Household Cleaners and Septic Tanks

One of the issues of living on a remote Cumbrian farm is we have to use a septic tank, rather than a modern waste water system.

It’s no big deal really, it just sits under one of the fields and the nice chap comes with his tanker every now and again to empty it.

However, we do have to be aware of the what we are flushing down the sinks and toilets. Harsh household cleaners can damage the little eco system going on down there and of course we don’t want the drainoff into the field to be full of chemicals.

It is estimated that is takes about 2 gallons of undiluted bleach to really harm a septic tank but think how many cleaners we use these days and how many chemicals are being put into what was originally designed to be a natural waste system. There’s the toilet cleaner, washing powder, kitchen cleaners, bathroon products, drain cleaners, to name but a few.

There is also the harm we can be doing to ourselves, just read the back of an oven cleaner spray … it says leave the room for up to 20 minutes!! Other household cleaners have toxic warning signs and tell us not to inhale.

People are often reluctant to try eco products because they assume they will be less effective but anyone that has watched the tv programme How Clean is your House will have seen Aggie and Kim (complete with pink frilly rubber gloves) tackle even the hardest to remove dirt with such simple items as baby oil, white vinegar or bicarbonate of soda.Head on over to their website for loads of tips on how to ise alternative household cleaners.

BBCgreen have also performed tests on seven brands of eco cleaning products and their article do eco cleaning products really work? provides their opinions.

One of my personal favourites is white distilled vinegar, people often think vingegar will leave your home smelling like a fish and chip shop but white distilled vinegar leaves no odour. The aptly named Vinegar Tips website provides plenty of tips for cleaning with vinegar and not just household cleaning but outdoors too.

You can not only save the environment by using such things as white vinegar to clean but also some money too, today I looked up the price of the cheapest kitcken cleaner in Sainsbury and the one on special offer is £1.09 per litre, I found a 5 litre container of white vinegar for just £3.99 at Summer Naturals, that’s just 80 pence a litre and of course you dilute that for most cleaning jobs.

Even if you don’t have a septic tank it is worth changing to eco-friendly cleaning products to protect the health of your family (let’s be honest it’s not natural to live in a sterile environment), the environment around us and your budget by buying cheaper natural products than chemical household cleaners.

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3 Responses to “Household Cleaners and Septic Tanks”

  1. Tony Wildish (1 comments.) Says:

    thank you for this collection of links, there’s some very useful stuff in there. I already use ecover and vinegar, but I still learned a few things!

    Tony Wildish’s last blog post..Allergies, Behaviour, and Dr.Doris Rapp

  2. Sally Says:

    Thanks for dropping by Tony, love your blog.

  3. jim from cleanig services luton (1 comments.) Says:

    cheers for the links and the article… did you know lemon juice is also used to get rid of some stains and break up dirt.

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