Best RV Black Tank Cleaner

I tested six products and found Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment to be the best RV black tank cleaner for RV toilet treatment.

While it’s not something most people like to think about when shopping for a camper, RV holding tank treatment is an essential part of life on the road. If your rig is equipped with a working toilet, this information will come in handy.

As an experienced RVer myself, I’ve come to learn which products offer the best value and which ones aren’t worth a second look. Read on to find out which tank cleaning supplies will work best for you.

1. Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment Best Overall

2. TankTechsRx RV Holding Tank Treatment & CleanerBest Liquid Product

3. CAMCO TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus ScentBest Scented Product

4. Walex TOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank DeodorizerBest For Novices

5. Thetford Aqua-Kem RV Holding Tank Treatment Best For Warm Climates

6. Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-InsBest Value

In addition to being affordable and effective, the Organic Holding Tank Treatment from Happy Campers is fully biodegradable. If you subscribe to the “take only memories, leave only footprints” version of camping, then you’re bound to appreciate what this product has to offer. If you’re interested in what other satisfied consumers have to say about this product, check out this review.

Take a look at our product mini-reviews to find out what makes the Happy Campers RV toilet treatment stand out from the rest.

Our Top Pick

Product Mini-Reviews

1. Happy Campers Organic

Because Happy Campers uses only natural materials, this product earns high marks from environmentally-conscious RVers. What’s more, it does a fine job at clearing up odors, even without the use of harsh chemicals.

This solution can be used year-round, and it’s efficient even in hot weather. In fact, it can be used in extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, so if you’re a winter camper, this is an excellent choice.

The manufacturers recommend a two-step operation for its use, but the process doesn’t take too long. Simply add a gallon of water and a scoop of solution to your toilet, flush, and repeat.

Also, note that the product comes in powder form, and the broad-lidded container makes it all too easy for spills to happen. Be sure to replace the lid tightly after each use, especially if there are small children or pets in the vicinity.

  • All-natural, 100 percent biodegradable product
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Capable of performing in extreme temperatures
  • Must be applied in two stages for best results

2. TankTechsRx

Powder treatments are often quite effective, but as we’ve pointed out, they can also make a mess if you’re not careful. If you’d prefer a liquid treatment to powder or capsules, the TankTechsRx tank cleaning agent is your best bet. This product works to neutralize the odors in your RV instead of masking them, so it’s also a good fit if you’re sensitive to perfume-type scents.

Another great aspect of the TankTechsRX product is its versatility. While it does a great job with black tanks, it’s also suitable for cleaning out gray tanks. You can even use it to fend off unwanted odors in your galley tank.

  • Can be used on gray tanks and galley tanks as well as black tanks
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Easy to use
  • Expensive
  • Measurements must be done manually

3. CAMCO TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent

This is a pod-based treatment with a strong citrus scent that will cover up any foul odors from your black tank–or anywhere else in the camper, for that matter. Full-time RVers should appreciate the high quantity and the tightly sealed lid, which keeps the pods from falling out in transit.

Pods are generally quite affordable, and this one is no exception. The thing to keep in mind is that you can only use a designated amount per treatment. If you think you might need more after adding the first dose, you have no choice but to use up another pod.

  • Cost-effective option
  • Does a great job at covering up odors
  • Fast-acting and user-friendly
  • Pods can be restrictive, as there’s no way to measure the treatment amount
  • Strong citrus scent might be off-putting to some

4. Walex TOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer

These pods from Walex don’t require any measuring or scooping, which is why they’re a good choice if you’re new to the tank cleaning scene. In addition to being easy to use, these pods are composed of enzymes that will break down the waste naturally, without the use of dangerous chemicals. It’s also set at an attractive price point—more good news for RVers who are just starting out.

Be sure to add water to the toilet before you flush the pod. Otherwise, the pod won’t have a chance to release its contents before it enters the tank. Once it’s in there, it should begin to do its work immediately.

  • Simple to use
  • Works quickly
  • Affordable price
  • Pre-set measurements might not contain enough product for your needs
  • Package doesn’t contain many pods

5. Thetford Aqua-Kem

Thetford’s Aqua-Kem is an excellent choice if you’re dealing with lingering toilet odors in your RV. The deodorizing formula is powerful enough to work in warmer climates, where these problems tend to intensify. It also clears the lines and tank walls of buildup, thus fending off expensive repairs. This formula is 100 percent biodegradable.

I’ve heard excellent things about this product from full-time RVers who enjoy parking their rig in one spot for long periods of time. As long as you empty your tank at least once a week, Aqua-Kem should help keep your camper fresh and welcoming all year round.

  • Neutralizes odors rapidly and efficiently
  • Biodegradable product
  • Liquefies tissue and waste
  • Not as convenient to use as drop-in products

6. Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins

This is another pod-based treatment from Walex, and it’s an even better deal than the TOI-11530. Just one pod can treat a 40-gallon capacity black tank. The capsules are easy to use, and each treatment lasts for at least 7 days.

Another cool feature is the included zip-top packaging. This helps you keep all your pods in one place, so you don’t have to rummage through the drawer or cabinet to find them.

While we’ve rated this product as the “Best Value” on account of the per-treatment price, there is one caveat: There are only 10 treatments included in the package. On the bright side, however, the cost is low enough to justify buying more than one package at a time.

  • Best value for each dollar spent
  • Pods are convenient and user-friendly
  • Provides fast-acting and long-lasting treatment
  • No way to measure out the solution
  • Only 10 pods included in each pack

Buying Guide

Before shopping for a tank cleaning product, you should educate yourself on what to look for. Keeping the black tank in prime working order is a key factor in a successful RVing experience, so the more you know, the better off you’ll be.

Important Aspects To Consider


This should be the driving factor in any decision. There’s no need to invest in an RV black tank treatment if you can’t fit it into your budget. However, it’s possible to procure a decent product at an affordable price. If you buy in bulk, you’ll end up paying less per treatment in the long run.


You’ll want to make sure to purchase a treatment that will break down waste and neutralize odors in a fast and effective manner. Also, take a look at how long each treatment will last. The most efficient ones should last for at least 7 days before you have to repeat the process.


Make sure the treatment you choose is suitable for your RV’s wastewater system. Some are better suited for larger or smaller tanks, while others might not work with the tank’s configuration.


There are four basic types of RV tank cleaning solution: powders, liquids, pods, and tablets.

While pods are the most carefree option, powders and liquids offer more control over the measurements. If you think you’ll need more or less solution than the pods will offer, it’s better to go with one of these alternatives.

Tablets, meanwhile, are composed of compacted powders. They’re not as readily available as the other three, but if you can find them, they’ll still combat odors and break down the waste in your tank.


Odor Control

There’s no getting around it–when you’re traveling in a camper, you have to take your wastewater along with you. Unless you’re willing to empty your tank every day, you’ll run the risk of foul odors coming along on the journey with you.

When you use an RV toilet treatment, you can either mask or neutralize the bad smells that would otherwise emanate from the wastewater tank. While I prefer the type that works to neutralize odors rather than cover them up, either one will make your trip more comfortable.

Waste and Paper Breakdown

If you allow enough waste to build up in your tank, it may solidify over time. This makes your cleaning duties much more difficult, and may even damage the system. Using a treatment will keep the waste in liquid form, so your suction hose will have an easier go of it when it’s time to empty the tank.

Similarly, these solutions will break down toilet tissue as well. As you may know, certain paper products can sometimes cause issues with the septic system. With the right treatment, you can fend off these problems, thereby protecting your investment. Still, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when buying toilet paper for your camper, just in case.

Tank Maintenance

The treatments we’ve listed will do more than break down paper and waste products and keep unwanted toilet odors to a minimum. They’ll also keep the inside of the tank in prime working order. In particular, high-performance treatments like the Thetford Aqua-Kem product do an admirable job at flushing out the lines and cleaning the walls of the tank.

Potential Issues

When you’re shopping for a cleaning solution for your tank, make sure the product doesn’t contain formaldehyde. In addition to being bad for the environment, this chemical can also be harmful to humans. With the rise of environmentally-friendly products like the ones on our list, there’s no need to use dangerous chemicals in order to keep your tank clean and odor-free.

Also, bear in mind that the treatments require a certain amount of water in order to work their magic. If you’re having issues with the water system in your camper, the cleaning solution won’t be able to help you out. The good news is that you don’t need a ton of water–pod treatments, for example, require only enough liquid to fully cover the pod.

In Conclusion

The Happy Campers Organic tank treatment is a popular choice among camping enthusiasts, and with good reason. It’s powerful enough to neutralize foul odors without the use of harmful toxins, and it breaks down toilet tissue and waste with ease. We also appreciate the fact that it doesn’t have a strong odor of its own.

While you have to perform the measurements yourself, this method allows you to decide how much solution to use for each treatment. Some beginners might balk at this, but once you’ve used it a few times, you’re bound to appreciate the flexibility that the Happy Campers product offers.

Bring the Happy Campers tank treatment into your second home.

Good luck, and happy camping!

Check out our article on: Great RV Sewer Hose Kits For Campers

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