How to Clean Your RV Toilet: 5 Tips for Freshness

Is your RV toilet need of some scrubbing? Get rid of unwanted smells and learn how to treat the source of the issue with this guide on how to clean your RV bathroom.
how to clean rv toilet

Photo Credit: Instagram User @hrzlbmft


Thanks to an RV’s plush amenities, trips to remote places don’t include bathroom breaks in the wilderness. With a freshwater toilet in your RV, you can answer nature’s call in comfort. To ensure pleasant trips to the commode, there are a few important housekeeping measures you should implement. 

Here’s how to keep your RV bathroom spick and span. 
Cruise-America-RV-Toilet-Illustration.jpg

1. Spray it away

When addressing how to clean an RV toilet, it’s important to understand that the toilet in your RV bathroom differs from that in your home.

Water is a limited resource in an RV since there’s only so much the freshwater tank can hold. This means that the toilet in your RV bathroom won’t flush with the same power as a home toilet. This can leave residue on the bowl and even lead to stains. A simple solution is to add a sprayer to your RV toilet. This can come in the form of a flexible hose and nozzle that you attach to your RV toilet. Then after each flush, spray the toilet bowl to ensure no residue remains. 

2. Clean confidently 

Next up on how to clean your RV toilet, let’s tackle cleaning tools. It is crucial to use a cleaner that is both effective and safe. Many toilet bowl cleaners contain high concentrations of bleach. While this is fine in a standard toilet, these harsh chemicals can damage your RV plumbing system's soft rubber seals. 

Opt for a natural cleaning agent that is free from bleach. Eco-friendly cleaners are a safe and reliable option. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the toilet bowl clean. To prevent scratches and grooves in the toilet bowl, avoid hard-bristled brushes or pumice stone cleaning tools. Lookout for brushes labeled “scratch-free” or made of silicone as these tools are safe for RV toilets.   

3. Take a look at your TP

Your RV plumbing system includes a holding tank that stores everything that is flushed away. To prevent clogging the tank, avoid using standard toilet paper. Instead, use toilet paper specifically designed for RVs. 

RV toilet paper is quick-dissolving, meaning it won’t wad up and cause blockages in the tank. This toilet paper is a bit more expensive than a typical roll, but the cost of repairs and damage from a clogged tank and sewage pipe is far greater. Bottom line—don’t slow your RV roll with the wrong toilet paper!  

4. Banish bad odors

Each RV has a blackwater tank that stores waste from trips to the bathroom. To relieve yourself of this, uh, unwanted travel companion, you’ll need to hook your tank up to a dump station. Once the tank is empty, fill it with water. You can do this by filling your toilet with water and flushing, repeating this process until the bottom of the tank is full of water. 

To ensure proper performance, it’s important to use a treatment in your blackwater tank. This step comes after the tank is clean and filled. An in-tank treatment breaks down waste and prevents odors from arising. So make sure to add this item to your RV packing list!

5. Flush without the fan 

Did you know that running the fan in your RV bathroom might be the cause of some less than appealing odors? Here’s how:

Your RV toilet sits on top of your blackwater tank where waste is stored. When you flush the toilet, the RV bathroom fan sucks the smells from the toilet and tank underneath into the air. The result is bad smells that travel throughout the RV. 

Fortunately, there’s a quick fix to this issue. Running the fan in the bathroom is fine. But close the vent before you flush. This simple change keeps the air fresh and your RV more pleasant all around. 

You’ve got the info. Now take the wheel! 

Some parts of RV life are less thrilling and adventure-filled than others. RV toilet maintenance falls into this category. But having the tools and the know-how around keeping an RV bathroom fresh is vital for RV traveling. You’ve tackled an important lesson in RV cleanliness; now, it’s time to get to the fun stuff!

For more RV tips and guides, head on over to our RVing 101 Resource Center. We look forward to helping you get on the road and explore new places!  

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