Is Tide Septic Safe? [+Best Alternatives You Can Use]

Many people prefer having septic tanks in their households. However, cleaning such units might not be as straightforward as cleaning regular piping. Is Tide septic safe, or are you better off using some other cleaning solutions?

Tide pods have become popular a few years ago – although they quickly became infamous by bizarre online challenges that we might talk about some other time. Still, they are an excellent solution for dirty laundry.

However, using septic tanks means you have to be extra careful about the chemicals you use. Septic tanks work by holding wastewater for a long enough period to enable bacteria inside it to ensure that solids go to the bottom and cause greases to go to the top.

Certain chemicals might disrupt this natural process, preventing your septic tank from functioning properly. This can result in a huge mess – in more than one way.

So, what about using Tide pods? Is Tide septic-safe, or should it be used in homes with regular plumbing systems?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Is Tide Septic Safe?


When looking for new products to use with your septic system, chances are you are wondering Is Tide septic safe?

Some cleaning products, such as OxiClean, are generally considered safe for use with septic systems. However, others might cause severe harm to your entire plumbing system.

So, where does Tide stand with all this?

The Tide’s manufacturer, Procter and Gamble, claims that Tide products are safe to be used with septic tanks after the evaluation conducted by various experts – as long as you use them in reasonable amounts. As such, Tide shouldn’t cause any harm to your septic systems and it shouldn’t disrupt their functionality. [1]

However, there are certain catches with some Tide products, which is why we have decided to go over most products and see whether they are suitable for use with septic systems.

Is Tide Laundry Detergent Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide laundry detergent is one of the Tide products that has been used the most. While this type of product should never get in contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, there are no indications that any of its components are harmful to your septic system.

In general, liquid laundry detergents are the best choice for every plumbing system there is. They don’t cause clogs, and they can be used no matter the water condition. Also, they are fairly affordable, which makes it a great economical option, especially if you’re on a budget.

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some ingredients in liquid laundry products that can cause harm to your sewers. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with Tide, which is deemed perfectly safe.

Some ingredients that are found in Tide laundry detergent include:

  • Alcohol, alcohol ethoxylates, and alcohol ethoxy sulfate
  • Amylase
  • Calcium chlorate
  • Dipropylene glycol
  • Fatty acids
  • Fragrance
  • Glycerin
  • Lipase
  • MEA-laureth sulfate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Silicones
  • Sodium borate
  • Water

While many of these ingredients are deemed toxic for your skin and overall health, all are perfectly safe to use with septic tanks.

Is Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Safe for Septic System?


Tide washing machine cleaners are not as popular as some other products by Tide. However, they are a great solution for cleaning your washing machine, especially after long-term use. It is also a great product for keeping washing machines clean and free from any odor or detergent.

This type of product is great for ensuring the maintenance of your plumbing system. It can help battle odors and residues, and it can prolong your washing machine’s lifespan.

To make things better, Tide washing machine cleaners are perfectly safe to be used in households with septic tanks. They don’t contain any ingredients that are harmful to the septic tanks, and as long as you use them in moderation there shouldn’t be any issues with them.

Are Tide Pods Safe for Septic Systems?

Tide pods are probably the items that this product is best known for. They create straightforward, convenient solutions for an everyday chore. There’s nothing easier than simply placing a tide pod inside a washing machine and letting it do its task.

But what about septic tanks? Is Tide septic-safe when it comes to Tide pods?

In general, Tide pods should be safe for septic systems. However, there are some indications that certain problems might arise if using Tide pods is your main way of doing laundry.

These pods contain polyvinyl alcohol plastic. There have been many studies about whether or not this material is entirely biodegradable. In general, it seems that the material won’t entirely break down by the time it enters wastewater facilities. [2]

In other words, while polyvinyl alcohol plastic does dissolve enough to go through washing machine pipes and most home septic tanks, it will still arrive, to some extent, at the wastewater facilities. As such, the plastic can end up in landfills, water supply systems, and so on.

In other words, while using Tide pods is, in general, safe for the septic tank, it isn’t safe for the environment. Quite the contrary – it can soak up carcinogens, ending up quite detrimental to global health.

As such, while there likely won’t be any harm if you use Tide pods with septic tanks every now and then, I would never recommend using them on a regular basis if you have a septic tank.

At the same time, it might be wise to learn about the signs of a full septic tank, as Tide pods might lead to it filling up much more quickly due to the additional amount of plastic they might produce.

Are Tide Powder Detergents Safe for Septic Systems?


Many homeowners consider powder detergents old-fashioned, but this isn’t the case. In fact, there are many benefits to using this type of detergent, such as:

  • An affordable price.
  • They are effective.
  • Most come in an environment-friendly cardboard box.

Just like most other Tide products, powder detergents are deemed safe for septic systems. However, there are a few issues related to powder products, especially when compared to their liquid counterparts.

Most notably, powder detergents might not always dissolve entirely, especially when you use them in cold water. This can lead to clogs, not just in pipes but also in your septic system.

Not just that, but most powder laundry detergents, including the ones manufactured by Tide, use clay base carriers to deliver the surfactants and suds. This will only additionally increase the likelihood of clumps.

As such, when you wonder Is Tide septic-safe? make sure you’re using the right water temperature. If the temperature is too low, the clumps will form, and this can lead to clogs.

Since it can take a while to replace a septic tank – a likely outcome when you’re dealing with chemicals that might clog – it is better not to risk it. If you’re using powder laundry detergent, make sure you’re using it in moderation. This way, you’ll ensure your piping and septic tank stay safe.

What’s The Best Solution?


As you can see, doing laundry with a septic system isn’t as easy as you might think. Not only do you have to wonder is Tide septic-safe, but you also need to consider what type of Tide’s laundry product is the best possible choice.

In general, the best solution would always be to use everything in moderation. If you’re mixing products and combining them, no harm should come to your septic tank.

If I’d have to choose one product, then I’d say that your best option would be to use liquid detergents. These products are the most environment-friendly, and they won’t cause any issues to your septic tank.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go overboard with liquid detergents. If you do, the chemicals might disturb the bacteria naturally found in septic tanks, which can disrupt the natural process of separation that occurs within the septic tank.

Still, as long as you’re doing your laundry regularly and not washing the dirty clothes for the entire neighborhood, you should be fine with using liquid detergents only. Just remember to check whether your septic tank is full on time, and to make sure you empty it whenever it’s needed.

Avoid using Tide pods and powders for a prolonged period of time, as these can cause some issues that might be challenging to deal with. While powders can cause clogs, Tide pods can be harmful to the environment. Neither should be something that you strive for.

The Bottom Line

Having a septic tank can be quite different from having other types of plumbing systems. As such, you might find yourself wondering questions such as Is Tide septic-safe? more often than you would if you were having other types of plumbing.

In general, Tide is a product that’s approved for being septic safe. However, just like with anything in life, moderation is the key. Also, be sure to contact a professional plumber if you suspect anything is wrong with your septic tank.

While the products you use might not be the issue, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to such things.

Other than that, you can sleep soundly knowing that your favorite Tide product is likely entirely safe to use with your septic system.