Some household cleaners can be toxic not only for your family, but for your septic system as well. Many of the most commonly used household cleaners are known to kill bacteria, but when used in large quantities they can also create imbalance in your septic system and cause clogging, drain field failure, and pollute the ground water. There are several safer options that will also be safer for your family. 


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Unsafe Household Cleaners

Bleach is a chemical used frequently inside many American homes, especially when trying to kill off viruses or bacteria, and when used as instructed this is harmless to your septic system. You want to make sure it is diluted when going down your drains, as well as not used for every household chore. Bleach can be substituted for Borax, which is a little more gentle but still a powerful cleaner. Ammonia is another safe alternative to bleach. The most harmful of the household cleaners that we see are ones such as Draino or Liquid Plumber. Cleaners like this have corrosive chemicals in them that can destroy your septic system over time. If you are experiencing trouble with clogged drains, it is best to use a snake or plunger to unclog them rather than a store bought chemical.


Safe Household Cleaners

Ideally, you would be able to locate a cleaner that clearly indicated “septic safe” or “septic friendly”, however these tags can be hard to find. Other indicators that a cleaner is safe for your septic system is if it is environmentally-friendly, phosphate free, or biodegradable. These types of cleaning products are usually free of primary active ingredients of harsh chemicals that can throw off the balance and health of your septic system. Oil or seed- based cleaners, as well as citrus-based are also safe for your system. Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning line is one example of this type of cleaning product. Any water-based cleaning product can also be used without upsetting your septic system. These types of products tend to be free of harsh solvents which are acid-based and can damage the ecosystem of your tank.


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Natural Household Cleaners

Some other safe and natural alternatives to store-bought cleaners are products found inside your home. You can use vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice to clean your entire house. Vinegar is an excellent stain-remover and cleans hardwood floors like a charm. Baking soda eliminates odors and can be used in your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and toilets. Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and also smells amazing as you use it. All of these products are more than safe for your septic system and provide the safest option for your family as well – especially those of you with toddlers who lick any surface at any given time. 


If you haven’t had your septic system pumped recently or just want some professional advice as to the health of your tank, give Henson Septic Services a call at 1-706-949-1460. We’re also available through email at For expert septic system maintenance, inspection, and repair, we’re the answer for Northeast Georgia homeowners!