Quick question, well and septic tank

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Island Dreams Soap

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Dear Members,

im moving to a house that has well water and a septic tank. Does anyone in that group have the same setup. I would love to hear how you clean up that’s not hurtful to the environment.

warm regards,

Luanne
 

KimW

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We're on a well and septic, with a high water table that requires an elevated drain field. We also have a feeder stream that runs under and through our property that empties into a popular local trout stream.

I tend to my soapy containers just as I do other oily/greasy containers. I wipe them out so thoroughly one might think they were clean.
ETA: Then I hand wash.
I used to use cotton dish cloths which I then soaked for a few minutes in a VERY weak lye solution before washing. I mean VERY weak. :)
I now use microfibre cloths on my soapy dishes as they are more efficient on the oils/grease. When there's need, I wipe them out with paper towels that we then burn with our paper rubbish. Hope that helps!
 
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lsg

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We have a septic tank. Wiping the soap mixing container out with paper towels helps get rid of a lot of unsaponified soap. I usually soak my containers and utensils in hot water with a little dish detergent added. I have been making soap for years with no septic system problems.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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I'm on a "Septic System" for over 35yrs. I wipe everything off w/ paper towels' then do a 2nd wipe-down w/ a micro fiber towel' they work great in grabbing the leftover residue' then I wash every thing in sink w/ hot soapy water.
 

Island Dreams Soap

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We're on a well and septic, with a high water table that requires an elevated drain field. We also have a feeder stream that runs under and through our property that empties into a popular local trout stream.

I tend to my soapy containers just as I do other oily/greasy containers. I wipe them out so thoroughly one might think they were clean.
ETA: Then I hand wash.
I used to use cotton dish cloths which I then soaked for a few minutes in a VERY weak lye solution before washing. I mean VERY weak. :)
I now use microfibre cloths on my soapy dishes as they are more efficient on the oils/grease. When there's need, I wipe them out with paper towels that we then burn with our paper rubbish. Hope that helps!
Thank you so much.. I will be printing this out. I find it very helpful. Have a great weekend. 💗

We have a septic tank. Wiping the soap mixing container out with paper towels helps get rid of a lot of unsaponified soap. I usually soak my containers and utensils in hot water with a little dish detergent added. I have been making soap for years with no septic system problems.
Thank you, I'm pretty much new to soap making,now I will have a well and septic tank.. I'm a city girl, gone country.. lol

I have a very troublesome septic ( 17 years old and grumpy) so I wipe out as much as possible before I handwash.
Thank you for your response.. I believe my septic is original from 1977. So I want to be very careful in what I do.

I'm on a "Septic System" for over 35yrs. I wipe everything off w/ paper towels' then do a 2nd wipe-down w/ a micro fiber towel' they work great in grabbing the leftover residue' then I wash every thing in sink w/ hot soapy water.
I will be investing in Micro fiber towels... Then you just throw the towels in the wash. Seems very economical as well. thank you..
 

KimW

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Lol if you are trying to not be hurtful to the environment then keep in mind that microfiber puts little pieces of plastic into the system every time you wash the microfiber.
Appreciate the comment, Gaisy59. Anything we wash releases microfibers and I do agree that synthetic material, whether everyday clothing or microfiber cloths, release microplastics that don't biodegrade. However, I say respectfully, might one be inclined to help and educate, and even offer citations, rather than just poking fun?

See the following links for your, and the OP's @Island Dreams Soap, perusal. You'll find the amount of microplastics released diminishes significantly after several washings, and by washing in cold water and with less water. Also, there are preventive measures in the form of filtration which are easily put in place. While I am mindful of my plastic consumption, to be blunt, I can't afford to buy 100% natural fiber textiles, or non-plastic containers [etc], 100% of the time. I am stuck, so to speak, with my plastic lifestyle but I and my family do focus on the "recycle, reuse, make do (that is, "reduce")" motto of my rearing. I am glad of your comment which caused me to revisit my previous research, which led to my learning about a quite affordable filtration method I actually plan to order today. So, Cheers to you.
Science citations:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274375/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43023-x#:
https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2144/2020/05/Spring-2020-Microplastics-.pdf

Filtration methods I found - surely there are many others:
Least expensive
https://www.amazon.com/Nylon-Washing-Machine-Systems-Discharge/dp/B0028WZTC2/
Most expensive:
https://www.septicsolutions.com/sep...int-filter/filtrol-160-washing-machine-filter

Handyman FYI article:
https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/septic-system-how-to-filter-out-laundry-lint/
 
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KimW

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And I apologize in turn for being a tad snippy. What DID we do? We walked around in brutal hot footed PJs and itchy wool sweaters, and had to make sure our legs were perfectly shaved and slathered and stuck those gams out in the sun every chance we got! 😁
 

TheGecko

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I don't have a septic system, but I do have old, troublesome pipes (hence purchasing my own snake and rarely using my garbage disposal).

It's a bit on the odd side, but I have found that micro fiber towels work really well. I use Dawn Dish Soap which is the bomb when it comes to breaking down grease, but when it came to my soaping equipment, I would have to use threes times as much and wash twice. I then picked up some liquid 'orange degreaser' from the Dollar Store which helped...spray, let sit, then wash twice. I tried wiping out with paper towels and leaving them in a tube in the garage for a day or two; that worked in the sense that I'm just washing soap, but getting dried soap out of your Stick Blender bell is a real PITA and I didn't like the added expense of all those paper towels, even if I could recycle them.

Then one day I grabbled one of my microfiber towels that I dust with and wow what a difference. It sucked up all the oils and mica (no streaks) leaving only a light film of oil that could be easily hand washed like regular dishes or tossed in the dishwasher. And cleaning up the towels...the micro fiber seems to break down the oils as I can just rinse in a sink of regular soapy water and reuse.
 

Island Dreams Soap

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Appreciate the comment, Gaisy59. Anything we wash releases microfibers and I do agree that synthetic material, whether everyday clothing or microfiber cloths, release microplastics that don't biodegrade. However, I say respectfully, might one be inclined to help and educate, and even offer citations, rather than just poking fun?

See the following links for your, and the OP's @Island Dreams Soap, perusal. You'll find the amount of microplastics released diminishes significantly after several washings, and by washing in cold water and with less water. Also, there are preventive measures in the form of filtration which are easily put in place. While I am mindful of my plastic consumption, to be blunt, I can't afford to buy 100% natural fiber textiles, or non-plastic containers [etc], 100% of the time. I am stuck, so to speak, with my plastic lifestyle but I and my family do focus on the "recycle, reuse, make do (that is, "reduce")" motto of my rearing. I am glad of your comment which caused me to revisit my previous research, which led to my learning about a quite affordable filtration method I actually plan to order today. So, Cheers to you.
Science citations:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274375/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43023-x#:
https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2144/2020/05/Spring-2020-Microplastics-.pdf

Filtration methods I found - surely there are many others:
Least expensive
https://www.amazon.com/Nylon-Washing-Machine-Systems-Discharge/dp/B0028WZTC2/
Most expensive:
https://www.septicsolutions.com/sep...int-filter/filtrol-160-washing-machine-filter

Handyman FYI article:
https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/septic-system-how-to-filter-out-laundry-lint/
You are definitely an angel 😇 I was planning on getting a cistern and putting a dishwasher in the garage, but the water would have to drain somewhere.. when I'm not making soap I am torturing myself mentally.. lol

I don't have a septic system, but I do have old, troublesome pipes (hence purchasing my own snake and rarely using my garbage disposal).

It's a bit on the odd side, but I have found that micro fiber towels work really well. I use Dawn Dish Soap which is the bomb when it comes to breaking down grease, but when it came to my soaping equipment, I would have to use threes times as much and wash twice. I then picked up some liquid 'orange degreaser' from the Dollar Store which helped...spray, let sit, then wash twice. I tried wiping out with paper towels and leaving them in a tube in the garage for a day or two; that worked in the sense that I'm just washing soap, but getting dried soap out of your Stick Blender bell is a real PITA and I didn't like the added expense of all those paper towels, even if I could recycle them.

Then one day I grabbled one of my microfiber towels that I dust with and wow what a difference. It sucked up all the oils and mica (no streaks) leaving only a light film of oil that could be easily hand washed like regular dishes or tossed in the dishwasher. And cleaning up the towels...the micro fiber seems to break down the oils as I can just rinse in a sink of regular soapy water and reuse.
I live in Florida, where the bugs are bigger than the soap I make.. lol I'm not sure if I could leave paper towels around... But MicroFiber towels seems to be the consensus here in the chat room... I truly appreciate you responding ...

@Island Dreams Soap Welcome aboard the country train, from one city gal to another. 😊

ETA: My mother made the great escape to "The City", so the family I visited were mostly in the country. So, perhaps I'm a bit of a hybrid. 😊
Haha me too, Grew up in Brooklyn, NY then moved the Central New Jersey farms, Now I made a dash for Sunny Florida I'm a little bit country, some rock n roll and whole lot of disco... lol Just keep smiling
 

TheGecko

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But MicroFiber towels seems to be the consensus here in the chat room
I started using them for dusting...I live in an area with a lot of dust and those cloths you put on a stick just weren't cutting it. They are great to clean your glasses and sunglasses with. And they are great for cleaning the inside car windows with.
 

gardengeek

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I'm on a septic & drain field system so I hope adding to this thread isn't going to jinx me...

I use cheap flour sack towels I get at Walmart (link below) to wipe out my soap mixing containers & spatulas soon after soaping. Then I let them sit a day or two to cure whatever soap residue remains. I let the towels sit a week or more out in the garage to cure really well and then I rinse them out before I run a mini-load in the wash by themselves. The containers & utensils I hand wash with Dawn.

Walmart Flour Sack Towels

Anything that has an oily residue I wipe out best I can with paper towels before handwashing with Dawn.

I'm so paranoid about introducing anything oily to my plumbing and/or septic system!
 

earlene

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But to put another spin on things what did we do before microplastics and nylons and rayons and on and on.
Microplastics and nylons and rayons never crossed our minds unless it was nylon stockings with a seam down the back. For a night on the town, maybe?

But before that, we made our own cotton or wool garments and linens by hand. Some wove, knitted, crocheted, embellished, etc. our own linens & garments. We washed by hand in a bucket or barrel using a wash board
1620496467333.png

or later got a wringer washer.
(My mom had one of these when I was little.)

Or like my mother's mother who did not have indoor plumbing except a pump from the well to bring water to the kitchen (and no indoor toilet - only an outhouse), the waste water from washing was tossed out onto the ground outdoors, or often a well-placed disposal area planned specifically to utilize the spent water if the area tended to be arid.

Yes, I remember the water pump in the kitchen and the outhouse. Every time we visited up until grandfather's second wife insisted on installation of indoor plumbing. I think that was around the late 1950's to early 1960's when they finally installed a WC. It was such a pain in the patootie to wander out in the dark carrying a torch down a dry rocky path with cactus and rattlesnakes about to use the privy in the middle of the night! Visiting my mom's dad was a real adventure! He was a crusty old guy, I can tell you that.

And yes, even I used a bucket, a big stick, & rung the clothes out by hand when we went camping when my kids were little, at least until I found a nearby town with a laundromat. But until then, it was the old-fashioned way of washing laundry and hanging them to dry on a line (at least when we were camping.) Thankfully I have enjoyed the luxury of indoor plumbing everywhere I have lived from my birth forward.
 

Tara_H

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a wringer washer
Love it! We used to use one of these when we went down the country to a holiday home belonging to some relatives. It was the only time as kids we were ever interested in laundry, we used to beg to be allowed to run the mangle, but it was rarely we could because it was so dangerous.
 

Quilter99755

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I have an old house with an old septic system and leech field, plus our house is built on a cement slab, so definitely do not want any plumbing problems. I tried homemade laundry soap when we first moved here, but the soap scum was horrendous...our water is very hard, but at least well water, not the horrid tasting water out of the city. When I first got into making soap, I followed recipes until I got into this site. Little by little I have reduced my superfat to 1-2%, I HP for convenience of cleanup and the few times I CP I clean up the best I can with paper towels, store everything away for a day or two and then hand wash in warm soapy water. I also have a OCD husband so he is careful for me if I don't watch it. So far, knock wood, we have been in the house and me soaping for 15 years and have only had to call the plumber once which was about 12 years ago, so it might not have been from soaping. A friend in Alaska who was in the septic pumping business said that every time he was called to pump a clogged septic tank, the people used Tide detergent. I haven't used that product since then. Don't know if there is a correlation but we have never had a problem in that area.

Is there anyone else out there that can't tolerate the feel of microfiber cloth on their hands? It makes my hands feel scaly, sort of like mini-cockleburs all over. I used to just put on latex gloves to use them, then discovered if they were wet, they are fine to use. I keep one by the sink, knock it into the sink and wet it down, then I can pick it up to use it...bared handed, no less!
 

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