Grey Water Soaps, Part 1

When you irrigate with grey water, you need to think more about what you put down the drain.

Biodegradable means “to break down”, whereas biocompatible means the breakdown products are good for, or at least not harmful to the environment, which may not necessary be the case with biodegradable products.

Most hand, dish soaps and shampoos don’t damage plants at low residential concentrations. Laundry detergents, on the other hand, need to be selected more carefully.

Laundry Detergents:

Powered detergents and soaps include “filler”ingredients which are usually some compound of sodium. Liquid soaps contain water as the filler and thus less sodium and are therefor a better choice as a laundry detergent.

To minimize the impact of plants and soil from cleaners, take these measures in descending order of priority:

  1. Avoid using more cleaner than needed
  2. Avoid cleaners that contain boron (borax), a potent plant toxin
  3. Avoid using chlorine bleach or non-chlorine bleach containing sodium perborate, a potent plant toxin. Send bleaches to the sewer when used. Liquid hydrogen peroxide (liquid chlorox) is a better nontoxic alternative bleach.
  4. Avoid all softeners
  5. Avoid detergents that advertise whitening, softening, and enzymatic powers
  6. Use cleaners that contain little or no sodium, liquid cleaners and laundry detergents contain less sodium than powders.
  7. Use plant and soil biocompatible cleaners, which contain no phosphorus, sodium, chlorine, or boron

Ref: Create an Oasis with Greywater

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