Reviews

Best RV Holding Tank Treatment (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Don’t let clogs ruin your camping trips; keep your hoses clear with one of the best RV holding tank treatments you can buy.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON November 12, 2021

If there’s one aspect of RV ownership that no one really wants to talk about, it’s dealing with your holding tank. Sure, it’s super convenient to enjoy the comforts of your own private, clean bathroom when you’re out in nature; but if you aren’t using an RV holding tank treatment, then you could wind up facing a stinky, disgusting mess. Dropping an RV holding tank treatment into your waste tank can help clear up and prevent clogs, keep your RV smell-free, and save you all of the unwanted work that comes with dirty sensors and an overwhelmingly gross holding tank. So, which treatments and formulas get the job done the best? We’ve got all of the best RV holding tank treatments right here.

Best Overall
Thetford Campa-Fresh Ocean Breeze Holding Tank Treatments
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Summary
Summary

A highly effective RV holding tank treatment that tackles all of your biggest issues, from solid waste to clogs to strong odors with ease.

Pros
Pros
  • Dissolves existing clogs and prevents future ones
  • Combats odor at the source rather than just masking
  • Helps keep holding tanks clearer and cleaner
Cons
Cons
  • Ocean Breeze fragrance may not be for every nose
Best Overall
Thetford Campa-Fresh Ocean Breeze Holding Tank Treatments
Best Value
Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment
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Summary
Summary

Affordable and available in bulk, this RV holding tank treatment offers great value and nicely effective formula to tackle waste and odors.

Pros
Pros
  • Offers 64 treatments in one package
  • Fights odors even in 100-degree temperatures
  • Can break down typical household toilet paper
Cons
Cons
  • May need additional scoops of treatment in hot weather
Best Value
Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment
Honorable Mention
Camco RV TST Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins
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Summary
Summary

A convenient way to treat your RV holding tank without getting messy, all while preventing clogs and breaking down waste while you travel.

Pros
Pros
  • Made with a blend of chemicals plus lubricating coconut oil
  • Just one pod can treat up to 40 gallons
  • Tackles odors in addition to the waste itself
Cons
Cons
  • If you’re looking for a pleasant fragrance, the scent is light
Honorable Mention
Camco RV TST Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

In order to uncover which RV holding tank treatments were the best fit for any RV owner, we searched for products that met three key requirements: easy to use, effective at preventing and fighting clogs, and odor-eliminating. Each product that made our list featured a safe mix of waste- and odor-fighting ingredients to wholly dissolve the prime culprits of most RV sewer hose clogs. We took a look at users’ comments and reviews about each product to determine which saw the most overall success, and which could help save time and effort around waste tank cleaning. 

Best RV Holding Tank Treatment Reviews & Recommendations

Best RV Holding Tank Treatment Overall
Thetford Campa-Fresh Ocean Breeze Holding Tank Treatments

There’s so much to like about Thetford Campa-Fresh Ocean Breeze Holding Tank Treatments. It’s powerful and effective, works quickly, doesn’t include any unwanted chemicals, tackles odors head-on…and the list could keep going. Featuring a unique combination of enzymes, including beneficial probiotics, this treatment can digest waste all while working to prevent residual buildup, clumps, and clogs.


It’s septic-safe and marina-friendly, biodegradable, and free of formaldehyde and bronopol. Plus, it’s campground-friendly and won’t overwhelm you with a strong fragrance. The granule-based product is easy to sprinkle into your RV’s holding tank, and it’ll keep smells and messes at bay even in hot weather.

Product Specs

  • Type: Granule-based
  • Formula: Enzymes plus probiotics

  • Number of Treatments: 8

Pros

  • Dissolves solid waste, toilet paper, and everything else in your holding tank
  • Keeps tank and sensors cleaner and clearer
  • Easy to use in single-use packets
  • Gentle on septic systems and the environment

Cons

  • The Ocean Breeze scent may not be the best for everyone
Best RV Holding Tank Treatment Value
Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment

RV holding tank treatments can be pricey, especially when they come in single-use pods or packages. However, if you’re looking for value and affordability, the Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment is a fantastic pick. Not only is this powdered formula sold in bulk to give you 64 treatments, but it’s also nicely priced. And every time you add this powder to your holding tank, you’ll get great results. It’s septic-friendly yet strong, and it liquefies waste solids plus most ordinary household toilet paper, meaning you don’t need to buy specialized RV toilet paper. Even better, you won’t have to worry about temperature extremes, as this product remains effective even in extreme heat and cold, combating smells and waste in temperatures over 100 degrees.


The only potential disadvantage to this RV holding tank treatment? You may need to use more in extreme heat in order to keep the smell under control. However, since this bulk product is affordable, it shouldn’t hold you back.


Product Specs

  • Type: Powder
  • Formula: Water-activated mineral blend

  • Number of Treatments: 64

Pros

  • One scoop can treat a 40-gallon tank
  • Affordable price
  • Works effectively even in extreme heat and cold
  • Can break down solid waste and household toilet paper

Cons

  • May need to use additional scoops of product in very hot weather
Honorable Mention
Camco RV TST Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins

If you don’t want to deal with any fussy products, Camco RV TST Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins might be exactly what you need. These conveniently packaged pods of powerful yet septic-safe RV holding tank treatment make it easy to treat your waste right from your RV’s toilet, as you can drop a pod or two in anytime it’s needed. The pods dissolve instantly, getting down to work quickly to treat your entire tank and get rid of solid waste. They feature a mix of chemicals plus coconut oil to keep your sensors lubricated, and a pleasant fragrance that helps stay on top of odors. A single pod can treat a 40-gallon tank, and you won’t need to mix, dilute, or prep your tank at all before use. Formaldehyde-free and non-staining, these pods are perfectly safe too.


Just be careful with the resealable bag these pods come in. The seal doesn’t always work, meaning you can easily lose pods or wind up with an open bag. Additionally, the fragrance of this holding tank treatment isn’t strong; in fact, you might not smell its scent at all when you use it.


Product Specs

  • Type: Pods
  • Formula: Chemical blend plus coconut oil

  • Number of Treatments: 15

Pros

  • Prevents clogs and breaks down waste and toilet tissue
  • Lubricates sensors with every use
  • Formaldehyde-free and non-staining
  • One pod can treat a whole tank

Cons

  • Resealable bag may not actually re-seal
  • Fragrance is weak, if you’re looking for a noticeable fragrance
Best RV Holding Tank Treatment for Odor Control
Firebelly Outfitters RV Septic Tank Treatment

Stop unpleasant smells in their tracks with Firebelly Outfitters RV Septic Tank Treatment, a convenient pod-style RV holding tank treatment that’s specifically formulated for odors. This potent product does the same cleaning and dissolving work as other treatments, working to break down waste and toilet paper. But it’s especially effective when it comes to those stinky odors, thanks to its ingredients. Formulated with a special toilet tank enzyme cleaner, septic tank enzymes, and a super-concentrated toilet deodorizer with triple molecular technology, you’ll get odor control that’s meant to last throughout your camping trip. And you’ll only need one pod to treat a 40-gallon tank. For added peace of mind, this product is backed by Firebelly Outfitters’ Promise, which means you can get a full refund if you aren’t happy with the results.


The only potential issue with these RV holding tank treatment pods is they don’t dissolve in contact with water. They take a few minutes to break down, which makes them slower than other pods.


Product Specs

  • Type: Pods
  • Formula: Enzymes and triple molecular deodorizer

  • Number of Treatments: 20

Pros

  • Concentrated, specialized odor-fighting ingredients
  • Dissolves waste and toilet paper quickly
  • Cleanses from toilet to holding tank
  • Backed by a satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Don’t dissolve instantly
  • Takes a few minutes to get to work
Best Probiotic-Based RV Holding Tank Treatment
Unique RV Digest-It Black Holding Tank Treatment

Unique RV Digest-It Black Holding Tank Treatment is a great option if you want to keep things moving in your RV’s septic system naturally. This concentrated liquid formula uses probiotics, or “good” bacteria, to get to work on solid waste, toilet paper, and all of the other messes that wind up in your holding tank. Although there’s no formaldehyde or bronopol in this tough cleaning solution, those probiotics number in the billions and will get to work on your waste as activated bio-enzymatic cleaners to eat away at and liquify what’s sitting in your tank. While bacteria might not sound super effective, it’ll help prevent clogs and waste buildup, and it can help you avoid the dreaded pyramid plug that leads to odor and unpleasant unclogging. Safe for campgrounds and all RV septic systems, you won’t have to worry about the environment or your hoses and pipes.


This holding tank treatment is weaker than other products in this category as it only uses probiotics. Additionally, you may need to let it sit overnight in order to get good effectiveness. However, if you’re interested in a more natural cleaning solution, it’s got a blend you’ll like.


Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Formula: Probiotics

  • Number of Treatments: 16

Pros

  • Probiotics generate enzymes to break down waste and toilet paper
  • Helps maintain clean sensors
  • Works to prevent clogs and pyramid plugs
  • Septic- and campground-safe

Cons

  • Not as potent as other treatment products
  • May need to sit overnight to achieve the full intended effect
Best RV Holding Tank Treatment for Maintenance
Walex Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer

While your biggest priority is probably your holding tank, Walex Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer does more than simply target the waste sitting in your RV’s septic system. This drop-in product is designed to help you maintain the entire system, from your hoses to your tank sensors to valves and other components. Each individual pod works to tackle waste, odors, and general cleaning that can help you better maintain seals, valves, sensors, and hoses. As an added bonus, these pods can also lubricate the components of your tank and sewer setup, which may help increase parts’ longevity. Natural enzymes help control odors, break down waste and toilet paper, and the formula is free of biocide and formaldehyde.


The only potential disadvantage of this RV holding tank treatment is that it doesn’t last very long; you’ll get about a day to two days worth of cleaning before you need more treatment. If you’re traveling with large groups or your holding tank is seeing a lot of waste, you may need to use the pods pretty frequently.


Product Specs

  • Type: Pods
  • Formula: Natural enzymes

  • Number of Treatments: 10

Pros

  • Natural enzymes are septic-safe and environmentally-friendly
  • Breaks down waste and toilet paper into liquid
  • Helps maintain and lubricate septic parts
  • Free of formaldehyde and biocide

Cons

  • Only lasts about a day to two days
  • Will require more frequent use if you’re traveling with a group
Best Fragrance-Free RV Holding Tank Treatment
Valterra Odorlos Holding Tank Treatment

If you can’t stand the strong fake fragrances that can come with many RV holding tank treatments, you’ll like the Valterra Odorlos Holding Tank Treatment. This scent-free product doesn’t have anything to mask odors; if you’re putting this treatment into your RV’s tank, then you’ll know if it eliminates odors rather than covers them up. The 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly liquid formula is non-toxic and formaldehyde free, and just a small dose (4 ounces) can treat your entire tank. It’s safe and effective for all holding tanks, as well as all types of RV toilets including plastic ones. Once you pour this product into your toilet, it’ll work to speed up the natural composting process that happens inside the holding tank, all while preventing hydrogen sulfide gases (the gases that cause odors) from happening.


While this RV holding tank treatment does combat odors without attempting to mask them, you may not have a long-term effect. In some cases, odors can return in just a couple of days, depending on how much use your holding tank is seeing.


Product Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Formula: Enzymes

  • Number of Treatments: 10

Pros

  • Safe for all RV septic systems
  • Scent-free formula
  • Prevents formation of hydrogen sulfide gases
  • Safe for all types of RV toilets

Cons

  • Odor-eliminating power may not last more than a couple days

Our Verdict on RV Holding Tank Treatment

Our pick for the best RV holding tank treatment is Thetford Campa-Fresh Ocean Breeze Holding Tank Treatments, a product that delivers great waste dissolving power, fights odors, and helps you effectively clear out your tank of solid waste and toilet tissue. If you’re looking for an affordable option that also offers waste-dissolving power, we like the value that Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment can provide in its bulk package.

What to Consider When Buying RV Holding Tank Treatment

Wondering how to differentiate the various RV holding tank treatments you’ve seen in stores and online? We’ve got all of the information you need. Find out what factors and features you need to think about, what makes a quality waste treatment, and get your most pressing questions answered.

Types of RV Holding Tank Treatment

Liquid

One of the most common kinds of RV holding tank treatment you’ll come across? Liquid. These bottled formulas are easy to use, as you can simply pour the amount you need right into your toilet bowl. They move easily and seamlessly through your RV’s septic system and into the holding tank. The only potential downside of liquid formulas is they can be messy; they spill and splash pretty easily, and containers can leak if you aren’t careful. 

Powder

Powder RV holding tank treatments are less common, but they’re another easy-to-use option. You just scoop the amount you need for your tank, then dump the powder into your toilet and flush it away. These powder formulas can work just as effectively as liquid products at dissolving and degunking your septic system. However, they can create dust when used. They can be a little messy too if you aren’t careful about pouring the powder.

Pods or Tablets

If you’re looking for effortless and mess-free, then you’ll love pod or tablet RV holding tank treatment products. They’re just like the conveniently packaged dishwasher and laundry detergent pods you use at home. Small amounts of liquid or powder holding tank formulas are packaged into either hard tablets (for powder) or plastic pods (for liquid). Drop one or two into your RV’s toilet and flush, and the treatment will dissolve as it mixes with water. Then, it’ll get to work. However, these super convenient products do tend to be the most expensive option.

RV Holding Tank Treatment Key Features

Potent Enzymes

The enzymes that are included in any RV holding tank treatment’s formula are critical, as they’re what get the waste dissolving process done right. While some can include harsh and potentially harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde, it’s better to opt for one that features powerful enzymes. Enzymes will react with your flushed waste and toilet paper to dissolve them in your holding tank, and they’ll even dissolve stubborn clogs. The more effective the enzymes, the more effective the treatment will be.

Odor Elimination

Can your chosen RV holding tank treatment actually target odors and get rid of what’s causing them? Or does it merely mask the unpleasant smells you’re experiencing? While nearly every RV holding tank treatment solution has a pleasant fragrance, some can only mask odors with overly strong scents. Instead, you want to look for a treatment that can get rid of odors where they begin, right in your waste. A bit of light fragrance can be a nice addition, especially if you need the treatment to get to work over time, but you don’t want it to be overwhelming. 

Number of Treatments

Buying in bulk is a great way to save some money, and it’s also handy when you’re camping far from big box stores regularly. It’s always a good idea to opt for an RV holding tank treatment that offers plenty of product. Instead of choosing a small pack, which will only last for a few treatments, upgrade to a larger package with plenty of treatments so you can save a little money and treat your waste tank as frequently as needed to keep your RV smelling fresh and clog-free.

RV Holding Tank Treatment Benefits

Prevents Clogs

If there’s a single reason to use an RV holding tank treatment, it’s to keep your RV’s pipes and hoses clog-free. No one wants to discover the absolutely awful mess that a clog can cause, not to mention having to perform the unpleasant task of getting rid of the clog. With a holding tank treatment, you’ll be able to dissolve toilet paper, waste, and other clog-causing types of buildup and prevent these problems from happening altogether. Already have a clog? An extra-tough formula can dissolve existing clogs too.

Easy to Use

RV holding tank treatments make it super simple to take care of your waste. Available in powder, liquid, and pod formats, you can pour or drop the treatment right into your RV’s toilet, flush it down, and let it get to work. You don’t need to go above and beyond to get your waste tank clear and clog-free. These treatments react with toilet paper, water, and waste as soon as they’re flushed, allowing you to sit back and relax.

Eliminates Odors

There’s not a single RV owner who enjoys the smell of a full, hot waste tank. Fortunately, using an RV holding tank treatment can combat those foul odors before they begin and after they’ve already started to seep into your interior air. If you use one of these products regularly, you’ll dissolve the stinky waste sitting inside your holding tank, leaving your RV smelling fresh. Plus, most holding tank treatment products come with fragrances that can mask the odors while they get to work dissolving your gross gunk.

RV Holding Tank Treatment Pricing

When it comes to maintaining and cleaning your holding tank, RV toilet treatment products are pretty affordable. You can find powder, liquid, and individually packaged pods of treatment formulas for $10 to $20. Want to buy in bulk? You’ll spend anywhere from $20 to $30 to get gallons, pounds, or multi-packs of pods, which can help you get more value for your money.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and RV holding tank treatment. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • While harsh chemicals are tough on waste, they aren’t always the most effective choice in an RV holding tank treatment. There are plenty of environmentally-safe, biodegradable options you can choose from, and they’ll still work effectively.
  • Even the best holding tank treatment can’t fix your waste woes if your sensors are filthy. Make sure to check your sensors if you’re getting incorrect or odd readings about your waste tank; you may be able to use a potent holding tank treatment to clear them up.
  • Don’t forget to add water when you’re using an RV holding tank treatment solution. You may need more water than the instructions suggest, so don’t be afraid to add fresh water before and while you’re adding the treatment itself to allow the cleaning solution to get completely through your sewer setup.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

Q: Does an RV holding tank treatment clean the tank’s sensors?

Most of today’s RV holding tank treatments are designed to clean out the waste sitting in your holding tank and clean off the sensors so you get a more accurate reading on whether or not it’s time to empty it. However, not all treatments are potent enough to actually clean and clear the sensors. You’ll want to look for an all-in-one formula that’s strong enough to tackle everything, from toilet paper to waste to odor to your sensors, like those on our list above.

Q: How do I get rid of holding tank odors?

While plenty of RV holding tank treatment products can break down waste, not all can get rid of those lingering unpleasant odors. However, once you find a powerful treatment that works for your waste, climate, and holding tank, it should eliminate odors while it works. If you really want to target odors, make sure to look for a product that promises to work on them. You may also want to opt for a treatment that works to dissolve and eliminate odors on a molecular level.

Q: How often should I use an RV holding tank treatment?

Just like there’s no real hard and fast rule on how often you should empty your black water tank, there’s no real rule about using a holding tank treatment. It depends on how frequently you’re using your RV’s bathroom, how many people are inside your RV, and how quickly that tank is getting messy. If you’re by yourself, you may be able to go as long as a week without treating your holding tank. However, if you’re with friends and family and your bathroom is seeing a lot of action, you may want to use a treatment every other day.