The Best Septic Safe Shampoo (List of Top Products and Brands)

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Septic Safe Shampoo

If you’re like most homeowners with septic tanks, you’re probably concerned about the safety of the products you use in your home. You may be wondering if a certain shampoo is safe to use in your septic system. 

The good news is that there are plenty of septic safe shampoos on the market today. In this article, we’ll look at ingredients you should avoid if you live in a house with a septic tank, and we’ll provide our recommendations for the best septic safe shampoo options. Armed with this information, you can make an informed decision about which product is right for you. 

Related: 10 Safe Shampoo and Conditioner Brands

What Makes Shampoo Safe for Septic Tanks?

Septic systems rely on bacteria and enzymes to break down and dissolve the waste. The chemicals in some cleaning and personal care products, including shampoo, can kill the bacteria, which means the waste will not be broken down as it should.

The pH balance of the shampoo and the chemicals contained in it are the primary distinction between regular shampoo and shampoo that is safe for your septic system.

Shampoos with high pH balances and specific chemicals might destroy the enzymes you need to keep your sewage system functioning as it should. These enzymes digest waste, keeping your system from backing up. If you eliminate them, waste will build up faster in your septic tank. This can cause a few issues. Most significantly, your sewage system may need to be emptied more often.

You also want to make sure you’re using a biodegradable shampoo. This will help break down the ingredients in the shampoo so they don’t sit in your septic tank and cause problems. 

When you’re looking for a septic-safe shampoo, there are a few ingredients you’ll want to avoid. These include: 

  • Sulfates: Sulfates are found in most conventional shampoos. They’re what give shampoo its foamy texture. However, sulfates can be harsh on your hair and strip it of its natural oils. They can also kill the helpful bacteria in your septic tank.
  • Parabens: Parabens are a type of preservative that is commonly found in personal care products. While they help extend the shelf life of a product, they can also disrupt hormone function. 
  • Phosphates: Phosphates are added to some shampoos to help increase the cleaning power. However, they can also encourage the growth of algae in lakes and rivers. In your septic system, phosphates can promote the growth of sludge, which can lead to clogs. 
  • Artificial fragrances (naturally-derived fragrances are ok):  Many shampoos contain artificial fragrances to make them smell nice. However, these fragrances can be made from chemicals that can kill the helpful bacteria in your septic tank. 

Some of the best septic safe shampoos use natural ingredients that are gentle on both your hair and your septic system. Making the switch to a safe septic system shampoo is crucial for preserving your septic system, as well as being good for the environment. 

Generally, products that are septic safe will be labeled as such on the bottle or product packaging. We’ll provide our suggestions below, but you can also check a shampoo label to see if it is marked as being safe for septic tanks.

Related: The Best Natural Shampoo for Beautiful, Healthy Hair

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Ingreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo
Ingreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free 
9.7
Check Price on Amazon
Best for Curly Hair
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
  • Natural shampoo to moisturize and gently clean hair
  • No nasty chemicals
  • Certified Cruelty-free, vegan
9.6
Check Price on Amazon
Best Value
Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo
Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo
  • Formulated with plant-based ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Coconut oil is used to nourish and moisturize hair
9.5
Check Price on Amazon

The Best Septic Safe Shampoo

Now that you know what ingredients to avoid, let’s take a look at some of the best septic-safe shampoos on the market today. Here is a summary of our recommendations, with more details below.

  1. Best Overall: Ingreendients Daily Shampoo
  2. Best for Curly Hair: ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
  3. Best Value: Renpure Coconut Creme Nourishing Shampoo
  4. Rahua Classic Shampoo
  5. John Masters Organics Daily Nourishing Shampoo
  6. EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo
  7. EVOLVh SmartColor Color Protecting Shampoo
  8. Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo
  9. Burt’s Bees More Moisture Shampoo
  10. Avalon Organics Shampoo
  11. PURA D’OR Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo

1. Best Overall: Ingreendients Daily Shampoo

Ingreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo with Organic Ingredients, Apple Cider Vinegar & Tea Tree Oil - Organic Shampoo Restores Shine, Color Safe Shampoo, Paraben Free Shampoo, Gluten Free Shampoo, Silicone Free, pH Balanced Shampoo, Cruelty Free ShampooIngreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo with Organic Ingredients

The Ingreendients Daily Shampoo is the best septic-safe shampoo that has an organic, vegan formula. This sulfate-free shampoo has been formulated using plant botanicals like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. It is gentle and safe for colored hair, keratin-treated hair, and itchy scalp.

This shampoo features a clean formula comprising only 13 plant-based ingredients all listed on the label. It cleanses the scalp using coconut-derived cleaning agents that are entirely biodegradable so that you don’t have to worry about your septic tank getting damaged when the shampoo runs down the drain.

What makes this shampoo septic safe is that it is free of synthetic ingredients, petroleum, parabens, sulfates, phthalate, PEG, silicone, glycol, and betaine. The company behind this shampoo has banned the use of 1400+ questionable ingredients which are commonly found in other shampoos.

  • Plant-based and plant-derived ingredients
  • Color and keratin-treated hair safe
  • Biodegradable shampoo and 100% recycled bottles 
  • No sulfates, artificial or synthetic ingredients
  • Vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free

Check the price on Amazon


2. Best for Curly Hair: ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo - 8 Fl Oz - Performance-Driven Hair Care Gently Cleanses, Removes Buildup, Boosts Shine & Replenishes Moisture - Lemongrass & Argan, 100% VeganACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are notorious for containing sulfates and harsh cleansing agents. However, they are necessary when dirt and chemical buildup is weighing your hair down and causing an oily scalp. The Acure curiously clarifying shampoo is a 100% vegan shampoo formulated without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, or formaldehyde.

This clarifying shampoo contains naturally derived ingredients that do not strip your hair of moisture. The formula contains beneficial oils infused with lemongrass that deep clean your scalp to remove buildup, restore shine, and maintain moisture.

This shampoo is free of all those synthetic ingredients that are known to damage septic tanks. It is safe for not just your hair but also your home’s septic tank and the environment.

  • Formulated with healthy oils to moisturize and gently clean hair
  • Vegan and Certified Cruelty-free
  • No nasty chemicals
  • Will not strip hair and leaves shiny and soft

Check the price on Amazon


3. Best Value: Renpure Coconut Creme Nourishing Shampoo

Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo, 32 OuncesRenpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo

Renpure Coconut crème nourishing shampoo has been formulated to preserve your hair’s natural oils & nutrients. It contains gentle plant-based cleansers that clean your hair to maintain healthy-looking, shining hair.

The coconut oil in this formula moisturizes dry, damaged hair. It also provides nutrients that seal in moisture, and smooth the cuticle to make your hair silky and frizz-free.

Renpure coconut crème shampoo is a responsibly sourced & ethically produced product for gentle cleansing of the hair. It contains natural ingredients like tea tree oil, argan oil, shea butter & coconut.

This plant-based shampoo does not contain sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, and propylene glycol, making it safe for septic tanks, sensitive skin, and the environment.

  • Ethically produced and responsibly sourced
  • Formulated with plant-based ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Coconut is used to nourish and moisturize hair
  • Leaves hair clean, silky, shiny and frizz-free

Check the price on Amazon


4. Rahua Classic Shampoo

Rahua Classic Shampoo 9.3 Fl Oz, Made With Organic Ingredients for Healthy Scalp and Hair, Safe for Color Treated Hair, Shampoo with Palo Santo Aroma, Best for All Hair TypesRahua Rahua Classic Hair Shampoo

The motto of Rahua, a beauty brand, is that self wellness is a journey that begins with respecting the earth. Based on this purpose, all Rahua products are made using organic, natural, plant-based ingredients. Rahua classic shampoo is also a plant-derived product that is septic-safe, vegan, and non-toxic. It is free of parabens, silicone, sulfates, and Gluten.

Rahua’s classic shampoo contains efficacious symbiotic ingredients sourced from the Amazon Rainforest. This gentle shampoo is color-safe and nourishes your hair for optimal health and a glowing appearance.

  • Formulated with organic, plant-derived ingredients
  • Color-treated hair safe
  • Does not contain harsh chemicals

Check the price on Amazon


5. John Masters Organics Daily Nourishing Shampoo

John Masters Organics Daily Nourishing Shampoo 16oz I 70%+ Organic Ingredients I Sulfate-Free I Plant-BasedJohn Masters Organics Daily Nourishing Shampoo

Another organic, cruelty-free shampoo is the John Masters Organics’ Shampoo For Normal Hair scented with lavender & rosemary. It is a sulfate-free natural shampoo that cleanses and moisturizes your hair while preserving its natural oils.

This septic-safe formula contains naturally derived surfactants that create a rich, creamy lather while the infusion of French lavender smooths and hydrates hair. For adding a lustrous shine to your locks, rosemary oil has also been added to the formula.

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Infused with botanicals such as lavender and rosemary
  • Sulfate-free, cruelty-free

Check the price on Amazon


6. EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

EVOLVh - Natural UltraShine Moisture Shampoo | Vegan, Non-Toxic, Clean Hair Care (8.5 fl oz | 250 mL)EVOLVh – Natural UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

Another luxurious color-safe shampoo for all hair types is the EVOLVh UltraShine moisture shampoo which is also septic-safe. This shampoo contains natural cleaning agents and a custom blend of healthy antioxidants, amino acids, and fatty acids that nourish the hair for a healthier appearance.

The shampoo claims to visibly smooth out hair while increasing shine and elasticity for younger-looking tresses. This gentle shampoo has been designed for dry, frizzy hair that needs extra moisture. It can help improve the condition of all hair types by reducing frizz and making the hair softer.

The formula of this vegan, cruelty-free shampoo is sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, propylene glycol-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, free of synthetic fragrance, and GMO-free making it safe for septic tanks and the environment as well.

  • Formulated with antioxidants, amino acids
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Free from chemicals

Check the price on Amazon


7. EVOLVh SmartColor Color Protecting Shampoo

EVOLVh - Natural SmartColor Protecting Shampoo | Vegan, Non-Toxic, Clean Hair Care (8.5 fl oz | 250 mL)EVOLVh – Natural SmartColor Protecting Shampoo

Another eco-friendly product by EVOLVh is their SmartColor shampoo which protects your color investment by gently cleansing and nourishing color-treated hair. It also contains targeted amino acids that strengthen the hair to protect them from the damage caused by hair coloring.

The EVOLVh SmartColor claims to offer superior color retention, improved hair health, and brilliant shining hair. Those who are looking for an eco-friendly, septic-safe shampoo should know that this formula is sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, propylene glycol-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, perfume-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

  • Septic-safe, environmentally friendly
  • Cleans and nourishes color treated hair
  • GMO-free, chemical free, and vegan

Check the price on Amazon


8. Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo

Pacifica Beauty Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry + Damaged Hair, 100% Vegan & Cruelty Free, Sulfate + Paraben Free, White, 2 CountPacifica Beauty Coconut Power Strong & Long Moisturizing Shampoo

The Pacifica Coconut Power Shampoo and Conditioner Set has been formulated to help revive dry, weak hair that has been damaged by chemical processes, harsh shampoos, heat styling, or daily exposure to pollutants. This shampoo gently cleans the hair to preserve moisture for healthier hair.

This shampoo features a lightweight, mild foaming formula, that removes dirt and pollutants from your scalp and hair. The formula contains a combination of super oils, fruit extracts, and vegan ingredients like coconut oil and vitamin B that may be nourishing for the hair.

This pack comes with the Pacifica conditioner that will leave your hair silky smooth and smelling amazing. The restoring conditioner may help calm frizz and prevent tangles. This shampoo and conditioner set is free of synthetic chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates making it a septic-safe product.

  • Formulated with coconut to clean and deliver intense moisture to damaged and dry hair
  • Tames frizz while detangling
  • Free from chemicals, vegan and cruelty-free

Check the price on Amazon


9. Burt’s Bees More Moisture Shampoo

Burt's Bees More Moisture Baobab Shampoo and Conditioner Combo 10 fl oz.Burt’s Bees More Moisture Baobab Shampoo and Conditioner Combo

Another septic safe shampoo is Burt Bees More moisture shampoo which helps revive dry hair by deeply moisturizing and hydrating them. It gently adds shine to lackluster hair while boosting moisture and improving manageability.

This sulfate-free formula is powered with essential fatty acids and antioxidants derived from Baobab Oil and Cupuaçu Butter that may make your hair soft, smooth, and beautiful.

  • Formulated with antioxidants and essential fatty acids
  • Sulfate-free
  • Adds shine to hair while moisturizing deeply

Check the price on Amazon


10. Avalon Organics Shampoo

Avalon Organics Shampoo, Nourishing Lavender, 32 OzAvalon Organics Shampoo

Another well-known name in the hair care industry is Avalon Organics. Their septic-safe shampoo gently cleanses and hydrates normal to dry hair using plant-sourced botanicals and essential oils. This certified organic formula revives every strand while removing impurities. Infused with lavender essential oil, quinoa protein, aloe, babassu oil, and vitamin E this shampoo gently conditions and seals the hair cuticle making it smoother, shinier, and softer.

This shampoo is EWG verified, a certification that is given to products designed to be safer for the environment and human health. The formula does not contain GMO ingredients, parabens, harsh preservatives, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, or phthalates. It is also vegan and cruelty-free.

  • Organic shampoo made with essential oils and plant-based ingredients
  • EWG Verified
  • Cruelty-free and vegan

Check the price on Amazon


11. PURA D’OR Gold Label Anti-Thinning Shampoo

PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo (16oz) Argan Oil, Nettle Extract, Saw Palmetto, 17+ Herbal DHT Blockers, No Sulfates, Natural Preservatives, Men & Women (Packing may vary)PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo 

If you are someone who suffers from thinning hair then the PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo is an excellent choice for you. The septic-safe formula contains plant-based, exotic ingredients sourced from various regions of the world.

The brand claims that its shampoo is clinically proven to reduce hair thinning by improving hair strength and thickness to increase volume and reduce breakage. This shampoo contains 17 popular active Ingredients that will help you achieve stronger, cleaner, healthier hair.

The hand-selected botanical ingredients present in the PURA D’OR shampoo include argan oil, red korean seaweed, saw palmetto, he shou wu, and nettle extracts. The natural formula helps add shine, strengthen hair follicles, increase volume, and reduce hair thinning and breakage.

This gentle shampoo has been specially designed for those who have a sensitive scalp or color-treated hair.  It is a cruelty-free, eco-friendly product made without any harmful chemicals like parabens or sulfates. 

  • Naturally formulated to reduce thinning hair and increase hair strength
  • Shampoo includes essential vitamins and protects hair strands from harmful environmental factors
  • No nasty chemicals, vegan, and hypo-allergenic

Related: The Best Dry Shampoo Without Butane and Propane

Check the price on Amazon


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use septic safe shampoo?

If you live in a house that uses a septic tank, it’s highly recommended that you use shampoo (as well as other cleaning and personal care products) that are septic safe. Using a shampoo that includes the wrong chemicals has an adverse impact on the long-term performance of your septic tank. Changing shampoo is easier and much cheaper than making costly repairs to a damaged septic tank.

How is septic safe shampoo different from other shampoos?

Septic safe shampoo is different from other shampoos in that it has a low pH balance and does not contain harsh chemicals. These characteristics help preserve the helpful bacteria in your septic tank, keeping it functioning properly for years to come.

What shampoos are good for septic systems?

There are many brands that produce natural shampoos that are effective and safe. Our top recommendations for each category are covered in this article.

I’ve been using a shampoo that is not septic safe. What should I do?

Using the wrong shampoo for a short time is unlikely to cause problems. The best course of action is to make the change to a septic safe shampoo now, and also to consider the other personal care and cleaning products you’re using. If you haven’t experienced problems with your septic system, there’s no other action needed at this point. If you have experienced problems with the system, contact a professional to diagnose the issue.

Related: The Best Septic Leach Field Cleaner

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Ingreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo
Ingreendients Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free 
9.7
Check Price on Amazon
Best for Curly Hair
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo
  • Natural shampoo to moisturize and gently clean hair
  • No nasty chemicals
  • Certified Cruelty-free, vegan
9.6
Check Price on Amazon
Best Value
Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo
Renpure Coconut Cream Nourishing Shampoo
  • Formulated with plant-based ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Coconut oil is used to nourish and moisturize hair
9.5
Check Price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on Septic Safe Shampoo

If you have a septic tank, it’s important to use shampoo and other personal care products that are safe for the system. Many conventional shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can kill the helpful bacteria in your septic tank. This can lead to clogs and other problems down the road.

Fortunately, there are many brands that produce natural shampoos that are gentle on both your hair and your septic system. These shampoos typically have a low pH balance and do not contain harsh chemicals. Making the switch to septic safe shampoo is an easy way to help preserve your septic system and avoid costly repairs down the road.

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