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11 Best Dishwasher Detergents for Septic Systems

A good number of households have taken to relying on the advantages of dishwashing machines. Dishwashers work by heating water to 140º, thus are able to clean and sanitize dishes more effectively. Now, let’s face it: if you own a dishwasher and your home is connected to a public (municipal) sewer system, you likely don’t pay much attention to the products you use to wash your dishes with. You probably just go with your preferred brand or whatever is on sale in your favorite supermarket.

On the other hand, this is hardly the case if your house or business property relies on an on-site, dedicated septic system. In this case, you definitely need to carefully select your products, including the dishwasher detergent you use.

What are the best dishwasher detergents for septic systems? If you have a septic system working for your property, it is important that you use only septic-safe dishwasher detergents. Septic-safe dishwasher detergents are phosphate-free. This matters because phosphates can be harmful to the good bacteria and enzymes that are ideally flourishing inside your septic tank. These enzymes and bacteria are the ones responsible for decomposing the waste matter in the tank. Without them, septic tanks would fill up faster. Phosphates are non-organic chemicals derived from salts and phosphorous. When combined proportionately, they form an acid that is supposed to be helpful in cleaning dishes and removing grime. The downside, though, is that phosphates can kill off bacteria and enzymes.

Typically, the volume of dishwasher detergent used in sinks and eventually entering the septic system is so low or has been diluted enough that it does not harm the septic tank bacteria. The baseline here is normal levels of residential dishwasher use. Dishwashers also rely on surfactants to clean them. Now, even if they don’t kill off the bacteria and enzymes in the septic tank and drainfield, surfactants, and phosphates that run through a dishwasher ultimately join ground and surface water, potentially contaminating them.

Using regular dish soap that creates too many suds could damage the machine. Dishwasher soap may cost more than standard detergent and some types can be harsher on the environment than others. And if you happen to be in an area with hard water and you want to avoid water spots on your glassware, you’ll need to add a rinsing agent to the machine, as well. Realize that what you use to operate your dishwasher are chemicals that you are introducing to your septic system, not to mention, the environment. With the help of other septic system experts, we compiled a list of best dishwasher detergents that are best for your septic system.

#1 Grab Green Natural Dishwasher Detergent Pods

Grab Green Natural Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods works great with both standard dishwashers and HE dishwashers.  More importantly, it is kind on septic systems, as it prevents build-ups or clogs within your system due to the fact that the formulation does not include added chemicals and preservatives.  Grab Green is phosphate-free and dye-free. They don’t do any testing on animals either, making Grab Green cruelty-free.

PRO: There is a fragrance-free option, as well as tangerine with lemongrass, thyme with fig leaf, and red pear and magnolia – all enticing scents.  Each of these variants is infused with essential oils. All aspects of these dish pods from Grab Green are natural, biodegradable, and completely eco-friendly.

CON: If the pods are left unused for a long time, they may start to harden.  This can make them more difficult to dissolve in the dishwasher. Some users have found this to not be the best at getting off food residue that has been really stuck on.

#2 Electrasol Finish Quantum Powerball

Electrasol Finish Quantum Powerball dishwasher detergent capsules leaves you with clean dishes for an affordable price. It contains no phosphate and no bleach. Its formulation includes perfumes and dyes, but is not harmful to septic systems nor to plants.

PRO: The Finish Quantum Powerball by Electrasol in capsules have been found to be truly effective in cleaning dishes without leaving residue or spots.

CON: The dye and perfume in the formula, though friendly to septic systems and the environment, make Electrasol Finish not suitable for sensitive users like babies or allergy and asthma sufferers.

#3 Cascade Advanced Power Liquid Machine Dishwasher Detergent

Cascade Advanced Power Dishwasher Gel is an effective and bio-friendly formulation that’s so highly concentrated, you get a lot of dishes cleaned with every bottle. It powers away food residue that’s been stuck even for as long as 24 hours. It works great even with old model dishwashers.

PRO: Cascade Advanced Power’s liquid formulation makes it easy to use and leaves dishes significantly cleaner.

CON: Here’s another pro that’s also its con: its liquid form could be allowing it to stick to the washing machine’s parts and potentially clog the dispenser. This requires more frequent cleaning for the dishwasher.

#4 Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets

Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets comes with 25 pre-packed tabs filled with powerful dish soap that’s really effective in cleaning your dishes.  Each tab is made with plant-based ingredients and minerals that help keep your dishes clean, without clogging up your septic system.  Ecover’s formulation is phosphate-free and biodegradable, making it totally safe for the environment.

PRO: Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets does not contain harsh chemicals, such as chlorine.  This is an advantage because chlorine and chemicals are often left as residue on your glassware. Ecover does not test any of their products on animals, making it a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly option.

CON: The pods are covered with foil, rather than thin plastic, which means you need to unwrap the tablets before putting them into your washer.  The thin plastic on pods will disintegrate in the washer, but the outer foil will not. Some users are also not too keen on the product’s citrus scent.

#5 Lemi Shine Booster Dishwasher Detergent

Lemi Shine Booster dishwasher detergent is made with natural ingredients and powerful citrus extracts that remove stains, hard water spots, film, lime, calcium, iron and other mineral deposits. This is an additive to be used together with your favorite dishwasher detergent to better clean your dishes and give them a sparkling finish. This optimizes your dishwasher’s cleaning ability by balancing the pH due to hard water. It is all-natural, biodegradable, phosphate-free, non-toxic, and safe for septic systems when used as directed. Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster is EPA Safer Choice-certified, so you know it’s safe to use and is friendly to the environment.

PRO: Lemi Shine Booster cleans, deodorizes, and is optimal in all dishwasher types and works in all auto dish and dishwasher systems. A little goes a long way.

CON: A few users have expressed disappointment from ending up with dishes with white film or residue after washing cycles. Some find it pricier than the standard in dishwashing cleaners.

#6 Sun and Earth Natural Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, Unscented

This Natural Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid from Sun and Earth is a richly-foaming formula that’s tough on food and grease, yet gentle on hands. It is natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, phosphate-free. It is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-recommended, with no added dyes, perfumes or preservatives which are leading causes of skin irritation. It is environmentally-friendly and safe for family members of all skin types. 

PRO: Allergy sufferers rejoice with this product. It’s so gentle on the skin that an afflicted user’s allergies heal even while using this product from Sun and Earth.

CON: Packaging may not be sturdy enough to withstand any degree of negligence during shipping/handling.

#7 Cascade Complete Dishwasher Pods, Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent

Cascade ActionPacs dishwasher detergent powers away grease and residue, leaving you with sparkling dishes in easy-to-use pacs. It combines the scrubbing power of Cascade and the grease-fighting power of Dawn. Simply load your dishwasher, pop in an ActionPac, and you’re good to go.

PRO: Cascade Complete Dishwasher Pods effectively removes burnt-on food with no need to pre-wash. It removes limescale build-up, grease, and odors from your dishwasher, as well.

CON: Some users have found the pods to not dissolve correctly sometimes. The pods worked for the first few times, but seems to lose the ability over time. This might have to do with the plastic covering on the pods. The scent on this Cascade might be a bit overpowering to some users.

#8 Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Seventh Generation’s Ultra Power Plus Dishwasher Detergent Gel helps to really get rid of stuck-on food and grease.  Made with a dual-action formula that has micro-scrubbing enzymes, it can cut through even the toughest residue.  There are no phosphates, fragrances, dyes, bleach or other harsh chemicals. Guaranteed safe for septic systems.

PRO: This formula from Seventh Generation gets dishes a lot cleaner than many of the other dishwashers on the market can.  This Ultra Power Plus Dishwasher Detergent Gel from Seventh Generation breaks down well, even in areas that have hard water.   It is made with sustainable, plant-based ingredients, making it an environment-friendly choice.

CON: Some consumers have indicated that it left a film in their dishwasher.  Although, this can be cleared up easily by using a dishwasher cleaner every few weeks. To some, the detergent may seem a bit on the thin side, casting some doubt on the potency of the product. However, this is not the case. Product consistency does not deter its effectiveness.

#9 Finish Quantum Max Powerball Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Finish Quantum Max Powerball cuts through grease, breaks it down and lifts it away. It works on burnt, dried-on food with no need to pre-soak or rinse. Its advanced powder with bleach formulation cleans tough stains from the likes of tea and coffee. Finish Quantum Max Powerball is recommended by more dishwasher brands worldwide.

PRO: It is formulated with Glass Protect Action that helps prevent glass corrosion and fights deposits. It is made with quick-dissolving Power Gel that effectively washes away residue.

CON: A few users have complained about product packaging. Upon opening the packaging, capsules were stuck together. And when the pods are separated, it may cause detergent fluid and granules to spill out. Some have also observed instances when the pod covering does not melt 100%, sometimes causing soapy dishes after the wash cycle. Some pods have been found stuck inside the bottom parts of the dishwasher.

#10 Method Smarty Dish Plus Dishwasher Detergent Packs

Method Smarty Dish Plus dishwasher detergent packs is a natural product made with mineral-based ingredients. It boasts of Power Green technology that helps to get rid of even the stickiest food residues, even with hard water.  Bleach-free and biodegradable. The detergent packs are individually wrapped for ease of use.

PRO: Method’s Smarty Dish Plus Dishwasher Detergent Packs offers a triple-action cleaning power that works well in getting rid of tough grease and grime. It works well with both standard and HE dishwashers. Dissolves easily.

CON: It has been noted as leaving behind a white-colored residue on some dishes.  This is possibly from putting the tablets into the cutlery bin rather than in the detergent slot in the washer. It’s unscented, so if you prefer a fresh scent on your dishwasher detergent, this may not be the top choice for you.

#11 Biokleen Automatic Dishwashing Liquid Detergent Gel

Biokleen is a known brand leader in the eco-friendly cleaning products market.  Biokleen’s Automatic Dishwashing Liquid Detergent Gel is safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency dishwashers.  It is phosphate-free, does not contain chlorine, and other harsh chemicals. There’s also no added colors, fragrances or preservatives.

PRO: This line from Biokleen also has a powdered variant, but both are equally effective in getting out tough, stuck-on food and grease, thanks to the enzymes included in the formula. It is also made with natural citrus extracts that not only leave you with sparkling dishes, but also a fresh-smelling kitchen.

CON: If you live in an area with hard water, the product may leave a slight film on your dishes.  A number of dissatisfied customers have noted that the gel is not powerful enough to remove all encrusted food residue.

Your Dishwasher and Your Septic System: What You Should Know

You might be wondering if a dishwasher’s water volume could overload and harm your septic system. Rest assured that the volume of water from home dishwashing machine use should not be a problem for a well-maintained septic system in good working condition. However, there are certain cases when you should avoid emptying your dishwasher discharge into the septic system. Consider the following factors:

  • The capacity of your drainfield. Divert your dishwasher discharge away if your drainfield (or leach field) has limited capacity to absorb effluent. A small drainfield may not be built to process beyond the typical water usage (bath and kitchen) of a small family.
  • A failing drainfield. If your drainfield is showing early signs of failure, such as effluent coming to the surface of the property or backing up into the home or building. Whatever the case is, you should get your system inspected and repaired promptly.

One option you can look into is to have a separate greywater system or dry well installed, designed to receive dishwasher discharge. If you are considering this step, you may want to divert your clothes washer to this common dry well, as well. For certain properties with very limited septic capacity, a larger dry well may be installed to handle additional greywater from other building fixtures such as the sinks and showers, too.

Earlier, we’ve discussed how normal levels of diluted dishwasher detergent may be harmless to the bacteria and enzymes in your septic system. But because a lot of dishwasher detergents rely on amounts of phosphates and surfactants to clean dishes, these substances will find their way to both ground and surface water, potentially contaminating them.

Liquid or Powdered Dishwasher Detergent: Which is Best For Septic Systems?

As an owner of a dishwashing machine, you would know that dishwasher detergents mainly come in these two forms: liquid and powdered. The choice of dishwasher detergent is typically through personal preference, but there are advantages to knowing the specific differences between these two forms of the cleaning agent.

This may come as a surprise to some, but liquid dishwasher detergents are NOT highly recommended by dishwasher experts, even those in “tablet”, “capsule”, “pac”, or other conveniently-wrapped detergent products available in the market. Liquids can stick on delicate dishwasher parts and impede with normal mechanical function.

This might also apply to liquid rinse aid products that some have taken to adding (there’s a rinse aid area inside the dishwashing machine). How it works is a small amount of the rinse aid is released during the final hot water cycle. This is believed to limit spots from forming on the dishes.

Dishwasher detergents in powdered form are typically the most economical among detergent options. Powder detergent cleans delicate dishware more efficiently than most liquid dishwasher detergents.

This irony poses a bit of a dilemma, though. Liquid detergents, on the other hand, are much kinder to septic systems than are powdered detergents. Liquid detergents pose less risk of soil clogging within your septic system. A lot of store-bought powdered detergents may include filler substances that are not entirely organic or biodegradable.

A much better way to go about it would be to rely on homemade options. Distilled white vinegar can be used as a rinse aid instead of a store-bought brand. You can also make your own dishwasher detergent by mixing washing soda, borax, pure salt, and citric acid. More on this below.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

You may want to try a DIY-ed dishwasher detergent. The standard recipe for this is:

  • 2 cups of washing soda + 1 cup of borax

Or, as an alternative:

  • 1 cup borax + 1 cup washing soda + ½ cup salt  + ½ cup citric acid (or  lemon juice, though this is less concentrated)

However, you may know that though borax was a common household item in the earlier years and considered to be an effective cleaning agent, the safety of borax, especially its salts and precursors, has recently come under review. Health screening assessments now recommend minimizing exposure to borax. You may substitute borax with food-grade hydrogen peroxide (3%) solution, a mixture of water and white vinegar (in equal parts), lemon juice, and salt.

In the year 2010, at least 17 states adopted laws that required a substantial reduction in the level of phosphates in detergents. Nowadays, most dishwasher detergents you may buy at your local outlets are likely to be low in phosphorous. There is even a push underway to get phosphates taken out of dishwashing detergent altogether. This is because these products end up in local rivers and lakes, harming our marine ecosystems. And whether you decide on liquid over powdered (or vice versa), always go for septic system-friendly products, which are characteristically natural and biodegradable. As with everything else, after all, anything in excess is detrimental. In sum, if you wish to minimize your environmental pollutants “footprint”, look into just purchasing products listed by the EPA’s “Design for the Environment Program”. Using phosphate-free dishwashing detergent is not only good for your septic system, but it helps you do your part in keeping our environment safe and healthy.

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9 Best Toilets for Septic Systems & How-To Choose

The toilet is certainly an absolute necessity in every household or business establishment. Toilets are likely our most-used utility, yet they are not often addressed as a topic for consumers. The toilet is such an integral, natural part of our lives that a lot of us actually go by days not even giving it a thought. Well despite not getting much thought in our daily lives, there are some specific considerations you should make when choosing a toilet in a home serviced by a septic system.

What Toilet Considerations Come with a Septic System?

While a lot of us don’t really think too much about what happens in that part of the bathroom, a basic knowledge of toilets can actually be beneficial. This is especially true if you live in an area that relies on private septic systems, as opposed to a municipal sewer system. It is essential to do everything you can to reduce water usage to prevent an overflow of wastewater.

Now, if you own a property that relies on an on-site dedicated septic system, water conservation is likely a foremost priority.

If you’re in the market for a new toilet or looking to replace your existing unit, you must be wondering: Which is the best toilet for my home? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. Some families may require a toilet to suit a range of special needs like for members who may be small, elderly, tall, big, arthritic, and so on. To others, the design is a concern to suit a specific bathroom. Still, others might be looking for a strong and reliable flush.

Occupants of households that run on septic systems may know what should and should not be allowed down the drains. Grease, oil, harsh or toxic chemicals, feminine hygiene products, and diapers are just some of the items to avoid. People are also aware that having a garbage disposal unit can also be detrimental to a septic system due to the volume of solid waste it imparts to the system. But most people don’t realize that the type of toilet installed can have an impact on the health of their home’s septic system as well. A good grasp of even just basic septic system care should be able to guide you in what type of toilet is best for your septic system.

Why Water-Efficient Toilets Are Perfect For Septic Systems

A family of four uses an estimated 400 gallons of water each day. Approximately 70% of that is for indoor use, and an estimated 30% of this indoor use water is for and by the toilet. The U.S. Department of Energy has prescribed that a toilet must not use more than 1.6 gallons per flush, which is why no current models are designed beyond that capacity, save for some commercial applications.

What you must now consider is that toilets of older models use anywhere between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush. Now, if that toilet is flushed ten times in a day (and we all know that this is a highly conservative number), it is easy to imagine how much excess water is used over a period of weeks, months, and years. Now, think of your septic system: it can back up and fail if it is flooded with more wastewater than it can handle. It is for this reason that conservative water usage is important and a toilet that accomplishes just that is a good choice for septic systems for obvious reasons.  

A standard low-flow toilet utilizes 1.6 gallons per flush (or GPF). Some of the newer models are even more efficient, using as little as 1.28 GPF. This means that by replacing an outdated toilet that uses 5 GPF with a low-flow toilet, your septic system will now receive less than a third of wastewater than before.

Toilets using less water than the standard old model would typically have a WaterSense label or other indications of high efficiency such as “HET” (for high-efficiency toilets). Water-efficient toilets typically use 0.60 to 1.28 gallons of water per flush and feature some type of pressure assistance. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that if all the older-model toilets were replaced with WaterSense-certified toilets or HET’s, the water saved in the United States would total around 520 billion gallons per year. That is about the same amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in a 12-day period, according to the EPA.

Water-efficient toilets are divided into three categories: 

  1. single-flush at 1.6 GPF
  2. dual-flush toilets at 1.6 GPF / 0.8 GPF 
  3. pressure-assist toilets at 1 GPF

Single-flush toilets using 1.6 GPF are now legally mandated in most new home construction and bathroom renovations. Although the earliest water-efficient toilets had some setbacks (such as small tanks and insufficient flushing power), most water-efficient toilets available in the market today have been greatly improved.

As the name suggests, dual-flush toilets provide two flushing options: solids are flushed with 1.6 HPF while liquids are flushed by about 0.8 to 0.9 GPF. The dual-flush toilet is the best solution for those who want power AND water efficiency in one toilet.

The third water-efficient option is a toilet equipped with pressure-assist technology. Most common in hotels, restaurants, and commercial buildings, these toilets can likewise be installed in homes. A pressure-assist system utilizes a plastic pressure tank mounted inside the toilet tank. It relies on pressure from the water supply line to compress air inside the pressure tank. This system traps and compresses air as it fills with water. The compressed air pushes the water into the bowl with every flush. This pressure forces waste out, creating a vigorous flushing action that whisks away waste and cleans the bowl with as little as one gallon of water per flush.

A fourth, although less conventional, alternative is what is known as Composting Toilets.  Composting toilets are suitable anywhere that a flushing toilet is required without available plumbing. These types of toilets are optimal for family cabins or vacation homes in remote locations with no access to municipal sewer lines and those with no plumbing set up.

A water-efficient toilet will generally cost more up-front than a traditional or standard toilet, but will prove to be more cost-efficient in the long run as you will recover those costs within a few years, having saved substantially on water usage. Because excess wastewater is one of the main culprits of septic system failure, it is truly vital to switch to an efficient low-flow toilet. Not only will using less water in every flush help in maintaining a healthy septic system, but money is saved on utilities. Best of all, you contributed to helping care for the environment.

Having discussed basic information on water-efficiency in toilets and the important role these play in the protection of on-site septic systems, we have compiled 9 top consumer choices for water-efficient (or low-flow) toilets best for septic systems.

#1 Winzo WZ5028 High-Efficiency Dual Flush Toilet

Winzo’s High-Efficiency Dual Flush Toilet features a powerful double cyclone flush system. It is dual flush, beneficial for low water consumption. Water consumption is rated at 1.28 GPF. It features a 17″ seat height ADA compliant that makes sitting down and standing up easier for most adults. All toilets from Winzo are factory flush-tested to ensure optimal performance. Winzo WZ5028 is WaterSense certified.

PRO: This model is easy to clean and easy to install. It is designed with a skirted trap-way and a double nozzle flushing function so there is less trapped dirt, thus less cleaning is required. There are side holes which offer easy access to fixing the floor bolts.

CON: Since it’s a 1-piece unit, should there ever be a problem with one of the two major components (say, the tank or the bowl itself) you will need to replace the whole toilet.

#2 American Standard 4515A157S.020 VorMax ActiClean Self-Cleaning Toilet

While some toilets utilize up to 7 gallons of water, American Standard’s ActiClean self-cleaning high-efficiency toilet is rated at 1.28 GPF (gallons per flush). It features a battery-operated cleaning system powered by 4AA batteries (which are included) that give you up to 1 year of battery life. The American Standard 4515A157S.020, as with its other toilet offerings, is WaterSense approved.

PRO: It comes with the EverClean surface that inhibits the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is also fitted with a beautiful chrome-plated handle, with alternative finishes likewise available.

CON: A few consumers have noticed that the battery-powered self-cleaning system consumes batteries much rapidly than the 1-year battery life promised. The flushing mechanism inside the tank appears to include a plastic component that is susceptible to breakage due to wear and tear.

#3 Woodbridge T-0019 Dual Flush High-Efficiency Toilet

This luxuriously-designed Woodbridge T-0019 is a one-piece toilet with a clean, sleek look that will easily complement different bathroom styles. Its siphon flushing mechanism makes for quiet but powerful flushing. You get everything you need in one package: it includes the toilet unit, a pre-installed soft-closing toilet seat, water fitting, a high-quality wax ring, floor bolts, and installation instructions. The purchase also includes a hand wrench tool specially-designed to easily tighten bolts in narrow, hard-to-reach spaces.

PRO: This WaterSense-approved toilet from Woodbridge comes in a Comfort Height Design, making sitting down and standing up easier for most adults.

CON: Flushing power may not be up to some consumers’ standards. A few have stated that it might take more than one flush to completely clear the solid contents in the bowl.

#4 Toto MS854114E#01 Eco Ultramax Elongated Toilet

The E-Max from Toto is a simple and quiet solution for effectively flushing at 1.28 GPF. The Toto Eco Ultramax features a wide 3-inch flush valve that provides rapid and powerful flushes; a large 2 1/8 inch trapway that is glazed to optimize waste passage; and a pilot-operated fill valve that ensures quiet operation and a clean shut-off at any water pressure, among others. Tank cover, fittings, chrome plated trip lever and SoftClose seat included.

PRO: The Toto Eco Ultramax Elongated Toilet is popular among users for its easy installation, comfortable height, and the perfect balance between design and function.

CON: There is a possibility that the product is not durable enough to withstand any degree of mishandling during shipping.

#5 Winzo WZ5024 High-Efficiency Single Side Flush

This Winzo Elongated One-Piece High-Efficiency Toilet offers fast and powerful flushes with low water consumption. It is built with a 3 in flush valve (which is larger than standard valves), resulting to better flushes at only 1.28 GPF. It has a skirted trapway that gives it a sleek look and makes cleaning easier. It is made with high-quality stain-resistant porcelain that’s durable and easy to keep clean.

PRO: Its elongated design and 17” seating height makes it a comfortable commode for adults.

CON: Product is not complete with installation necessities out-of-the-box. Expect to need a couple tools additional to install.

#6 Kohler 3810-0 Santa Rosa Comfort Height Elongated Toilet

Kohler’s Santa Rosa Comfort Height is a compact toilet with an elongated bowl that offers added comfort. This one-piece unit integrates the tank and bowl into a seamless, easy to clean design. It is rated at 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF). Single flush gravity technology paired with a precision-engineered tank, bowl, and trapway creates a strong siphon during flushing. Brevia Quiet-Close seat included.

PRO: Very easy to install, even for a first-timer DIY. Toilet seat and height have been found to be comfortable.

CON: A few consumers have noted that the toilet bowl seems vulnerable to stains, whether from hard water rings or mold-like residue.

#7 Niagara 77001WHCO1 Stealth 0.8 GPF Toilet

The Niagara Stealth is an excellent low-flow toilet with an ultra-high efficiency flush of just 0.8 GPF. This elongated bowl-designed toilet gives you quiet flushes without the need for multiple flushes. ADA-compliant.

PRO: For its reasonable price point, you get everything you need to install it, seat, bolts, and ring. All satisfied customers love the Niagara Stealth for its quiet, efficient flushes.

CON: The toilet’s height may not be as optimal for those who are not very tall. Also, not all consumers agree that the 0.8 GPF is sufficient to completely clear the bowl’s contents.

#8 Glacier Bay Designer 2-Piece 1.28 GPF Single Flush Round Front Toilet

Glacier Bay’s Designer Single Flush Round Toilet is a 2-piece toilet unit that comes built with a stylish tank cover and commode base. It stands at 16.5” in height for user comfort and is fitted with a chrome-plated flush handle. Glacier Bay bears the EPA’s WaterSense accreditation.

PRO: This toilet unit is very stylish and gives powerful flushes at just 1.28 GPF, making it a very popular choice among consumers.

CON: Its pro is also its con: toilet unit seems to go out of stock fast, likely due to its high demand among two-piece toilet units.

#9 TOTO MS814224CEFG#11 Promenade II One-Piece Toilet

TOTO Promenade II is a one-piece toilet with a classic, yet modern, stylishness. It is rated at 1.28 GPF, utilizing a Tornado flush system for a powerful centrifugal rinse. It has a Cefiontect glazing which prevents particles from sticking to the bowl. TOTO is ADA, WaterSense, CALGreen, and CEC compliant. A Softclose seat comes included.

PRO: One-piece toilets are easier to maintain than a two-piece. And toilet unit has been found to be very easy to install. What’s more, everything you need to install the TOTO Promenade II comes included in the box.

CON: TOTO is relatively a bit pricier than other brands of its class. However, several users still believe that TOTO’s Promenade II is worth every penny.

One-Piece Versus Two-Piece Toilets

Another thing you might be wondering about when in the market for a new toilet is whether to go one-piece or two-piece. These two toilet types share many things in common. They both serve the same purpose, most of them utilize the same flushing methods, and they pretty much utilize the same amounts of water. However, if we are to be meticulous about it, one-piece toilets do have a few advantages over two-piece toilets.

Generally, a one-piece toilet is smaller than a two-piece toilet. In a one-piece toilet, the tank is connected and sits lower on the bowl than it does on a two-piece. Because of its smaller size, one-piece toilets are optimal for bathrooms with limited space. Since one-piece toilets sit lower to the ground making handles easier to reach, they are usually the toilet of choice for persons with disabilities and for households with small children. On the other hand, two-piece toilets may be more ideal for adults or elderly individuals, since they sit higher from the ground.

One-piece toilets characteristically have fewer nooks and crevices than two-piece toilets, making one-piece units easier to clean. And since they are set lower to the floor, it is also easier to reach certain areas when attempting DIY repairs. As the name suggests, a one-piece toilet is one solid piece of ceramic unit and this means that fewer pipes and flushing elements are exposed. This shields them from external elements, such as dirt and excess moisture, which can be detrimental. As with most equipment, the less separate parts there are, the more durable and lasting a toilet potentially is.

Cost-wise, one-piece toilets are generally more expensive than two-piece toilets. The reason for this is because the former are fabricated more solidly. Characteristically, too, one-piece toilets are more modern in design. So one-piece toilets may cost you more upfront… bear in mind that they will “pay for themselves” in the long run as you will be getting something more durable than if you opt for a two-piece.

Finally, since you are dealing with only a single piece unit, installing a one-piece toilet would, expectedly, be easier than installing a two-piece. You’ll just have to consider the amount of space you will be working in and you might need extra hands to assist you with the installation as one-piece toilets would be a bit bulkier and unwieldy than a two-piece. Regardless of which toilet type you choose, though, carefully follow the instructions for an effective installation and, of course, safety.

The bottom line is a new toilet is inherently a personal choice. Take into account your personal comfort and preferences before placing too much stock in cost and ease of installation. A new toilet is ideally a long-term addition to your home or office, so make sure you pick something that you’ll be happy with for years to come.


Maintaining Your Septic System Naturally

Like our own digestive systems, there are certain elements that are beneficial to septic systems and things that should never be put through to any septic system. There is a number of proactive practices that you can follow to keep your septic system and its components in functioning order. Simply put, if you wait until there is a problem anywhere in the system, you’ve waited too long. In this case, you should call your trusted septic service provider and have your septic tank pumped immediately.

We cannot stress it enough: the periodic and regular pumping of a septic tank is the primary step to septic system maintenance. The basic tenet of septic tank pumping frequency could be this: a family of 4 in a home with a 1,000 gallon septic tank ideally has their septic system cleaned every 3-5 years. Gut this is a general estimation based on averages. It is best to consult with your trusted septic professional for their recommended frequency that’s ideal for your living conditions.

Avoid using products containing high amounts of bleach to clean your toilets, as bleach could kill the bacteria that’s essential in breaking down waste solids in your septic system.  Synthetic chemicals with high concentrations of potentially toxic elements are likewise harsh on your septic system as they, too, can kill off the population of good bacteria that’s vital to the proper functioning of your septic tank system. Environmental-friendly cleaning alternatives include baking soda and vinegar.

Also, know that yeast helps keep good bacteria alive and, when added to a septic system, actively breaks down solid wastes. Flush about ½ cup of instant dry baking yeast down your toilet, if doing it for the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, thereafter.

It is absolutely vital that you use only septic-safe products (as indicated on the product label) in cleaning kitchen and bathroom sinks, drains, and in your laundry. Many common household products bear these septic-safe labels, but do choose wisely. A good thing to remember is that biodegradable and all-natural products are environmentally-friendly and are likewise perfectly safe for use if your property relies on a dedicated, on-site septic system. We have previously compiled a list of 101 guaranteed septic system-friendly products for your household and personal use.

Knowing more about toilet technology through research or objective inquiry will definitely lead you to the right toilet that’s best for you and your household/business establishment. You may not realize it yet, but the right toilet goes a long way in giving you peace of mind. A toilet is such a personal and fundamental part of our lives that it makes perfect sense to choose carefully. Do not rush it. You should take the time to consider all the options when the time to install, upgrade or replace an old one comes. For the sake of your septic tank systems, you need to be aware of what gets flushed down your (ideally, low-flow) toilets. If you have water-efficient toilets connected to a septic system by now, keep in mind that the only thing that should ever get flushed down is septic-safe toilet paper and organic waste. That means absolutely no paper towels, feminine hygiene products, diapers, ground coffee, and other non-biodegradable elements should ever find their way down your drains and toilets and to your septic tank system. The chemicals you use to clean your bathroom and toilets likewise find their way to your septic system and so they must also be chosen carefully.

In summary, bleach, abrasives, anti-bacterial cleaning agents and highly toxic cleaners should never be flushed into septic tank systems or washed down the drain. All- natural cleaners, such as baking soda or vinegar, are excellent alternatives as they clean AND protect the good bacteria inside the septic tank, as well. Happy toilet hunting!

Sources Used

1000 Gallon Septic Tanks | Complete Buyers Guide

If we’re going to crown a single hero inside your home, the septic tank is an underappreciated one. Your septic tank is the hero you need, working round the clock to keep your waste products out. Among many septic tank systems, the 1000 gallon (3684.5 L) unit is among the best.

How big of a home can a 1000 gallon Septic Tank accommodate? 1000 gallon septic tanks are a great pick for any small home. They can handle the waste of a 1 to 2-bedroom home and fits the needs of a small to medium family. The average cost of a 1000 Ga septic tank installation should go around $2200 to $5200. This range depends on the type of septic tank, water consumption, and what homeowners do at home.

If you’re not sure if a septic tank system is right for you, let’s explore the details of the product. Let’s check what kind of septic tank unit you need. Here’s why we think the 1000-gallon (3684.5 L) septic unit is for you.

Before You Buy A Septic Tank

During the olden days, much of septic tanks were simple concrete boxes. These would then go into the backyard, buried there, and handle the movement of your waste products. Sure it wasn’t a very cheap installation, but it was an essential part of your home. You can’t go without it at all.

Most older homes will have these kinds of systems, but most states will have newer regulations. These regulations will likely clash with the ones installed at an old home. You must understand the regulations in your own state.

If you are buying a home with a septic system, the best way to deal with it is to have an inspection. By law, most states would need certified septic tank contractors or plumbers to assess the septic tank. They need to follow through the right procedures and furnish you with the information you need. The septic system needs to follow at least the minimum standards for local homes.

If you are about to install a septic tank system or have one already, you need the tanks inspected. All the system tanks would need to have pumps undergo visual inspection for capacity and tightness. For more information on septic tank installation and cost, read this.

Your certified evaluator needs to look for potential damages, cracks, leaks, and defects. They would also need to look for:

·         required outlet devices

·         filters

·         access ports

·         condition and fit of the lid

Certifications and evaluations are valid for 5 years so that new units can use such documentation. If you’re moving to a home with a septic tank, documentation less than 5 years old is good enough.

Before installation, you would also want to have your potential drainfield area inspected. Evaluators would need to determine:

·         location

·         type of drainfield material

·         configuration

·         size

Inspectors will inform you if there is any failure on this level of preparation from your side. Drainfield elevation above the seasonal high water table will also be for evaluation. If your potential septic tank has accessories, those will undergo inspection too.

What Are The Dimension of A 1000 Gallon Septic Tank?

Among the most common septic tank dimensions is the 1000 gallon (3684.5 L) septic tank. It’s easy to source and install, but do you need it? Can your home accommodate it?

The size of the 1000 gallon septic tank can vary depending on the manufacturer. Septic tanks will have a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Each one will have a different dimension, depending on the shape.

For concrete rectangular septic tanks, the common size depends if it is heavy-duty or low-profile. Heavy-duty septic tanks have a size of 96 inches long, 78 inches wide and 61 inches deep (96 x 78 x 61 inches, 243 x 198 x 154 cm). The low-profile 1000 gallon septic tank has a dimension of 120 x 67 x 57 inches (304 x 170 x 144.8 cm).

To get exact dimensions, it’s best to talk to a manufacturer to provide you with their size charts. For example, other septic tank shapes include spherical, cylindrical, or two-compartment.

You would also need to calculate the materials. Plastic or fiberglass septic tanks, for example, follow a different and more low profile dimension. Steel septic tanks follow an even sleeker set of dimensions.

If you want to know what dimensions you need, the easiest way to do it is to calculate for size. Every shape of the septic tank needs a different calculation. You would want to calculate for the volume before you even get the tank installed.

For rectangular septic tanks, multiply the length by the width and height in feet. Once you get the cubic capacity in cubic feet, multiply this by 7.5 to get it in gallons. For rounded septic tanks, multiply the radius squared by 3.14, then multiply it by depth. Multiply the resulting cubic feet by 7.5 to get it in gallons.

You also need to ask your manufacturer the internal size of the septic tank. Remember that for fitting your septic tanks, the external dimensions are crucial. If you want to know the actual capacity of the septic tank, however, you need the internal dimensions.

What Size Home Can A 1000 Gallon Septic Tanks Accommodate?

Now that you know the different types, what size of home do I need to accommodate a 1000 gallon septic tank? This detail can vary depending on a few factors.

As a rule of thumb, a 1000 gallon (3684.5 L) unit should be able to handle a home below 2500 square feet (232.25 sq. m). Another way to calculate this is you need the 1000 gallon septic tank for homes with 0 to 3 bedrooms.

Why bedrooms matter?

The number of bedrooms assumes that these all have people sleeping in them. With 3 bedrooms maximum, you’re looking at a range of 3 to 6 people as residents of the home. Of course, the calculation goes off if you live in solitude in a three-bedroom home.

Is there a better way to do the calculations? There is, and the basis for it is the total water usage in your home. If your consumption is equal or less than 550 gallons (2090 L) of water per day, a 1000 gallon septic tank is right for you. For a family of 3 to 6 people, this should be more than enough.

The water consumption calculation considers all the use that you get from your water. This usage includes laundry, car washing, bathing, and toilet use.

Read this for more information on how big of a septic tank you may need.

What’s The Cost of A 1000 Gallon Septic Tank Installation?

What’s the cost of a 1000 gallon septic tank installation? This installation will depend on many variables, especially the quality of the septic tank. The range price of a 1000 gallon septic tank will go between $2200 – $5200.

Why the large range discrepancy? Depending on the materials of your septic tank, you can either save upfront or invest now.

Pre-cast concrete septic tanks cost the lowest to form, at around $600 – $1000. Polyethylene or plastic septic tanks are very low cost, up to around $1400 for a 1000 gallon unit. Fiberglass septic tanks will cost around $2300, which are more durable than plastic. Steel septic tanks are old and obsolete.

The more common types of septic tanks are anaerobic and aerobic. There are further ways to breakdown their categories, but the costs should be almost the same. Aerobic systems are more expensive to install than anaerobic systems due to their special setup.

Why? For starters, most a basic drainfield with a standard 36-inch (91.44 cm) wide gravel trench would need 12 inches (30.48 cm) of material. You would also need to install it at around 12 to 36 inches (30.48 – 91.44 cm) deep. On materials alone, you’re looking at the cost of $15 – $30 per ton of gravel.

PVC piping with 4-inch (10.16 cm) of perforations will cost around $80 for 100 feet (30.48 m). Risers will cost another $100 – $200, depending on the material. Permits, installation, and labor will cost you more, between $1500 – $4000.

This cost doesn’t count the maintenance costs that need to happen. Standard septic tanks would need some maintenance every 3 to 5 years. Aerobic septic tanks would need mot maintenance, with ATUs costing the most across all systems.

Concrete Vs Plastic Septic Tanks: Which One Is Better?

Concrete vs. plastic septic tanks has been a question since the early days of their invention. Different materials have different advantages, with steel and fiberglass as the other options.

Which one works better for you?

Concrete septic tanks are very durable for decades if you install them properly. Even then, you can start experiencing cracks on concrete septic tanks if there’s sub-standard material used. These tanks can experience a crack or separation. If your septic tank cracks, leaks of the effluence can happen and even let groundwater to seep.

If you’re experiencing a blockage, it can also be a problem. Concrete can’t handle too much runoff, and the eye test should show the problem when it happens.

Plastic, on the contrary, is very cheap and very resistant to rust, allowing a longer lifespan for the installation. The problem with plastic is its questionable durability. Plastics are also prone to punctures, which can push your septic tank to fail.

The primary issue with plastic septic tanks is their potential for breaking down. If you are having a plastic septic tank installed, ask them for extra care. While plastic has the resistance for many types of other materials, punctures are not what you want with it. Careful installation can save you a ton of money.

Steel systems are among the oldest materials for a septic tank. Steel is the least desirable of all the materials. While it’s durable and lasts for a while, they’re still in use in older homes.  Steel septic tanks can last between 20 – 25 years. Most of the top covers also need proper handling as they open risks for people falling into the septic tanks.

The last material is fiberglass, which is the most expensive of the bunch. Its pricing and issues are almost the same as plastic. The primary difference, however, is the more durable construction. The only downside is you’re paying too much to be in there.

Most fiberglass septic tanks are durable but can be a pain to work with. You still need to pay attention to the way your contractor is installing it. You would also need to avoid putting anything heavy on top of the septic tank as these won’t be durable enough.


When it comes to 1000 gallon septic tanks, it’s best to have the right knowledge when buying one. Consider the issues you are experiencing at home to know what kind of septic tank you need. 1000 gallon tanks are best for a small family with 0 to 3 bedrooms and below 2500 square feet (232.258 sq m).

When picking septic tanks, it’s best to consider the materials. Invest in superior materials and make sure that the design is right for your home design. You would also want to consider environmental factors that can help keep your effluent in check.

Are you looking for a septic tank? We’re sure you’d find this guide helpful. Follow the information that we gave and talk to a professional too. It will help you determine if you’re on the right track.

9 Types of Septic Systems? Know the Difference

There are different types of septic systems with different categories. The common category follows function, but some other categories take into account material. The most common septic tank systems include:

  • gravity flow septic system
  • chamber septic systems
  • drip distribution septic systems
  • advanced treatment septic system
  • recirculating sand filter septic system
  • mound septic systems
  • evapotranspiration septic systems
  • constructed wetland septic systems
  • community septic systems

As you can see, there are numerous function categories for septic tanks. Each of these septic tanks offers a different advantage for your home. Let’s take a look at the more common systems for your home.

Gravity Flow Septic Systems

Gravity flow septic systems use a standard combination of the septic tank, gravity drainfield area, and soil under the drainfield itself. This system creates a cycle of moving waste material to the underlying soil, feeding it with wastewater.

With gravity flow systems, the septic tank will separate the solids from the liquids. This system allows for solid layers to fall, liquid layers to stay in the middle, and scum layer on top. For every gallon of wastewater that comes in, a gallon of wastewater comes to the drainfield.

With this system, solids build up over time but break down with bacteria. The drainfield accepts the liquid overflow, then distributes the wastewater in perforated pipes. These pipes have beds or trenches filled with gravel in the soil.

The wastewater will start to drip down into the gravel layer and then to the soil for final treatment. The soil performs the final treatment and filtration, where processed wastewater returns as groundwater.

Chamber Septic Systems

Chamber systems are septic tank systems with a gravel-free drainfield. They tend to be among the older septic systems out there, replacing the original tanks with gravel drainfields. Chamber systems are easier to build, and you can manufacture them with recycled materials. How does it work?

With the chamber system, the drainfield consists of different pipes that carry wastewater straight to the soil. These connect via a distribution box that handles the flow of effluent. The soil will then have microbes that will process the effluent, foregoing the gravel.

The chamber system has a lower carbon footprint than standard gravity tanks. The entire septic tank system has soil surrounding it, putting the unit at least 4 inches (10 cm) below ground.

Chamber septic tanks also offer advantages in places where:

·         gravel is a scarce resource

·         plastic chambers and tanks are available

These kinds of systems offer an advantage to places with high groundwater tables too.

Drip Distribution Septic Systems

Drip distribution septic tanks are a variation of the chamber style system. Instead of big chamber tubes, drip distribution uses smaller but more numerous effluent dispersal tubes. These tubes allow for a wider movement of wastewater over a bigger space.

The advantage of drip distribution lies in its lack of need for a good amount of soil. Most drip tubes go under the soil for as deep as 6 to 12 inches (15.24 – 30.48 cm) into the soil. If you have a locale with bad soil quality of a high water table, this can help solve your problem.

The disadvantage of systems like drip distribution is the need for a large pump tank. This pump tank acts as a dosing tank that helps push a timed delivery of effluent to the tubes. By controlling the dose delivery, you prevent overflow. This system needs extra accessories and electrical power, which means more maintenance and expenses.

Advanced Treatment Systems or Aerobic Treatment Units

Advanced treatment systems follow the same processes used by municipal sewage systems. Known as Aerobic Treatment Units or ATUs, they are smaller treatment plants. How do they work?

A treatment tank receives an inoculation of oxygen from an aerobic system. This extra oxygen helps encourage more bacterial activity in the system. When combined with a pretreatment tank, you inject nutrients into the effluent. The wastewater then goes to a treatment or dispersal system.

Why use this? You can take advantage of an ATU if:

·         you have a small lot

·         a high water table

·         bad soil conditions

·         homes close to a body of water

As you can see, you would need to do consistent maintenance of this system for life.

12 Best/Safe Laundry Detergents for Septic Systems

Close to 25% of US households rely on septic systems to dispose of sewage and wastewater. Laundry contributes a major percentage of total wastewater collected. This said it is critical to know which laundry detergents are safe to use with septic systems. Septic tanks require a delicate balance of bacteria and enzymes to effectively break down waste matter and some home cleaning products and detergents can disturb this balance, unfortunately. Being discerning about what type of cleaning agents you use can actually help prevent expensive tank maintenance and serious health hazards all around.

What laundry detergents are best to use for septic systems? The quick answer is: it all depends on what type of septic system it is you have. If you have a conventional, gravity-powered system, liquid laundry detergents are recommended. If what you have is an aerated system, you should opt for powdered detergent in order to limit foam in the aeration chamber.

What To Consider When Picking a Detergent For Septic Systems

In general, though, it is wise to avoid the lesser-known or inexpensive powders as these often contain fillers that can cause clogs. Whichever product you choose, always make sure that it is labeled safe for septic tanks or systems.

However, powdered laundry detergents, even those that claim to be septic system-safe, can cause serious clogs in your tank. Detergent powders may contain granulated plastic and other materials that don’t fully break down. When these materials enter your drain pipes and septic tank, they settle or stick to the sides and accumulate over time. Eventually, you end up with a clog that requires professional servicing. Liquid laundry detergents, in general, are a safer choice as these dissolve completely, and many are available with non-toxic and natural ingredients that are not detrimental to the enzyme balance of septic systems.

Laundry detergents that have low levels of surfactants are generally safe for septic systems. Surfactants are common in laundry soaps because of their ability to “lift” stains out and keeping them from settling back into the fabric. While convenient for removing stains, surfactants can contaminate ground and surface water if your septic system is not able to sufficiently process them. Natural surfactants are derived from plant oils and produce less suds than petrochemical surfactants made from crude oil, making the former a better alternative.

Likewise, laundry detergents labeled as “biodegradable” are best for septic systems as this means that these agents provide nutrients for microorganisms and naturally decompose. DIY-ed or homemade laundry soaps are safe for septic systems. That is, if they do not contain filler substances that forms clogs. Homemade recipes would typically contain natural ingredients like baking soda and do not yield too much suds. Septic-safe commercial laundry detergents might cost more than others, but these actually go a long way in keeping your septic tank operational and balanced, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

For you, we have put together a list of top laundry detergents that are best to use for septic systems. Apart from product highlights, we have likewise included some disadvantages to each product for your objective reference.

#1 Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

Arm and Hammer Plus OxiClean is a mid-priced laundry detergent available in the market. Ingredients include biodegradable surfactants, enzymes, baking soda, and oxygen bleach. It promises to deliver “whiter whites and brighter brights”.

PRO: Arm and Hammer Plus can be used as pre-treatment to help remove tough stains. It is formulated for both standard and high-efficiency washing machines and performs well in all water temperatures.

CON: The packaging was not manufactured with recycled materials, as a lot of consumers are now looking for. The measuring cap is somewhat difficult to read, as well as the product does not indicate its full ingredients listing on the container label.

#2 Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (in Citrus)

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soaps are made with over 90% organic ingredients. It is safe for any skin type, not to mention the environment, as it is made with plant-based ingredients with none of the synthetic preservatives, thickeners, or foaming agents. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap is 3x more concentrated than most liquid soaps in the market. With this, you get multiple uses in just one product: laundry, mopping, hand-washing dishes, all-purpose cleaning, washing pets and more. 

PRO: Its highly-concentrated formula goes a long way. You can dilute it with water and still expect great cleaning power. The product is fully biodegradable and use all-natural ingredients that are environment-friendly.

CON: Some consumers find that the citrus fragrance was not very distinctive. Another downside is the higher price point.

#3 Eco-Me Natural Non-Toxic Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent

Eco-Me’s Natural Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent leaves your clothes clean and with a fresh lavender blossom scent. It may not be fragrance-free, but its formulation does not include any synthetic fragrances. It is also free of formaldehyde-, paraben-, sulfate-, chlorine-, phosphate-, and dye-free. It is safe for sensitive skin, children, and pets.

PRO: The plant oils that make up this formula also help to fight bacteria. This product is both eco-friendly and cruelty-free.  You get up to 64 loads with one 32 oz bottle.  It is likewise safe in HE washing machines.

CON: The scent may smell great from the bottle, but it seems to only lightly transfer over to your clothes. If you have hard water, it tends to not lather up as much.  This product may be more efficient in areas with soft water.

#4 Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent’s concentrated formula is effective yet gentle on clothes. The mild wildflowers and fruity scent leaves clothes smelling fresh and clean. The enzymes and plant-derived ingredients are tough on dirt and stains, yet the formulation is gentle enough for baby clothes.

PRO: It is a highly-efficient but earth-friendly brand. Mrs. Meyers Laundry Detergent is biodegradable and works well with both HE and conventional washing machine. You get 64 loads of laundry per 64 fl. oz bottle.

CON: One downside to this product is its higher price point, compared to other brands and type.

#5 Seventh Generation Natural Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation’s Natural Concentrated Laundry Detergent is made with a triple enzyme formula that helps fight even the toughest stains.  It is also hypoallergenic, making it a safe choice for people with sensitive skin and for babies’ clothes.  It is also biodegradable, with its plant-derived main ingredients.

PRO: The 4x concentrated formula makes Seventh Generation’s Natural Concentrated Laundry Detergent go a long way.  This makes it cost-effective in the longer run. There are no artificial dyes, fragrances, or fabric brighteners in the formula. It is not just safe for you clothes and skin, but is also safe for the environment and septic systems.

CON: Some consumers have indicated that the bottle tends to leak a bit, especially during shipping. Its price point is a little on the high side.  It is recommended to stick to the amount prescribed per load, because a little really does go a long way. Also, it does not leave any sort of scent on your clothes, which some consumers may actually look for.

#6 Grandma’s Non-Detergent Laundry Soap

Grandma’s pure and natural Non-Detergent Laundry Soap was made through traditional, hand-crafted methods to best preserve the quality and effectiveness of its all-natural ingredients. This natural laundry soap’s formulation includes no detergents, dyes or fragrance that can irritate sensitive skin, making it perfect for babies, too. Grandma’s Non-Detergent Laundry Soap is effective in removing odor and oils from fabrics.

PRO: Consumers love Grandma’s for its fragrance-free freshness and its ability to clean clothes. Its all-natural ingredients make Grandma’s highly-biodegradable and safe for septic systems. Grandma’s works well in soft water.

CON: Since this natural laundry soap does not contain artificial softeners, clothes may not feel as soft after washing. Also, it may not work as well with hard water.

#7 Good Natured All-Natural Eco-friendly Lavender and Eucalyptus Laundry Soda/Detergent

Good Natured’s Laundry Soda/Detergent in Lavender and Eucalyptus is an all-natural and non-toxic blend of plant-based soaps that leaves clothes clean, soft, and fresh. It is hypoallergenic and biodegradable formulated without petroleum-based detergents and artificial fragrances.

PRO: Made with plant-based, biodegradable, salt-based minerals, and fresh lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, this all-natural laundry detergent works well with both standard and HE washing machines. It thoroughly cleans your laundry and leaves it smelling fresh and natural.

CON: Product does not come with a scoop, making it tricky to measure when doing laundry loads.

# 8 Planet 2X Laundry Detergent

Planet 2x Ultra Laundry detergent is a septic safe, hypoallergenic formula.  It leaves your laundry fresh and clean without the added chemicals. Planet 2X Ultra does not contain dyes, fragrances, and brighteners. It is great to use on baby clothes and for people who have skin sensitivities.  

PRO: All of Planet 2x Ultra’s ingredients are phosphate-free, as well as free from all dyes and fragrances, making it an effective hypoallergenic choice.  Furthermore, it is effective even in cold water settings on washers.  No more need for hot water to get the stains out.

CON: Planet 2x Ultra has been known to not be as effective on laundry in areas with hard water. Some consumers have also said that the inside of the cap is a bit difficult to read due to the design.

#9 Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Powder

Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Powder is up to 3x concentrated, meaning it does not take very much to get your clothes clean. It is free of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. Biokleen is eco-friendly and safer for septic systems.  

PRO: The super-concentrated formula can get you up to 150 loads in a standard washer, and up to 300 loads in an HE washer with just one 150 oz bottle. Biokleen Free & Clear is tough odors and stains, effective in cold water, and leaves your clothes free and clear from stains and odors.

CON: Although labeled as natural citrus, a number of consumers say that it doesn’t leave much of a scent on clothes.  Also, the bottle design is a little wanting because detergent drips from the spout when you use it, allowing for wastage.  Minimize the wastage by wiping the spout off with a clean cloth after each use, and then tossing the cloth into the washer.

#10 Ecover Zero Laundry Detergent

Ecover Zero Laundry Detergent is free of harsh chemicals and dyes, making it a septic-safe detergent.  It is manufactured with plant-based ingredients guaranteed effective on tough stains, even on cold water settings.

PRO: Ecover Zero’s formula is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.  This means that you use less of Ecover Zero than you typically would use with other laundry detergents. The ingredients, as well as the packaging itself, is made from plant-based materials.  The packaging is biodegradable, making it eco-friendly and safe.

CON: It’s a bit pricier than your average detergent, but still reasonable for any hypoallergenic formulation. It does not include any fabric enhancers that enhance the brightness of clothes.

#11 Start Fresh Super Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Start Fresh is hypoallergenic and super concentrated. Just a little goes a long way. Made with 100% biodegradable, phosphate -free, and cruelty-free ingredients. It has a color-safe, heavy-duty cleaning power that keeps your clothes looking their best.

PRO: Its hypoallergenic formula makes it great for baby clothes. It has a water-trap formula that allows for a clean rinse.

CON: Start Fresh is fragrance-free, so clothes may not be as fresh-smelling as some consumers may prefer.

#12 Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash

Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash is especially formulated to gently and effectively clean without causing damage to costly fabrics, especially for lingerie and delicates. Its concentrated formula works great with both standard and HE washing machines. It is the perfect blend of powerful cleaning enzymes, effective in removing tough stains, while staying gentle on garments on sensitive skin.

PRO: Its natural, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic formulation makes Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash gentle enough for babies and sensitive skin, but effective in its cleansing power. It has a neutral pH level and is guaranteed biodegradable.

CON: Some consumers have indicated that Heritage Park Fine Fabric Wash may have low-stain-removing power for its relatively high price point.

Cleaning Products that are Safe to Use with Septic Systems

Typically, septic systems can handle most chemical cleaning products, but in moderation. Using too much chemicals will potentially throw off the bacterial balance inside the septic tank. This happening can lead to septic problems such as clogging, groundwater pollution, and drainfield malfunction. Trouble arises when excessive amounts of the chemicals are allowed into the system. For best results, it is recommended to always use septic-safe products as indicated on the label.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns each potentially dangerous chemical a registration number. This indicates if the product is safe for homes and for use with septic systems. Many common household products contain these labels. Any biodegradable or environmentally-friendly product is likewise perfectly safe for use with septic systems.

All-Purpose Cleaners. Laundry detergents or any other all-purpose cleaners that can be applied without needing to use hand gloves are generally safe for use with septic systems. Natural, phosphate-free detergents and other multi-purpose cleaners are also generally safe and will not harm the helpful bacteria inside the septic tank and in the drainfield. Go with cleaners that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and chlorine-free.

Household Bleach. Products containing bleach are generally safe for use with septic systems in moderate amounts. Bleach is a chemical that kills bacteria, but when it is diluted with water (as in most household applications) it won’t be potent enough to kill all the helpful bacteria that are vital in the tank and drainfield. Whenever possible, though, it would still be best to use alternatives to bleach in order to protect the essential bacteria in the tank and drainfield. Food-grade hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) vinegar diluted in water, and baking soda are good alternatives.

Water-Based Cleaners. Most water-based cleaners are safe for septic use. Water-based cleaners do not contain harsh solvents that can harm septic system components and the essential bacterial that are naturally present. Water-based cleaners should always list water as the main ingredient on their labels.

Septic-Safe Drain Cleaners. If you use drain cleaners, note that only drain cleaners in liquid form are safe for septic systems. Solid or foaming drain cleaners should be avoided as these can damage the septic system. Although, even liquid drain cleaners may cause septic tank damage if used too frequently or excessively. Use sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.

Ammonia Cleaner. Pure ammonia and cleaning products containing ammonia are also considered safe for septic system use in small amounts. Ammonia will not kill the healthy bacteria in the septic system and it will not leach into the groundwater. But, just like any chemical, ammonia should be used in moderation. Remember, too, to take precautions and not to mix chemicals like bleach with ammonia.

Household Items. Items you typically have around the house like baking soda and vinegar are actually effective cleaners that are safe for your septic system. They can be used to deodorize, disinfect surfaces, and whiten. Vinegar and baking soda work well in the laundry and for cleaning surfaces. Use these to naturally clean your toilet, or use it to scour hard-to-clean surfaces. Still take caution as improper and excessive use of baking soda and vinegar may actually upset the necessary pH balance in your tank.

Household cleaners that are safe for septic systems and can make your life easier. Natural cleaners could be more affordable, too. Although, as with everything else, anything in excess can be more harmful than helpful.

How Septic-Unsafe Laundry Detergent Affects Your Septic System

Your choice of laundry detergents bear a big impact to the health of your septic system. To help treat the pathogens and other contaminants present in wastewater, septic tanks are filled with essential bacteria. Whether aerobic or anaerobic, bacteria both mineralize and decompose the waste in wastewater. Laundry detergents affect the population of bacteria in your septic system. Certain cleaning agents, such as bleach, non-biodegradable and antibacterial soaps can weaken or even kill off the bacteria that maintains your septic system’s health. Moreover, excessive detergent substance in a septic tank can cause clogged soil pores, which results to drainage difficulties and sewage backups. Typically, detergents in liquid form are the best option when it comes to healthy septic systems.

Certain detergent products are labeled to be septic-safe and they are almost always in liquid form. This is because liquid detergents have less of the potentially harmful ingredients that may damage septic system components. Some dry or powdered detergents use clay and sodium as fillers, which are likely culprits to system clogs.

What to Do If You’ve Been Using Non-Septic-Safe Laundry Detergent

If you suspect that you have been quite indiscriminate with your detergent use but still unsure of what to use, one of the first steps to undertake is to limit the use of anti-bacterial soaps and cleaning agents. Anti-bacterial soap, obviously, is made to kill bacteria. While this may be great for cleaning all around, too much use of anti-bacterial agents may be catastrophic for your on-site wastewater treatment system. By its very nature, anti-bacterial soaps are detrimental to the essential bacteria in any septic system. Inside the septic tank, bacteria break down solid waste, while the bacteria in the drainfield eliminates harmful pathogens, making it safe for the treated effluent to be released back into the environment. While a single use of antibacterial soap has little to no effect, using antibacterial products on a regular and prolonged basis can harm the bacteria living in your septic tank and will seriously curtail their effectivity. Thus setting off a chain of septic components’ malfunction, potentially leading to system failure.

Consult with the septic service professional that pumps out your septic tank to find out what products they recommend as suitable for septic systems. As a general reference, we have likewise come up with a list of 101 septic-safe products.

Should you ever need to use septic tank treatment products to mitigate excessive usage of septic-unsafe laundry detergents, choose a product that adds good bacteria to the septic tank. Opt for products that bear natural active bacteria and enzymes that are proven effective in breaking down household waste. Make sure that the treatment you use is compatible with the type of septic system you have. Again, your septic professional will be able to help you out with this.

You may also go totally natural and flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet (ideally on the ground or bottom floor) once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.

Using septic-friendly cleaning products can help prevent expensive repairs and avoid serious health problems. Generally, most all-natural cleaners are safe for use with septic systems. One of the best ways to make sure that you are using septic-safe laundry soap is to reference the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of Safer Choice products. Also, note that non-chlorine, non-ammonia, non-antibacterial, non-toxic, and biodegradable cleaning products are better for, not just your on-site treatment facility and its occupants, but for the environment as well.

7 Best Hypoallergenic and Septic-Safe Laundry Detergents

Most of the laundry detergents you can find on the market contain artificial dyes and fragrances. These two substances are known common allergens. Chemical dyes wear down the natural protective layer of the skin. One becomes susceptible to dry, itchy skin or, worse, develop a condition known as contact dermatitis. Know that these artificial dyes serve no purpose in cleaning clothes. Extra caution needs to be taken if your household includes members that are allergy and asthma sufferers. Laundry detergents can be a source of (or a trigger for) serious skin irritations and other allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose and headache.

On the other hand, fragrances may cause respiratory problems and also trigger allergic reactions (this is especially true for allergy sufferers and small children). Again, note that fragrances are not true indications of cleanliness.

Hypoallergenic laundry detergents do not contain these allergy and asthma-inducing chemicals. They are dye-free and fragrance-free. Hypoallergenic laundry detergents are the ideal for the clothes of allergy sufferers and people with skin conditions (like psoriasis, dry skin, or eczema). The only thing better than hypoallergenic laundry detergents are hypoallergenic laundry detergents that are also safe for use with septic systems. Which is why we listed down seven of the best of such products.

Sun & Earth Natural Laundry Detergent

Sun & Earth Natural Laundry Detergent is made from 100% plant-based ingredients. So it is safe, not only for family members and pets, but for the environment, as well. Sun & Earth does not contain dyes or preservatives and is fragrance-free. It’s guaranteed safe for sensitive skin types.  

PRO: It is a powerful stain-remover, yet gentle on sensitive skin. The absence of perfumes and dyes does not, in any way, deter its cleaning abilities.

CON: Some consumers have complained that its packaging is unsatisfactory, as some have experienced leak-y packaging. Some have also noted that product is not 100% unscented as labeled.

Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda

Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda is safe on skin, yet time tough on dirt and stains. If you want your clothes feeling fresh, soft, and absolutely clean after washing, Nellie’s will be a good choice. It does not leave residues and harmful chemicals on your clothes. It does not contain fragrances, chlorine, phosphates, gluten, SLE and SLES. It comes in “powdered foam” form, promising utmost cleaning power for whites and colors. What’s important is that it is biodegradable. It also works in any water temperature in various washer settings.

PRO: Perfect for sensitive skin and baby clothes. It is safe for the environment because it is guaranteed biodegradable.

CON: The fact that it is not in liquid form, some consumers might still be unsure if this will work optimally with on-site septic systems.

Ecos Baby Laundry Detergent

Ecos Baby Hypoallergenic laundry detergent is effective in removing tough dirt stains on babies’ clothes. More importantly, it remains gentle on clothes and your baby’s sensitive skin. Its formulation is ideal for allergy sufferers, as well. It does not contain phosphates, optical brighteners, or parabens. Also, it is made without dyes and fragrances.

PRO: The product is dermatologist-tested. Made from plant-based ingredients, Ecos Baby is biodegradable, making it safe for septic systems and the environment as well. Ecos Baby is EPA Safer Choice-certified.

CON: It might not remove stains as thoroughly as you will expect. Its cleaning power isn’t as great as the non-hypoallergenic brands.

Tide PODS Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent

It is unscented and hypoallergenic, making it a perfect choice for sensitive skin. Tide PODS Free & Gentle is likewise free of dyes and perfumes, ideal for babies’ clothes and allergy sufferers.

PRO: This product is dermatologist-tested. Compatible with both standard and HE washing machines. It dissolves in both hot and cold water.

CON: It may not dissolve as effectively, at times leaving residue on clothes. Some consumers have also indicated the inconvenient packaging.

Grab Green 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods

This 3 in 1 naturally-derived detergent cuts through dirt, leaving your laundry clean and fresh. It is an effective laundry detergent that’s at the same time, earth-friendly. This biodegradable laundry detergent is formulated free of phosphates, chlorine, dyes and masking agents, making it a perfect choice for babies’ clothes, sensitive skin, and allergy sufferers.

PRO: Grab Green 3-in-1 is compatible with both standard and high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. It has a mild calming scent that will last throughout the washing and drying cycle all the way to when you use your fabrics and linens.

CON: Pods don’t dissolve as effectively as detergents in liquid form.

Purex Baby Soft Liquid Laundry Detergent

Purex Baby has a light fragrance that’s just right for babies’ clothes and leaves them smelling fresh and clean. It is hypoallergenic and free of dyes.  Purex Baby Soft Liquid Laundry Detergent is dermatologist-tested and formulated to be gentle sensitive skin and allergy sufferers. 

PRO: This highly concentrated formula delivers 2X more cleaning power so you only need to use half as much than you would other detergent brands.

CON: A few consumers have expressed dislike for the product’s scent. They’ve indicated more of a chemical scent rather than “baby fresh”.

All Liquid Free & Clear Laundry Detergent

All Liquid Free & Clear is dye- and perfume-free. It is recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin and babies’ clothes.  

PRO: This concentrated formula delivers 2X more cleaning power in every drop. This means that you have to use as much to fight through tough stains. Product is tough on stains yet gentle on skin.

CON: Dissatisfied customers have cited faulty or inconvenient packaging, especially the spout. It may also happen that the bottle might leak during shipping.

Using soap or detergent in excessive amounts can be problematic for your septic system. Many laundry detergents contain surfactants. While surfactants may make detergents be effective in lifting dirt off the surface of a fabric, these chemicals can likewise be serious contaminants to ground and surface water. In addition to using septic-friendly laundry detergents, do make it a habit to space out your laundry loads over a few days rather than doing one heavy load at once. Also, make sure to use normal (prescribed) amounts of detergents in your laundry loads. Remember that more detergent does not necessarily mean cleaner clothes and it could cause problems for your septic system in the long run. Allowing excessive amounts of detergent into your septic tank also means introducing more (potentially-harmful) chemicals into your entire system, which in turn is detrimental to the helpful bacteria that are naturally present in your septic system. And besides being discriminate in your use of laundry detergents, having your septic tank pumped out regularly will definitely help keep your septic system healthy and functional for a very long time.  

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