Do you wear gloves when dumping holding tanks?


Do you wear gloves when dumping your RV’s holding tanks? Or do you fear no germs and just barehand the chore? Please take a few seconds to respond, and feel free to leave a comment.

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virginia Clark

I enjoyed each and every comment! I personally always wear gloves. Better safe than sorry!!!


Nope, don’t use gloves. I have been either full time or 5-10 months a year in the RV for the last 14 years. For the 25 year prior to that we used a porti-potty which I dumped. I do keep a pump container of hand sanitizer near by to put on my hands, and then go wash them.

I am not convinced that there is that big of a problem for people with a normal immune system.

I am surprised folks don’t wear air filtration masks. What do you do when a tiny bit gets splashed on your face or lips?

Bob Lewis

Yes I wear protective gloves AND I use protective eyewear.


I change them 2-3 times when handling septic hoses & attachments. I was an RN so very familiar with glove removal techniques .

Debbie Wilson

DH does wear gloves when he moves, hooks up or unhooks sewer hose or when using a public dump. When just turning the handle to dump the black tank and we are already hooked up, No.

Nollie Jones

We wear gloves and rubber boots. When finished we spray both with bleach water before removing and placing in the basement. Now we are ready to give ourselves a liberal squirt of hand sanitizer
An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Not concerned with what I am dumping as what those before me dumped and shared.

Deb Adams

As a health care professional, I can’t bring myself to dispense with gloves when dumping black water. I also wash my hands well afterwards (sing the ABC’s). I do this even if I’m just pulling the handles. E-coli can be serious in the wrong places.

Kevin Hogle

Typo above:
Hand cleaners for viruses (rather than using the term germs)

Kevin Hogle

There have been some studies showing purell (alcohol) type hand cleaners are less effective with E. coli type bacteria. I like hand cleaners for germs but they are not completely effective on Clostridium type bacteria.

Richard Brandt

I not only always wear gloves they are disposable so, like a health professional, when the job is done they come off inside out and go into the garbage.


Not much to fear with a macerator — hose and end unit stay pretty clean. Still I use sanitizer before re-entering MH.

Roy Ellithorpe

Yah, and I wear gloves when I wipe my butt too.
I do wash my hands after completing ANY project before I go on to the next.


I use food handler gloves from Costco. At a penny a glove, I made it a habit. Probably don’t need to just to pull a handle but after a few surprises, I figured it would be a good habit. Good idea about disinfectant wipes and sprays. Always learning from others.


Always have, always will!


I use gloves to hook up and unhook the sewer hose, but when just dumping (pulling the valve handle) I don’t bother.


40 years, retired school custodian. He’ll yes! In all that time I never took a day off for illness only for a hernia repair. If you think your safe because you only make deposits ask yourself if you scrub the outside of a cantaloupe or any other produce before you eat it. And that’s just an example of where filth can come from. I was always being educated at work on how to deal with new super bugs. They spread like wildfire. You never know. I wash my hands with regular liquid soap after taking my gloves off properly.


Never use gloves but keep bottle of liquid hand soap near the valve. Always wash hands after dumping then dry my hands on my pants (so as not to be super cityfied)

Watkins on the Road

We use gloves and disinfectant when handling the black tank hose during disconnection. We keep our hose in a storage container. We spray both ends and the inside of the container with disinfectant before storing. E-coli contamination is no fun!

Retired RN

Kevin Hogle

Always. Also have harbor freight booties to cover my shoes. Dump spots are absolutely filthy even when they appear clean.


I have to note I wear gloves to handle the hose but take them off to open/close the valves and to run the pump. Thus if at a spot where I leave the hose hooked up no need to wear the gloves to dump.