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Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

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Is homemade detergent safe for septic systems?

By Jeanne from Hackettstown, NJ


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By bkvander [2]12/13/2010

I use Dawn dish soap for regular dirt and Ivory liquid for fine/delicate stuff, we have a "mound" system and our clean out man says ours is always in great shape. Tons cheaper too!


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Archive: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Hi, I am planning to make laundry detergent at home using soap, borax and washing soda. I read somewhere that using soap flakes is not good for the septic pipes. Is that true? is there any other way that I can make the detergent at home which I can safely use for newborns clothes, too?

Sweety from VA

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

I have always used regular ivory or other white soap grated in my laundry soap recipe. My family has sensitive skin so this works best for us. And the clothes come out clean. This would not be any worse on your septic than using it on your body, I do not think.

I never used a special soap for my son's baby clothes. I just washed all of his clothes with ours and he turned out just fine. :) This was back before I made my own soap though. I was using All free and clear liquid, but it is very expensive. (08/08/2007)

By wendiesioux

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

I had 7 children and never had a problem. I just rinsed twice to make sure all the soap was out of the clothes because I used the same detergent on their clothes that I used on mine, which was usually Tide.

The only problems I ever had was from a diaper delivery service. Even though I asked them to rinse twice I don't think they did, because my twins kept getting diaper rashes. When I quit using the service and started washing the diapers myself the rashes quit. I just double rinsed. (08/08/2007)

By Gentle1

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Our septic system had 8" pipes that caked up shut with soap and fat mixed. It was hard like bar soap, and we replaced the pipes. (08/08/2007)

By kimhis

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Making a good laundry soap for a septic tank could be difficult. You'd probably save more money (not taking a chance of ruining septic system) buying a "natural" detergent. Check labels and look if it says "safe for septic system". More and more companies are making"green" (eco-friendly) products now and that's what you need. (08/08/2007)

By pam2cats

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Go to for info on their Wonder Ball. It's chemical-free and lasts 2 years or 2000 washes. I haven't used laundry detergent for a year and my clothes come clean. It saves you a lot and is worth it's weight in gold. (08/08/2007)

By Tooti C.

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Do you wash you hands with soap? Can the septic system tell the difference if the soap comes from your body or the laundry? You can use any type of soap, it doesn't have to be Fels Naptha. The ingredients are green and are often used in homemade cleaning mixes. They're probably safer than most store-bought detergents. (08/10/2007)

By susanmajp

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Just a word of caution (not sure whether it's true or not) but the laundry ball that's referenced in this string ( is made from PVC! PVC is carcinogenic, according to California law. California posts warnings when an item contains PVC. I know it's widely used but I wonder how safe PVC actually is (or isn't). (12/27/2007)

By Jane

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Pouring ammonia down your drains and running it through your washing machine and dishwasher will break down fats and grease that accumulate in drain pipes. It may not smell the best, but it will work. Ammonia will break down naturally in the septic system anyway. (08/15/2008)

By Larry

RE: Making Septic Safe Laundry Detergent

Did any of you know about saving orange peels and using them to wash clothing with? It really cleans and deodorizes too! (05/28/2010)

By Bea 1549

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