How to Clean an RV Toilet Pipe

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When it comes to doing household maintenance and chores, one task that almost no one wants involves cleaning the toilet. While toilet cleaning might be gross, it’s especially important when you are an RV owner. A backed up, gross toilet can lead to bigger problems that aren’t as big of a concern in a house.

Get ready, because we can tell you how to best clean your RV toilet pipe to avoid having an issue with your sewer lines or black tank. Cleaning your TV toilet pipe is pretty easy!

Cleaning your RV toilet pipe isn’t much different from cleaning out a toilet. The waste is the same! You can start with warm water and a brush and read the rest as you go.

What is the toilet pipe?

The piece we’ll call the toilet pipe is slightly unique to an RV, though it has very similar functions to your home’s plumbing. The toilet pipe connects the bottom of your toilet to the black tank. This is much like the “trap” in your toilet that presents gas overflow and the flushing of foreign objects and is basically a waste carrier.

Without a toilet pipe, your toilet would function even more like a portable bathroom that simply accepts falling waste. One good way of thinking about the toilet pipe is that it prevents you from seeing the black tank itself in some cases.

How do I clean it?

The toilet pipe might have solid waste, toilet paper, and the byproducts of anything else you flushed. There are a few ways to begin cleaning your toilet pipe out.

Warm & Soapy Water

Fill a bucket with warm water and splash some soap in there. Dish soap works as a degreaser though you’ll get enough bubbles that it might be difficult to see. To be fair, not being able to see the inside of your toilet pipe as you are cleaning it could be a good thing. Part of the purpose of the soapy water is to kill bacteria – the other part is that it will smell better than the pipe.

You could also use vinegar, which is not corrosive and won’t bubble and make things harder to see. Vinegar is quite friendly to RV plumbing systems in general.

A brush or hose

One nugget to keep in mind here. The toilet pipe might be a bit further away than you think. Your arm might need to be extended into the toilet bowl and beyond to reach it.

That said, there’s a chance you could drop the brush and need to drain the black tank in order to get it out. Rather than stopping the whole process, make a lease for your brush. Many brushes come with a hole at the top of the handle for hanging the brush. Wrap something about the hole, and secure it to your wrist.

We suggest pushing the brush and rotating. You’ll get the bristles to scrape the inside of the pipe. You are also less likely to pull excess waste back into the toilet and RV with you. That stuff belongs in the black tank instead!

A hose, connected with a adapter to your bathroom or kitchen sink, can be very helpful. You should also consider attaching a nozzle to your hose to add some pressure to the water flow. The pressure can help detach waste and push it further down the pipe into your black tank. 

Overfill your black tank

Sound crazy? It might work. 

  1. First, of course drain your black tank or waste. 
  2. Second, fill your black tank with fresh water and some bleach. Fill it via the exterior port or fill it through the toilet itself.
  3. Allow the black tank to get full of enough water that some of the water reaches the toilet pipe.
  4. Let this sit with bleach for a little while in order to kill all the bacteria.
  5. You could reach in with the brush with the bleach water present. Use a mask in this scenario
  6. Drain the black tank!

This can help rinse your black tank out and sterilize the toilet pipe itself. 

A snake

For especially tough toilet pipes, consider getting a mechanical snake auger. The snake is a long cable, that well, looks like a snake, that mechanically slithes into your pipe. The snake can push out waste and things that shouldn’t be remaining still.

Snakes can be powered by a mechanical crank or by a household drill. Note that unless your toilet pipe is actually clogged or having a problem moving water through, you probably won’t need to use a snake. The snake can also help clear out your whole septic line.

Of note, wear goggles and a mask when using a snake. Who knows what it will bring back when the cable comes back up.


Your toilet pipe isn’t very weird. Once you add some soap and water in there, you could in fact use a spoon or fork to scrape it out. This is a manual method that probably isn’t especially pleasant, but will work to push or pull extra waste out of the pipe.

This also helps in a pinch if you don’t have a snake or hose available for the purpose.

Also, wash the utensil very thoroughly with soap and hot water once finished. Or just throw it away.


Cleaning out your RV toilet pipe is a relatively simple task using tools and items that most RV owners have. The only question is how bad is the toilet pipe and can you use a hose or pressurized water to make the process a little easier.

You are also unlikely to need to clean your toilet pipe on a regular basis though simple flushing vinegar down once in a while helps soften things. As suggested above, the pipe can be cleaned during routine maintenance for your black tank as well.

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