How to Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Septic Tank Odor

Septic Tank Odor

Septic tank odor is a common problem that can occur in both residential and commercial properties. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as clogged drains, damaged pipes, or an overloaded septic system. The odor can be particularly strong near the septic tank or drain field, and can often spread throughout the property. In addition to being unpleasant, the odor can also indicate that there is a problem with the septic system that needs to be addressed.

In this guide, we will discuss how to use baking soda to eliminate septic tank odor, as well as other effective solutions and preventative measures to keep your septic system odor-free.

6 Main Causes of Septic Tank Odor

Septic tank odor can be caused by any number of factors. Here are the most frequent sources:

1. Clogged Drains: Clogged drains can allow excess water into your septic system and lead to foul-smelling results.

2. Overloaded Septic System: If your septic system becomes overloaded with waste, leading to accumulation and an unpleasant odor, too many people using the system or too much water may use too much can create this scenario.

3. Damaged Pipes: Corroded or worn down pipes may contribute to septic tank odor, especially if they have become compromised due to age, corrosion, or tree roots encroaching on them.

4. Failure of Septic Tank Vent: If your septic system’s venting system becomes malfunctioning, foul smells could quickly build up and spread to other areas on your property.

5. Failing to Maintain: Failing to properly maintain your septic system can lead to unpleasant smells in your drain field and surrounding environment, necessitating periodic pumping and inspections for optimal operation of the system. Regular pumping and inspection are crucial in keeping it in peak condition and free from potential problems.

6. Garbage Disposal: Garbage disposals can introduce solids into your septic system and lead to problems and unpleasant odors, so use it carefully, disposing only items which are capable of being broken down by it.

The Effect of Baking Soda in Eliminating Septic Tank Odor

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural cleaning and deodorizing agent. When added to septic systems, baking soda can help neutralize odors while breaking down waste by raising its pH level and creating an environment less conducive to bacteria that causes smelly wastes.

baking soda

Baking soda is safe to use in septic systems and will not harm the beneficial bacteria that are essential for breaking down waste. In fact, baking soda can even help to boost the activity of these bacteria, which can further aid in the breakdown of waste and elimination of odors.

While baking soda can be an effective solution for eliminating septic tank odor, it’s important to remember that it is not a substitute for regular maintenance. Regular pumping, inspections, and other preventative measures are essential for keeping your septic system running smoothly and odor-free.

How to Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Septic Tank Odor

Locate Your Septic Tank: Septic tanks are typically located underground near your property. If you’re having difficulty locating it, review your property records or consult a professional.

Flushing Baking Soda Down the Toilet: Pour 1 cup of baking soda down your toilet and flush. Do this once every week for optimal results.

Wait: Allow at least 30 minutes for this baking soda solution to sit in your septic tank before using any water from this property.

You can also mix 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon to create your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz, helping remove dirt and grime from tubs and drains.

Use Water: Once the baking soda has settled in your septic tank, use water as usual to help distribute it throughout your septic system and help minimize odor issues in your tank. Water can help disperse it evenly throughout the system and help eliminate septic tank odor altogether.

Other Effective Solutions for Eliminating Septic Tank Odor

Baking soda may be one effective solution to address septic tank odor; however, other solutions may also exist to do the trick. Here are a few other effective strategies for getting rid of septic tank smell:

Use Septic Tank Treatments

Many different septic tank treatments exist to help eliminate odor from septic tanks, including enzyme- and bacteria-based solutions that break down waste to remove any unpleasant smells and eliminate odors from them.

septic tank system

Have your Septic Tank Pumped

If your septic tank has become overflowing, having it pumped could help eliminate odor and prevent future problems.

Repair any Damaged Pipes

Corrosion of pipes can contribute to septic tank odor. If you suspect damaged pipes in your septic system, it is imperative that they are repaired as quickly as possible to ensure optimal operation of your system.

Utilize your garbage disposal sparingly

Garbage disposals can introduce solids into the septic system, potentially causing issues. Use yours with caution and never dispose of items that cannot be broken down.

Preventative Measures to Keep Your Septic System Odor-Free

In addition to using baking soda and other solutions to eliminate septic tank odor, there are also preventative measures you can take to keep your septic system odor-free

Here are some preventative measures to keep your septic system odor-free:

  1. Regularly pump your septic tank: Regular pumping can prevent solids from accumulating in the tank and causing odors.
  2. Conserve water: Using too much water can overload your septic system, leading to odors. To conserve water, fix any leaks, take shorter showers, and only run the dishwasher or washing machine when full.
  3. Avoid using harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic system that break down waste and eliminate odors. Use natural cleaning products instead.
  4. Keep heavy objects off your drain field: Heavy objects can damage the pipes in your drain field and cause odors. Avoid parking cars, trucks, or heavy machinery on your drain field.


Septic tank odor can be a persistent problem that can be difficult to eliminate. However, by using baking soda and other effective solutions, as well as taking preventative measures, you can keep your septic system odor-free. If you notice a strong odor or other issues with your septic system, it’s important to contact a professional to address the issue.


Can baking soda damage my septic system?

No, baking soda is safe to use in septic systems and will not damage them.

What should I do if the odor persists after using baking soda?

If the odor persists, it’s important to have your septic system inspected by a professional. There may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Can septic tank odor be dangerous?

In most cases, septic tank odor is not dangerous. However, if you notice a strong odor or other symptoms such as dizziness or headaches, it’s important to leave the area and contact a professional immediately.