When it comes to septic systems maintenance and care, there are many things that shouldn’t go down the drain or flushed. Keeping the “Dirty Dozen” from going into your septic tank will extend the life of system and save you a lot of headaches and money along the way.

Non-flushable “flushable” wipes

Septic safe toilet paper and human waste should be the only thing being flushed down the toilet. Some products such as “flushable” wipes, claim to be septic system safe, do not break down in your septic tank. They can easily get tangled in the components of your system and add to the solids in the tank.


There are many types of medication that contain bacteria killing properties and contaminate the wastewater. Especially antibiotics, which are designed to kiss bacteria, the same bacteria responsible for breaking down solids in the tank. Instead of taking this risk, dispose of any medication following the EPA guidelines.

Certain toiletries

Self-care is great, but be careful not to choose toiletries that can harm your septic system. Many of these products contain oils and butters that can significantly add to the layer of fats, oils, and grease (FOGs). Many exfoliating products, body and face scrubs, contain solids that do not break down in the septic tank and add to the solid layer. Those toiletries that contain anti-bacterial properties can destroy the beneficial bacteria in the system, which are essential for treating and breaking down waste

Fats, Oils, & Grease (FOGs)

While these may be in a liquid form when you cook with them, when they cool down they become more of a solid. They cling to the inside of plumbing pipes, causing serious clogs. If they make it all the way to the septic tank, they add to the layer of scum. If no properly treated, it can flow to the drain field and cause the system failure.

Some household cleaners

Many household cleaners contain disinfecting properties that can kill the beneficial bacteria that break down solids in the septic tank. Try and use septic safe products such as vinegar, borax, and lemon juice.

Check back with us next week for the rest of the “Dirty Dozen”, until then contact Orlando Septic Service.