I never found issues with soap powder to be a problem in pipes.
How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer. Tulip Lv 7. Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.Plumbing problems can be a nightmare, especially if you have a clogged drain.General Pipe Cleaners Model DRZ Cleaner - Compact Machine Clears Clogged Drains
Before you attempt to make an appointment with a plumber, try out the dish or laundry detergent for a clogged drain method and see if that clears everything up. You may be tempted to reach for a chemical drain cleaner, but sometimes those products can cause more of a nuisance than trying to clean the drain pipe buildup yourself. According to Cabrillo Plumbingit is best to stay away from chemical drain cleaners because they can damage your pipes, and they can be a safety hazard.
Drain cleaners use chemicals like acid and lye. These chemicals heat up when they come into contact with clogs, and this chemical reaction can damage your pipes.
If you have PVC pipes or older pipes, they can easily corrode if you tend to use chemical cleaners frequently. Chemical cleaners can also be a safety risk because if you accidentally get cleaner on yourself, they can burn your skin. Also, toxic fumes can be dangerous if you inhale them. The best thing about using dish detergent is that you don't have to be super cautious when using the product because it won't cause any harm.
There are a few things you need to know before using this method though. If there is a complete stagnation of water, you won't be able to use the dish detergent to reach the clog. Instead, you'll have to remove the clog with a snake, plunger or other items.
Another tip is that you can use dish detergent for a clogged drain with any other mechanical method or the baking soda and vinegar method. If you unclog a drain with Dawn, the dishwashing soap will not cause a corrosive effect on the pipelines, so you can use this method as many times as you need.
If you happened to use any chemical drain cleaners before using dish detergent, then you should not use this method. You can use different types of dishwashing liquid, but you don't want to use a chemical drain cleaner followed up by a dishwashing liquid. When you're using the dish or laundry detergent clogged drain method, make sure to use hot or boiling water to flush the drain thoroughly. Hot water works better than cold water at removing clogs.
There are two methods if you're attempting to clean drain pipe buildup. Both of these methods only require hot water and a liquid detergent. For the first method, you're going to boil 1 liter of water and pour it in the drain. This will help loosen up the clogged drain. Then pour 1 cup of liquid detergent and wait a few minutes. Follow this up with another liter of boiling water poured into the drain.
This should remove the clog in the drain, but if it doesn't, you can repeat as many times as you need. For the second method, you're going to lather up a bit of detergent in a small amount of lukewarm water.Have been hearing that pods will eventually clog pipes.
Is this true? Not sure if you mean a laundry det pod, such as the pre-packaged cubes people use with conventional washers, pr this device, the POD. Either way, the answer would be "no.
Using any kind of detergent in the … see more Not sure if you mean a laundry det pod, such as the pre-packaged cubes people use with conventional washers, pr this device, the POD.
Using any kind of detergent in the water before it goes down your pipes is actually an anti-clogging mechanism.
How to Unclog Drains With Dawn Detergent
Minerals in hard water can cause deposits in pipes, but detergent softens the water. In regards to the detergent pods, those would surely be too strong for this device, but they would not cause clogging either, as they are made of detergent.
I was inquiring about dissolving pods such as Tide pods. Thanks tho. See all questions about this product. I have been having trouble with soap period clogging up my sewer line. I have a stopped up sinks, stopped up washing machine line and also dishwasher. I think even the soap that is in gelatin form must clog the drains up. Anyway I have trouble trouble trouble. I do not know about pods just All liquid and Walmart brand liquid dish washer soap and having tons of problems.
I have been using liquid for a while now. My pipes are still cloged. Leave a Comment Do you find this helpful? Yes No. Yes they will speaking from personal experience.
The granular part of the pod does not fully dissolve and will eventually build up in the sewer pipe. In my case it happened at the street t coupling where the washer and dishwasher converge. Was able to punch through it with a snake. There was white detergent clumps all over the garage floor.
This is NOT an urban legend. We only use liquid detergent now and have not had any more issues. Clog what pipes? If you're talking about drain pipes I can't even see how that is possible. Somebody is being silly on purpose. I have no problems with Clogged pipes in anyway. Comments Comments Leave a Comment 0 of 1 found this helpful.Pour a cup of laundry detergent in the tank of the toilet.
The detergent will sink to the bottom and remain in the tank. Each time you flush, a sweet aroma will be released in the tank, and the whole bathroom will smell amazing; if you have gain fireworks as well, you can use that as well. It will slowly dissolve and will even last longer. Credit to countrydiaries. In the post, two very different housecleaning substances were suggested — laundry detergent presumably of the liquid varietywhich is used to clean clothes, and fabric softener, which is used to scent and soften clothing and linens.
In the photograph, the person shown was pouring fabric softener into the toilet tank. The sole benefit of the practice supposedly involved bathroom scent, which could also be addressed through the use of scented candles, air fresheners, wax warmers, and related home fragrance products.
Another element of the claim is that it recommended either laundry detergent or fabric softener as an additive to toilet tanks. Laundry detergent is designed to be water soluble, with liquid formulas breaking down quicker than powder forms. Liquid laundry detergent will dissolve no matter what, although using too much of some brands might still leave blue globs or spots on your clothing. If you wash your fabrics in the middle of a hole in a frozen lake, for instance, you may want to opt for liquid detergent.
All jokes aside, unless your water is super cold, liquid and powder detergents can both perform equally well in various temperatures of water. The advent and popularity of laundry detergent pods forced more people doing laundry to consider the mechanisms of machine washing.
Even surrounded by a harder-t0-dissolve membrane, most malfunctioning pods broke down to some degree. In contrast, fabric softener is not designed to be water soluble in the same fashion, and it is designed to leave a residue on clothing — which is how it leaves fabrics scented.
Advice about removing build-up of detergent and odor on clothing typically involves eschewing fabric softener despite its scent-imparting properties, for that reason:. In actuality, detergents and additives have specific properties and behave in discrete ways, and understanding precisely how they do their jobs results in at least some level of optimized result.
While fabric softeners offer benefits, there are also some drawbacks. The emulsifiers that lend softness to clothes can also leave behind a coating that renders towels less absorbent, and that can trap odors in clothes, especially athletic gear. White vinegar can serve as a substitute for fabric softener, and has the benefit of also acting as a natural deodorizer, which makes using a half cup of it during the rinse cycle of the wash a great choice for both towels and gym gear, which tend to retains smells.
Most of it is highly and pleasantly scented, prompting us to want to use it whenever we can. That claim was misleading, as detergent dissolves in water and fabric softener is hydrophobic, leaving a film on clothing and sometimes in washing machines or dryers. Another objection raised by commenters involved pets like dogs who drank from toilet bowls, and claims that the practice might cause them to fall ill.Due to its popularity and helpfulness, we decided to republish this post first written in We had a major appliance repair service come out to look at our dishwasher.
The experience left me feeling embarrassed, humbled, but also empowered and ready to help others not make this costly mistake. Our dishwasher is only 2 years old and we just had some major repair work done in our kitchen due to its sneaky leaking over a long period of time which caused mold. So when my husband realized it was leaking again, we decided to go with the cheaper option and contact the repair service to come out.
Since neither of us know anything about dishwashers other than me knowing the proper way to load and unloadwe thought this was cheaper than purchasing a new dishwasher or paying the insurance deductible for more repair work.
To my surprise, the entire service call and charge could have been avoided if we would have just followed these 7 simple rules:. It is very important to know what kind of water you have in your home. For the purpose of the dishwasher, you need to know how soft your water is so that you can use the right amount of detergent.
Just imagine how much money we could have been saving in dishwasher detergent! When you use too much detergent you risk etching your dishes and glasses. More on the etching later. This helps to break up the food particles that are left on the dishes. You can help your dishwasher to do its job by running the hot water at your sink for a short period of time prior to starting the dishwasher cycle.
I had to fess up when he showed me the correct way to load the silverware. Who knew the little grid on the top of the silverware basket was to hold the silverware in place! This is so the silverware has enough space for the water and suds to move freely between, making sure everything gets squeaky clean.
My husband and I try our best to be smart financially, but we also would like to be good stewards for the environment and our health. Because of this, we made a compromise and I started using a biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-toxic brand.
There was no difference between our old brand that we purchased at a large warehouse store and the new healthier option. I can deal with this, as I am the one that always cleans it out and wipes it down. If you are not that type of person, I would suggest sticking with your regular powder or gel-pack detergent.
We frequently receive questions on the safety of dishwasher pods. There are some sporadic reports on social media about people experiencing clogged pipes from use. Snopes fact checked pod safety claims inthey determined the claims were unproven. As part of their review, they reached out to Roto-Rooter to see if they had seen an increase in clogs with the increased usage in pods.
Amount of Detergent Be aware of how much detergent you use! This was actually the reason our dishwasher was leaking this time! The amount of detergent we used created too many soap suds, which then caused an overflow of condensation and water.
The water had nowhere else to go except for out the front door of the dishwasher and onto our kitchen floor. Also, a note here about the etching. If you use too much detergent this can speed up the process of etching which is a cloudy film on your glassware and is impossible to remove.You may need to move your machine out of the way to access the drain pipe.
A few different methods can clear the drain pipe of debris and get it back to draining water the way it was designed to. Locate your drain behind or under the washing machine and detach the tubing or pipe to access the actual drain.
Mix up the unclogging solution according to the manufacturer's guidelines, or pour it straight into the drain according to the instructions. Let it sit for the designated length of time and then either run the machine or dump a bucket of water down the drain to see if the blockage is removed.
Push the tip of the coil down into the drain and continually push until you reach the blockage. From there, you can manually turn the snake using the handles on the opposite end until you get through the blockage. Use the off-hand attachment extra handle for your drill so you can use both hands in case the snake catches on something within the pipe. Turn the snake counterclockwise as well as clockwise and pull the snake in and out of the drain several times to clear tough clogs.
If you are dealing with an overflow drain in the center of a room, the same principles apply, although you won't disconnect a drain pipe or tube. Simply remove the cover plate with a screwdriver to access the drain directly so you can insert the snake. If the problem still exists after using the snake, you may have a broken or caved-in pipe, in which case a professional needs to be consulted.
If other drains in the house, such as a sink, dishwasher, bathtub, toilet or shower, don't function, there may be pipe damage at the junction with the main sewer branch. Call in a plumber to assess the damage and see if excavation is needed. Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing. Skip to main content. Flush the pipe with water to clear the blockage after the snake has cleared a path.
Tip If you are dealing with an overflow drain in the center of a room, the same principles apply, although you won't disconnect a drain pipe or tube.
Warning Wear safety gear when working with chemicals. About the Author Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.