One of the most important preventive maintenance measures to make when it comes to your septic tank is to be careful what you put down the drain. The “dirty dozen” hazardous materials for your septic and drain system include cat litter, coffee grounds, wipes (even the flushable ones!), fats, oils, and greases (FOGs), and fabric softeners. While some of these seem obvious, there are sneaky additions. Which leads some to wonder if skin care and your septic tank get along?

If your skincare routine involves using an exfoliant to get that radiant youthful glow, there are a few precautions you should take before rinsing this product down the drain. While normal use is fine, there are few things to know and keep in mind when it comes to microbeads.

Skin Care and Your Septic Tank, Advanced Septic Services of Florida

How Your Skin Care Routine Can Disrupt Your Septic System

When it comes to your skin care and your septic tank routine, many exfoliants and face wash products have microbeads and micro-exfoliants. These are small beads are made from plastic or some other inorganic material that won’t break down once they hit your septic tank. Remember, your septic uses natural process to break down natural materials — not plastics.

The issue with microbeads has become so pervasive that in 2015, Congress passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act to combat water pollution via rinse-off cosmetic products. The microplastics that are covered in the ban are defined as solid plastic particles that are 5mm or less in size. Since the passage of this law, manufacturers now include seemingly organic exfoliants (peach pits, volcanic matter, and walnut shells). While a step in the right direction, these materials do take significantly longer to break down in your tank.

Now, let’s talk chemicals.

Even though your skincare products don’t contain the harsh chemicals found in drain cleaners or disinfectants, there is still a minimal amount of harmful chemicals to be concerned about. Washing down a heavy dose of these chemicals can result in the helpful bacteria being killed off in your septic tank. Consider using homemade alternatives or space out your bath bomb usage and your next load of laundry using bleach. The bacteria within your tank need time to digest the materials before getting bombarded with more.

Skin Care That’s Septic Tank Friendly

For most, skin care isn’t an issue for their septic tank as it’s used in moderate amounts that don’t have a large impact.

But, if you’re looking for a change or a DIY option, it’s possible to find an exfoliant that makes you feel refreshed while also using natural ingredients. One of the best natural options for an exfoliant is to make a homemade salt or sugar scrub. These scrubs use organic materials that dissolve easily and don’t add extra work for your hard-working bacteria in your tank. Even better, they’re easy to make and they’re a budget-friendly option for any skincare enthusiast to add to their repertoire.

When crafting your personalized exfoliant, be wary of what oil you mix with the sugar or salt. Coconut oil and olive oil are popular additions, though they can create a layer of FOG on your drains and tank. These oils can harden, thus causing potential clogs and expensive cleaning. Consider using honey to mix with your exfoliant, as the sugar in this natural ingredient will begin to break down once it’s rinsed off with warm water.

Professional Septic Care in Florida

At the end of the day, your normal skin care routine is safe for a septic system. But if you find your septic tank is in trouble, contact us today to schedule a visit. Advanced Septic Services is proud to serve Florida residents and we strive to provide friendly, efficient, and trustworthy service to homeowners with a septic system.