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Chemicals To Avoid Putting Down Your Drains

It’s important to remember that anything that gets flushed down your toilets or poured down your drains ends up in your septic tank. Because one of the components that makes your septic system work is a balance of bacteria, any chemical could disrupt that balance. Anytime you use any cleaning product, it’s important to make sure it’s safe for septic tanks. Here are some chemicals to avoid putting down your drains.

Drain Cleaners

Drain cleaning products like Drano and Liquid Plumber should NEVER be used if you have a septic system. One of the main ingredients in drain cleaners is sodium hydroxide or lye. Lye is one of the most corrosive chemicals found in cleaning products and can wreak havoc on the components of your septic tank. If you’re having drain issues in your home, call a plumber instead of pouring chemicals down your pipes.

Fabric Softeners

Liquid fabric softeners work by adding “softening” chemicals to clothes to make the fabric feel softer. These chemicals are called QUATS or quaternary ammonium compounds and are known to kill bacteria. Besides making them a no-no for septic tanks, they also have acidic ingredients to maintain pH levels when washing. These components can mess with the pH level in your septic tank.


When it comes to medications, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs should never be poured down your drain. Even a simple cough syrup could disrupt the bacteria balance in your tank.

Antibacterial Soap

The name of this product alone should be a clue that it could be dangerous to septic systems. But people don’t realize the type of soap they use to wash their hands would affect their septic tank. Antibacterial soaps have ingredients that could indeed kill certain bacteria in your tank. Instead, use ordinary hand soap. If you’re concerned about germs, opt for a natural hand soap with lime.

Have questions about what you can and can’t use with your septic system? Ask the experts at Affordable Pumping Services! Give us a call today.

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