How Do Enzyme Holding Tank Treatments Work In RVs?

January 15, 2019

How Do Enzyme Toilet Treatment Chemicals Work In An RV, Motorhome, of Fifth Wheel

Key Points:

  • Enzyme products work by breaking up large chunks of solid waste (poop and toilet paper) inside your black water holding tank into smaller pieces, preventing clogs and backups.
  • An enzyme product produces the best results when it is paired with a high-quality odor reducer, like bacteria for example. 

The top holding tank issues for RVers are preventing clogs and backups, and eliminating foul holding tank odors. Many frustrated RVers turn to popular holding tank treatment products to try combat this, and many of these products are enzyme-only products. But the real question is, how does an enzyme-only holding tank treatment work, and what exactly does it do? In this guide we will explore exactly how an enzyme-only tank treatment product works and what it can do for tank odors and backups. 

How Enzyme-Only Treatments Work

In order to fully understand how these enzyme holding tank treatments work, we first need to understand that enzymes are non-living proteins that break down organic waste. These enzymes work in your tank by breaking down the feces and toilet paper inside your black tank into smaller pieces, preventing large build-ups of waste from occurring inside your tank. It’s that simple! 

The Benefits of Enzyme-Only Products

Enzyme-only products have three main features that make them very popular. First, Enzymes are really good at breaking down large chunks of waste, which, as we covered a little earlier, aids in preventing those larger chunks of waste from becoming a clog or leading to a backup. 

The other benefit of an enzyme-only product is its speed. Enzymes often work very quickly, which can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with a clog that needs to be removed right away. Do keep in mind, though, that enzymes cannot completely eliminate the poop and toilet paper inside your tank, they only break the waste down into smaller pieces that are more easily removable from your tank. 

Finally, Enzyme-only products are safe to use. Many other traditional or “old school” treatment methods on the market rely on using caustic chemicals to break down the waste inside your tank. Enzyme-only products don’t contain any of these harsh or caustic chemicals, which can give you as the user much more peace of mind when using them. 

Enzyme-Only Tank Treatments and Odor Elimination

It’s good to note that while enzyme-only holding tank treatments break down waste and aid in preventing clogs, they are unable to control odors. To make up for this lack of odor control, some producers of Enzyme-Only tank treatments try to tackle the odor issues in other ways. Some address these odors by adding strong fragrances that mask these odors, which is not a great method. These products are essentially replacing one foul odor with another strong (many times unpleasant) odor. 

Other manufacturers prefer to use a chemical solution, which can lead to you having to interact with risky, dangerous chemicals to treat odors. This is obviously not an ideal method. 

Yet another method for reducing odors (especially when travelling in high-heat areas) is by employing a zinc or mineral product. It is good to note though that these products can be dangerous to use if not packaged correctly. As long as you are using a product that is safely packaged, these products are great for reducing odors. But again, be wary of companies that produce a zinc or mineral product that is not packaged with your safety in mind. 

Finally another great odor reducer to pair with an enzyme-only product is a bacterial tank treatment. The best part about using a bacterial odor reducer is that the bacteria inside the product also shed even more enzymes while reducing tank odors. This means that using a bacterial odor reducer not only reduce odors, but it also strengthens the breakdown process occurring in your enzyme-only tank treatment as well. 

Guide Continued Below

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The Unique Method

It’s good to remember that using an enzyme-only tank treatment paired with a good odor reducer is only one part of whole-tank maintenance. In order to prevent backups, clogs, and odors at all times, we strongly recommend that you follow The Unique Method.


In the end, enzyme-only products have their advantages when it comes to breaking down the waste inside your tank, and many people find them to be extremely helpful. And when paired with a safe and effective odor reducer, while also employing The Unique Method, you will have happy, healthy holding tanks. We hope this article has helped you to better understand RV enzyme treatments. If you have any further questions or concerns about this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always here to help. Happy camping!

Adopt The Unique Method

You bought your RV so you could enjoy life and spend time with family and friends. The last thing you want to do is waste precious time and money on fixing wastewater holding tank problems. Keeping your tanks in peak operating condition doesn’t have to be hard, confusing, or expensive if you follow our proven process: The Unique Method.

The Unique Method is a comprehensive tank care plan that we developed after years of conversations with real customers facing real problems. The Unique Method provides you with simple, preventative steps to stop odors, clogs, and sensor problems before they start so you can spend less time worrying about your holding tanks and more time enjoying the freedom and adventure of RVing. Try it yourself and see why thousands of campers trust their RVs with The Unique Method every day.

If you need more help with anything covered in this guide or simply have a comment, we’re here to help you anytime!

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