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How To Use Rid-X (Step-By-Step Guide)

Rid-X Treatment Enzymes

We can often go years without paying our septic tanks much attention, but completely forgetting about them will inevitably put you in a costly predicament. The EPA estimates that up to 10% of systems (~100,000 homes) suffer failures every year, mainly due to a lack of maintenance. With even minor repairs often running a few thousand dollars, homeowners have more than enough incentive to put in the extra effort to keep their setups in excellent condition.

Frequent pumping and mindful plumbing use are non-negotiable if you want to ensure your system’s performance. But innovative additives are now offering hopes of helpful shortcuts to make life easier. Using bacteria and enzymes, Rid-X boosts your tank’s waste-processing power to keep it running smoothly between pump outs. Check out this step-by-step outline for using Rid-X to protect and improve your septic system’s operation.

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How to Use Rid-X

Rid-X comes in three convenient formulas for easy application: powder, liquid, and gel septi-pacs. Applied once a month, each dose is effective for septic tanks up to 1,500 gallons in size. Follow these directions to use Rid-X effectively in your septic system.

RID-X Septic Treatment


  1. Pour one dose (9.8 oz) of Rid-X powder into the toilet
  2. Flush twice
  3. Avoid using the plumbing for several hours after application (use before bed or before leaving the house)


  1. Shake the bottle well before use
  2. Pour 8 fl. oz. of Rid-X into the toilet and flush, or pour 8 fl. oz. down the sink and flush with running water for 15 seconds


  1. Flush one gelpac into the toilet
  2. Avoid using the plumbing for several hours after flushing the gelpac for the best results

What Is Rid-X?

Rid-X is a 100% natural formulation of bacterial cultures, enzymes, nutrients, and a water carrier that replenishes the microbial populations in your septic tank. According to the company, the product helps keep a smooth-operating, free-flowing system.

Bacteria produce enzymes that break down targeted waste entering the tank, allowing them to digest more manageable particles.

Enzymes in Rid-X include:
  • Cellulase enzymes (break down toilet paper and other cellulose-containing materials)
  • Protease enzymes (for proteins)
  • Amylase enzymes (for starches)
  • Lipase enzymes (for fats, oils, grease, and other lipids)

The bacteria’s waste products are only carbon dioxide and water, which mix with the outgoing effluent to enter the drain field harmlessly. The billions of bacteria and enzymes in a single Rid-X dose can minimize the sludge and scum layer in the tank by processing extra waste.

Rid-X claims to ensure a consistent level of microbial activity in your septic system. You can go longer between tank pumpings and reduce the risk of clogs and backups, saving you money and frustration over time.

How Long Does It Take for Rid-X to Work?

man opening a septic tank
Image By: Natalia Kokhanova, Shutterstock

Rid-X begins working as soon as it hits the water. Bacteria germinate and reach their maximum population levels in 2–4 days.

Is Rid-X Hazardous to Your Health?

Consisting of natural bacteria and enzymes, Rid-X poses a low threat to personal health. People with allergies, respiratory issues, or skin disorders may have an adverse reaction and should avoid contact with the product.

Despite its relative safety, eye contact, and inhalation can cause irritation, as can prolonged skin exposure. Most instances of accidental contact won’t require medical care, but you should call your doctor if you ingest Rid-X, have severe skin reactions, or feel ongoing ill effects from inhalation.

Can I Use Rid-X for an Aerobic Septic System?

Rid-X naturally supplements the processes already occurring in your septic system. But depending on the tank type, the bacteria you introduce may or may not have much effect.

Aerobic septic systems, which introduce air, utilize aerobic bacteria to break down waste, while closed-off anaerobic systems feature oxygen-starved microbes. One type of bacteria will not necessarily work in the wrong tank. To illustrate the point, the Rid-X manufacturer has not tested their products on aerobic systems and does not recommend using them.

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Do I Need to Use Rid-X?

Rid-X Septic Tank System Treatment

Despite the claims of optimized performance, Rid-X is not necessary for septic systems, nor is it sure to positively affect yours. A 2008 study found that biological additives showed no significant change in bacterial levels¹ between sampled treated and untreated systems. Individual results vary, and plenty of customers still swear by regular treatments, noting noticeable differences in the sludge layer.

Will Rid-X help your septic system? The best approach is to proceed cautiously and rely more on responsible septic maintenance than a consumer product. The EPA makes no recommendation for additives, instead issuing a warning that they can decrease drain field performance.

A common concern surrounding Rid-X is that its potent bacteria might be overly efficient, creating waste particles that are too small to settle and end up entering the drain field with outgoing effluent. Rid-X may prevent tank and inlet pipe blockages, but clogs can develop in the field’s piping over time. Comparing costs, a $2,000–$15,000 drain field fix would be harder to swallow than a septic tank repair averaging around $1,500–$2,000.

There is no guarantee that you’ll have septic system issues due to Rid-X, but uncertain benefits may not be enough to outweigh the perceived risks and actual monthly monetary costs. If you’re interested in using Rid-X, talk with a trusted plumbing professional who can make the best recommendations for your unique setup.

Tips for Septic System Maintenance

Thoughtful plumbing use and septic maintenance will keep your system smooth-flowing and clog-free, often to the point that any bio-additive like Rid-X is redundant. To ensure the lengthiest lifespan with the fewest problems and repairs, follow these simple tips:

  • Do not put chemicals down the drain (e.g., bleach, solvents, pesticides, fuel, antifreeze)
  • Avoid using a garbage disposal, as it can overload the system with organic solids
  • Only flush organic, biodegradable materials (i.e., bodily waste and toilet paper)
  • Conserve water as much as possible, running dishwashers and washing machines only when they’re full
  • Keep grease, fat, coffee grounds, and other pipe-clogging substances out of the drain
  • Divert runoff and gutter drainage away from the drain field
  • Install water-saving fixtures, such as high-efficiency toilets and showerheads
  • Use ENERGY STAR appliances that conserve water
  • Avoid driving or building structures over the drain field

The most crucial aspects of septic system maintenance are inspections and pumpings. No amount of Rid-X will offset the need for regular professional intervention, which is a relatively minor investment that can prevent expensive repairs and outright system failure. You must pump your septic system once every 2–5 years and arrange a tank inspection every 1–3 years.

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Final Thoughts

Using Rid-X is as easy as flushing the toilet, and it doesn’t take much to understand why the simple, natural ingredients would benefit a septic system. The real complication comes in deciding whether or not to use it in the first place.

Rid-X will never supersede or replace responsible septic use. Before considering a bio-additive, think about how it would work with your tank and discuss the best methods for maintaining your particular system with a professional plumber.


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