Everything that you flush down your toilet or put down your drain will end up in your septic system. That’s why you should be extra careful to ensure the household items that you use won’t hurt or damage your septic system. Once a septic system is damaged, it can lead to some serious (and expensive) issues.

Soap, detergent, clorox, bleach and other products can harm your septic system and disrupt the environment. A lot of products can cause algae to grow, kill good bacteria and shorten the life of the septic tank. Your septic system needs a balance between enzymes and bacteria in order to break down the waste. That’s why it’s so important to use the right products and keep your septic system in good condition.

What Can Damage Your Septic System?

Antibacterial Soap

Because antibacterial soap is designed to kill off bacteria, it can be bad for your septic system. This is because there’s a ton of good bacteria that lives in your septic tank and works to break down the waste. If you use a lot of antibacterial soap or products, it can harm the bacteria and they will no longer be able to do their job and keep your septic system clean.

Powder Detergent

Just like sludge and debris, a powder detergent can easily clog the pipes in your septic system. This is because powder detergents generally have additives and fillers in them that don’t easily break down or dissolve in the wash. Once the drain gets clogged, you’ll have to call in a professional to clean it out. You should also look for products that say they’re safe to use and won’t disrupt the enzyme balance in your leach field.


Phosphorous is often found in detergent and other products because it helps to clean and remove any dirt and grime. However, once phosphates get into your septic system, they can kill the good bacteria and enzymes that work to decompose waste in the tank. Phosphate can also make it all the way to your leach field and eventually get into the nearby soil and waterways, which is bad for the local fish, wildlife and plants. That’s why you should look for products that are phosphate free.

Household Cleaners

Clorox, bleach and other household cleaners can have a huge impact on your septic system. Because most cleaners are made to kill germs, they can be harsh and often times hazardous. The stronger your cleaning product, the worse it will be for your septic system. It’s best to look for natural, biodegradable cleaning products that are considered safe for you septic system.

Contact Front Range Septic

One of the best ways to take care of your septic system and the ecosystem is to have your tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis. Front Range Septic offers both septic and restaurant grease trap services. If you’re having any issues with your septic system or grease trap, or you just need a inspection or service, then give us a call today.