Best RV Black Tank Cleaner in 2019

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Traveling in an RV is a one-of-a-kind experience. You get to explore so much of the countryside, all without sacrificing many of life’s modern luxuries. For many people, RVing is the only way to get out there and take a vacation.

However, for all the benefits that come with driving a mobile home, there is one component that no one likes: cleaning the black tank.

Unfortunately, waste is a natural part of our biology, and we can’t exactly expect to find furnished restrooms at every stop. However, cleaning your RV black tank doesn’t have to be an ordeal.

We’ve compiled a list of the best RV black tank cleaners on the market so that you can focus on enjoying the best parts of RVing, and not the one downside. Let’s see how they can make traveling that much more palatable.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGEPRODUCT
1. Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins
  • Multiple pack sizes available (up to 250)
  • Easy to use - just drop it in
  • Prevents odors better than other cleaners
  • Resealable bag for convenience
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2. Camco 41183 TST Ultra-concentrated RV Toilet Treatment
  • Pre-packaged cleaners
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Strong citrus scent to mask odors
  • No harsh formaldehyde chemicals
LEARN MORE
3. Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment
  • One tub cleans up to 64 times
  • Formula breaks down waste quickly
  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Works for up to 40 gallons of waste
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4. Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment, 16 Treatments 32oz
  • Fast-acting material
  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Breaks down all waste, including TP
  • No harsh chemicals included
LEARN MORE

OUR TOP 4 PICKS

#1 Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak

Specifications

Item Weight

12 ounces

Product Dimensions

1.6 x 1.1 x 0.5 inches

Features

  • Multiple pack sizes available (up to 250)
  • Easy to use - just drop it in
  • Prevents odors better than other cleaners
  • No mess or measuring

For the most part, you don’t want to have to do much to clean out your black water tank. While a deep-clean is necessary on occasion, it’s best to have a simple and efficient method for regular maintenance.

Fortunately, Walex has you covered with these Porta-Paks.

Pre-Packaged Capsules

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with measuring liquid or powder and pouring it into your toilet, there’s always the potential of making a mess or miscalculating the amount needed.

With the Porta-Paks, all you have to do is drop one into your toilet regularly so that the chemicals inside can help cover up odors and break down solids inside your holding tank. It’s never been more convenient to manage your black water.

Also, best of all, you can get bigger or smaller amounts of Porta-Paks. For full-time RVers, you can buy up to 250 at a time. However, they don’t store well for the long-term, so don’t buy that many if you’re not on the road all-year-round.

Incredible Odor Prevention

Realistically, the best RV black tank cleaners are designed to do two things: break down solid waste and eliminate odors. Technically speaking, if your holding tank is full, no amount of cleaning solution can remove the smell, but dropping a Porta-Pak every few days can make it a lot more tolerable.

Compared to other black tank cleaners, this product does a much better job of keeping your RV relatively scent-free. You shouldn’t notice any nasty smells until it’s time to dump the tank.

  • WHAT WE LIKE
  • WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
  • PROS/CONS OVERVIEW

Overall, the simplicity and reliability of the Porta-Paks are what makes me like them so much. I love that I can just drop one into the bowl without having to worry about measurements or messes. Also, the results are spectacular.

Video

#2 Camco 41183 TST Ultra-concentrated RV Toilet Treatment

Read More

Camco TST Orange 30 Pack Ultra-Concentrated Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste and Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, 30-Pack (41183)

Read More

Camco TST Orange 30 Pack Ultra-Concentrated Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste and Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, 30-Pack (41183)

Read More

Camco TST Orange 30 Pack Ultra-Concentrated Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste and Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, 30-Pack (41183)

Specifications

Item Weight

1 pounds

Product Dimensions

7 x 6 x 6 inches

Features

  • Pre-packaged cleaners
  • Strong citrus scent to mask odors
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Safe and easy to use
  • No harsh formaldehyde chemicals

When it comes to RV products, Camco is one of the most well-known and respected. Although this brand makes a lot of different items, each one is crafted with the same care and attention to detail. Let’s see how this black water treatment holds up.

Ultra Citrus Scent

Although I love the Porta-Paks from Walex, the scent they chose is not that strong. Personally, I love the smell of citrus, which is why these packs are so desirable. Drop one into your toilet, and you’ll be greeted with fresh fruit, not a pile of rotting garbage.

Formaldehyde Free

When trying to manage your black water tank, it helps to bring out the big guns every so often (i.e., bleach). However, using harsh chemicals can leave a nasty footprint when you dump the water, so it’s nice to know that this batch is made without formaldehyde.

Overall, you’re doing the planet a favor by going with a less corrosive mixture for your holding tank.

  • WHAT WE LIKE
  • WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
  • PROS/CONS OVERVIEW

As with the Porta-Paks, I love that I can simply drop one of these into the toilet and walk away. I also appreciate the ultra-strong citrus scent, as that can mask black tank odors better than other options.

Video

#3 Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

Read More

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 64 Treatments

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Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 64 Treatments

Read More

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 64 Treatments

Specifications

Item Weight

4.6 pounds

Product Dimensions

6.4 x 5.5 x 4.9 inches

Features

  • One tub cleans up to 64 times
  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Formula breaks down waste quickly
  • Works for up to 40 gallons of waste

Although the speed and simplicity of pre-packaged cleaning solutions are great, sometimes you want something a little more old-fashioned. In this case, Happy Campers Organic Treatment is a powder that you measure and scoop into the tank. Let’s see how well it works.

High-Efficiency Formula

When you’re looking for the best RV black tank cleaner, you want to be sure that it can last for months on end. Whether you travel full-time or you keep your motorhome in storage for long periods, your cleaner needs to stay fresh.

Fortunately, because this formula is a powder, it should hold up for years. Not only that, but this one bucket can provide up to 64 cleanings, which is more than enough for any RVer.

Overall, you won’t have to replace this product very often, which makes it an even more cost-efficient purchase.

Liquefies Toilet Tissue

As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of an RV black tank cleaner is to break down the solid waste so that it doesn’t clog the pipe and create problems within the tank.

With most other products, you have to buy specially-made toilet paper that breaks down quickly in liquid. The reason for this is that regular paper will clump, and it’s hard to dissolve in most solutions.

Thankfully, Happy Campers is strong enough for both kinds of paper. That being said, I don’t recommend going with extra-thick versions, as those can still create issues with clumping and such.

  • WHAT WE LIKE
  • WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
  • PROS/CONS OVERVIEW

The primary reason I recommend Happy Campers is that it does a remarkable job of breaking down the waste in your holding tank. If you have trouble with clogs or sensor failure, this product will do well for your time on the road.

I also appreciate that it lasts so long. I don’t have to worry about buying more for months on end.

Video

#4 Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment

Read More

Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment, 16 Treatments 32oz

Read More

Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment, 16 Treatments 32oz

Read More

Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment, 16 Treatments 32oz

Specifications

Item Weight

2.34 pounds

Product Dimensions

3.1 x 3.1 x 9 inches

Features

  • Fast-acting material
  • No harsh chemicals included
  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Breaks down all waste, including TP

If you’re like me, you want to be sure that the products you use are safe for the environment. While you can’t always help it (i.e., when bleaching your black water tank), you want to avoid harsh chemicals as much as possible.

Fortunately, this blend is perfect for the eco-conscious user.

Eco-Friendly Formula

Not only is this cleaning solution free of highly toxic elements like formaldehyde, but it uses mostly environmentally-friendly ingredients. You may think that going all-natural would lead to worse performance, but this cleaner is just as powerful as others I’ve seen.

Works Well for Clogged Tanks

Unfortunately, not all travelers take care of their RVs as well as they should. In those cases, clogs and backups can build over time, making it harder to keep a clean (and empty) holding tank.

Thankfully, Digest-It is really good at removing blockages, so even if you haven’t taken care of your black water in a while, you should be able to clear the tank no matter what.

  • WHAT WE LIKE
  • WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
  • PROS/CONS OVERVIEW

As with the Happy Campers powder, this cleaner does well at breaking down solids in your tank. I also like that it doesn’t have harsh chemicals, so I can feel better about using it regularly.

Video

BUYER'S GUIDE

What are good RV holding tank treatment brands?

Fortunately, we’ve compiled the best brands for cleaning your RV black water tank on this list so that you can shop with confidence. However, as a personal preference, I think that Walex and Camco are the best options. Walex is excellent at breaking down your waste, and Camco is synonymous with a high-quality RV experience.

How to use an RV holding tank treatment/chemical?

The answer to this question depends on the kind of product you use. Typically, there are two options for cleaning your RV black water tank.

Liquid - you simply pour a measured amount into the tank.

Dissolve/Powder - either you measure the powder into a cup, or it comes in a capsule form that dissolves on its own.

In either case, be sure to read the instructions before using these products. Because they may have strong chemicals in them, you must handle them with care. Also, don’t assume that adding more will help - it may not have any effect at all.

How to clean RV holding tanks?

While using the RV black tank cleaners can help, they are just part of the equation. You will have to clean the tank more consistently to ensure that bacteria and other waste doesn’t build up over time.

The easiest way to clean your holding tank is to mix bleach with water and let it sit for eight hours. You will need to fill the tank all the way - otherwise, it won’t get 100% clean, and it could still smell afterward.

So, be sure to check the size of your tank before making your cleaning solution. Realistically, you shouldn’t need more than eight gallons. The ratio of the solution should be 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water.

After eight hours, you can dump the mixture into a standard waste station. Ideally, you should fill the tank before a long drive, as the sloshing from the road will help loosen any pieces stuck to the sides.

Can I put bleach in my RV black tank?

As I mentioned, you can mix bleach with water to sanitize your black water tank. However, never put bleach in there directly - always dilute it first. Bleach by itself could wear down the walls of the container, leading to cracks or leaks over time.

How often should I dump my black tank?

Fortunately, modern RVs come with sensors so you can tell when your black tank is getting full. Realistically, you will want to empty it when it reaches about two-thirds. Yes, you could wait until it tops off, but chances are the smell will prompt you to take action before then.

As far as sanitizing your tank with bleach, if you RV full-time, you should plan to clean it out about every three months or so. If you use your RV on occasion, you should always sanitize the tank after each trip.

Failing to clean the black water tank before putting your RV in storage can lead to a nasty (and smelly) surprise when you get back into your rig.

CONCLUSION

Although we’ve seen the best RV black tank cleaners, I have to admit that my favorite of the bunch is the Walex Porta-Pak. Not only are these packs super convenient, but they pack a punch that keeps your waste from taking over the inside of your ride.

Keep your waste in check with Walex.

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