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Thread: Thread in Septic Tank?

  1. #1
    Senior Member didi's Avatar
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    Someone mentioned washing quilts if you have a septic tank.
    I have noticed when I wash my quilts after sewing them, I get alot of thread in my washer. At least when I do the Rag Quilts. Does this hurt my septic tank???

  2. #2
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Never thought of that, I just did a rag quilt and we have a septic, gonna watch the responses.

  3. #3
    Super Member Connie in CO's Avatar
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    Quilts are made of cotton,wouldn't that just go away with the the stuff you flush down once a month?Does that make since?

  4. #4
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    When I made a rag quilt, someone at one of the quilting classes told me 'if you have a septic system (as opposed to city waste system), wash your rag quilts at the laundromat'. That has always stuck with me and that is what I do. Don't know if it's true or not, but I do know there is not too many things worse than septic problems.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connie in CO
    Quilts are made of cotton,wouldn't that just go away with the the stuff you flush down once a month?Does that make since?
    The once a month stuff is - Rid-X
    We had to use it when we lived in IN. and had a septic system.
    I've also been told to wash the rag quilts at a laundromat.

  6. #6
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkabasketlady
    Quote Originally Posted by Connie in CO
    Quilts are made of cotton,wouldn't that just go away with the the stuff you flush down once a month?Does that make since?
    The once a month stuff is - Rid-X
    We had to use it when we lived in IN. and had a septic system.
    I've also been told to wash the rag quilts at a laundromat.
    I was told to take to laundromat too..never at home???

  7. #7
    Member ConnieSue's Avatar
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    I just recently washed a rag quilt for the first time. I knew it might clog my pipes so I cut the lower part of a sheer panty hose( about 10 inches) and attached it with a rubber band to the end of the hose that drains my washer. Whew!! Good thing I did cause it was almost full of threads by the time they cycle finished. This worked great for me

  8. #8
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    I also take my rag quilts to the laundrymat for the first 2 washes especially if they're going to be gifted (I like the way they look after a couple of washes)

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConnieSue
    I just recently washed a rag quilt for the first time. I knew it might clog my pipes so I cut the lower part of a sheer panty hose( about 10 inches) and attached it with a rubber band to the end of the hose that drains my washer. Whew!! Good thing I did cause it was almost full of threads by the time they cycle finished. This worked great for me
    Smart cookie!! Do that when/if you felt wool sweaters, too!

  10. #10
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Rid-X is NOT necessary if you have a septic system. All it is is a form of yeast that naturally forms anyway. Experts will tell you that you really don't need it. What you want to avoid is bleach and other anti-bacterial products, which will kill the bacteria necessary for the breakdown of solids in the septic tank. Adding something like Rid-X after using bleach isn't going to help, because the bleach will kill the bacteria in Rid-X too.

    Cotton is not going to hurt your septic, because it is biodegradable. It's going to rot away. The problem would be that until it does, if you do many rag quilts, you could at least temporarily clog your leach field and cause problems. I would think the problem would be if you're not using a 100% natural batting. Polyester fibers are not going to degrade, they WILL cause problems.

    All in all, the laundromat is not a bad idea...

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Ummmmmmmm - I ALWAYS have a nylon/pantyhose leg over the washer hose end to catch ALL my laundry lint/fibers. Helps to keep the pipes unclogged (whether you have city or septic pipes). I've been doing it FOREVER.

    Try it! Change the nylon when it starts to fill up like a balloon when the washer empties...you don't want it to 'explode'

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    The main reason not to wash your rag quilts at home, is all of the strings can plug up your machine, and if you are not viligant about emptying your lint trap in the dryer, you could over heat it/cause a fire.

    The threads will break down, but it takes considerably longer than toilet paper. As to causing a problem to your septic tank? That depends on how well the rest of the sludge is breaking down, and how many of these quilts you are making.

    The $3-4 dollars it costs to wash these in a laundra mat is nothing compared to what you could spend later on washing them at home :wink: :D:D:D

  13. #13
    Senior Member Born2Sew's Avatar
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    The last rag quilt I made was of 3 layers of flannel. Turned out great, but when I washed it in my washer, all of the 'debris' ended up between the inside and outside drum. This would not allow the tub to spin out. Had to call a repairman to come work on it. Lesson learned. I love rag quilts but because of this will probably not make any more of them. We do not have a laundromat here.

  14. #14
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I don't make rag quilts, but I definitely remember this thread if I do. I had never thought about the threads and lint in the pipes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkabasketlady
    Quote Originally Posted by Connie in CO
    Quilts are made of cotton,wouldn't that just go away with the the stuff you flush down once a month?Does that make since?
    The once a month stuff is - Rid-X
    We had to use it when we lived in IN. and had a septic system.
    I've also been told to wash the rag quilts at a laundromat.
    Believe I'd go with this, just to be sure!

  16. #16
    Junior Member QuiltingrandmafromMi's Avatar
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    Do as ConnieSue suggested. You can get lint traps that attach to your washer discharge hose, from any hardware store, and attaches easily. Works great, and why spend extra money going to the laundromat? You can even use 1/2 of a pair of pantyhose with a clamp,that's what we use. Also works great!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter if you have septic or not. When I do my rag quilts I ALWAYS go to the laundromat and use their big machines. It is worth the cost as I don't mess up my machines.

    Funny story: Once I took my rag quilt to the laundromat and was drying it in the dryer. A woman from another country was concerned and kept telling me it was "broken" as I kept on pulling out all the loose threads from the dryer filter. She understood, maybe, when she saw the finished dried quilt.

    ali

  18. #18
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I live in town and I still go the laundromat just to wash newly finished rag quilts. I have two large pines in front and it has caused problems with the sewer.
    The plumber told me not to wash them in my washer, so I listened.

  19. #19
    Decoratenu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    Rid-X is NOT necessary if you have a septic system. All it is is a form of yeast that naturally forms anyway. Experts will tell you that you really don't need it. What you want to avoid is bleach and other anti-bacterial products, which will kill the bacteria necessary for the breakdown of solids in the septic tank. Adding something like Rid-X after using bleach isn't going to help, because the bleach will kill the bacteria in Rid-X too.

    Cotton is not going to hurt your septic, because it is biodegradable. It's going to rot away. The problem would be that until it does, if you do many rag quilts, you could at least temporarily clog your leach field and cause problems. I would think the problem would be if you're not using a 100% natural batting. Polyester fibers are not going to degrade, they WILL cause problems.

    All in all, the laundromat is not a bad idea...
    I'll remember this! My mother loved to use bleach & they had problems with their septic tank all the time! Wish their plumber had mentioned that anti-bacterial products & bleach prevented the septic tank from working properly. Guess he was just looking out for HIS own interests!
    Thankfully I don't have a septic system & clean my HE washer filter quarterly & dryer filter everytime I use it.
    If I could get to the hose (it's behind the washer/dryer w/ cabinets around it), I definitely think the nylon stocking over the end of the hose would certainly prevent clogging your system.

  20. #20
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Oh gosh I use alot of bleach, about a 2 gallon a month...OOPS...I lived in the city for 20 years no septics there.

  21. #21
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    I put my rag quilts in a pillowcase and rubber band the end shut. Works good and keep all the lint out of the washer!

  22. #22
    Senior Member quiltergirl80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    When I made a rag quilt, someone at one of the quilting classes told me 'if you have a septic system (as opposed to city waste system), wash your rag quilts at the laundromat'. That has always stuck with me and that is what I do. Don't know if it's true or not, but I do know there is not too many things worse than septic problems.
    This is what I have been told too.

  23. #23
    Member ladeg's Avatar
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    I have made one rag quilt, Denim and Flannel. When I washed it, the fibers went through the washing machine pump and decided to stay there. I was so clogged that I had to call a repairman. A very expensive load of laundry! If I make another, I will take it to the laundromat.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Karyn's Avatar
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    We recently had our septic tank pumped out(1st time in 30+ years) and I asked about using Rid-X. Was advised to put a pkg of regular yeast in and it would do the trick.
    I have washed and dried rag quilts at home before, but will definitely go to the laundromat for the next ones. BTW if you dry them at home empty the lint filter often, you will be surprised how fast it fills up with just one rag quilt.

  25. #25
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    I would think cotton thread would deteriorate in a septic tank, but polyester might not.

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