I Have a Septic System: How Many Loads of Laundry Can I Do in a Day?

For many folks, laundry is just another boring chore. But if you have a septic system, it’s crucial to think of laundry as anything but. As a major contributor to your household’s overall water usage, laundry can seriously impact the health of your septic system.

In fact, your laundry habits play a major role in long-term septic care and maintenance. This includes how many loads of laundry you do in a day.



Washing machines use a lot of water. Consider this: Older washers can use anywhere from 30 to 45 gallons of water per load, while high-efficiency machines use much less—about 5 to 30 gallons of water for the same load.

So, aside from investing in a high-energy washer, it’s wise to assess the way you do laundry. That’s because excess wastewater—from your washing machine or otherwise—can eventually strain your septic system.

With that said, avoid washing multiple loads of laundry in a single day. When you wash one load after the other, your system won’t have enough time to sufficiently treat and breakdown the waste. The result? Solid waste can build up, causing backups and drainfield problems.

This is even more likely if your septic system is overdue for a routine pumping.



Stick to one or two loads a day whenever possible. It’s the best way to protect your septic system and prolong its lifespan. If you decide to do two loads in a day, try to space them out. For example, do one load in the morning and one in the evening.

Admittedly, following these recommendations can be difficult if you aren’t home very often. But remember, the habit can make or break the fitness of your septic system. By spreading your laundry throughout the week, you can avoid potential septic problems in the future.



Be mindful of other household activities that rely on water, such as:

  • Taking showers and baths
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Using the dishwasher
  • Washing the dishes in the sink

The more these things happen when you do laundry, the more water will flow into your septic system. So, try to limit or avoid these tasks when it’s time to do laundry. (But obviously, if you need to use the toilet… please do!)

It’s also a good idea to wash your clothes when there’s a minimal household activity, like when the kids are sleeping or no guests are present.



When it comes to septic care, how many loads of laundry you do each day will make a difference. As a rule of thumb, try to spread out your loads throughout the week and always wash a full load. It’s also best to use liquid detergent.

If you have questions, talk to the experts at Paradise Valley Septic. We can provide more personalized recommendations based on the size of your system and household. Our team of septic technicians can also suggest the best pumping schedule for your situation.

To learn more, fill out our online form or call us at (480) 351-1725.


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