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Washing machine drains are susceptible to nasty drain chemicals that can prove quite problematic.  In particular, caustic chemicals are a major problem.  Such chemicals, ranging from chlorine to diethanolamine and benzaldehyde, can damage the washing machine as well as its pipe and drain.  In fact, certain laundry detergents are rife with phosphates that will contaminate the groundwater around the septic tank, proving quite harmful to the surrounding environment.  Let’s take a quick look at a few strategies to protect your washing machine drains from such harmful chemicals. 

Limit Your use of Bleach 

When used in small amounts, bleach and other cleaning solutions won’t significantly impact your washing machine drain or other system.  However, when bleach is used in considerable amounts, its chemicals will corrode the pipes, causing potentially significant harm.  When in doubt, use such chemicals in moderation.  Refrain from using an exorbitant amount of bleach, powdered detergent and/or clog removers in your washing machine.  If you suspect the problem with your washing machine drain or septic tank is the result of exposure to excessive amounts of caustic chemicals, reach out to a local plumber for professional assistance.

Beware of Powdered Detergent 

In most cases, powdered detergent is not a significant problem in and of itself.  If significant quantities of powdered detergent are used, clogs will form as a result of clumping.  You can prevent such problems with your washing machine drain by using less powdered detergent or shifting to the liquid version.  If you notice clogs forming, it is not too late to prevent the problem from worsening.  Opt for the liquid variety of detergent and the existing clogs just might dissolve on their own.

Avoid Commercial Clog Removers 

Commercial clog removers are loaded with nasty chemicals that will cause significant damage to the washing machine if water moves back up through the pipe.  However, most commercial clog removers will destroy clothing they come into contact with.  If your washing machine drain is compromised, opt for another method of repair.  As an example, the installation of a drain vent or replacing the aged or worn drain hose might suffice.  The drain hose must be free of all twists, knots and turns.  If the hose has been compromised, it should be replaced so issues do not arise down the line.

Your Laundry Detergent Might be the Problem 

As noted above, laundry detergent in the powder form has the potential to prove problematic.  However, the powdered variety of laundry detergent is not the sole threat to your washing machine and its drain.  Homemade laundry detergent and/or soap residue buildup might be the true cause of your washing machine drain problem.  Each of these cleaning solutions gradually spurs the buildup of soap as time progresses, causing significant problems with washing machine drains.  If your washing machine drain operates slowly, the application of enzymes will help clear away all the soap scum.  Always opt for a liquid detergent as opposed to a dry detergent.  Here’s why: the liquid variety has less filler and supplemental ingredients as they dissolve in much more of a comprehensive manner than dry detergents.

Beware of Clogged Lint 

Clogs in drains can form as the result of excess dryer lint and various fragments.  The solution is to apply a lint filter.  Some lint filters resemble socks while others resemble stainless-steel scrubbers.  Each variety will firmly connect to the washing machine hose end.  The best part about lint filters is they only cost a dollar or two.  Just be sure to examine, clean and replace your lint filter with regularity so it remains fully functional.  It will also help to use a lint or garment bag while doing the laundry to prevent the buildup of an excessive amount of lint.