an image of a tide laundry pod

Is Tide Laundry Detergent Safe for Septic Systems?

In Cleaning, Cleaning Products, Home Tips by Jamie

When you have a home hooked up to a sewer system, it relies on bacteria to effectively break down waste. As a result, you have to be mindful of the chemicals, such as laundry detergents, that enter your septic system to maintain the bacteria’s ability to function.

According to Procter and Gamble, Tide laundry detergents have been evaluated and are safe to use in homes with septic tanks. When used in recommended amounts, Tide laundry detergent will not disturb septic systems nor will it damage properly functioning septic systems.

While Tide laundry detergent is deemed safe for septic systems, Tide’s various products may have different effects on septic systems.

Are Tide Pods Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide Pods are a convenient, pre-portioned laundry detergent option. When used, as directed on the packaging, Tide Pods are safe for septic tank systems. Although they are generally safe for septic systems, studies have found that the polyvinyl alcohol plastic that encases the detergent does not completely break down.

A study that looked at state-by-state laundry detergent pod usage in relation to the degradation of polyvinyl alcohol, found that the material does not completely break down by the time it enters wastewater facilities even though it does dissolve enough to exit through washing machine pipes and home septic tanks.

This can be detrimental to the environment as this plastic ends up in water supply systems, landfills, and can soak up carcinogens from its surroundings, taking decades to fully break down.

Is Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide’s washing machine cleaner is considered septic safe and can help keep washing machines and pipes free of odor-causing buildup, detergent residue, and hard water mineral buildup, ultimately lending to the health and maintenance of your septic system.

RELATED: 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Septic Systems

Is Tide Powder Detergent Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide Powder Laundry Detergent, Mountain Spring, 68 loads, 95 oz

While Tide powder detergent is deemed safe by Procter and Gamble for septic systems, there are more risks associated to your piping and tank systems with powdered detergents when compared to their liquid counterparts.

Powder detergent can be the cheapest form of laundry detergent and eco-friendly as it comes in a recyclable cardboard box, however it does not always completely dissolve, especially in cold water, causing it to clog pipes and potentially your septic system.

Powder laundry detergent uses a clay base carrier to deliver the suds and surfactants, increasing the likelihood that it will form clumps. When using powder detergent, be sure to use it with its recommended water temperature, ensuring it dissolves fully to avoid such clogs.

Is Tide Liquid Detergent Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide liquid detergent is the safest option for septic systems. Because it comes in a liquid format, Tide liquid detergent will not clog pipes or septic tanks. Liquid detergent can also be used in most water conditions and temperatures making it one of the most economically friendly options as well.

The Verdict – Which Tide Detergent Can I Use If I Have a Septic System?

According to Procter and Gamble, all Tide laundry products are safe for septic systems that are properly functioning and when used in the recommended amounts. Based on the differences in detergent formats, the safest overall option is Tide liquid detergent.

Compared to the powder and pod formats, Tide liquid detergent does not pose the risk of clogging pipes nor is there a risk of liquid detergent only partially degrading as it makes its way through wastewater systems.

Learn if you can wash clothes without detergent in our detailed article here. 

Final Thoughts

Tide laundry detergent has been tested and is deemed safe for septic systems however, you may also want to consider the over environmental friendliness of the varying modes of laundry detergent along with the overall long-term maintenance of your washing machine piping system. When all factors are taken into account, liquid detergent is the most septic and eco-friendly option overall.

Wondering if Gain Detergent is safe for septic systems, found out here. 

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.