Saturday, December 9, 2023


Do you put additives in your black water holding tank?

Do you put additives in your black water holding tank? Many RVers do, and many RVers don’t. Which side are you on?

In case you’re wondering why you’d put additives in your black tank (or, on the other hand, why you wouldn’t), check out all these articles we’ve published over the years about black tanks.

After you’re done checking out the articles above, vote in our poll below here and tell us if you do, or don’t, put additives in. If the poll takes a moment to load, please be patient. Thanks!

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 700+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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Larry (@guest_97708)
3 years ago

Every time I use the commode I put bacteria in it I don’t feel that it’s necessary to put artificial bacteria in the commode to eat up the waist
I don’t leave the Blackwater gate open only open it to dump
In the last three years I have had no problems

Gary Demchuk (@guest_97384)
3 years ago

I use Dawn dish soap,I had faulty level sensor’s,And now they are working fine😎

Jeff Janacek (@guest_97293)
3 years ago

Zaal’s Noflex Digester

Lisa Y. (@guest_97107)
3 years ago

I use the natural addatives made by unique. Ive used both the drop ins as well as the liquid. Worst thing is during the summer heat…theres still ordors when doing a full flush. If i maintain a half full bowl and do a half flush…no odors. I live FT in a stationary location and find this product to be very effective. To clean the bowl, shower and the sinks, i use simple green…as it doesn’t interfere with the natural enzymes in the unique products.

Chuck (@guest_97106)
3 years ago

No commercial treatment for years. Only use Costco drop-in laundry detergent in black and gray tank. If we do get any oder will add pinesol. I answered no to survey.

Rick (@guest_97100)
3 years ago

I use Tank Tech, in the black tank and Happy Kamper in the grey tank. Every time.

Bill (@guest_97079)
3 years ago

A copious amount of Campa Chem does my black tank well. It also helps my gray tank.

Rich (@guest_97078)
3 years ago

Happy Campers!

Ron Lane (@guest_97074)
3 years ago

You need to define “additives” as either commercial rv tank additives or non rv tank additives. For instance, I only use a cup of liquid laundry detergent and a cap full of Calgon water softener in both my black and gray tanks along with about 5 gallons of clean water whenever i travel. At the next destination, I drain and add about another 5 gallons to both tanks. I repeat this procedure every time we travel. So…. I answered “NO” as i don’t ever use any commercial rv tank additive of any type.

Ken (@guest_97064)
3 years ago

I take an empty one-gallon jug to which I mix a cup of Calgon bath beads and 32 oz of PineSol. Careful. Do this slowly as you will get a lot of fizzling foam. Once this slows down, finishing filling the jug with with water, near the top. With your new brew, add about a cup to your toilet and flush. I will usually add a cup, every other dumping and thorough rinsing. I will also use a Bio tab (greenie), supposedly organic. Available from Walmart. Take the time to do a rinse each time you empty.

Ron Lane (@guest_97075)
3 years ago
Reply to  Ken

Be aware that Pine Sol is a petroleum based product and is detrimental to rubber and plastic gaskets/seals. Better to use a pine scented product like Pine Power…you will get the same results in tank cleaning.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ron Lane
Dr4Film (@guest_97059)
3 years ago

Rid-X RV and Happy Campers are my go-to tank treatments that I like to use.

Thomas (@guest_97056)
3 years ago

If moving I use nothing. If in a park for a week or longer,Rid-x. I trust the bacteria to work. Never had a problem but like they say” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Joe (@guest_97055)
3 years ago

Good dose of Rid-X. Controls the odors, digest everything to liquid, helps keep the sensors clear. Also after every dump I use the black water rinse, and when driving add a couple gallons to swash around and soon after setting up at our next stop use the black tank rinse and dump again to give the tank a deep cleaning. Never have any issues.

Jim A (@guest_97053)
3 years ago

I’ve been using BIZ Laundry Detergent for years. Claims to have enzymes that eat up the stains, and well you get the picture. Main thing is it works!
No odor issues and no sticking valves. I use it in both black & grey tanks.

dave (@guest_97051)
3 years ago

15 years full-time and have only used water. Once in a blue moon, we have used rid-x when we will be away from the motorhome for a week or more. No problems so far.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  dave

Hi, Dave. Hey, there’s a blue moon on Halloween this year. Better get your Rid-X out. 😆 Take care. —Diane at

Wayne (@guest_97050)
3 years ago

Absolutely do insert additives. Calgon and dawn as well as a digester product. Plenty of water added after each dump and flush procedure

Tommy Molnar (@guest_97049)
3 years ago

We always add one ‘helping’ of whatever black tank chemical we’re using when traveling normally (moving every week or so), but right now we’re motionless for about six months so we add a double dose of the stuff. When we dump, we use the rinse thing several times to get clean (or as clean as you can get when the rig is motionless). Then we add 3-4 gallons of water.

jim (@guest_97045)
3 years ago

Happy Campers

C Bonelli (@guest_97044)
3 years ago

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment every time we empty tanks. Works.

Norm b (@guest_97043)
3 years ago

Yes Happy Camper and Digestit. Also dawn and a cap of calagon

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