When you live in a home hooked to a septic system, you must remain mindful of the cleaning products you use to straighten up your work space. Cleaning products with harsh detergents, such as lye or bleach, will immediately kill the helpful bacteria that process waste in the septic tank. Furthermore, the caustic chemicals can damage the rubber and plastic components in the tank as the liquids run through the lines and into the leech field. Thankfully, you can use the additional info about the following three natural substances to clean and disinfect your workplace without putting your septic system at risk.
White vinegar contains mildly acidic compounds commonly used for cleaning in automotive and industrial applications. Although the acetic acids thoroughly clean residue off surfaces, the compounds do not have a negative effect on rubber, plastic or metal materials. Vinegar cleans off hard water stains and grease without scrubbing. Just let it sit on the surface for five to ten minutes before rinsing down the drain.
Although direct application of vinegar does act as an antibacterial agent, dilution with water as it goes down the drain mitigates that effect. Therefore, if you run plenty of rinse water down the drain with the vinegar, the solution will not kill the bacteria in the septic tank.
Borax is a salt compound that comes directly from boric acid. Therefore, you can use borax to clean surfaces that need a mildly abrasive, lightly acidic cleanser. The anti-fungal properties will keep the surfaces from growing mold well into the future.
You will need to scrub borax onto the surface with a damp rag or sponge to activate its excellent cleaning properties. If you regularly pressure wash parts over the drain in your work space, scrub down the surface with borax mixed with water to cut down on your cleaning time. As the acids in borax bind to residue, the mixture neutralizes to keep your septic bacteria healthy once it heads down the drain.
Citric acid in lemon juice also gently breaks down residue and removes grime without damaging your septic system components. In fact, lemons have long been used to gently scour copper pans and make them shine. To perform this neat trick, you just dip a half a lemon in coarse salt and scrub away.
For other workplace cleaning tasks, you may want to use straight lemon juice on a scouring sponge. You can squeeze the lemon juice yourself or grab a bottle of commercially squeezed liquid. Since lemon contains sugar, you need to rinse the surface really well once you are happy with its shine. The rinse water will dilute the acids in the lemon juice enough to keep them from killing the tank's beneficial bacteria.
Creating Cleaning Products
If you are not crazy about the scent of the above cleansing agents, you can create natural cleaning products by mixing them with water and essential oils. Since you only need a drop or two of oil for a 16-ounce bottle of cleanser, the mixture remains safe for your septic system. Vanilla, orange, lavender, rosemary and mint often work best for cleansers you want to use around workers sensitive to strong scents.
Make sure to mix the vinegar or lemon juice 50/50 with pure water before adding your essential oil of choice. Instead of creating a liquid solution out of the borax, you will want to mix up a paste using a 1/4 cup of borax, three tablespoons of water and a drop of your favorite scented oil. Make sure to keep all three solutions in airtight containers to keep the active agents from weakening.