Best RV Holding Tank Treatments

| Last Updated: June 4, 2022

What's the best RV holding tank treatment on the market? It's not something that springs to mind when you're visualising your journey, but it's as important as anything else in RV living.

Traveling in your RV is a great adventure for any family, and of course looking after the toilet isn't something anyone enjoys.

But of course, there'll be constant use of your toilet during your trip and the only place you can store this waste is in your holding tank. This means you’ll need holding tank treatment to help combat the odor and break down any waste.

So what type of holding tank treatment do you need and what should you be looking for? We have reviewed the top products on the market for keeping your holding tank operating the way it should. Read on for more information.

Best RV Holding Tank Treatment Comparison Chart

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Biodegradable ingredients make this product environmentally-friendly and the best overall
  • It provides unbeatable odor prevention which makes it ideal for RVs and boats
  • Pre-packaged portions ensure that there are no spills
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  • New advanced formula which has a long shelf life
  • Each drop-in is capable of treating 40 gallons
  • Activates only in the presence of items that require digestion
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  • Effective formula dissolves waste, liquifies RV toilet tissue, and cleans tank walls
  • Completely safe on drains and camper holding tanks
  • Formulated with triple molecular technology that provides superior odor control
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  • Convenient, pre-packaged portion control eliminates the need for measuring
  • Does not require any special toilet paper
  • Effectively breaks down paper and waste
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  • Fresh citrus fragrance provides better odor control
  • Non-staining and perfectly safe for septic tanks
  • One-step solution eliminates the need for any mixing and preparation
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  • Able to liquify toilet paper and waste, this Valterra is the best pure power RV holding tank treatment
  • Clean and fresh scent eliminates all odors
  • The unit is approved for use in any dump station, making it safe for pets and children
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  • Designed to eliminate odors from tanks, this model is the best Aqua-Kem RV holding tank treatment
  • Concentrated formula breaks down tissue and liquifies waste
  • The treatment is 100% biodegradable, making it safe for septic tanks
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How to Choose RV Holding Tank Treatment

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

Packet, Powder, Liquid

Holding tank treatment can come in two forms: 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, which you measure out yourself and add to the toilet. The only advantage the powder has over packet forms is that they don’t need to dissolve before flushing. The liquid version is simple to pour in and flush away. Liquid treatments still need to be measured but work just as well as their powdered counterparts.

Environmentally-Friendly

Eco-friendly products are obviously important and everyone should do their bit to help keep our planet clean. When looking for a holding tank 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 anyone would buy a treatment is to ensure the bad odor of your waste doesn’t stink you out of the RV. Many treatments come fragrance-free, others come with scents that make your RV smell lovely. The more natural nitrate or mineral-based formulas will more or less upcycle the bad odor into a scentless gas.

Effectiveness

Probably the main reason to buy a specific holding tank treatment buy is to have it break down the waste in their tank, quickly 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.

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

Walex Porta-Pak RV Black Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Fresh 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 holding tank treatment boasts odor-free abilities and an 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. It can also break down any waste and tissue paper that gets sent down your toilet fast and effectively.

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

The pod solution breaks down waste and paper like hot water melts snow. The only real downside to this is that if you have moisture on your hands and are holding the pod, the protective layer may react with the moisture. That said, this holding tank treatment is an excellent product for anyone needing an effective tank cleaner.

Camco TST Clean Scent RV Holding Tank 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) , TST Blue - 41529

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 the holding tank treatment can be left for up to a week until you need to top-up. Unlike many bacteria and enzyme-based, these pods aren't temperature sensitive and have an extended shelf-life compared to their counterparts. It's also biodegradable and gives off an odor of fresh rainfall. Each pod can cleanse up to 40 gallons of wastewater.

Bottom Line

This RV holding tank treatment is biodegradable, meaning 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 waste and bacteria.

It will remain dormant when there’s nothing around to clean. Unlike traditional bacteria/enzyme-based products, these pods aren't 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 it takes longer to break up any waste and bad bacteria, due to the enzymes/bacteria mixture. This mixture without the added fragrance would also add more bad odors to the already decaying waste smell. If this happens, you'd need a strong scent to get rid of the bad odor.

Firebelly RV Septic Tank Treatment

RV Holding Tank Deodorizer + Septic Tank Treatment + 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 holding tank treatment can clean your pipes and tank of any grime, bacteria, and waste in a remarkably short time. Not only is it fit for RVs 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 this point, they'll instantly begin fighting off bacteria and breaking down chunks of waste. The pods can work in tanks 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 much bigger jobs, working time and time again. T

he pleasant mulberry smell masks the odor given off by decaying waste, and the pod can clean up to 40 gallons 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, but you won’t see noticeable progress for a few days. The temperature can also affect the process of the reaction.

Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Treatment

Walex Bio-Pak RV Black Holding Tank Deodorizer and Digester, Natural Enzyme Formula, Alpine Fresh 10-Pack

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 decaying waste, it releases a fresh alpine scent that will fill your tank and spread throughout 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 is that the colorants stain the tank and pipes, but this isn’t the case with this holding tank treatment. You won’t have to use special RV toilet paper anymore for an easy breakdown, because this enzyme solution is fully capable of 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 minor miracle for any week-long RV trip.

Bottom Line

This efficient RV toilet treatment 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 and can last for up to seven days within your tank.

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

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)

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 RV toilet treatment is delivered as a liquid, straight into your toilet. The nitrate-based product is one of the better chemical formulas used as a holding tank treatment, as the ultra-concentrated solution 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 three 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 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 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. The only downside to this product is that its liquid-based and you have to measure it out yourself, but it's no big deal.

Unique 413-1 RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment

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

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 holding tank cleaner is a non-toxic formula that will break down most waste within the first few days of use. Another bonus for this treatment is that you don’t need to buy any special toilet paper to help the process, as the formula will break standard toilet paper down easily.

The cleaner also comes with a helpful manual explaining step-by-step how to get the best out of your treatment. By following this, 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 its competitors.

Bottom Line

This non-toxic holding tank treatment 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 from seeping into your RV. The manual is such a great, yet simple, addition to the treatment, I'm surprised other brands don't do the same.

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, however, puts this product at a disadvantage. And as with other enzyme-based treatments, the hot weather slows 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 holding 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 formulas. One scoop of this powdered formula can treat up to 40 gallons of wastewater. Additionally, 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 RV holding tank treatments on the market, a fierce competitor to 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 them with aromatic fragrances. There aren’t any real disadvantages with this treatment other than the expensive price tag and having to measure out the formula yourself. At the end of the day, these are problems not many people consider that big of a deal, and this is the best organic treatment on the market.

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

HAPPY CAMPERS Extreme Cleaner 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 (Happy Campers) as the above organic treatment, this product has an aggressive approach to cleaning up any grime and waste. This is a basic, powdered-based product that uses secret ingredients to destroy any grime and crusted muck from your tank sensors and the entirety of your tank.

The back of the 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 according to Happy Campers, it works great 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 on 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's a helpful guide to follow for exceptional results.

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

Best Pure Power RV Holding Tank Treatment:
Valterra V23128 'Pure Power Blue' Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator

Valterra - V23128 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 RV holding tank treatment provides some raw power when eliminating all the hazards our RV tanks face, including grime, waste, and everything nasty. Nothing is safe from this powerful natural cleaner, apart from the user and the natural environment, thanks to its natural properties.

The product can survive in both cold and warm weather, which is perfect all year round. The enzyme and bacteria mixture keeps the tank odor-free. Unlike other similar treatments, this doesn’t give off any perfumed smell and instead produces 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 perfumes. This natural-based cleaner is safe for both animals and humans, unlike some cleaners that contain formaldehyde and are banned in certain campsites due to their deadly chemicals.

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

Unfortunately, there's one downside and it's something you might not expect. On the package it says it can withstand hot and cold weather, but 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 RV holding tank treatment eliminates odors, breaks down waste, and cleans the tank. It's 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 liquefying any waste.

The liquid works almost instantly in destroying waste like tissue paper and 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 means you won't have to buy multiple products, and having them all there in one bottle is a godsend for any RV owner. 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 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 holding tank treatments to choose from and each type offers a wide range of benefits and downsides. Some are dangerous when in hot environments and others are near-perfect in every situation.

Biocide/Formaldehyde-Based Products

This treatment kills all types of bacteria, but it can lead to large clumps and clogs left behind in your waste tank. Most campgrounds ban these treatments as they're 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 don't 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 but 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, which 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.

RV Holding Tank Treatment - The Bottom Line

There are plenty of effective RV holding tank 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. Of course, each type has its 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.

Nobody likes to think about RV toilet treatment, but it's obviously important. Whatever decision you make, we hope it works out and this article has helped you reach your decision.

People Also Ask - Holding Tank Treatment FAQs

This section is for anyone that needs clarification on details about waste treatments 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 an 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?

How often you empty the RV holding tank depends on how many people you're traveling with. You could be emptying it every other day, or if it's just you and your partner, it won't need emptying so often. However many people you're with, you should wait until your tank is ⅔ full before emptying it.

Can You Dump RV Waste Into Your Septic Tank?

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

How Do I Keep My Holding Tank From Smelling?

You should use nitrate-based products that create gas nitrogen which stops the tank from giving off a bad odor. Nitrate is the best option, but 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. 

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Best RV Holding Tank Treatment
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My husband and I live a life on the road so we figured no better way to share our journey than through a blog! While traveling place to place as RV noobies, we quickly realized how often we were in need of RV accessories and supplies. This led us to launch RV Expertise and sharing our top picks.