If your home is on a septic tank based system, you may already be taking steps to make sure the tank operates smoothly. This may mean using a specific type of toilet paper, avoiding items like flushable wipes, and avoiding grease entering the system. This may lead you to avoid chemicals and use natural products in an effort to keep the system as functional as possible. The problem is, some of these natural products hurt septic tank systems. Here are a few of those products.
Most homemade beauty products call for coconut oil in some form. Though some of these products are lotions, some are not. DIY body scrubs and hair treatments use a coconut oil as the main ingredient. The problem with this is when that coconut oil hits your drain. Though the hot water will get the oil to the melting point, it doesn't take much to harden the oil. If that oil enters your septic tank, it will cool down. Once cooled down, it will turn into a solid mass that can cause clogs, block your system, and cause repair issues. If you are making your own scrubs and hair treatment, consider a fractionated coconut oil that remains in liquid form or an alternative treatment that does not use oil.
You may not think of baking soda as something that could harm your septic tank, but if mixed with other ingredients it can cause major issues. For example, if it is mixed with certain oxygen cleaners, laundry powders, or essential oils the baking soda may become hard and difficult to break up. In your septic tank, this could lead to clogging issues. However, since it can harden it may cause cracks in the septic tank systems pipes. This could lead to costly repairs and septic leaks into your ground area.
You may believe that the use of essential oils will not affect your septic tank, but there are several ways that it can. One of the main ways is by coating paper, such as toilet paper, that ends up in your septic tank system. This coated paper is more difficult to breakdown since the oil provides a barrier against water and solutions made to help breakdown items in septic tank systems. If you do use essential oils, consider using a reusable microfiber cloth to clean up spills or extra oil and washing that cloth with a laundry detergent that can break down oils.
Keep in mind, some of these ingredients may be in several items ranging from cleaning products to hygiene products. If you use these products, make sure you are avoiding disposing of them in your drainage system. Make sure to also have your grease trap cleaned several times a year to ensure oils are not backing up into the system causing clogs and the grease trap is working properly.