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Fabric softners and septic systems

Posted by capecodcook (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 29, 06 at 12:41

I would appreciate any factual information anyone has on the effect of fabric softners on septic systems/fields. It sure seems ot gunk up the inside of the dispenser after a while and I'm wondering what it does to a septic tank or leaching field.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fabric softners and septic systems

Use fabric softener sheets instead of liquid!
Use liquid detergent instead of powder!

RE: Fabric softners and septic systems


Use a lint screen on any waste water coming from your washer before it hits the ejector pump to your septic system.

RE: Fabric softners and septic systems


Most fabric softener is just like putting hamburger grease down the drain. With a handful of exceptions, the liquid fabric softeners you buy in the supermarket or at a big box store are petroleum based.

If you have a good colony of bacteria and enzymes in your septic, they will eat those lipids and break them into smaller organically absorbable compounds... eventually... maybe.

The plant based fabric softeners - i.e. soy or coconut - such as Method (at Target), Seventh Generation and the now defunct Downy Advanced are generally easier for the septic colony to digest since the plant fat/lipid molecules aren't as complex as the petroleum based ones. (Sort of like the difference between unsaturated fats and saturated fats.)

As long as you use limited amounts of plant derived softener and feed your septic colony (i.e. with something similar to Rid-X, Bioprime, etc.), you should be fine. You're not putting anything down the drain that isn't passing out your colon already.

- IT Geek

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