How to Clean an RV Toilet – 3 Easy Steps

How to Clean a RV Toilet

Published Date: January 13, 2023

Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by Camper Front

Have you ever wondered how to clean an RV toilet with no stains? You must know several things to understand how to clean your RV toilet. These include understanding the peculiarity of RV toilets, the materials used for their construction, the possible health hazard that could arise from improper cleaning, the dangers of using non-RV toilet cleaners, etc.

A clean and fresh RV toilet is essential for any successful camping trip unless you prefer to do your business in nature or create a makeshift bathroom. Regardless of your choice, an RV toilet is a necessity, not a luxury, and maintaining it is crucial to maintaining the vehicle and remaining happy and healthy. Keep reading to learn how to clean and maintain your RV toilet.

Common Types of RV Toilets

RV toilets are recreational vehicle toilets designed to enhance the utility of such vehicles and provide comfort to the rider(s). They are pretty different from regular home toilets. RV toilets are essential features of a recreational vehicle or camper, and you will agree as the owner of such a vehicle that they are more than a luxury; an RV toilet is a must! RV toilets come in different forms. Some of these include:

Gravity Flush Toilet

The gravity flush toilet is a very common RV toilet type. It is designed to empty waste into a black tank until you can dispose of it at a designated site. It has a foot pedal for flushing and connects to the main water supply since the toilet lacks a water tank.

Cassette Toilet

Your RV toilet could also be a cassette toilet with a built-in reservoir for clean water and an attached “cassette” for collecting waste. It’s a simple, functional toilet that requires no plumbing system because the cassette is discarded into a sewer drain.

Composting Toilet

The composting toilet is another type of RV toilet. It does not require a plumbing system like cassette toilets, nor does it use water. The waste generated is deposited into a lower holding tank. The liquids in the tank evaporate while the solids become fertilizer, which is good for the soil.

How to Clean a RV Toilet

The Peculiarity of RV Toilets

Most RV toilets operate through a mechanical switch that allows waste to drain into a blackwater tank and fills the freshwater tank simultaneously. The toilets have smaller tanks and require flushing more often. The RV toilets empty waste into a black tank, a small cassette, or a waste cabin. On the other hand, the home toilet bowl empties its contents through a septic system. Its contents are flushed into a septic tank with the aid of water pressure from a tank, and it flushes more waste at a time than the RV toilet.

Materials Used for RV Toilet Construction

The RV toilet bowls are often made with plastic, fiberglass, or other lightweight and sturdy materials. On the other hand, home toilet bowls are porcelain toilet bowls made from thicker porcelain materials. The plastic RV toilet bowls are much lighter than the home toilet bowl. And this is because most manufacturers are mindful of the weight of manufacturing RVs and their features. Due to this, one has to take extra care when cleaning an RV toilet.

Consequences of Improper Cleaning of RV Toilets

Improper cleaning of RV toilets often leads to discoloration of the toilet bowl, the growth of bacteria, and the emission of a foul smell from the toilet bowl. Not to mention a clogged toilet. Damage to the black tank and other toilet components is another consequence of improper cleaning of the toilet bowl. Thus, this will ultimately deny you the desired comfort in your RV and a safe environment to utilize your vehicle.

Dangers of Not Using RV Toilet Bowl Cleaner

The possibility of scratches to your RV toilet, unexpected tear of the toilet bowl, and untimely damage to other vital parts of the RV bathroom, like the toilet seal, are significant dangers of using harsh chemicals and regular toilet cleaners not designed for use in RV toilets. It is essential to use recommended RV toilet cleaners to save yourself the agony of unnecessary expenses and discomfort.

How to Clean a RV Toilet

Why Do You Need to Clean Your RV Toilet?

RV toilets are usually part of vehicles used for transporting people from place to place designed for recreational purposes or camping. As such, comfort and a healthy environment are not negotiable. Cleaning RV toilets properly ensures the RV continues to provide the needed comfort in terms of proper convenience and a habitable environment free of bacteria and foul smells. Good cleaning also lengthens the lifespan of the toilet bowl, keeping it in top shape for a very long time.

Cleaning an RV Toilet Bowl vs Cleaning a Home Toilet Bowl

You have to clean your RV toilet bowl differently from how you would clean your home toilet bowl. However, cleaning an RV toilet bowl is relatively straightforward if you have the proper cleaning supplies and know how to use them.

Cleaning an RV toilet is usually easier because of its size compared to the home toilet. The toilets are generally slimmer and not as large as a home toilet bowl. RV toilet bowls are often made from plastic or other lightweight materials that are susceptible to scratches, wear and tear when not correctly maintained.

You should avoid using the traditional cleaning materials, toilet cleaners, and harsh chemicals used for home toilets to clean an RV toilet bowl. These can damage the toilet bowl, the black tank, or other vital parts of your RV toilet. Therefore, you must ensure you use RV toilet cleaners that will clean an RV toilet effectively without any negative impact on the RV toilet.

In particular, avoid any chemical-based toilet bowl cleaner or other harsh chemicals that can cause scratches and abrasions to the toilet bowl. Such materials include scouring pads, stiff toilet brushes, and chemical-based cleaners. While such materials may do well in cleaning home toilets, scratches left by these materials in RV toilet bowls could aid waste particles to settle in the rut created by these agents.

Eventually, because of the continued presence of waste particles in the toilet bowl, it becomes discolored, and germs begin to thrive there. Also, such harsh chemicals may damage the toilet seal and void any warranty on your toilet.

Ways to Keep Your RV Toilet Clean and Fresh

Use Fiberglass RV Wax

The first impression of your RV toilet being dirty comes from the sight of a stained toilet bowl. To resist stains and make the surface of the toilet bowl smoother, coat your toilet inside with fiberglass RV wax repeatedly about once a month.

Flush Your Toilet Frequently

You should flush your RV toilet frequently and wash the RV toilet bowls regularly. It ensures that subsequent cleaning is easier and your RV toilet remains clean and fresh at all times.

Empty Your Holding Tank Regularly

Whether it’s a black tank, a cassette for waste disposal, or a regular waste tank in a composting toilet you have in your RV toilet, it’s best to empty it regularly. And this will prevent bad smells from coming through to the toilet when you flush. Ensure you wash your tank every time you dump waste to keep your tank clean and ensure that your sensors don’t become coated and your gauges remain reliable.

Use the Spray Bottle

A spray bottle is usually part of an RV toilet to ensure that waste is properly cleaned out of the toilet bowl when the flush isn’t powerful enough to clean the waste. 

Flush With the Bathroom Vent Fan Off

It would be best if you didn’t run the fan when you flush. Running the fan when you flush will draw the bad smell and gasses out of your holding tank into your bathroom. So, run the fan, but not when you flush!

Use Dissolvable Toilet Paper

Using ordinary household toilet paper is likely to cause clogging issues in your RV toilet. It can also cause bad odors to emanate from your holding tank because they don’t dissolve easily. It can also stick to your holding tank sensor, leading to inaccurate readings.

Using RV toilet paper that dissolves easily will reduce the chances of having a clogged and dysfunctional system because it dissolves easily.

How to Clean a RV Toilet

What Do You Need to Clean RV Toilets

1. RV Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Cleaning your RV toilet with the right toilet bowl cleaners cannot be overemphasized; it is crucial. You should clean RV toilets with a recommended toilet bowl cleaner like the Unique RV. It will not cause abrasion to the RV toilet bowl or damage the black holding tank and other vital components of your RV toilet, like the RV toilet seal.

Because the cleaning agent you use to clean the RV toilet will eventually end up in the black tank, you should use chemical-free toilet bowl cleaners like the unique RV toilet cleaner. It doesn’t kill the bacteria that break down waste in your black tank. Instead, it adds a blend of bacteria and enzymes to your holding tank.

If you’re using a bacteria-based tank, chemical-based cleaners flushed into the black tank when you finish cleaning the toilet bowl will kill the bacteria in the tank, and the breakdown of waste will be stopped. The bacteria-based treatment becomes useless, and that’s a waste of your money!

2. Vinegar and Water

The mixture of vinegar and water is a simple remedy that helps clean RV toilets. Vinegar is an acidic solution that helps in the efficient cleaning of surfaces. It easily eliminates bacteria, dissolves grease, and removes dirt. Simply mix equal portions of water and vinegar in a container, and your Rv toilet cleaner is ready for use.

3. RV Toilet Bowl Brush

RV toilets are to be cleaned with a soft bristle brush. Preferably, one designed as an RV toilet bowl brush. That way, you can avoid causing damage to your RV toilet bowl. A silicone toilet brush comes to mind in this instance. It has sturdy yet flexible silicone rubber bristles that help to clean those hard-to-reach places in the toilet bowl without hard scrubbing. You can also use a sponge to clean an RV toilet; however, be sure it’s not an abrasive sponge or scouring pad.

Steps on How to Clean an RV Toilet

Now that you know more about your RV toilet and what you need to clean your toilet, following the steps below makes cleaning your toilet very easy.

Step 1: Apply Your RV Toilet Cleaner

Spray the toilet bowl evenly with cleaner. Allow the cleaner in the toilet bowl to sit for 5-10 but don’t let it dry out completely. Any stain or build-up will break down during this process. Remember not to use harsh chemicals or chemical-based cleaners. They will do your toilet more harm than good.

Step 2: Scrub the Toilet Bowl

The next is to get a brush with soft bristles, like a silicone toilet brush. Use it to scrub every part of the plastic toilet bowl thoroughly. Using a stiff brush with hard bristles will likely scratch the toilet bowl and damage the seal.

Step 3: Rinse With Clean Water

Rinse the toilet bowl well with clean water after scrubbing. Flushing the toilet a few times will help achieve this, and your toilet will be clean and ready for use again.

Take Away

An RV toilet is a necessity, not a luxury, in any recreational vehicle. It comes in different forms and usually consists of lightweight study materials. Cleaning the RV toilet bowl can be challenging if you do not use the right cleaning products. Using the wrong toilet cleaner can damage toilet bowls, black tanks, and other major components. Moreover, you may also compromise your safe and healthy habitat in the RV.

Keeping your toilet bowl clean requires using the appropriate toilet bowl cleaners. Along with a suitable toilet bowl brush and fresh water, you will finish in a few simple steps. Your RV toilet is clean, sparkling, and ready for use! Toilet cleaning can’t get easier than RV toilet cleaning.

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