Soap and Detergents in Greywater
Laundry detergents need to be selected carefully if to be used with a greywater system. When you shop for detergents watch for sodium and boron since these are chemicals that can have a negative effect on landscapes. Powered detergents and soaps include "filler" ingredients (not essential to clothes cleaning) which are usually some compound of sodium. Liquid soaps contain few fillers, thus less sodium, so dish soaps and shampoos will not damage plants at low residual concentrations.
Be sure to divert your greywater to the sewer if you use these products.
- bleach or softeners
- detergents that advertise whitening, softening and enzymatic powers.
- detergents with ingredients which include:
- chlorine bleach
- peroxide or sodium perborate
- petroleum distillate or alkylbenzene
- sodium trypochlorite
Products designed to open clogged drains or clean porcelain without scrubbing must be sent to sewer or replaced with alternatives products or boiling water and elbow grease. However often the labeling is incomplete. If high concentrations of salts and minerals are toxic to soil and plants. Phosphates are good for plants growth, but the detergent form may not always be usable by the plants. Select detergents with the lowest levels of alkalinity, boron and sodium. Sodium can be found in home water softeners so should not be used with greywater if possible.
Some safe detergents and soaps:
- Biopac liquid detergent
- Dr. Bronner
For shampoo go to the database below and search your shampoo