Clean With Ease: Best RV Holding Tank Treatments of 2019

Traveling for a weekend away in your RV is a great adventure for any family. Hitting the open road and go where the RV takes you. One thing that is certain is the constant use of your toilet over that weekend, and the only place you can store this waste is in your holding tank, which means you’ll need treatment to help combat the odor and break down any waste.

Best RV Holding Tank Treatments Comparison Chart 

Product

Our Rating

Price

Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer

Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)

Camco TST Clean Scent RV Treatment

Camco TST Clean Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, Treats up to 10 - 40 Gallon Holding Tanks (10-Pack)

Firebelly RV Septic Tank Treatment

RV Septic Tank Treatment, Holding Tank Deodorizer + Waste Digester + Cleaner - 20 Packets, Mulberry – Sewer Solution, Marine Camper Portable Toilet Chemicals, Odor Eliminator, Formaldehyde Free, USA

Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer

Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer and Waste Digester Drop-Ins, Alpine Fresh Scent (Pack of 10)

Camco 41197 TST RV Toilet Treatment

Camco 41197 TST Ultra-Concentrate Orange Scent RV Toilet Treatment, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, Treats up to 16-40 Gallon Holding Tanks (1 Gal)

Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment

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

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - medium jar, 40 treatments for RV, Marine, Camping, Portable Toilets

Best Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

EXTREME CLEANER by Happy Campers - RV Tank Cleaner

EXTREME CLEANER by Happy Campers - RV & Marine Extreme Tank & Sensor Cleaner

Best Happy Camper RV Holding Tank Treatment

Valterra V23128 'Pure Power Blue' Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator

Valterra Pure Power Blue Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator - 128-Ounce Bottle

Best Pure Power RV Holding Tank Treatment

Valterra V23128 'Pure Power Blue' Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator

Aqua-Kem RV holding tank treatment - Deodorant / Waste Digester / Detergent - 1 gallon - Thetford 28614

Best Aqua-Kem RV Holding Tank Treatment

How to Choose RV Holding Tank Treatment

Some people prefer different features when it comes to the treatment they use, it can come in various forms with varying levels of effectiveness. The following features are aspects that you should take into consideration when choosing what treatment is best for you and your holding tank. These aren’t the be all, end all, not every product will have these features or abilities.

Packet, Powder, Liquid

Treatment can come in two forms, it can either be in a packet/tablet that is pre-measured, meaning that all you need to do is drop it into your toilet and flush when dissolved. The second option would be powder form, you measure it out yourself and then add to the toilet. The only advantage that the powder has over the packet forms is that they don’t need to wait until it dissolves before flushing. The liquid version is simply just easy to pour in and flush away. Liquid treatments will still need to be measured but work just as well as their powdered counterparts.

Environmental Friendly

Eco-friendly products are a big thing at the moment, and everyone should do their bit to help keep our planet clean. When looking for a treatment, you should always go for a product that releases no formaldehyde. It should also let you know if it’s biodegradable.

Deodorizing  

One of the main reasons why anyone would buy a treatment is to ensure the bad odor of your waste doesn’t stink out the RV. Many treatments can come fragrance-free, other’s come with scents that make your RV smell lovely. A lot of the more natural nitrate or mineral-based formulae will more or less, upcycle the bad odor into a scentless gas.

Effectiveness

The other main reason why anyone would buy a treatment is they need it to break down the waste in their tank fast and efficiently. You want your treatment to be able to break down most solids, with a minimum amount of treatment used, you’d be surprised at the number of treatments on the market that fail to carry out this basic task.

Quick Take - The Best RV Holding Tank Treatments

Before you go any further, here are our top picks for the best RV holding tank treatments: 


  1. Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer
  2. Camco TST Clean Scent RV Treatment
  3. Firebelly RV Septic Tank Treatment

Review of the Best RV Holding Tank Treatments

Let's take a look at some of our top picks!

Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Eco-friendly
  • Portion control
  • Breaks down waste and paper

Cons

  • Sensitive to moisture in your hands

This treatment boasts odor free abilities and easy to use style, all you need to do is drop one pod into your toilet, wait for it to dissolve and then go ahead and flush. This product is safe to use in treating both black water and grey water tanks. This treatment can break down any waste and tissue paper that gets sent down your toilet fast and effectively.

This product can treat your holding tank for up to seven days, making it an excellent value for money. Another feature of this product is that it’s safe for the environment with no formaldehyde ingredients included in the pods.

Bottom Line

This formaldehyde free product is great for the environment and easy-to-use by just simply dropping in the pre-measured pods, waiting for this to dissolve and flushing. One pod can clean your tank for up to seven days making this treatment extremely cost-effective and efficient for any RV owners on a week-long trip.

The pod solution manages to break down waste and paper like hot water melts snow. The only real downside to this tank treatment is that if you have moisture on your hands and you are holding the pod, the protective layer can begin to react with the moisture. A great start to the list and would be an excellent product for anyone needing an effective tank cleaner.

Camco TST Clean Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, Treats up to 10 - 40 Gallon Holding Tanks (10-Pack)

Pros

  • Smart formula
  • Biodegradable
  • Not temperature sensitive

Cons

  • Bacteria/Enzyme mix

This treatment uses both bacteria and enzymes to break down any waste. A unique blend of chemicals will remain dormant in your tank and pipes until they detect any bacteria or waste that requires breaking up.

These ingredients mean that the treatment can be left for up to a week until you need to top up. Unlike many bacteria and enzyme based products these pods are not temperature sensitive and have an extended shelf-life compared to their counterparts. This product is also biodegradable and gives off an odor of fresh rainfall. Each pod can cleanse up to 40 gallons of wastewater.

Bottom Line

This product is biodegradable meaning that it will cause no harm to your tank or the surrounding environment when used. The smart formula which is a clever concoction of chemicals knows when to break up any waste and bacteria, it will remain dormant when there’s nothing around to clean. Unlike traditional bacteria/enzyme based products, these pods are not temperature sensitive and have an extended shelf life which fixes the main problem for bacteria based products.

The main problem with this product is that due to the enzymes/bacteria mixture it takes longer to break up any waste and bad bacteria, this mixture without the added fragrance would also add more bad odors to the already decaying waste smell. You would need a strong scent to get rid of the bad odor, and this product doesn’t quite cut it.

RV Septic Tank Treatment, Holding Tank Deodorizer + Waste Digester + Cleaner - 20 Packets, Mulberry – Sewer Solution, Marine Camper Portable Toilet Chemicals, Odor Eliminator, Formaldehyde Free, USA

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Pleasant scent
  • World-renowned brand
  • One pod cleans up to 40 gallons

Cons

  • Temperature can also affect the process
  • Enzyme-based - Slow breakdown process

This formaldehyde free product can clean your pipes and tank of any grime, bacteria, and waste in a remarkably short time. Not only is this product fit for RV’s but sport and music venues all over the world use this product to clean their toilets.

This odor-fighting treatment gives off a mulberry scent, and all it takes is for you to drop one pod into your toilet and flush, at which point they will instantly begin fighting off bacteria and breaking down chunks of waste, the pods can work in tanks of up to 40 gallons using the pod's enzyme formula.

Bottom Line

This eco-friendly solution is great to use on any holding tank system and will effectively clean your pipes and tank by breaking down any chunks of waste and tissue. The world-renowned brand is respected and used by many companies across the world to carry out the same job, working time and time again. The pleasant mulberry smell masks the odor given off by any decaying waste. The pod can clean up to 40 gallon of water which is a significant amount and great value.

The only downside is that the enzyme-based solution is a slow process that might start work straight away, you won’t see noticeable progress for a few days, Thus why, it can last seven days. The temperature can also affect the process of the reaction.

Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer and Waste Digester Drop-Ins, Alpine Fresh Scent (Pack of 10)

Pros

  • Alpine scent
  • Clean up to 40 gallons
  • Doesn’t stain pipes/tank
  • Breaks up waste and clogs

Cons

  • Enzyme-based - takes a while to break up
  • Temperature can affect the performance of this product

This enzyme based formula will breakdown any waste and bacteria for up to seven days without any top up, all it takes is one pod that can cleanse up to 40 gallons of water. To combat the odor of the decaying waste, it releases a fresh alpine scent that will fill your tank and spread through the RV. The pre-packaged pods are perfect to just throw into the toilet and let them work their magic.

A problem with many pods are that the colorants stain the tank and pipes, this isn’t the case with this solution. You won’t have to use special RV toilet paper anymore for an easy breakdown. This enzyme solution is fully competent in breaking down any material you throw at it. This formula is so powerful it can break up any clogs within your pipes and tank. A real miracle for any week-long RV trip.

Bottom Line

This efficient product will start the chemical reaction straight away to break down any waste and clogs within your pipes and holding tanks. The benefit of this product is that continuous use of this pod won’t stain your tank or pipes which is a big problem for RV owners. One pod like many of its counterparts can clean up to 40 gallons of water each time and can last for up to seven days within your tank cleaning.

The only downside to an enzyme-based product is that it takes a while to break up the waste and the temperature can slow down the performance of the treatment, meaning hot summer days are not the best friend of any enzyme products. There are treatments on the market that can withstand extremely hot weather.

Camco 41197 TST Ultra-Concentrate Orange Scent RV Toilet Treatment, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue, Septic Tank Safe, Treats up to 16-40 Gallon Holding Tanks (1 Gal)

Pros

  • No staining
  • Citrus Scent
  • Nitrate-based
  • Ultra concentrate
  • Formaldehyde-free

Cons

  • Liquid-based
  • You have to measure it yourself

A change from the usual pod delivery system, this treatment is delivered as a liquid straight into your toilet. The nitrate-based product is one of the better chemical formula’s used as a holding tank treatment. The solution is ultra-concentrated and gives off a citrus scent when breaking down waste.

This product is formaldehyde free making it eco-friendly and safe to use on campsites. Your toilet, pipes and holding tank will all be safe from staining as this product has a no stain guarantee. For every 3 ounces used it can clean up to 40 gallons of wastewater, this is a simple and easy process which only requires you to measure out the formula.

Bottom Line

The greatest benefit of using a nitrate-based product is that they are 100% more efficient than any enzyme, bacteria or formaldehyde-based chemical treatment. The reason for this is, nitrate products give bacteria in the tank an alternative source of oxygen that turns into the gas nitrogen which is an odorless gas. Many people prefer their RV just to smell clean rather than perfumed, as many of these fragrances are incredibly strong.

This gas means that any odor coming out of your tank instantly becomes odorless and doesn’t need to be masked with any fragrances like enzyme or bacteria based products that usually make the nasty odor stronger thus why they always come with a strong aroma. The only downsides to this product are that its liquid based and you have to measure it out yourself meaning you could possibly waste it by underpouring or spilling it.

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

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Step by step guide
  • Breaks up anything
  • Better than any bacterial or enzyme-based product

Cons

  • Temperature can affect the process
  • Takes a while to begin breaking down

This liquid, enzyme-based holding tank treatment effectively breaks up clogs and any waste build-up existing in your system. The tank cleaner is a non-toxic formula that will break down most waste within the first few days of use. This product boasts that you don’t need to buy any special toilet paper to help the process, feel free to use anything and the formula will still break it down.

The cleaner also comes with a helpful manual explaining a step by step of how to get the best out of your treatment. By following this manual, it will show you how to minimize the risk of foul odors and keep your tank from clogging up. This blend of bacteria and enzymes has a proven track-record in destroying any waste far more effectively than it’s competitors.

Bottom Line

This non-toxic solution is a great asset to any RV owner, thanks to the easy to follow guide which goes in-depth on how to prevent clogging and bad odors seeping into your RV. The manual is such a great yet simple addition to the treatment.

No need for any precautions such as special toilet paper as this liquid formula can break up almost anything after being left for a few days, the fact that it takes a few days to break down waste is what puts this product at a disadvantage. The hot weather also affects any enzyme-based products in slowing down the decaying process.

Best Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - medium jar, 40 treatments for RV, Marine, Camping, Portable Toilets

Pros

  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Great at destroying odors
  • Noticeable results in a few hours

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You have to measure out the quantity

This biodegradable product is different from most tank treatments on the market as its comprised of a highly concentrated mineral and nutrient blend. This blend works just like an enzyme but destroys odors with more efficiency and without masking it with aromatic fragrances.

This mineral formula doesn’t need to be regularly topped up like enzyme-based formula’s. One scoop of this powdered formula can treat up to 40 gallons of wastewater, this mineral base isn’t affected by extreme cold or heat and boasts the ability to see noticeable results within a few hours of adding the formula.

Bottom Line

This natural formula is one of the best holding tank treatments on the market, a competitor with any nitrate-based products. This biodegradable and safe formula is easy to use, and you’ll experience noticeable results in a matter of hours.

This product is currently the best for destroying any odors without masking bad odors with aromatic fragrances. There aren’t any real disadvantages with this product other than the expensive price tag and having to measure out the formula yourself. At the end of the day, these are problems that not many people consider that big of a deal. This is the best organic treatment on the market.

Best Happy Camper RV Holding Tank Treatment:
EXTREME CLEANER by Happy Campers - RV Tank Cleaner

EXTREME CLEANER by Happy Campers - RV & Marine Extreme Tank & Sensor Cleaner

Pros

  • Reliable brand
  • Step by step guide
  • Aggressive cleaner
  • 40-gallon waste cleaner

Cons

  • Secret ingredients
  • You have to use it continuously
  • Doesn’t give you much detail of its capabilities

Hailing from the same brand as the organic treatment, this product has an aggressive approach to cleaning up any grime and waste. A basic powdered-based product that uses secret ingredients to destroy any grime and crusted muck off your tank sensors and the entirety of your tank.

The back of this small bottle guides you step by step in cleaning out your full system. One scoop can be used in cleaning up to 40 gallons of waste. This product is made for continuous use and works great for when preparing for the winter to get rid of as much waste as possible before it freezes.

Bottom Line

Sporting the badge of a reliable brand makes this product a strong competitor in the market. This aggressive cleaner will break down any clog and destroy bacteria within a matter of hours. On the back of each bottle, there is a helpful guide that you follow for exceptional results that limits bad odors and build-up of grime.

The downsides to this product include not having a clear description of its capabilities, there is a severe lack of information about this product including its ingredients. To see real long lasting results, you would use this product continuously, this will limit the amount of grime that can build-up after applying the first amount of treatment.

Valterra Pure Power Blue Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator - 128-Ounce Bottle

Pros

  • Fresh odor
  • Natural cleaner
  • Powerful against a waste build-up

Cons

  • Can’t withstand extremely hot weather

This product provides some raw power when eliminating all the hazards our RV tanks face daily. Grime, waste, and everything nasty. Nothing is safe from this powerful natural cleaner. This formula is safe for everyone and everything thanks to its natural properties.

The product can survive in both cold and warm weather which is perfect for all year round. The enzyme and bacteria mixture keeps the tank odor-free. This product, unlike others similar to it, doesn’t give off any perfumed smell and instead just a fresh and clean odor.

Bottom Line

This enzyme and bacteria based product is powerful against strong odors which effectively turns them into a fresh smell that isn’t masked by perfume like most of their counterparts. This natural based cleaner is safe for both animals and humans to be near, unlike some cleaners that contain formaldehyde and are banned in certain campsites due to their deadly chemicals.

The chemical mixture will be able to smash through any bacteria, grime and waste build-up within your tank, only two ounces of this solution can treat up to 40 gallons of waste.

Unfortunately, there is one downside and its something you might not expect. On the package it says it can withstand hot and cold weather, this simply isn’t true as using this product in extremely hot weather will limit the chemical reaction to the point it doesn’t make any significant improvements.

Best Aqua-Kem RV Holding Tank Treatment

Aqua-Kem RV holding tank treatment - Deodorant / Waste Digester / Detergent - 1 gallon - Thetford 28614

Pros

  • 3-in-1 solution
  • Liquifies any waste
  • Eliminates powerful odor

Cons

  • Heat has a tendency to produce dangerous formaldehyde fumes

This three in one treatment eliminates odors, breaks down waste and cleans the tank. A perfect combination, meaning you don’t need to stock your shelves with individual chemicals. This treatment is well-known to effectively control bad smells and recycle them back into the air. The biodegradable formula allows for safe use on your holding tank, powerfully breaking up any clogs and liquifying any waste.

The liquid works almost instantly in destroying your waste like tissue paper and any clogs. Even after application and working its magic for around a week, this formula keeps on fighting by limiting the rate at which any grime can build up around the tank, by which point you would add more of the solution.

Bottom Line

The three in one solution is great for any RV owner, not having to buy multiple products and having them all there in one bottle is a godsend. This smart solution breaks down large build-ups of waste and limits the chance of any future grime build-up.

The chemical formula is exceptional at eliminating any powerful odors and upcycling them as more pleasant fresh smells. One major downside to this product is that when used in a hot environment it can produce dangerous formaldehyde fumes, this is a risk to both humans and animals.

Types of RV Holding Tank Treatments

There are multiple types of treatment to choose from, the different types of holding tank treatment can offer a wide range of benefits and downsides. Some are dangerous when in hot environments and others are near perfect enough in every situation.

Biocide/Formaldehyde Based Products

This treatment kills all types of bacteria. However, it can lead to large clumps and clogs still in your waste tank. Most camp-grounds ban these treatments as they are dangerous.

Enzyme-Based Products

These products take a while before making any significant improvement, they can also be part of the problem by re-activating the odor-causing bacteria in the waste. They do not kill bacteria or provide oxygen which is why these products mostly use sweet fragrances to mask the bad smells.

Bacteria-Based Products

By introducing more bacteria to breakdown waste, these products don’t introduce oxygen and will still create a foul odor. These products are sensitive to changes in temperature and don’t have great shelf lives.

Nitrate-Based Products

Nitrate products give bacteria an alternate source of oxygen that will give off an odorless gas called nitrogen. This gas speeds up the breakdown process and reduces odors. These products are environmentally friendly and are used in most industrial settings such as wastewater treatment plants.

Conclusion

There are plenty of effective treatments on this list, many of which do their job to a great standard. They come in all different forms and have many advantages such as being able to break waste down fast or being eco-friendly, and disadvantages such as being banned in certain campsites for being a hazard or even making the odor worse.

The point of this review is to help guide you in the right direction by pointing out chemicals that could be dangerous and what might help your holding tanks in the long-run. Whatever decision you make, we hope it works out and is because of this article.

People Also Ask

This section is for anyone that needs clarification on details about waste treatment for your RV. The jargon and complicated process of treating waste can get the better of you sometimes and make it a confusing experience.

What is RV Holding Tank Treatment?

Your holding tank is where your sewage will end up. This waste will begin to decompose and smell. The role of the holding tank treatment is to break down this waste and destroy the odor.

How Often Do You Have to Empty RV Tanks?

Depending on how many people you are traveling with, you could be emptying it every other day. You should wait until your tank is ⅔ full. If it’s just you and your partner once per week is fine.

Can You Dump RV Waste Into your Septic Tank?

Yes, you can dump your waste into your septic tank. However, there are a few things you need to understand before you start doing this. You’ll need to read up on the systems of your septic tank, your manual should go into more detail about this, you could even contact the manufacturer.

How Do I Keep My Holding Tank From Smelling?

You should use nitrate-based products that create the gas nitrogen which stops the tank from giving off a bad odor. Nitrate is the best option. However, nearly all waste treatments give off an aromatic scent when breaking down any waste.

How Often Should You Dump Your Black Water Tank?

This answer is quite similar to one we’ve previously answered. Your Black water tank should be emptied every few days depending on how many people are traveling with you. Two people should be around a week, a group should be every two days.