Laundry With A Septic System: 5 Tips to Prevent Septic Trouble.

Laundry With A Septic System: 5 Tips to Prevent Septic Trouble.

Published on December 2, 2016


The Question everyone Wants to Know: Will Doing Laundry Harm Your Septic System? 

Well, yes and no. Normal washing machine use will not damage your septic system, but it is possible to do damage by committing common mistakes. Luckily, by following 5 simple tips, you can be sure you’re taking care of your septic system and avoiding costly mistakes. 

 5 Tips to Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly  


1. Don’t save all of your loads for one day.

Spreading out multiple loads over multiple days reduces strain on your septic system and drainfield. Excessive water strains your drainfield and puts it in into overdrive.

High amounts of water from multiple laundry loads could spell disaster after heavy rains, putting your soil past its maximum saturation capability. The average washer uses 40 gallons of water per load. This can quickly add up when doing several loads of laundry.


2. Use liquid detergent, not powdered.


Powdered detergents use fillers or extenders that are not good for your system and drainfield.

 Clay, a common filler, can wreak havoc on a properly functioning drainfield. Clay can cause damage to your septic drainfield by clogging the soil and permanently damaging its absorption ability.



3. Do not use excessive amounts of bleach or detergent.

Normal amounts of bleach and detergents are okay for you septic system. However, excessive amounts will damage the good bacteria in your septic system. Good bacteria is absolutely vital. They break down solids within your tank and are the life blood to the system. 


4. Install lint filter.Lint Filter.png

Install a lint filter on the washing machine’s discharging water line to catch excess lint and prevent it from getting in your septic system. Excess Lint will bind with solids and not break down in a septic system. Lint is a common cause of major clogs and back-ups. 

Even in-line lint filters as cheap as $2.50 can save your system from costly back-ups! 



5. Avoid excess dirt and mud.

Normally soiled clothes are fine. However, extremely muddy clothes should be brushed off outside before loading into wash.

You never want large amounts of excess dirt entering your septic system. It can create clogs within your system and damage the absorption ability of your drainfield. 


Wash Away Your Worries!

 By following these five simple tips you will keep your septic system operating safe, efficient, and worry free!

If you ever have a problem click below to contact Stamie E. Lyttle Co. 24/7 – 365!!






  1. Husband is a mechanic . How do we wash his grease covered clothes. We are on a septic tank . Just had it emptied due to a ‘grease’ blockage .

    1. Thanks for your comment. Mechanics grease is very different from kitchen grease. I would suggest you prewash any material with petroleum-based products in a surfactant prior to placing that article of clothing in the washing machine. I would suppose that the grease buildup causing a blockage was more likely kitchen grease. Kitchen grease is composed of animal/vegetable fats which are much more “bulky” and troublesome to sewer pipe. We recommend kitchen grease be removed from cookware, dishes, etc prior to running the dishwasher. If kitchen grease is sent down the drain because it was rinsed off in warm water, once that grease cools, it will stop along your sewerline and start a constriction in the flow. Hope that answers your question, albeit indirectly. You shouldn’t send any type of grease into the septic system if at all possible. Kitchen grease is the main concern for blockages. I would suppose you’d need decades of mechanics grease from clothes to affect your sewer lines. Petroleum, even in small doses, is very harmful to your system as well.


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