RV Toilet Chemicals You Need to Know About

RV Toilet Chemicals You Need To Know About

If you’ve ever attempted to use the bathroom at a crowded campsite or truck stop, you’ll know why having a toilet inside your RV is considered the height of convenience.

With access to your own toilet, you’ll be safer, more comfortable, and closer than ever, but they come with special cleaning instructions that you should know about, especially when it comes to chemicals.

So, what are the right RV toilet chemicals to use? To clean an RV toilet thoroughly and keep it hygienic, you’ll need chemicals for the bowl, holding tank, and black water tank separately.

These chemicals work to reduce odors and eliminate bacteria at all stages, and also keep the toilet system in good condition so that it serves you for years to come.

To get a crash course on keeping your RV’s toilet clean, we’ve compiled a simple guide to toilet chemicals and their purpose.

You’ll learn everything there is to know about these chemicals, the role they play, and how to use them correctly to ensure a hygienic bathroom experience onboard your RV.

What Are RV Toilet Chemicals?

What Are RV Toilet Chemicals?

RV toilet chemical is a general term used to describe the cleaning, sanitizing, and treating chemicals required by these portable toilet systems.

Compared to a traditional toilet used in a home, an RV toilet has a unique setup that means extra care must be taken to keep it odor-free, clean, and to help it be emptied correctly, which is where these chemicals come into play.

Depending on the type of RV toilet you have, you might need a different selection of chemicals from the next rig.

It’s up to you to keep all parts of the toilet system clean and functioning which can include the toilet cassette, the toilet bowl, flush tank, and the black water tank that holds all of the waste.

Why Do You Need Them?

Why Do You Need Them?

When comparing an RV toilet to the one you have at home, there are quite a few differences that make these chemicals necessary.

Most importantly, without the same plumbing connections that normally carry our waste far away from us and into a municipal septic system, we’re left with a lot of the smell and aura of a bathroom trip.

In addition to the setup, the fact that the waste tank is situated so close to the toilet itself, and the rest of the motorhome means it’s crucial to treat it with the correct chemicals.

As these vehicles move a lot when in motion, the waste can potentially be disturbed which leads to further smells and the threat of spills, so anything we can do to keep everything in check is essential.

An RV toilet chemical might also feature either a bacteria or enzyme composition that is added to the black water tank which helps it break down human waste and toilet paper.

This means when it comes time to empty the tank, the waste is then free of lumps and clumping materials, so it can more easily flow out of the hose and into the waste station outlet.

The Types of RV Toilet Chemicals

The easiest way to determine what chemicals are needed for your RV is the look at each of the parts requiring them. For most standard RV setups, this is what’s required to clean and treat the toilet in your motorhome.

Black water tank


This is the large tank where the waste is stored until it’s time to be emptied and the chemicals used here will help it to break down.

The two main options are liquid chemicals or dissolving tablets, each with its pros and cons.

These help to break down the waste and tissue in the tank by using either a bacteria or enzyme composition to do the job.

To use black water tank chemical products, always start with a clean tank. Fill the tank with some water first and then insert the tablets or liquid as directed on the label.

The product will get to work when the waste is deposited and make for easier emptying and cleaning.

Flush tank

Although optional, using an additive in the flush tank of your RV toilet has many uses.

These products can help provide a nonstick coating to the bowl for easy cleaning, add a pleasant fragrance, keep the slide valve seal lubricated and freely moving, and supplement the waste dissolver that you’re using in the black water tank.

These products are easy to apply and usually come in the form of a spray bottle. All you need to do is open the compartment where the water sits for flushing and spray the recommended amount it.

Each time the toilet is flushed, it’ll deposit some of these chemicals where needed.

Cassette tank


If you use this type of RV toilet, a cassette tank is where the waste sits before it’s emptied and it needs to be cleaned out at least once a year thoroughly.

These chemicals are applied to the inside of the cassette tank or black water tank and they remove calcium buildup and other stubborn stains and marks.

These products are easy to use and require no scrubbing. All you need to do is pour in the liquid chemical and allow it to sit for some time, and it will do the cleaning for you.

As these products can differ, it’s essential to read the instructions from the manufacturer for the best process.


These types of chemicals are used for cleaning the bowl of the toilet and they are similar to the type of cleaning agents you’d use at home in the toilet.

However, because most RV toilets are made with plastic and not porcelain or another hardier substance, you’ll need to choose one specifically made for this type of use.

They can sanitize and clean, as well as freshen the odors in the bathroom.

To use a bowl cleaner, apply a small amount of the liquid to the bowl and rim of the toilet. Use a dedicated toilet brush or cleaner to scrub it in and then flush it away.

Always follow the instructions on the label to prevent damage and harsh application.

The Chemicals to Avoid

The Chemicals to Avoid

With so many products out there designed for cleaning and sanitizing portable toilets, it can be easy to get lost among the crowd.

Whatever you do decide on though, you must choose toilet chemicals that are marked as septic safe, and this is the easiest way to determine what’s okay for use in your RV.

Although your toilet isn’t connected to a sewerage system like at home, the waste that you eventually empty will be sent there.

You’ll need to do your part in ensuring that whatever you deposit at a waste station is safe, which means choosing products that are only marked as septic safe and therefore suitable for this type of purpose.

Many additives and products on the market today have been designed with this in mind, so it’s best not to create your own sprays and chemical solutions for use in your RV.

Even those that say ‘biodegradable’ or ‘eco-friendly’ should still be questioned because of the potential damage they can do to the waste system.

Toilet Tissue and Your RV

Toilet Tissue and Your RV

If you’re new to RV ownership, you’re probably still unsure about the role that toilet paper plays in these portable bathrooms.

Whether or not to flush the toilet paper and the best type to use will depend on the toilet you’re using, but generally speaking, it’s okay to do so.

Some people prefer to dispose of the toilet paper in a separate plastic bag to avoid flushing it, which is the recommended method when using a cassette waste tank.

However, if you’re using a portable toilet that has a slide valve, it’s okay to flush the toilet paper down with the rest of the waste.

Where possible, you should use an RV-friendly toilet paper and one that states it’s septic safe. These are easier to break down, will result in less clumping, and be easier to waste when it’s time.

They’re also better for the environment so there’s harm in dumping them into a septic system when you empty the tank.

Tips for RV Toilet Cleaning

To make cleaning your RV toilet easier and less frequent, there are a few simple tips you can employ. Keep these in mind if you’re wondering how to keep your RV’s toilet in top shape and reduce chemical application in the future.

Dissolvable is easier


With the option of either a powder, liquid or dissolvable tablet, it’s always best to go with the dissolvable choice.

This reduces the risk of spills and makes it easy to just drop it into the tank and get on with the rest of the job.

Hold onto the lid

When you’re emptying the waste tank or cassette at a dump station, keep a hold of the lid in the other hand. Dropping the lid down the drain is one of the most common mistakes that newcomers make when emptying their RV toilet.

Always apply chemicals outside

Although it can be tempting to do the job inside, it’s smarter to remove the tank and then put the chemicals in outdoors.

This prevents spills, reduces the chance of inhalation, and stops any stains from getting inside of your pride and joy.

Go easy on the toilet paper


Try to get used to using a small amount of toilet paper as this is the biggest cause of blockages in RVs.

Choose a bio-degradable product and one made specifically for RV and portable toilets as this break down easiest.

Apply a seal lubricant

The toilet’s seals are an important part of the whole setup and they can prevent leakages from occurring. Keep the seals lubricated with something simple like olive oil so that they don’t leak, and so it’s easier to clean everything.

Always apply chemicals outside

Although it can be tempting to do the job inside, it’s smarter to remove the tank and then put the chemicals in outdoors.

This prevents spills, reduces the chance of inhalation, and stops any stains from getting inside of your pride and joy.

A Clean RV Starts at the Toilet

Although one of the least glamorous parts of RV ownership, cleaning and maintaining your toilet and the other working parts of the system is an essential one.

With regular treatment and the right chemicals, you’ll make the job a breeze, and ensure that your RV is free from the odors and bacteria that can cause a problem when you’re not taking care of the toilet.

Related Questions

Keeping the toilet and tanks of your RV in check is crucial to a clean and happy portable home, but there’s a lot to learn about it.

If you’re new to RV ownership and still have further questions about how the bathroom works, read on to see our answers to some commonly asked ones that newcomers have.

How Do You Empty an RV Toilet?


Most RV toilets come with a removable compartment that can be emptied in a designated waste station as needed.

These compartments can be carried with a handle and have features like a non-splash spout for emptying and air vents that make the job easy to do, mess-free, and relatively free from odors as well.

Those with black water tanks can connect them to an outlet so the waste is removed this way instead.

How Often Do You Need to Empty an RV Toilet?

The frequency that an RV toilet needs to be emptied depends on the type of toilet and the storage capacity, with most standard cassette toilet systems requiring emptying every two days.

Cleaning the toilet and emptying the waste is required to remove the waste, prevent odors, and stop leaks from occurring when the compartment starts to fill up.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *