Four Ways to Protect Your Septic System When Doing Laundry

October 10, 2022
Washing Machine in Puyallup, WA

There’s no shortage of horror stories involving septic systems and overflowing wastewater from washing machines. The good news is that a modern and well-maintained septic system can capably handle the wastewater that’s produced when doing laundry. However, if your Puyallup, Washington home has a septic system, there are still a few precautions that you should take to prevent flooding, foul odors, and other issues. Here are four of them.

1. Regularly Clean Your Washer’s Lint Filter

Although most consumers are good about cleaning out the lint filters in their clothes dryers, some don’t even know where their washers’ lint filters are located. The lint and non-organic clothes fibers that these filters collect can find their way into your septic tank. Moreover, they won’t be broken down by the tank’s bacteria. Use your owner’s manual to find your washer’s lint trap and then be sure to clean it regularly.

2. Don’t Overuse or Misuse Detergents or Fabric Softeners

Beneficial bacteria are what keep septic tanks working like they should. Overloading this environment with surfactants, phosphates, and other cleaning chemicals can destroy these essential colonies. Excess detergent use can be especially problematic in septic tanks when powdered detergents are used. You can avoid most problems by choosing liquid detergents and fabric softeners and by only using the recommended amounts of these products for each wash.

3. Invest in a Quality Washing Machine

New washing machines adhere to strict energy-efficiency guidelines. As such, they use less water, and they produce less wastewater. If you have an old, outdated washing machine, paying to upgrade it could save you money in the long run.

4. Stagger Your Washes to Limit the Flow of Wastewater

Don’t wash all of your clothes in one massive run. Rather than running multiple washing machine cycles back-to-back, stagger your loads. Washing numerous loads in a single day overwhelms septic tanks with wastewater and can cause problems like drain field contamination and clogging.

At FloHawks Plumbing + Septic, we provide septic tank cleaning, inspections, and installations to residents of Puyallup, Washington and the surrounding area. We also offer sewer services, leak detection, and water heaters. If you need help with your septic tank, give us a call today.

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