Dave Solberg

Proper RV Holding Tank Chemicals to Use

Dave Solberg
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There are a lot of different RV holding tank chemicals available to use for your system. The chemicals available today are much better than the old-school methods of cleaning holding tanks. In previous years, many RV owners would use cleaning products such as Lysol and Pinesol. Neither option is good to use because they will kill the good bacteria that is needed to break down solids in the black water tank. In addition, these chemicals will eat away at seals and clean away lubrication wanted inside the tank.

It is best to use approved RV holding tank chemicals. These chemicals come in liquid form and are biodegradable. Some black water treatments come in a container with its own measuring device, while others come in biodegradable packets that can be tossed right into the tank. Aquachem by Thetford is one example and a popular option that also includes a deodorant. This can be used to help control odor in the grey water tanks, which can develop over time from water coming from the shower, kitchen and bathroom sinks.

The Thetford Tissue Digester will help breakdown toilet paper in the black water tank. However, it is still a good idea to use an approved RV toilet paper that will easily breakdown on its own.

Other suggested RV holding tank chemicals include:

  • Level Gauge Cleaner: Dissolves and digests sediments, lime and anything on the probes that could cause a false reading.
  • Drain Valve Lubricant: Best to use when storing or letting the RV sit for long periods of time with nothing in it.
  • Toilet Seal: Lubricates the flapper on the toilet for a better seal and stopping odors from coming into the RV.
  • RV antifreeze: Best when wanting to winterize an RV before long-term storage.
  • Using proper RV holding tank chemicals will help effectively clean the holding tanks without damaging any of the seals or other components of the system.

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    5 Responses to “Proper RV Holding Tank Chemicals to Use”

    1. Russ

      With all those different holding tank chemicals. Is it safe to add any of them together. Or should I be doing one at a time?

    2. JOHN

      I have given my bowl and seal a good cleaning as when I winterized I put RV antifreeze in the bowl to keep the seal moist. It at some point drained. I sent it to the dealer under warranty, they cleaned the seal and said it was good and held water for 20 minutes. However, it still drains it out. Is that okay or should it hold water in the bowl continuously? When new it held continually until winter storage. I have added conditioner to the bowl as well. Is this seal bad or what should I do? Since not holding water, the tank treatment and cleaner smell comes back routinely.

    3. Mary Ann Weber

      I am renting an RV spot for a month on a private lot. The lot has a septic hook up --- but the contract states: "Chemicals are not permitted in the septic tank. Only dump non-treated waste. The odor control chemicals are disinfectants to kill the anaerobic bacteria in the waste. When the disinfected waste is dumped into the septic tank it kills the necessary bacteria in the septic tank system." I am wondering what type of holding tank additive I CAN use -- can you please offer suggestion? Thank you!!

    4. Mike

      I've been in some porta-potties that actually smelled good. Is there an RV product that smells good?

    5. Letty

      Well water sat in our fresh water tank until it acquired a bad smell. We have emptied it, but now want to make sure we flush it out well to remove the smell. What product do you recommend?

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