Safe & Effective Household Cleaning Tips for Homes with Septic Tank Systems
Making your home an attractive, comfortable, and safe place begins with cleaning. Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, cleaning removes dirt, dust, allergens, and other infectious agents from the home to promote a healthful indoor environment. Every day we execute some form of cleaning in our homes, whether its sweeping, washing dishes, taking out the trash, or simply washing down a counter top. Because household cleaning products are a convenient and easy way to clean, people overlook the effects these products have on our health and our environment. Cleaning products are also very effective at killing undesired bacteria, however not all bacteria is bad, especially if you have a septic tank system.
Bacteria are the most important component of a septic tank system. Responsible for breaking down solid waste and removing pathogens from waste water, bacteria are essentially what makes a septic tank system function. Without bacteria throughout the septic tank system, the accumulation of solid waste would cause the system to malfunction rather quickly. It is important to maintain a high level of bacteria throughout the septic system for effective waste water treatment, however the regular use of household cleaning products adversely effect the bacteria in the system. Because septic maintenance and household cleaning are both vital components to a healthy and safe living environment, one should not be compromised for the sake of the other. Learning to keep a clean home without the harsh chemicals contained in popular cleaning product brands and proactively maintaining your septic tank system with a septic tank treatment collectively will ensure a safe and healthy living environment, with little or no impact on the environment.
Why are household cleaning products dangerous?
Many household cleaning products can cause health and environmental concerns. Many of these convenient cleaners contain chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation. Some concentrated forms of these cleaning products are classified as hazardous ( creating potential handling, storage, and disposal issues.) Many consumers fail to realize that household cleaning products are released into the environment through evaporation and rinsing residual products down the drain. Efficient at killing unwanted bacteria on surfaces around the home, once these products get into the septic system they destroy the bacteria colonies responsible for waste degradation, causing the septic tank system to fail. A failing system can contaminate the soil as well as ground and surface water sources. The chemicals contained in these cleaning products also affect indoor air quality. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of household cleaning products are not required to disclose the ingredients on their labels or website.
Effectively Cleaning your Home without Harming the Septic Tank System
The septic tank system has been around for over a hundred and fifty years,way before manufacturers developed popular household cleaning products. Choosing the right cleaning products will help to avoid septic system problems and other environmental and health issues. Because of the antimicrobial agents found in chlorine, ammonia, and anti-bacterial products, make sure these types of cleaners do not get into the septic tank system, ( use sparingly if at all).
AVOID USING : ( never flush or put down the drain if you have a septic tank system) chlorine Bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, detergents, ammonia, lye, paint thinners, disinfectants, pesticides, water softeners, caustic soda, herbicides, and antibiotic medications. These increase the risk of soil and ground water contamination and septic system failure.
A new trend among household cleaning products is the green cleaning alternatives. These products are less hazardous and have positive environmental attributes. ( biodegradable, low toxicity, reduced or recycled packaging) These household cleaning products are designed to cut expenses and pollution. However, not all of these green cleaning products are safe for use with a septic tank system. It is important to use “low phosphorus” household cleaning products because using too much phosphorus can upset the balance in the septic tank system. Always look for products that are non-chlorine, non-ammonia, non-toxic, non-antibacterial, and that are biodegradable. Oxygen bleach is the safest for use with a septic tank system. Many manufacturers will also label products that are safe for use in a septic tank system and gray water systems.
Household cleaning products are popular because they are affordable, convenient, and lets face it: They work. The best way to ensure that your septic tank system will effectively treat waste water is to use an all natural septic tank treatment product that contains bacteria and enzymes. Monthly septic tank treatments will put billions of potent bacteria into the septic tank system to break down solid waste and remove disease causing pathogens. Maintaining your septic tank system each month with a high quality septic tank treatment will reverse the negative affects that household cleaning products have on the system. Using a monthly septic tank treatment is also an effective way to prevent and eliminate septic tank problems due to decreased bacteria in the system.
Because many cleaning products harm or kill the bacteria throughout the septic system, using a monthly septic tank treatment will restore balance to the system. Making sure your septic tank system runs efficiently and safely is an extremely important part of a clean, safe, and healthful living environment. Having a clean home should never come at the expense of having a failing septic system. There are many alternatives to the popular household cleaning products available in stores. No matter how you choose to clean your home, septic maintenance with a monthly septic tank treatment is an extremely important part of household cleaning and healthy living.
Try these cleaning recipes to help prolong the life of your septic system:
• Tub and Sink Cleaner: use baking soda in place of scouring powder. Sprinkle it on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Rinse well.
• Toilet Bowl Cleaner: sprinkle baking soda and a couple of drops of soap
inside the bowl as you would any scouring powder.
• Window & Mirror Cleaner: put 1/4 cup vinegar in the spray bottle and fill
to top with water. Spray on surface. For outdoor windows, add a few drops
of castile soap and wash with warm water.
• All Purpose Cleaner: use a drop of castile soap in place of other all purpose
• Linoleum Floor Cleaner: mop with a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar in a bucket
of warm water. The vinegar odor will disappear when the floor dries.
• Drain Cleaner: to free minor clogs and help prevent future ones, pour 1/2
cup of baking soda down the drain first, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Let
the mixture fizz for a few minutes, then add a teakettle full of boiling water.