Best Way to Clean a Toilet with a Septic Tank

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Best Way to Clean a Toilet with a Septic Tank

best way to clean toilet with septic tank

When you’re looking for the best way to clean a toilet with a septic tank, it’s crucial to remember to use septic-safe products. Your septic tank relies on beneficial bacteria to break down organic waste. If this bacteria is disrupted, then you run the risk of a septic backup.

Whether you need deep stain removal or just some standard daily cleaning, there are specific factors you’ll want to consider when shopping for toilet cleaners. Our team of professional plumbers has rounded up everything you need to know before you clean your toilet when you own a septic tank.

What To Look for In Cleaning Products

Most products are safe for people in the municipal sewage system. But when you have a septic tank, you have to be more careful.

When shopping for toilet bowl cleaners, there are a few factors that you need to consider.

Ingredients To Avoid

You want to avoid any harmful chemicals going down your toilet. You’ll want to steer clear of toilet bowl cleaners that use chlorine bleach, hydrochloric acid, or chemical sodium hypochlorite.

Most toilet cleaners use these products because they efficiently and quickly remove toilet stains and build-up from wastewater and calcium carbonate. However, these chemicals are too harsh for the bacteria in your septic system, which can result in costly and risky backups.

We also recommend avoiding toilet tank tablets. While these seem convenient, they often contain antibacterial agents. Anything with antibacterial agents will harm or kill off the bacteria your septic system needs to work properly.

What Makes a Septic-Safe Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Septic Safe Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Knowing what to look for on product labels will take you a long way! If you’re in the market for products, look for a septic-safe toilet cleaner that meets these criteria.

Biodegradable Products Prevent Clogs

When a toilet cleaner is biodegradable, this means it can be broken down inside your tank. Because you don’t want your tank to clog, this is an extremely important factor. The more a product can break down, the better.

A septic tank clogs when items continue to collect at the bottom. Items that can’t be broken down become a part of the scum layer. This is why we recommend having your septic tank pumped every three to five years. If you have a garbage disposal, you may need your system pumped more frequently since food joins that layer as well.

When a product can’t break down inside your tank, it can do one of two things. It potentially could clog up your tank. Or, alternatively, it may flow out into your drain field. Then, you run the risk of harming your yard.

If a formula uses plant-based ingredients, that will be your best bet for biodegradability.

Natural Ingredients Are Gentle On Septic Systems

Look for a toilet bowl cleaner that uses almost entirely natural ingredients. Natural cleaners will be kinder to your system and won’t kill off the bacteria in your septic tank. Plus, most natural ingredients are plant-based, which is good for biodegradability.

Look for Environmental Certifications

There are more perks to using eco-friendly products beyond just helping the environment. Many septic-safe toilet cleaners and products will receive certifications from environmental conservation agencies. These products are often gentler and thus won’t disrupt your septic system.

Homemade Septic-Safe Toilet Cleaner Recipes

DIY septic safe cleaner homemade recipes

If you want to try something homemade, you can easily make your own toilet bowl cleaner. You can create these with common household ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen pantry already. Plus, these ingredients are generally safe for your septic tank and should not cause any clogs.

DIY Gentle Cleaner for Everyday Use

This cleaner is perfect for everyday use for homes or businesses using septic systems. The materials are gentle for your septic system and shouldn’t disrupt the bacteria.

Ingredients (Vinegar and Baking Soda)

  1. White vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon of baking soda


  1. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  2. Spray the inside of your toilet bowl with vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle the baking soda like you would scouring powder into your toilet bowl.
  4. Scrub the toilet bowl. You can use either a toilet brush or a damp sponge to do this. The vinegar should start to foam up from the baking soda.
  5. Once you’re done scrubbing, flush the toilet.

You can also use denture tablets to clean your toilet out. These act similarly to toilet tabs, but are much more gentle and thus won’t harm the useful bacteria in the septic tank.

DIY Cleaner for a Deeper Clean

This toilet bowl cleaner is still safe for your septic tank and features natural ingredients. However, it is better suited for cleaning out stubborn stains or a deeper clean. Say goodbye to stubborn stains without adding harsh chemicals to your septic systems with this mixture.


  1. White vinegar
  2. ½ cup of Borax
  3. Optional: Lemon juice


  1. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  2. Spray the inside of your toilet bowl with vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle the Borax into the toilet bowl. Start with any areas that are stained.
  4. Allow the Borax to sit for around five to ten minutes. This will help break up any stains.
  5. Scrub the toilet bowl with your toilet brush. The vinegar should start to foam up from the Borax.
  6. If any stains persist, you can let the mixture sit. Give yourself a break for a few hours and keep trying until the stains disappear. You can also add lemon juice and add it to the Borax to help lift tough stains from your bathroom fixtures.

Vinegar can also be used to clean a metal shower head. We recommend keeping white vinegar handy as a bleach-free way to clean your bathroom fixtures.

Toilet Tips for Septic Tank Owners

If you have a septic system in your home, there are some general toilet tips you should follow.

Just like it’s important to use septic-safe cleaner, the type of toilet paper you use matters, too. Septic-safe toilet papers will not clog in your septic system because they are thinner and break down faster due to their materials. Look for recycled or biodegradable septic-safe toilet paper. Alternatively, you can also look for toilet paper made from bamboo or sugar cane.

Do not flush anything down your toilet that is not septic-safe toilet paper and waste down the toilet. This includes feminine hygiene products, paper towels, coffee filters, and cat litter. These can clog up your septic tank. We also recommend using garbage disposal sparingly, if at all, if you have one for this same reason. Food particles that go down the garbage disposal can easily clog, as do things like grease and oil, in your tank.

Many drain cleaners can be harsh on septic tanks, too. Foaming, solid, and crystal drain cleaners should be avoided for home or business owners with septic tanks. These can easily clog your tank up. Look for a septic-safe drain cleaner and try to use it sparingly. We recommend trying methods like a drain snake first. If you have a stubborn clog and don’t want to risk harming your septic system, you can give our team a call for drain cleaning services.

Be cautious of using too much soap or detergent, too. Using these is fine, but too much can eventually make its way into your tank and be harmful to the good bacteria.

Rely on Atlanta’s #1 Plumber

If you need any septic system maintenance, you can rely on the professionals at The Original Plumber & Septic. Our team services the Northern Georgia and Atlanta metro areas 24/7 in case you have an emergency and need help right away.

We recommend that you get your septic system serviced every three to five years. This regular maintenance helps prevent sewage backups and keeps your tank functioning properly.

We pride ourselves on integrity, honesty, and upfront pricing. The last thing you want is any surprises when our team comes out. Whether you are an Atlanta homeowner or need commercial plumbing services, we put you first. Contact The Original Plumber & Septic today!


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