5 Things You Should Never Put in a Septic Tank

Do you want to avoid costly septic tank repair? Make sure you’re careful about what you put in your septic system. Sure, it seems like an easy decision about what can and can’t go in a septic tank, but some everyday items pose unrealized threats. To help you keep your septic tank running well 24/7, we’ve put together some information to help you know what you can’t flush or rinse.

Fats, Oils, and Grease

The industry term used for this trifecta of septic tank enemies is FOG. Anytime you pour these substances down the drain, you’re putting your septic system at risk for failure. Sometimes people don’t even realize they’re doing it. How many times have you cooked food in a skillet and rinsed it out in the sink? Did you wipe out the cooking oil or food fat before you did this? Most people don’t realize that even the smallest amount of grease and fat has the potential to create long-lasting, negative effects on their waste removal system. Do yourself a favor and avoid emergency septic tank repair by always disposing of FOG the correct way.

Bleach and Other Chemicals

Everyone wants a clean house, but if you have a septic system, be extra careful about the products you use. When purchasing household cleaning products, look for products that are septic friendly. These products don’t contain chemicals that disrupt the balance of bacteria that all septic tanks must have. One of the most frequently used cleaning products in homes is bleach. Unfortunately, bleach is the last thing you want in the septic system. If you must use it, please use it sparingly. Also, pay attention to dishwashing soap and laundry soap. Choose products made to work with septic systems.


You would think no one would willingly put trash in the septic tanks, but you’d be surprised. People put trash in their septic systems when they flush things down the toilet that don’t belong. At Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter, our plumbers come across many products in septic tanks during pumping and cleaning services that do not belong. Things like diapers, sanitary napkins, plastic bags, paper towels, Clorox wipes, and other items get flushed every day because people don’t realize the damage these items do. If it’s not septic-approved toilet tissue or organic human waste – yes, no dog or cat waste, please – it doesn’t belong in the toilet. Everything else goes in the trash.

Septic Additives

People use these products because they’re led to believe they keep your system running better for longer. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even additives labeled safe for septic systems cause problems when overused. The best way to keep your septic system running well for a long time is to invest in a professional long-term maintenance plan that includes a septic tank inspection and septic pumping and cleaning services. Consult with your plumber to figure out the ideal maintenance schedule for your septic system.

Hazardous Waste

It feels like we shouldn’t need to tell anyone this, but people, all the time, pour hazardous materials down drains and sinks without realizing what it’s doing to their septic system. Things like paint thinner, paint, cement, solvents, pesticides, gasoline, antifreeze and other flammable products should 100% NEVER be flushed or rinsed down the drain. Not only are these products harmful to your plumbing system, they also seep into the soil and cause contamination.

Do you need septic services in Los Angeles or another region in Southern California? Contact Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter. Our septic specialists have decades of experience with septic tank installation, repair, and maintenance. Let us help you figure out a maintenance plan and keep your waste removal system working its best for many years.