A septic system is an underground wastewater treatment structure commonly used in rural areas and homes with water wells. A septic system works by collecting all the wastewater from your house. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to let the solids settle down at the bottom while oil and grease float at the top. The components (traps and filters) inside the septic system prevent solids, grease, and oil from leaving the tank. These substances are then naturally decomposed by the bacteria in the tank.
But why do you need a septic safe dishwasher? The reason is simple; some detergents contain substances that kill the bacteria in the septic systems. The most dangerous of all these substances are phosphates. Phosphates form acids in water which kill the good bacteria and enzymes that live in your septic system and help decompose the contents quickly. Without these enzymes and bacteria, your septic tank would fill up quickly, and then you will have another problem to deal with.
The next questions; where can you find a septic safe dishwasher detergent? What ingredients to avoid? Will a septic-safe dishwasher clean my dishes effectively? What is the feedback of people already using these detergents? And, will septic-safe detergents disturb my budget?
We have the answers to all your questions. We have researched 100s of detergents and selected the best one for septic systems. These detergents are also chemical-free and eco-friendly. We ensured that all the detergents have excellent cleaning power, so you don’t have to rewash your dishes. Most homes with water wells have a septic tank, these homes have hard water; we took that into account as well.
Best Dishwasher Detergents for Septic Systems
An effective way to ensure that you are using a septic-safe dishwasher is to check the smell in your washed dishes. If they don’t smell at all or have a mild pleasant smell (due to natural oil-based fragrances), then you have struck gold for your home’s septic tank. Please note that all the below-mentioned dishwasher detergents can be used by homeowners connected to city drainage systems.
Let’s check out the best dishwasher detergents for septic systems!
1. Solimo Dishwasher Detergent Pacs – Amazon Brand
- Removes stuck-on food
- Fresh scent
- Includes 85 dishwasher detergent pacs
People with septic tanks love this dishwasher. It is free from all the ingredients that may harm your drainage system and kill the good bacteria in it. So, you can use it without any worries. Moreover, its cleaning power is also superb. Thousands of reviewers comment on its superior cleaning abilities.
The ingredients used in the making are all-natural and bio-based. It is evident from the fresh scent coming from the dishes. The majority of reviews praise the dishes coming out neat and clean. People with a detox plan use this detergent.
There are positive reviews about the detergent’s ability to deal with hard water. So, if you are using well water, it is best for your dishes and septic tank. It is a win win situation for everyone. For eco-friendly folks, the box may be a big no. However, you can use it for various other uses in your home.
Another attractive point is the price. It comes at almost half the price of top detergents.
2. Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Dishwasher Detergent Packs
- Dual action hardworking formula powers away 48-hour stuck-on food and fights tough stains
- 0% synthetic fragrances, dyes, chlorine bleach, or phosphates
- Convenient single dose dishwasher packs, just toss right into the dishwasher
The second best septic-safe detergent is Seventh Generation. The brand is known for providing environment-friendly dishwashing and laundry solutions.
Numerous reviews have rated the detergent as “septic-safe,” “best for independent properties,” and “best for well water with a septic tank.” One user with a forest cabin recommends using this detergent because it is septic safe and contains no harmful ingredients. What else do you need to keep your septic tank safe?
Plastic packing is a concern for many eco-friendly people. They mention that a lot of plastic has been used for packaging. It is one area where the manufacturer needs to invest his time and money.
A majority of the buyers with hard water are satisfied with their dishes coming out spotless from the machine. People from cities like Kansas City, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Tampa are satisfied with its performance.
Since it is an all-natural detergent, there are very few complaints about smelly dishes. The dishwasher is costly than Solimo but competitive with other top brands. It checks all the boxes for a great dishwasher.
3. Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Soap Tablets
- Powers away stuck on food & gets dishes sparkling clean
Ecover is yet another best septic-safe detergent. Ecover has countless reviews mentioning its septic-safe nature and ingredients. Many people mention how they tried various detergents that would impart irritating smells on their dishes, but Ecover always delivers spotless and clean dishes. Either you own an off-the-grid cabin or are looking for a detergent for your home with well water, Ecover has got you covered.
The detergent is mighty effective against hard water. It is used by people with water wells and city water users with extremely hard water. Many reviewers state how Ecover helped them take care of their dishwashers by removing stubborn white lines and stains inside the machine.
All the ingredients in Ecover are healthy. People using the detergent mention zero smells or taste. Some of the parents even use the detergent to wash baby bottles. One concern with many buyers is plastic. The individual tablets are wrapped in plastic. It would be best if the manufacturer got rid of plastic. The box is made with recyclable cardboard.
The price per tablet is average. It is the best bang for your money. Every cent you pay for one tablet is worth it.
4. Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs
- Enzyme rich formula cuts through tough grease and food residue to leave dishes sparkling clean
- Free of fragrances, dyes, phosphates, and chlorine bleach
- Convenient single dose dishwasher packs, just toss right into the dishwasher
The detergent is bound to win your hearts with excellent reviews. Seventh Generation is known for manufacturing bio-based detergents which are septic safe and work efficiently in hard water. Your septic tank will stay in the best condition with Seventh Generation.
It works great with hard water. Buyers living in hard water areas have had no issues washing dishes with the detergent. The dishes always come out clean.
The only issue with this product is that its packaging is not eco-friendly. The tablets are wrapped in plastic and come in a plastic jar. Eco-friendly people don’t like such features. However, the container is convenient to use. The flip-top container keeps the tablets free from humidity.
User feedback on price is also excellent. The tablets are affordable compared to leading brands and offer excellent value of money.
5. Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods
- POWERFUL & EFFECTIVE: Powers away 24-hour baked on food and tough stains. Glasses so sparkly and dishes so clean you can eat off them. Literally.
- NO PRE WASH NEEDED: Skip the pre-wash and save water on every load. Deep cleans to keep your family healthy and safe. Leaves no residue or fragrance...
- MANUFACTURED IN THE USA: Thoughtfully formulated with powerful, sustainable, plant-based ingredients. Never tested on animals. Free from synthetic...
If you want a septic-safe and 100% eco-friendly detergent, then your search ends here. The Dropps detergent comes in a recyclable box, with each tablet individually wrapped in water-dissolvable packing. Nothing is more convenient than taking out a tablet and simply throwing it in your dishwasher.
The detergent works great for the majority of people. The dishes come out with a slight lemon smell and zero taste. Don’t worry. The lemon smell is due to natural ingredients.
Dropp’s tablets tick the hard water box as well. It works great with soft water too. So, you don’t have anything to worry about. The detergent also helps keep your dishwashers clean. Some people with a very old dishwasher recommend using Dropps for effortless cleaning. However, a couple of reviews also mention that pre-rinsing is required in old dishwashers.
It offers good quality for the price. Overall, Dropps is an excellent eco-friendly and septic-safe dishwasher detergent.
6. Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Pods
- SPARKLINGLY CLEAN FINISH: Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Detergent Pods are Dual Chamber, Powder and Gel Combo, so you can finally skip the pre-wash...
- NO MESS, NO POWDERS: Our dishwashing detergent pods clean and remove grease, stains, and stuck on food from dishware, without leaving a soapy residue.
- ECO-FRIENDLY AND GREEN CLEANING: Powered by natural citric acid, making our dishwashing pods a safer and more eco-friendly choice for cleaning your...
Lemi Shine is another septic-safe dishwasher detergent. Buyers rate the detergent as septic-safe. One user mentioned that she had some stains on the dishes after using Lemi Shine. However, the issue can be due to any other problem. It can be due to extra detergent or extremely hard water.
The detergent is suited for moderate to hard water. If the hardness content in your water is more than 180 PPM, we recommend you don’t buy this detergent. You can use a hard water booster along with the detergent to get rid of hard water stains.
Lemi Sine detergents are known for their scentless cleaning. Your dishes will never smell. There are no reviews that mention smelly dishes or any taste on their dishes. A couple of buyers mentioned smells, but the problem was solved once they ran a cleaning cycle on their dishwasher.
The detergent is eco-friendly, but the packaging is not. It is a big concern in the detergent industry. The detergents come in plastic or box wrapping.
7. Puracy Platinum Dishwasher Detergent Pods, 50 Count
- Designed to work better when you skip the pre-rinse ] Wash your dishes effortlessly with Puracy Free & Clear biodegradable dishwasher tabs. With...
- Developed by biochemists, tested by households nationwide ] These third-generation dishwasher tablets are tried, tested & trusted. These dish washer...
- Perfect for All Dishwasher Safe Items ] Made from plant and mineral-derived ingredients, Puracy dishwashing pods are a grease-cutting, spot-free,...
This detergent’s ingredients are namesake to its brand name. All the ingredients are natural and free from any chemicals that may kill the good bacteria in your septic system.
It is septic-safe like all the other detergents on our list. No reviewer mentions any problems with the septic tank after using this detergent for years.
Puracy is a winner when it comes to hard water problems. It keeps your dishes clean and spotless. You don’t need to hide away your crockery from guests to avoid embarrassment. Moreover, a reviewer with a black set likes this dishwasher because it keeps the black dishes black and not cloudy.
The detergent is eco-friendly, but the packaging is not. You’ll have to deal with a plastic bag after using the detergent.
The detergent is slightly costly than other brands reviewed above. If you plan to use this detergent, expect a 5-10 dollar increase in your monthly dishwashing spending.
8. Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel Detergent
- Plant-Based Cleaning Ingredients: Formulated with powerful natural cleaning agents like soap bark, corn, and coconut.
- Powerful Clean, Naturally: Our dishwasher gel combines plant-based power and peace of mind, leaving your dishes sparkling clean and smelling fresh,...
- Shake and Squirt: Into your automatic dishwasher’s detergent cup. Perfect for dishes, glasses, utensils, pots, and pans splattered with anything...
It is now time to introduce you to one of the best gel-based detergents for septic tanks. Better Life detergent comes in plastic bottles with a flip-top design that offers convenience while adding the detergent to the dispenser. You no longer have to remove plastic from the tablets.
The major concerns are about its inability to remove tough and stubborn food residues like dried oatmeal, egg yolk, ketchup, and jam. We recommend using boosters if you face this issue.
The best thing about this detergent is that it has no negative reviews from buyers with a septic tank. It is probably due to 100% eco-friendly ingredients. However, the plastic bottle is still a concern.
Its performance against hard water is also great. We can safely say that it is a detergent for moderately hard water. It won’t work well for extremely hard water.
The price is ok for most of the people (with positive reviewers). Those who didn’t like the detergent term it as a waste of money. Our recommendation: if you want to use a liquid-based dishwasher detergent for septic systems, we recommend testing it once by ordering a small bottle.
9. Method Dishwasher Detergent Packs
- Contains (1) resealable pouch with 45 individual packs of dishwasher soap inside
- Dishwasher detergent packs with mineral and plant-based stain lifting power.
- Free of phosphates and chlorine bleach.
Method is another septic-safe dishwasher detergent. The best thing about this detergent is that it is an eco-friendly dishwashing solution from top to bottom. Packaging, ingredients, and wrapping are all-natural. The materials used for packaging are eco-friendly.
Though the detergent doesn’t have many reviews from users with a septic tank, all-natural ingredients make it safe for your septic tank. The dishwasher’s ability to wash dishes is also commendable. Hundreds of users are satisfied with it and recommend other people as well.
The detergent receives mixed reviews when it comes to hard water. Most of the negative reviews in the overall rating are about hard water. We recommend you use this detergent if you have a water softener at your home.
The price seems to be affordable, especially for those buyers who are satisfied with its performance.
10. Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets – Fragrance & Dye Free – ZERO PLASTIC WASTE
- USDA Certified Biobased Product. Septic Safe.
- No dyes, fragrances and chlorine bleach. Ultra concentrated mineral and plant based ingredients.
- Built in rinse aid technology for a spot free shine
The product name says it all. Let’s find out if the manufacturer lives up to its claim or is just using clever marketing tactics to mint off some money.
The reviews don’t appear too bad. People with a septic tank are satisfied with the detergent’s performance. Moreover, it has a climate pledge-friendly badge. The climate pledge-friendly initiative is a part of Amazon’s commitment to preserving our world and the environment. All the detergents with a climate pledge friendly tag are rated as eco-friendly and contain no harmful ingredients, and no plastics have been used in the manufacturing.
The detergent works great in hard water too. Many reviewers with water wells explain how the detergent provides clean dishes without any spots or white lines. However, a couple of reviews also mention that they use hard water boosters along with the detergent.
Another best thing about the detergent is that it comes at a reasonable price. The price is slightly higher than other detergents, but it is worth it. Is there anything bad about the detergent? Yes. Many people had issues with the detergent’s inability to dissolve despite the customers having soft water at their homes. It needs hot water to dissolve properly.
11. Nature Clean Automatic Dishwasher Packs Unscented
- Made without chlorine
- Made without Sulphates
- Made without perfumes or dyes
The manufacturer claims the dishwasher to be 96% natural. It is a good thing to have a dishwasher come out with transparency in the ingredients. Overall, the buyers are satisfied with the purchase, and most of them are on repeat orders.
Its performance with septic tank is marvelous, and you can compare it with top brands. However, the detergent has some issues dealing with hard water. It fails to perform when the water goes above medium hardness level. So, we recommend that you don’t buy this detergent unless you have a water softener at your home.
Since it is an all-natural detergent, there is no smell problem with it. You will get no smells/taste or other issues once the dishes come out from the machine. Another best feature of this detergent is that it is completely eco-friendly.
The price is a bit high compared to top brands. Any dishwashing detergent with one tablet price above $0.30 is considered costly. However, people say that costing is fair because of the value it brings.
12. Biokleen Free & Clear Dishwashing Detergent- 64 Loads
- Our Free & Clear Automatic Powder is fragrance free and, like all Biokleen products, is clear of dyes and brighteners
- Plant-based surfactants gets off tough baked-on-food and grease, while natural oxygen bleach helps remove stains
- Dishes come out spotless and free of chemical taste and residue
Overall, it is an average dishwasher for cleaning abilities, but it is extremely septic safe. Though there aren’t many reviews about the detergent being septic safe, our research on its ingredients found no phosphate ingredients in it.
We recommend it for soft water users. So, if you don’t have a water softener at your property, we suggest you don’t waste your money on the detergent. You can make it work with moderately hard water, but you will need to add hard water boosters along with the detergent. What’s the point of doing all the hassle when you can find a high-quality detergent which is septic-safe and deals with hard water effectively.
There are no smell-related complaints from reviewers. The detergent contains no artificial fragrances. You can use the detergent for washing baby bottles, provided you have soft water at your home.
The price per load is very reasonable. Overall, the customers are satisfied with the company’s pricing strategies.
13. If You Care Dishwasher Tablets
- POTENT CLEANING: If You Care Automatic Dishwasher Tablets are super concentrated and contain a potent blend of mineral and plant derived cleaning...
- THE BETTER OPTION: Our tabs are non-toxic, have minimal impact on aquatic life, are free of phosphates and chlorine, and will dissolve quickly in...
- DISH SOAP REPLACMENT: Use in place of large pods and liquid soap, as our small but powerful tabs contribute to reduced emissions and energy...
The detergent receives mixed responses from the buyers. Some people like it so much that they rate it above Cascade and Finish for overall performance. On the contrary, some term it as a waste of money.
Since there are no artificial ingredients in the detergent, various customers rated it safe for septic tanks. Moreover, it also works great with water wells. You don’t need water boosters to make it work with hard water. Please note that some people have encountered spots on their dishes with this detergent, but it was resolved upon adding boosters.
For most users, dishes come out neat and clean without any smells or a natural smell that goes away after an hour. However, a few buyers expereinced smell issues.
The price is moderate. It will not impact your overall dishwashing cost. The best thing about this dishwasher is that it has zero plastic. The tablets are individually wrapped in dissolvable paper, and the packaging is made from recyclable cardboard.
14. Nellie’s Dishwasher Powder – 2.2lbs (80 scoops)
- Simple, natural ingredients leave nothing behind but clean dishes.
- Works great in hard water. Powers through the toughest baked-on food.
- Phosphate-free, biodegradable, safe for septic systems.
Nellie’s detergent powder is made from bio-degradable ingredients which are safe for septic tanks. Though it is not a hot-selling product, but buyers are satisfied with the performance.
If you have a septic tank and water well at home, you can use the detergent without any worries. However, the detergent is not so powerful against tough residues. Don’t expect it to remove stubborn leftovers like dried oatmeal, cheese, and egg yolk.
The detergent has mixed reviews for hard water. It works flawlessly for some people, and for some, it doesn’t even show results with boosters.
The detergent is secured in a plastic bag inside the tin container. It is a big concern for eco-friendly people. The price per load is high, but people think that it is worth the price.
15. Grab Green Natural Dishwasher Detergent Pods
- Contains: 1- 132 Pod Bag of Grab Green Natural Tangerine with Lemongrass Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods. Our velcro closure bags are convenient...
- Naturally Effective: Specifically formulated to cut through grease and stuck on food without harsh chemicals, noxious fumes or caustic chemicals,...
- Tangerine with Lemongrass: Our convenient, pre-measured pods provide a bright burst of natural fragrance. Just drop one in your dishwasher and easily...
Grab Green is the last detergent on our list. Overall, customers are satisfied with the detergent. However, the people who complain about the detergent have some serious issues with it.
The detergent fails to perform in hard water and is unable to remove tough residues with soft water. You’ll have to do a detailed pre-rinsing before loading the dishes. Moreover, some people also use boosters with detergent to make it work.
The price per tablet is reasonable. There aren’t many objections to the price set by the manufacturer. All the ingredients are natural, but the detergent comes in a plastic bag.
What is the best detergent for Septic systems?
Solimo, Seventh Generation, and Ecover are the best detergents for homes with a septic system.
Can I use any other detergent for septic systems?
Yes. As long as the detergent is free from phosphates or any other ingredient that may kill the good bacteria in the septic tanks, you can use the detergent without any worries.
Is vinegar dangerous for your septic system?
No, vinegar is not harmful to your septic system. In fact, vinegar is known for cleaning drainage systems at homes. When mixed in baking soda, vinegar is often used for cleaning appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters.
What should you not flush in a septic system?
You can flush biodegradable items such as human waste, water, and biodegradable toilet paper in your drainage system. One must avoid plastic, wipes, diapers, cigarette buds, or any type of household waste.
What is dangerous for my septic system?
Any detergent with phosphate or harmful chemicals, a large amount of fat and grease, gasoline, pesticides, oils, and solvents must not enter septic systems. Moreover, waste that takes a lot of time to break down, like fruit and vegetable peels, must not be allowed to enter your septic tanks.
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