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An easy trick that’ll make RV dumping a lot more sanitary

By Nanci Dixon
I have been storing our plastic disposable gloves for dumping the RV tanks in a bay cabinet next to the water bay for most of our RVing life. They are only a door away, but do you think I can get my husband to get them out EVERY time he touches the sewer hose? Nope, it’s always just an afterthought and often too late. I do nag a bit, “Do you have any idea how many deadly pathogens there could be on that hose?!” OK, I’ll admit I don’t either, but I know it is bad.

The solution, I decided, was to place the disposable gloves where he will SEE them when dumping the RV tanks. I had been looking for something like a tissue case to mount on the wet bay door, but decided to use an industrial Velcro-like sticky tape to attach a box directly to the door instead.

I first cleaned the door off with rubbing alcohol, then attached both sides of the sticky tape to the box and stuck it to the door. When he runs out of gloves in the first box, I can either add another piece of sticky tape to a new box of gloves or stuff more gloves in the existing box.

Photo Credit Nanci Dixon
Photo Credit Nanci Dixon

I love this sticky tape (like Velcro) and never run out with the large rolls of Hook and Loop Sticky Tape from Amazon. Now my husband surely can’t miss the gloves when he’s dumping the RV tanks, right?

Related:

Previous poll from RVtravel.com: Do you wear gloves when dumping holding tanks? (Voting closed.)

##RVDT1573

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Joseph Weinstein
9 months ago

While I try to use gloves when touching anything relating to the sewer, it is not something I worry about. Years ago when I was a Carpenter and we built homes from the ground up we would wash our hands in dirt before eating. This included after using an outhouse. Not only did we have very little illness we always believed that being exposed to some level of germs helped our immune systems. Same as when I was in the Army. Out in the field, including those of us who cooked, washed our hands in dirt. This focus on germs gets a bit too much at times. Better to build stronger immune systems. Of course after touching my RV sewer stuff, I wash my hands, I just don’t freak out over a few germs.

Barry T
9 months ago

I must ask…”how many people do you know, or have heard of, who became ill from the “deadly pathogens” on a sewer hose? Get real. Yes, I always wear disposable gloves (Harbor Freight) when hooking up or disconnecting the sewer hose. Many people dont use gloves, but wash their hands immediately after the process.

Then there is “that guy”. He grabs a pair of work gloves from a bay and wears them while working with the sewer hose. THEN, removes them and places them back in the bay!

The sewer hose is not going to kill you and IT IS OK to burn a candle in your RV while using common sense. Good grief!!!

Russell Gould
1 year ago

The chef Andrew Bourdain is my guide to germs and bacteria. Prior to his suicide he traveled the globe eating foods sometimes prepared in less than hygienic conditions and things that you and I likely would not eat. He also worked in NYC and he once said that he was sicker while working in the kitchen in NYC and he blamed it on constant hand washing. The moral of the story is that being too clean may actually weaken the body immune system. Temporarily going the extra mile to be clean of germs is okay but long term compulsive behavior might not be a healthy thing. And no there is no research to verify this, bacteria would not pay for it.

Bill
1 year ago

I think I’ve said this before, but there is nothing coming out of that hose that hasn’t already been in or on your body. Yes, some of the pathogens may reproduce more easily in that environment, but if you aren’t sick and don’t have open cuts or sores on your hands that probably won’t be a problem. On a square inch basis, your cell phone probably has more “germs” than your sewer hose.

John
1 year ago

If you are doing it right, you really shouldn’t get your hands very dirty dumping. I don’t use gloves, just wash my hands after, not usually because they’re dirty, just like to be sure they are clean before driving away. But if gloves make someone feel better, by all means.

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago

Save money, and the environment. Your not a surgeon, so buy two pair of those yellow dishwashing gloves (two pair in case one fails in the process) and perfect your ability to remove them without contamination, it’s easy, actually and have hand sanitizer in your sanitary bay, or close by and your good to go.

Paul
1 year ago

My wet bay has a soap dispenser and a paper towel dispenser. The towel dispenser has never had paper towels in it. Actually, I do store an old box of gloves there. HOWEVER, If you want “the dump operator” to wear gloves, you are welcome to do the job. I’ll do it my way and wash my hands as I choose. I am more likely to wear those gloves when hitching/unhitching than when dumping.

KellyR
1 year ago

I had never thought of using “rubber” gloves, while dumping tanks, until some years ago when I saw the subject discussed on this web site. I now use gloves, BUT, wash my hands after. Gloves just to keep the slop off my hands – wash to remove any unwanted germs. Being brought up on farms with animals, and other jobs in my life, my hands, and body, got into a lot of stuff. Washing hands has always been the common sense – mother taught – remedy. Working with dairy cows requires sanitation all along the way, so hand washing is common. Washing washes away what you don’t want. Using sanitizer hopefully kills what is still left on your hands – until you wash them.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  KellyR

Hi, KellyR. My uncle was a dairy farmer. One of the highlights of my childhood was having one of his cows named after me! I remember when he used to milk the cows by hand — and how often he washed his hands. Thanks for the fun memory. Have a good night. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

KellyR
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, As a teen on my uncles farms, we would wash teats and hand milk a couple of squirts before putting the milker on. There were a couple of “old girls” that I gave names to, but you wouldn’t let me post THOSE names here. They were the “girls” that would try to step on my foot, or kick the milker off. Yep, fond memories. I’m glad I gave you a memory. Gosh, life seemed so simple then.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  KellyR

Well, that brought back even more memories, KellyR. Watching my uncle give the barn cats a nice, warm squirt of milk. And my sisters and I sampling a little bit of their grain out of a huge barrel. 🙄 Yes, life was much simpler back then (and sometimes seemingly more civilized, i.e., before social media began controlling so many lives). Have a good night. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

WEB
1 year ago

Yup, I agree with a few here… what is there that is so dangerous? Granted, if you are sick, you may pass it on, like Typhoid Mary. I will use rubber gloves that stay in the bin and then wash after, but to use and throw out ‘disposable’ gloves? Just think on the amount going into the landfills…

Frank
1 year ago

Its time to let your amine system work for you, this craziness about gloves and all. I was raised on a IA farm for 18 years and have never used gloves or all that disinfectant stuff even dumping the holding tanks. I’m 80 now, haven’t even been sick for years even the flu, I can’t remember the last time I was down in bed with something. Let your body take care of yourself, unless you want to live in a bubble, which I don’t want to do.

AWH
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank

See frank most of these folks never worked outside in a dirty filthy enviroment like you and I, I have to laugh every single time I see these folks acting like there at a hazmat site

Gary
1 year ago

I keep a box of gloves in the driver’s door pocket so they are also available for pumping diesel.

Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

That makes more sense – diesel is a lot harder to wash off and the smell lasts longer.

Drew
1 year ago

I’ll admit I’m not a glover either. I think Chuck did a poll on this a long time ago- and I don’t remember the results.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Hi, Drew. Here’s a link to that poll: https://www.rvtravel.com/do-you-wear-gloves-when-dumping-holding-tanks/ I’ve added it to the article, also. Thanks for the reminder! Have a great day. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Wow, The non-glovers seem more vocal but there are many fewer of us.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Yep. Have a good night, Drew. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ed Thomas
1 year ago

With all the emphasis on hand washing nowadays, I would think that carefully and thoroughly washing your hands each time would be more than adequate. It has worked for us for the past 15+ years of RVing!

Rich
1 year ago

been dumping our tanks without gloves…or fear…since 1986. i’m still here. so’s my wife. i wash up with waterless hamd cleaner…outside…when done.

DPHooper
1 year ago

I hope you all know how to use “good hand washing” techniques.
Must be done properly even after wearing rubber gloves.
All the sanitizer, bleach, antibacterial etc is doing nothing to help you maintain a healthy immune system. Learn about improving your body’s immune system.
Did you wear rubber gloves to change your baby’s diaper, clean up other bodily fluids?
🤦‍♀️
After working in health care(mostly before we became obsessed with gloves) over 40 years, I just find discussions of emptying holding tanks, wearing gloves….humorous.

Mike Albert
1 year ago
Reply to  DPHooper

Not to disagree with your thoughts, but I too did not wear disposable gloves while doing auto extraction with injuries, only leather gloves that went back into my pocket when done. We did use alcohol pads to clean up bodily fluids off our hands before we smoked a cigarette.
NOW, to changing diapers… full isolation gowns, face shields and double gloves!!! However, it depended on what they ate!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

😆 Thanks (I think) for the “funny” memories about changing diapers, Mike. Have a great day! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

jcav
1 year ago

Not a problem for me. I will absolutely not touch any of the dump hoses without disposable gloves. Plus I sanitize everything with a Clorox solution when Im done. Hoses, connectors, elbows, the inside of the storage box, the caps and pipes on the camper discharge; EVERYTHING.

Gary
1 year ago
Reply to  jcav

Your bleach solution starts losing it’s disinfecting power 24 hours after mixing.

Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

I thought Gary was wrong so I did some research. He is right.

HDDRvr
1 year ago
Reply to  jcav

Just use a can of Lysol spray disinfectant. That’s what I use and I have a macerator dump system that’s as sanitary as you can get for this chore. Even at that, I do wear gloves when dumping. When finished dumping, I spray the dump end of the hose and reinstall the small cap…done.

Tom
1 year ago
Reply to  HDDRvr

Macerators Rule! Had one on both my 1975 GMC motorhomes, and have one on my 2012 Phoenix Cruiser. Would not be without it. Sewer hose is a mess. I do have a sewer hose for those rare emergencies. Also, have a spare portable macerator. Belts and Suspenders when dealing with sewage.

AWH
1 year ago
Reply to  jcav

none of this is necessary I sure can tell folks who worked outside for a living and those that were inside all the time and believe there is a germ on everything they touch

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
1 year ago

I wonder, if you are so worried about your husband’s ability to safely dump, perhaps it is a chore you should assume.

David Telenko
1 year ago

Excellent idea+1

Rich
1 year ago

+2

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago
Reply to  Rich

+3

Nik
1 year ago

+ another

Tom
1 year ago

there are the clear acrylic tissue box holders that would fit over the glove box, just attach this clear container to the door and put your glove box in that, no more reapplying velco to a cardboard box.

Richard
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

many clear plastic glove box holders primarily sold to healthcare but readily available on Amazon.Glove box will hold up much better that way.

Lenny Confer
1 year ago

Harbor Freight also sells a magnetic box that is made for a box of gloves. I’ve been using one for years and it works great.

Glen Cowgill
1 year ago

Nancy, I love your idea and may try it as then I would not have to handle the box. I have a Net like area in my compartment I just put the box in. It is visible but I have to get the box out of the net, get the gloves, put the box back in the net and then do the deed. Your idea eliminates two steps. I also keep a spray bottle of Lysol in the compartment which I use to spray my hands and wash them.

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