Best Cleaning Products for Septic Tanks and Ones to Avoid

Ensuring that you’re using the best products for septic tanks is integral to maintaining a healthy clean septic system. And knowing the cleaning products you should avoid is just as valuable.

You might not know this, but your septic tank needs active bacteria to keep it running seamlessly. So making sure to choose septic-safe cleaning products will actually extend the life of your septic system. Many products used for cleaning can kill off all the good bacteria of your septic tank’s ecosystem. That’s why you need to know which products to avoid. It’s just as important as regular septic tank maintenance.

Here, you’ll find out what products you should be avoiding when it comes to cleaning. And whether there are any septic-safe cleaners out there.

Things You Should Avoid

You probably already know some things that shouldn’t ever enter your septic tank system, such as; lubricants, petroleum-based fuels, lead-based paints, and car maintenance products. Along with these, there are also household cleaning products that you should be steering clear of. A popular example would be anti-bacterial soaps. Look for triclosan in the ingredient list, and if you see it, just know that a tiny bit of triclosan will kill large amounts of healthy bacteria in your septic tank.


Small amounts of bleach are needed for some regions of the home. But make sure to use it sparingly. Large amounts of bleach will kill off the bacteria in your septic tank. And while you don’t want bacteria in your home, it’s actually something you want to encourage in your septic tank system. So keep usage to a minimum.


Large amounts of disinfectants, much like bleach, will kill that all-important bacteria in your septic tank. That’s because many of them contain bleach. Keep usage down, and make sure to leave a reasonable amount of time between each use so your septic tank can recover. 

Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaners, especially crystal drain cleaners, can contain large amounts of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid. Unsurprisingly, these are detrimental to the bacteria in your septic tank. Occasional usage won’t affect your septic tank, but if the blockage is large, it might be worth calling in the plumber rather than reaching for the de-clogger.


Laundry and dishwasher detergents can have some pretty strong chemicals in their ingredient list. The damage they do can go further than just your septic tank too. Some of their ingredients can contaminate local water sources, harming wildlife. 

Oils And Solvents

Oily products and solvents should never be disposed of down your drains. They will cause an imbalance in your septic tank system and can cause lots of issues down the line. Take them to a local waste facility and dispose of them properly.

Septic Safe Cleaners To Use Instead

It can be a minefield attempting to find products that won’t harm your septic tank. But there are septic-safe cleaning products out there. As a general rule, stick to non-chemical options. There are more of them than you think because of market demand. You could also go DIY with a homemade mix like vinegar and baking soda. It’s a brilliant little mix that can be used for a variety of areas of the home. It’s particularly good at making drains stay fresh, clean, and clear. 

But the thing you can do for your septic system is; stay healthy. A healthy body produces all of the extraordinary bacteria that your septic tank craves. So keep fit, and avoid flushing any harsh chemicals down the drain.

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