Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

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During your visit to the grocery store, you will see a number of potent detergents that claim to remove the toughest stains but neither claim to be eco-friendly nor septic-safe. Hold on, have you ever considered whether the laundry detergent you are using is harmful to your septic system? Until now, you may have been searching for a detergent that is effective at cleaning your clothes, has a pleasant scent, and is gentle on the fabric. However, if you haven’t thought about the potential negative impact of your detergent on your septic system, this is a good time to start. In this blog posts we will discuss Worst Laundry Detergents for the septic systems.

How Laundry detergent affects the Septic system?

Laundry detergents can be really harmful or worst to the septic system because they contain various chemicals like toxic bleaches and phosphates that removes the stains well but cause damage to the septic system. The undissolved powder often clumps together in it and causes serious blockages in the water lines that lead to sewage issues. Moreover, the detergents are formulated to make bubbles & lather, which is good for clothes but not the septic system because they lead to overflow.

Another reason why detergents can be harmful to the septic system is the presence of certain chemicals that kill natural bacteria present in the septic system. These bacteria break down the waste in the septic system, so they are significant for its regular functioning. The chemicals present in the detergents kill these bacteria and lead the system to fail. This is why detergents that include ammonia, phosphates, bleach, or petroleum-based chemicals are not safe, so one must buy natural detergents or cleaners wisely.

In this article, we have come up with the worst laundry detergents we came across after in-depth research. Make sure you avoid buying these detergents to keep your septic system safe.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

Worst Laundry detergents to avoid for the Septic System:

1.   Era 2X Ultra Liquid Detergent with Oxi Booster:

Era 2X Ultra Liquid Detergent with Oxi Booster is good for nothing. The detergent not only struggles to remove basic stains from the clothes but also contains loads of chemicals that are not safe for the environment & the septic system. The chemicals are supposed to cause various health issues like respiratory issues, cancer development, endocrine-related issues, and reproductive issues. The detergent contains ingredients including Sodium Borate, Ethanolamine, surfactants (anionic and nonionic), and enzymes.

2.   Dynamo 2x Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear:

Dynamo 2x Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent is another toxic formula for the septic system as well as human health. The formula contains various harmful  and worst preservatives and synthetic fragrances, and colors that are not good for aquatic life and septic system functioning. The chemicals include Formaldehyde, & sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate, which may be the potential reason o cancer development in the body. Moreover, the company fails to make necessary disclosures about the corrosive ingredients that are life-threatening.

3.   Gain Liquid Detergent: Worst Laundry Detergent for the Septic systems

In order to buy a septic-safe detergent, one must buy a biodegradable detergent. Biodegradable detergents break down into the environment easily, so they are safe for the environment as well as the septic system. Gain liquid detergent is not biodegradable, so it is toxic not only to the environment but also to the septic tank. Moreover, the formula contains phosphates, fragrances, preservatives like methylisothiazolinone or benzisothiazolinone, enzymes, optical brighteners, and surfactants like alcohol ethoxylates, alkyl ethoxy sulfates, and alkyl sulfates that adversely impact the functioning of the septic system and also contribute to the growth of algae and another harmful organism in the tank that can make their way into the environment and cause health issues.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

4.   Tide Original Liquid Laundry detergent:

Tide is another big name in cleaning products. Some of their products are septic-safe while some are not. In 2010, they worked extensively and removed a lot of harmful ingredients from their formulations to make them health & environment-friendly. However, some of their products still contain fragrances, preservatives, enzymes, and surfactants that are not safe for septic tanks, like the Tide Original liquid laundry detergent. The detergent contains phosphates that contribute to the growth of harmful organisms in water, so one must limit their use in order to avoid contamination in the septic system.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

5.   Arm & Hammer Liquid Detergent:

Some customers have reported experiencing septic system issues after using Arm & Hammer Liquid Detergent. They have noted that the high levels of surfactants and enzymes in the detergent can cause problems such as clogs and backups. Arm& Hammer liquid detergent contains sodium borate, Quaternium-15, Fragrance, and Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl disulfonate, which is harmful to a septic tank. The detergent is non-biodegradable so it does not break down into the water. Moreover, all the ingredients are not disclosed on the label, which is a sign of suspicion for users.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

6.   Persil Porclean Power Liquid Detergent:

Persil Porclean Power Liquid detergent is a powerful detergent because it removes stubborn stains very well, but it can cause various health issues. It contains Sodium borate, boric acid, Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, and Alcohol ethoxy sulfates. The detergent does not only cause health disorder like development and reproductive issues, loss of vision, and nervous system issues but also contaminates water and harm aquatic life. Its excessive use can malfunction your septic system, so you must be cautious while using this detergent to wash your clothes.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

7.   Xtra Scentsations Liquid Laundry Detergent, Summer Fiesta:

This is another detergent that is lethal for a septic system. This detergent also includes such ingredients like preservatives, fragrances, and brighteners that makes the water contaminated and cause backups and clogging in the long run. Xtra sensations liquid laundry detergent includes Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, linear alkyl benzene sulfonate, and sodium carbonate. These harsh chemicals are toxic to human life, aquatic life, and also the fabric. Its lethal effects include digestive problems, respiratory problems, and developmental and reproductive effects.

Worst Laundry Detergents for the Septic systems

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of laundry detergent is best for septic systems?

Always read the label when you buy laundry detergents and buy those that are claimed to be septic-safe. The septic-safe laundry detergents are those that are biodegradable, low in phosphates, and non-fragrant. Also, avoid detergents that contain softeners, whiteners, brighteners, etc. Moreover, we recommend you buy liquid detergents because they easily dissolve in water and do not clump together to block water lines like powdered detergents.

Can I use normal laundry detergent with a septic tank?

You can use normal laundry detergent with a septic tank if they are categorized as septic-safe. Moreover, you can also use regular detergents adequately following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have any concerns about using a particular laundry detergent with your septic system, it’s always a good idea to consult with a septic system professional or manufacturer to ensure that you’re using the detergent safely and effectively.

Read: Eco-friendly Reusable dish Sponges

How do I know if my detergent is septic-safe?

You can check the detergent’s label to identify whether they are safe for the septic system or not. If they are not labeled as septic-safe or safe for septic systems, then you must not use them because they may contain harmful chemicals that kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank.

What should I do if I have been using a harmful laundry detergent with my septic system?

If you have been using a harmful laundry detergent with your septic system, we would recommend you switch to a septic-safe laundry detergent as soon as possible. If you are doubtful that your septic system has been damaged by a harmful laundry detergent, contact a septic system professional for an evaluation and possible repairs.

What makes a laundry detergent harmful to septic systems?

Laundry detergents that are harmful to septic systems contain some ingredients that are harmful to the environment. These ingredients interfere with the natural process going into the septic system, like clogging it, causing overflows, contributing to the growth and development of harmful organisms like algae, and killing the beneficial bacteria. These ingredients are usually non-biodegradable and build up in the septic tank.

What are some common harmful ingredients in laundry detergents?

Laundry detergents commonly contain loads of harmful ingredients like phosphates, chlorine bleach, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), and synthetic preservatives, brighteners, and fragrances. Do check the label and be skeptical if you find any of these ingredients on the label.

Top of Form


Buying a laundry detergent seems a petty task, but it needs you to ponder over several considerations because a toxic laundry detergent can be harmful and worst not only to your septic tank but also to your health and environment. So, checking the label of the brand you are going to buy must be one of the preliminaries and thoroughly researching the market is the key to making a wise choice.

We hope this article would be of value to you and help you in making the right decision. In the meantime, do share your reviews with us in the comments section below.