If you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance you’ve got a septic system instead of a sewer connection to your home. That means you must consider the septic when using a toilet bowl cleaner. What cleaners are safe to use with a septic system?
The best cleaners to use are not the ones that are marked as “safe” by the manufacturer. Look for cleaners that do not use chlorine or ammonia. They should be bio-degradable cleaning products that are non-toxic. In most cases, the best option is going to be an all-natural cleaner. That is because you need items that will break down correctly within the septic system to have it operate correctly.
What About Bleach-Based Cleaners for Toilets?
The reason why chlorine and ammonia should not be used for cleaning purposes is because they can kill the bacteria in the septic. Without that bacteria present, the wastes do not break down as they should. That makes it difficult for the distribution lines to do their job because the particles may not have fully liquefied.
Chlorine bleach in a moderate amount may not have a direct impact on your septic. Think of “moderate” like this. If you clean your toilet every day with chlorine bleach, plus use bleach with your whites when doing laundry, then that is too much. If, however, you clean your toilet once per week with this cleaner, you should be okay.
It takes about two gallons of chlorinated bleach to have a negative impact on a septic. In comparison, it takes 1 teaspoon of a chemical drain cleaner to harm the beneficial bacteria in the system.
Why Care Still Needs to Be Taken
Even if you decide to use chlorinated bleach, care must still be taken. The bleach breaks down into salts and that can interfere with the drainage field.
That is why fully biodegradable cleaners should only be used when the toilet bowl needs a good cleaning. Something as simple as hot water can be enough to sanitize a ceramic bowl. Just don’t add so much water to your system that it overwhelms your septic in the process.
With a septic system, you need beneficial bacteria. Many cleaners are designed to kill bacteria. That is why it is so important to find a healthy balance.