Can You Clean an RV Toilet With Bleach?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read more

Table of Contents

At some point, an RV toilet will need to be cleaned. Whether it is a weekend camping trip or a long cross-country road trip, it’s a task that needs to be done on a regular basis. But can you clean an RV toilet with bleach?

The answer is no. RV toilets are made from either plastic or porcelain. Regardless, it’s still not a good idea. That’s because bleach can do damage to the toilet. Just because you cannot clean with bleach, doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are ways to clean your RV toilet without having to damage it inadvertently.

If you want to learn how to properly clean your RV toilet, we will show you the ways on how to do it. Once it’s all clean, you won’t have to deal with any odors or bacteria that would otherwise be left over after just simply dumping your black tank. Let’s keep reading so you can learn how to clean your RV toilet the right way.

Why Is Bleach Not A Good Idea To Use?

Bleach contains chlorine. And chlorine is notorious for damaging certain materials including plastic. Aside from damaging the RV toilet, you also risk damage to the plastic black tank as well.

But it only gets worse from there. Bleach can also damage the gaskets that will make the tank cleaning easy. So you will have a much harder time draining the black tank. And it might lead to outright replacing the gasket or tank, which can set you back financially.

Your holding tanks have enzymes that will break down the waste and eliminate odors. Bleach will kill those enzymes instantly. And that means taking the odor situation from bad to worse.

Since bleach is out of the question, what else can we use?

What About Drano?

Drano is just as bad as bleach. So that would also be a no-go when it comes to pouring it down your RV toilet. This will damage RV pipes, the tank, and the gasket. Other similar chemicals like Rid-X are also not going to help as well.

Drano and Rid-X are both useful for household bathrooms only. One such rule to follow is that anything you use in your bathroom at home for cleaning probably won’t be a good fit for an RV toilet nine times out of ten. But are there RV-friendly chemicals that you can use?

Let’s answer that question now.

What Sort Of Chemicals Are RV Safe?

Any RV-safe chemicals that you need to use for cleaning your toilet should contain bacteria or enzymes. The cleaners that contain them will work with the enzymes that exist inside your tank. As a rule, you want to avoid chemicals that contain chlorine or bleach. Caustic solutions should also not be used as well.

There are RV chemicals that come in different types: tabs, crystals, and liquid. You can find these cleaning products at various camping stores like Camping World or find them online. Either way, find products that will fit your budget and will be proven to work every time you clean your RV toilet.

Try This Solution

If you are looking for an alternative to chemicals, you’re in luck. This is a cleaner that will be perfect for both your toilet and your holding tank. The ingredients include baking soda and vinegar.

What you need to do is 3 tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with 1.5 cups of vinegar. This is perfect especially when you want to clean out any clogs that you may have. Whether it’s waste or toilet paper, this is a pretty good option.

If the clog is still persistent, you should consider boiling hot water. Because of its temperature, boiling water can also be the perfect option since it will likely dissolve materials causing the clogs like toilet paper. However, after pouring boiling water down the toilet and into the tank, it will need to sit there at least overnight.

You Can Use Bleach For This One Purpose

The only time you should use bleach when cleaning a part of your RV is when you are cleaning the drains and water lines. The bleach will be used as a sanitizing agent. However, you want to shut off your hot water heater and allow it to cool before the process begins.

For every 15 gallons of water, your tank can hold, add ¼ cup of bleach. So if you have a 60-gallon water tank, that is one full cup of bleach you will need to add. After this, run the faucets one by one and let the water run for at least 60 seconds or until you smell chlorine.

Top off the water tanks and allow them to sit for no more than 3 hours. After that, drain it all and repeat the filling process until the chlorine scent is gone.

Can I Use A Toilet Brush For My RV?

You probably should not use a toilet brush for your RV. The bristles of the brush are so stiff that they can leave scratches and grooves on plastic toilet bowls. This can cause damage to the bowl itself and therefore make it a lot difficult to clean.

Final Thoughts

You must never clean an RV toilet with bleach. Nor should you do the same with household toilet cleaner. There are specially designed chemicals that will not hurt the RV toilet or the tank. So long as it contains bacteria and enzymes, you should be good to go.

Cleaning an RV toilet doesn’t have to be a challenge. But as long as you are doing it properly, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

Scroll to Top