Septic tanks can be picky. Any homeowner who relies on a septic tank knows that there are certain substances that shouldn't be put down the drain. Fats, oils, and grease are definite no-nos, but many homeowners are surprised to discover that liquid fabric softeners can be just as dangerous.
Learn more about the potential dangers of fabric softeners in your septic tank before you do your next load of laundry.
1. Fabric Softeners Are Petroleum-Based
One of the major reasons fabric softeners should be avoided if you have a septic tank is because fabric softeners are petroleum-based products. A thin layer of chemical petroleum is what allows fabric softeners to give your clothing that tell-tale soft feeling.
Oil that finds its way into your septic tank can create blockages that prevent waste from draining properly. The oil adheres to the interior walls of septic pipes. Debris becomes trapped in the oil, creating clogs. Avoid fabric softeners if you want to avoid a clogged septic system.
2. Fabric Softeners Are Antibacterial
Your septic system functions as a result of helpful bacteria that reside inside the tank. Helpful bacteria help to break down any waste products that enter your septic tank so that the waste doesn't fill the tank too quickly. Anything that disrupts the balance of bacteria within a septic tank can create serious problems.
Fabric softeners contain quaternary ammonium compounds, more commonly referred to as quats. Quats have antibacterial qualities, which means they have the potential to kill off good bacteria if they find their way into your septic tank.
A bacterial imbalance in your septic tank could lead to more frequent clean-outs or a clogged drain field. Serious septic issues can be prevented if you avoid the use of fabric softeners when doing your laundry.
3. Fabric Softeners Can Be Toxic
Fabric softeners often feature unique scents that are designed to make your laundry smell fresh for an extended period of time. The problem with these scents is that they can be created using a mixture of toxic and untested chemicals.
Putting toxic chemicals into your septic system can lead to premature tank deterioration and a potential bacterial imbalance. If you want to keep your septic tank safe without compromising the softness of your clothing, use distilled vinegar during your washing machine's rinse cycle instead of relying on chemical-laden commercial fabric softeners.
Don't let the oils and toxic chemicals found in many fabric softeners cause problems for your septic tank. Eliminate commercial fabric softeners from your laundry routine. For more assistance, contact local septic tank contractors.