The Dangers of Antibacterial Soap in a Septic Tank

The Dangers of Antibacterial Soap in a Septic Tank

17th Nov 2016

Millions of people use antibacterial soap believing it results in a cleaner home and better health. But for septic system owners, your antibacterial soap may be doing more harm than good.

Why is antibacterial soap bad for your septic tank?

A septic system only functions effectively only when it maintains the right balance of beneficial bacteria. This bacteria helps to break down solid waste, and prevents your septic system from backing up.

When you introduce certain chemicals into your septic system, the growth of good bacteria can be slowed, or the bacteria may even be completely eliminated. Less bacteria in your septic tanks means more odor, a slower system, more frequent pump outs, or even a costly and inconvenient repair.

Antibacterial soap is made to kill bacteria. This is great for cleaning, but terrible for your septic system. A septic system requires two types of bacteria to do its job: anaerobic bacteria, which doesn't require oxygen, and aerobic bacteria, which does require oxygen. Inside your septic tank, anaerobic bacteria is needed to break down solid waste, while aerobic bacteria in your system's leach field destroys harmful pathogens which can cause disease. Antibacterial soaps kills both types of bacteria.

Almost every homeowner uses antibacterial products. Besides antibacterial hand soap, septic system damaging antibacterial products include:

  • tile, sink, shower and tub cleaners;
  • toilet bowl cleaners;
  • laundry detergents;
  • drain cleaners;
  • counter-top cleaners, and
  • commercial and industrial cleaners.

Does this mean I have to sacrifice cleanliness to keep my septic system running?

No. In fact, the value of using antibacterial soap is highly disputed. The FDA states that antibacterial soap is not shown to be better at protecting against disease or infections than correctly washing with normal soap and hot water. In addition, there are multiple studies which conclude that the use of antibacterial soap may actually decrease the ability of user's immune system to fight off sickness, and may not be safe for long-term use.

What are some safe antibacterial soap alternatives for septic system owners?

There are quality alternatives to antibacterial soap which are safe for your septic systems.Eco Me is a trusted brand which offers a complete range of non-toxic, natural, and septic-safe cleaning and washing products. Eco Me offers hand washing soap, dish washing soap and other cleaning products.

WexCo Septic Safe Products specialize in providing its customers with the best and safest septic system products available. Shop online or call 888-983-2447 for assistance. 

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