Thursday, January 27, 2022


Not wearing gloves while dumping? Big mistake!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

In this day of fastidiousness and the injection of antibacterial chemicals in nearly every product, there’s a strange movement out there: Dumping holding tanks with your bare hands. A survey at revealed that nearly one-third of our readers never or seldom use gloves when dumping.

We’ve sometimes wondered why anyone would take on this bacteriological nightmare without protection. From those that don’t, we sometimes hear the excuse, “It’s just too much bother and I can’t see much advantage to it.”

bacteria-745Another reasoning runs, “The stuff stays in the hose, so what’s the big deal?” In a perfect world it’s a good line of reasoning. But since we’re not living in a perfect world, the ‘stuff’ doesn’t always cooperate and stay in the hose. Pinhole leaks can occur and a misaligned bayonet fitting can pop off, unloading an unholy amount of stuff. File that under, “Been there, done that.”

“So you get a little doo-doo on your hands, just wash it off,” is the next comment. Good idea, a thorough washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Meantime, make sure none of it gets off elsewhere and ends up in your mouth or nose. And hope in the meantime that you have no minor breaks in your skin. If so, the damage may already be done, no matter how much you wash afterwards.

What can happen with a bit of misplaced sewage bacteria? Here’s the short list:

•Gastroenteritis, characterized by cramping stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting.
•Hepatitis, characterized by inflammation of the liver, and jaundice.
•Infection of skin or eyes.

Not sure of any RVer who’d like to have a bout of any of those manifestations. Washing up even when using gloves is still a good idea, and an outside “shower” unit that many RVs are equipped with is just great for it.

For those that glove up before going into the ring with the sewer hose we can only say, we gotta hand it to you. Good disposable gloves are best. Gloves you reuse over and over can easily get contaminated.

Here are some quality, disposable gloves from that will be good for 100 dumps.

RELATED: An easy trick that will make RV dumping a lot more sanitary.

##rvt745 ##1013


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BILLY Bob Thronton
5 months ago

Cousin Eddy never wore gloves!

Jerry Glazman
5 months ago

We bought our original RV (a 40′ Class A) from a pair of traveling nurses. He never used gloves. His reasoning was all the bad things had originally come from either you or your traveling companion and you already had intimate contact with them. Just wash up after dumping.

5 months ago

I use food service gloves, cheap to buy and do not tear easily. Also in my wet bay is hand soap, a bottle of hand sanitizer, paper towels, and a bottle of Clorox cleanup. Also when out and about I carry a few loose paper towels to open a door and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my pocket in case I need to use the restroom. It’s amazing to see how many people will leave a stall and not wash their hands and then open the door. I have been doing this for years and far longer than the COVID mess.

Donald E Baker
5 months ago

If you have a major spill gloves are not going to protect you.
A little common sense and due diligence as to hook up and equipment condition goes a long way.

Jim Prideaux
5 months ago

I store disposable gloves nearby but more often than not I just start hooking up. I think a better idea may be to keep wipes and hand sanitizer on hand to clean up afterwards. All this reminds me of a service joke.
A Sailor and a Marine enter the head to take a leak. The Sailor washes his hands afterwards but the Marine doesn’t. On the way out the Sailor says “in the Navy they teach us to wash our hands afterwards.” The Marine replies “in the Marines they teach us not to p**s on our hands.”

Bob Weinfurt
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Prideaux

LOL A little common sense goes a long way.

5 months ago

The article confuses the danger from public-sewage vs private-sewage. There’s NO danger of catching hepatitis from our own sewage and little danger of gastroenteritis since I’m not touching my mouth with wet hands.

I do use gloves most of the time because of the danger from cuts especially as an older adult.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
5 months ago

I am not a germophobe but always wear gloves (peer pressure) I have forgotten to put them on a few times, but no harm done. I started with heavy duty rubber gloves, my cousin who drives a tanker, gave me but have since moved to disposable gloves so all the “stuff” gets thrown away. Most of the time the gloves have ripped exposing my not-so delicate hands. Still looking for a decent disposable glove that won’t rip when I manipulate hose connections. I sanitize my hand afterwords.

Capt. Jim
5 months ago

I don’t wear gloves to dump. I keep a canister of anti-bacterial wipes in the plumbing compartment for use when the job is complete. I also keep gloves handy is case of an accidental spill or some kind of equipment failure (hasn’t happened yet).

Rolling Coal
5 months ago

I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in a no touch dispenser attached to a wall in the service bay and use it immediately after dumping. Much more sanitary and convenient than using either re usable or disposable gloves

5 months ago

If nearly one third who don’t wear gloves and their still breathing, guess their point’s been made, “no advantage”. I, myself, do wear disposable gloves, however, I do see a lot of RV’ers who don’t. AND, they are not “newbies”! Unless this topic becomes an issue, p/CDC, guess it’s a moot point, your choice.

5 months ago

While wearing gloves can keep the “stuff” off your hands you have to be conscious of cross contamination, what gets on the gloves will get on everything you touch with the gloves, door handles, faucets, hoses, you get the picture. Maybe people who don’t wear gloves and get “stuff” on their hands wash the “stuff” off right away so in some instances this may be better. I haven’t decided which is best and I’ve done both, I keep a box of gloves zip tied right next to the dump valves. I do have trouble finding ones big enough to fit, especially since Covid. So far I’ve been very careful and haven’t experienced “stuff” on my hands, nothing visible anyway.

Last edited 5 months ago by Brian
5 months ago

Never wear gloves don’t understand the mentality behind there use, but like everything else nowadays crazy thoughts prevail and the worst case thoughts take first place, and once people convince themselves it’s a toxic job there’s no changing their mind, so wear your gloves for your peace of mind and that you won’t allow rv dump to get you

5 months ago

there is a potential danger here of bacterial infections….be careful how you handle those sewer hoses….one of our best investments was the Sanicon Turbo 600 Waste Extraction System…..

Larry W. Larsen
5 years ago

RVing for 65 years now and not sick once. I’ve never used gloves but do wash after. Does anyone use rubber gloves when they change the baby’s diapers?
There is probably as much “sewage bacteria” on the child seat of a grocery shopping cart. Think about that the next time you put your food on the seat.

Donald N Wright
5 months ago

Hmm, good point about shopping cart. My problem with gloves are XL are usually not.

5 months ago

I agree, do you wear gloves when using a public bathroom? I see people use the same gloves over and over, how do you put them on and off without touching those bacteria covered gloves? I believe in washing hands.

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago

“Does anyone use rubber gloves when they change the baby’s diapers?”

You KNOW some do. You just KNOW it . . .

Jim Prideaux
5 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Your second comment cracked me up. It’s so true.

Magee Willis
5 months ago

Have worked with cattle, hogs, sheep, chicken for almost 80 years and certainly have been very well exposed to their poop, not contained in a hose, with no sickening (disgusting maybe but not sickening) consequences. Have always taken my chances with the dump hose, guess have been lucky so far.