Written by Buying Guide, Using Guide

Best automatic dishwasher detergent for septic systems

Imagine having a baby at home and you are using harsh chemical-filled dishwashing detergent!

And every member of your family is eating from those plates directly.

Even just thinking of it makes me nervous. This happened for several years with me. I didn’t know better.

Now the time has changed.

We all have come to know about those nasty games big detergent companies were playing with our health and the environment in the name of cheap products.

But the search for the best automatic dishwasher detergent for septic systems is not an easy one.

Not many brands are there on the market that offer you safety for your septic tank and your health.

However, I have managed to find 5 of them and among those Seventh Generation Natural Automatic Dishwasher Detergent is the best and safest automatic dishwasher detergent because –

It is –

  1. Low or medium sudsing in nature.
  2. Have plant-based ingredients. 
  3. Contains no phosphates. 
  4. Completely biodegradable. 
  5. Save the good bacteria of your septic system. 
  6. Have no EDTA
  7. Has no artificial fragrance

I have mentioned everything about this automatic detergent and more below. The rest of the four are great too. But in terms of performance Seventh Generation tops the list.

Top 5 Septic Safe Automatic Dishwasher Detergent powder/pods/packs

  1. Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Packs (Free & Clear)
  2. Citra-Solv Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Powder ( Valencia Orange )
  3. Ecover Zero Automatic Dishwasher Powder ( Free & Clear )
  4. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Automatic Dish Packs ( Lavender )
  5. Biokleen Septic-Safe Automatic Dish Pods ( Free & Clear )

1. Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Packs 

Best Automatic Dishwasher Detergent For Septic System and Safe for Our Health

Seventh Generation is a big name in the green industry and they are making great dishwasher detergents for years now. The natural automatic dishwasher detergent pack from Seventh Generation is a big hit too.  

This is a low sudsing detergent that deep cleans every dirt and grime. It brings visible change to your dishes from two-three washes afterward.

These packs are free of chlorine, phosphate, dyes, and brighteners. This is the exact type of cleaning product people should be washing their dishes with. They’re better for the environment and for the people who eat and drink from the dishes they clean. 

Additionally, this product is not tested on animals and uses no animal byproducts. The product is eco-friendly, and the packaging is 100% recycled paper that can be recycled at the end-use. 

The label says this detergent 

  • is non-toxic 
  • has no fragrances/dyes/chlorine bleach 
  • no phosphates 
  • derived from plants, not petroleum 
  • no EDTA** 
  • is safe for septic and greywater systems. 

**Why having no EDTA is a good thing? 

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), also known by several other names, is a chemical used for both industrial and medical purposes.

It is widely used in detergents too. But the main problem with EDTA is, it doesn’t breakdown during the wastewater process.

The strong metal chelating properties, even in low concentrations, can cause ecological unrest. And wastewater is put into our rivers and lakes which is also where they get our drinking water.  

So, having no EDTA in the dishwasher detergent ensures you that you are not unleashing any bad chemical in the environment which will later affect your own people. 

Price is a bit on the higher side. But compared to many useless natural and septic safe detergents in the market the price is affordable.

And the qualities, this automatic dishwasher detergent pack from Seventh Generation  (Amazon Link) comes with, balance the pricing. I usually go for bigger loads of purchases, as the price drops significantly and I am set for the whole year too.  

2. Biokleen Septic-Safe Automatic Dish Pods ( Free & Clear )

It has been 31 years now that Biokleen is manufacturing eco-friendly products with great effort and care. It is a pioneering brand of plant and mineral-based, non-toxic home cleaning products

I’m a HUGE fan of Biokleen dishwasher cleaning pods, which are easier to use than the cleaning powder. 

Not only this detergent is septic safe but also fragrance, dyes, and chlorine bleach-free. It is a clean and clear detergent, hence a great choice for those who don’t want any artificial colorings and scents in their detergent. 

Always using a natural detergent leaves white streaks, films and dull finish in dishes/glasses as compared to the premium chemical-filled dishwasher detergents in the market. But with any detergent variety from Biokleen, you get streak-free cleaning, probably because they have years of experience in this industry. 

What’s in the label?

  • Advance formula tough on stuck-on foods and grease.
  • Plant-derived enzymes.
  • Manufactured in the USA.
  • keeps your dishes sparkling, fresh and clean.
  • No harmful chemicals.
  • Septic-Safe.

While using Biokleen natural dishwasher detergent pods (Amazon Link) try to set your dishwasher in the highest setting. This ensures good cleaning. Overall, it is an absolutely septic safe dishwasher detergent pod that has organic contents.

3. Ecover Zero Automatic Dishwasher Powder ( Free & Clear )  

Ecover is another great organic dishwasher detergent brand that is cruelty-free and uses plant-based ingredients in its detergent powder. They make good dish soaps too that are natural and septic safe. This dish soap (Amazon Link) has got an ‘A’ rating from EWG

The label says – 

  • Made using renewable plant-based and mineral ingredients. 
  •  Biodegradable. 
  •  Phosphate-free 
  •  Cruelty-free 
  •  Removes stubborn, stuck-on food. 
  •  Septic-safe 

I don’t like to rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and who does that? That is so wasteful. This a huge misconception that with organic dishwasher detergents, you need to pre-rinse your dishes to get the grease out completely.

Maybe it is true with homemade dishwasher detergents but Ecover is a tough grease cutter which also adds a shine to your glasses. 

Ecover has automatic dishwasher detergent tablets too. But the only downfall with those tablets is that the packaging. They are wrapped in tiny plastic wrappers yet the box is made of cardboard.

When I first bought that detergent tablet pack, I was laughing so hard at their shortsightedness! That’s why I will not recommend you to use the tablets if you are going for zero waste. Rather use this Ecover Septic-safe Automatic Dishwasher Detergent powder (Amazon Link) – will worth every penny.  

4. Citra-Solv Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Powder (Valencia Orange )

This automatic dishwasher detergent from Citrasolv has no phosphate, chlorine or bad chemicals to harm the good bacteria of your septic tank. It has organic content and the fragrance is essential oil-based, thus safe for your family’s overall wellbeing.

Plus, this is a dishwasher detergent and rinse aid combo, hence you will get a beautiful shine on your dull looking dishes/glasses from two or three washes onwards. So no need to invest precious money in harmful rinse aids from now on.

Comparing with the big market players like the Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyers, Citrasolv or the Home Solv dishwasher detergent products haven’t tasted fame that much. But surprisingly, the performance of their dishwasher detergents exceeded all expectations.

It is a cruelty-free brand and produces only eco-friendly products. Although the brand is very small, they have done an incredible job on the pricing. It is affordable and gives you almost the same benefits that premium natural brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and Method give you.

The label says the detergent has-  

  • natural citrus extracts,  
  • sodium percarbonate (a non-chlorine oxygen bleach),  
  • sodium carbonate (water softener),  
  • alkoxylated fatty alcohol nonionic (low sudsing surfactant),  
  • non-animal derived enzymes,  
  • sodium polyacrylate polymer (water spot prevention agent)  
  • hydrous polysilicate (dishwasher & china protection agent), and citric acid.  

If you don’t want your detergent to be fragranced then the Home Solv free and clear automatic dishwasher detergent pack (Amazon Link) will be a great alternative for you.

I have used the Citrasolv natural liquid dish soap (Amazon Link) ( lavender bergamot ) too. It is septic safe and very much pocket-friendly. It is also far more popular than this dishwasher detergent.

Overall if you compare its performance with a big brand like Mrs. Meyers, it is not equally sudsy but cuts tough grease with ease, has better finish too and a little goes a long way.

Depending on those, you can certainly give this septic-safe Citra-Solv Automatic Dishwasher Detergent powder (Amazon Link) a try. I bet you will have effective and satisfying cleaning experience. 

5. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Automatic Dish Packs (Lavender) 

Mrs. Meyers is a known name when it comes to the dish soaps, but unbelievably the dishwasher detergents have not yet come to the limelight much.

Although I was skeptical about the performance of its dishwasher detergents, the clean day automatic dish packs proved me wrong.

What more can you expect from a dishwasher detergent other than cleaning your dishes and keeping your precious glasses streak-free?  But Meyer’s give you something more.

It is a cruelty-free brand that mostly uses plant-based ingredients. It has no phosphate or chlorine which makes it a septic safe dishwasher detergent pack. The lavender fragrance does not come from any artificial chemical rather they use essential oils (makes it a great choice for those who hate artificial scents). 

To be honest I was skeptical first because few dish soaps from Meyer’s have turned out to be bad at their job. But thank god the lavender automatic dishwasher detergent pack worked well and does not ruin my dishwasher.

What’s in the label?

  • Automatic dishwasher detergent packs
  • Contains plant-derived ingredients to clean and make grease disappear
  • Biodegradable
  • Contains essential oil-based fragrance
  • No phosphates, or Chlorine
  • Cruelty-free

In my research, it turns out that Mrs. Meyers is a brand of Caldera Company, which itself is owned by the S.C. Johnson corporation.

And (in some markets at least), S.C. Johnson is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. So, I felt a bit relaxed when I bought this product. Certainly, I will not advise you to just go for the brand name, the quality of the detergent matters the most.

And Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Automatic Dish Packs  (Amazon Link) proved to be one of the greatest choices as a septic safe dishwasher detergent available in the market. 

Also, FYI, My aunt started using Meyer’s after I recommended this and she is a bit smell-sensitive. Though she liked its performance, the smell was bothering her. So, she switched to the Seventh Generation automatic dishwasher packs. 

No.Dishwasher BrandFeatures
1. a. natural citrus extracts,  

b. sodium percarbonate (a non-chlorine oxygen bleach), 
c. sodium carbonate (water softener),  

d. alkoxylated fatty alcohol nonionic (low sudsing surfactant), 
e. non-animal derived enzymes, 
f. sodium polyacrylate polymer (water spot prevention agent)  

g. hydrous polysilicate (dishwasher & china protection agent), and citric acid
2. a. Automatic dishwasher detergent pods

b. Contains plant-derived ingredients to clean and make grease disappear

c. Biodegradable

d. Essential oil-based fragrance

e. Contains essential oils

f. No phosphates, or Chlorine

g. Cruelty-free

a. Advanced formula.

b. Easily removes grime.

c. No chlorine, phosphates, or synthetic fragrances.

d. Derived from plants not petroleum.

e. USDA Certified Biobased formula (87%).

f. Powerful enzymes derived from plants
actively remove debris and stains from dishes.

g. Non-toxic dishwasher detergent.

h. Hypoallergenic formula.

i. Specially designed for Standard and HE Machines.

j. Absolutely septic safe.
4. a. Made using renewable plant-based and mineral ingredients.

b. Biodegradable.

c. Phosphate-free

d. Cruelty-free

e. Removes stubborn, stuck-on food.

g. Septic-safe.
5. a. Made using renewable plant-based and mineral ingredients. 

 b. Biodegradable. 
c. Phosphate-free 

d. Cruelty-free 

 e. Removes stubborn, stuck-on food. 

f.  Septic-safe 

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