Your standard RV toilet is very different from your home toilet. Besides the obvious differences like plumbing and water use, RV toilets are often made from different materials. Along with the differences in materials, there are a few things to avoid and some techniques you should incorporate in your regular cleaning. In this article we will go over cleaning products, tools for cleaning, and some best practices to keep your RV toilet working right.
To start let's go over the different types of toilet cleaning products.
Basically, all toilet cleaners can fit into two categories that are relevant for RVers:
When we refer to chemical cleaners, are referring to chlorine or bleach-based toilet bowl cleaners that you will often find under your home sink. These types of cleaners normally work well to remove residue from your RV toilet. Mineral deposits like water staining and human waste residue are by far the most common things to have build up in your toilet. Though bleach cleaners may be effective cleaners, they can also contain dangerous chemicals - and most importantly for the RVer - have detrimental effects on your black water holding tank, so they should be completely avoided in RVs.
When we refer to safe toilet bowl cleaners, we are referring to the danger the cleaner poses to people, pets, and the environment. There are many brands that fit this criteria for home toilet bowl cleaners. Mineral/pumice cleaners are often very safe and do a great job for keeping your toilet and bathroom clean. Unfortunately the majority of these cleaners aren't made specifically for RVs and can damage the soft plastic or porcelain in you RV toilet bowl. For example our RV toilet cleaner is considered a safe product and it is made with RVs specifically in mind! The value isn't just that it is a safe product, but that it will break down mineral deposits and human waste inside your toilet bowl with tank boosting microbial cleaners. So, every time you clean your toilet, you are also treating your RV black water holding tank!
Now that we've talked a bit about cleaners, lets look at some best practices to keep your toilet in top shape!
First and foremost, if you have a plastic RV toilet like many RVers, stay away from using the standard plastic-bristled toilet brush as much as possible. In fact, avoid them completely! Many people make the mistake of using a stiff brush and end up with large scratches and grooves inside their toilet bowl. Not only does this damage the toilet bowl but it also makes it harder to clean as human waste and mineral deposits can gather in these grooves.
Instead of a toilet brush, we recommend using a dish cleaning sponge like this. The soft sponge will do just as good of a job as the tough plastic-bristled brushes without damaging your toilet. Now that we have talked briefly about tools let's talk about cleaners.
Bacteria and enzymes are working inside your black water holding tank to keep the solid waste, like paper and poop, liquefied. Using a caustic toilet cleaning chemical, like bleach or chlorine, will almost certainly kill this very beneficial bacteria colony and expose you to tank clogs and foul odors.
We recommend using a bacteria-based RV toilet cleaner like RV Toilet Cleaner + Holding Tank Enhancer. Not only because it is a safe alternative that is a very effective cleaner, but also because it will boost the holding tank's digestive microbes that help liquefy waste and eliminate tank odors.
If you are treating your tank with a bacteria-based holding tank treatment like RV Digest-It, using a traditional chemical cleaner is not only deleterious to your black water tank, but it will also kill the very bacteria you have paid to treat your tank with!
RV Toilet Bowl Cleaner + Holding Tank Enhancer's digestive microbes will clean your toilet AND boost your waste water systems in your RV. It is truly the best of both worlds.
If you do opt to use our toilet cleaner (and we think you should!) here are some steps to follow when using the product:
You may need to scrub your RV toilet multiple times to remove tough water stains, so use your own discretion if you are struggling with buildup.
As cut and dry as these instructions are, there is some nuance to making sure you have success while cleaning your RV toilet. If you do use our RV toilet cleaner, don not let it completely dry out inside your toilet as it will decrease how effective the bacteria will be in cleaning your bowl. Keeping a certain amount of moisture inside your toilet, or rehydrating the treatment will help. Or, you can just let the product sit for 3 - 5 minutes before flushing. When it comes to tougher-than-normal hard water stains or mineral stains, it can take a little extra elbow grease. Make sure you are scrubbing your RV toilet well and reapply if needed.
There are many differences between your home toilet and RV toilet and selecting a toilet bowl cleaner that is designed specifically for you RV is very important. It is also very important that you use a safe RV toilet bowl cleaner in conjunction with a bacteria-based holding treatment so you don't negate the positive effects of your bacteria-based toilet treatment. And remember, for the best results, never use aggressive bristle-brushes that can scratch your toilet bowl.
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