- Free Shipping On Orders Over $30 -
Save $5 On Your Next Order - Learn More Here

RV | Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Links
  • WHY DOES MY HOLDING TANK STINK?
  • HOW DO I GET RID OF STRONG HOLDING TANK ODORS?
  • HOW MUCH TANK TREATMENT DO I NEED TO USE IN MY RV?
  • HOW MUCH TANK TREATMENT DO I NEED TO USE IN MY BOAT?
  • HOW DO I UNCLOG MY BOAT'S HOLDING TANK?
  • CAN I CLEAN MY BILGE WITH MARINE DIGEST-IT?
  • CAN MARINE DIGEST-IT BE USED TO TREAT MY SHOWER SUMPS?
  • IS MARINE DIGEST-IT SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER?
  • HOW DO I KEEP MY TANK TEMPERATURES IN CHECK?
  • WHAT CAUSES A HOLDING TANK TO GET CLOGGED?
  • CAN I USE REGULAR TOILET PAPER IN MY TOILET?
  • CAN I USE FLUSHABLE WIPES IN MY TOILET?
  • HOW DO I UNCLOG A HOLDING TANK?
  • I SEE SOLID WASTE COMING OUT OF MY HOSE. IS THIS A PROBLEM?
  • SHOULD I USE YOUR PRODUCTS IN MY GRAY TANK?
  • HOW DO I RESTORE MY TANK SENSORS?
  • WILL TEMPERATURE AFFECT MY HOLDING TANK?
  • WHAT ITEMS SHOULD I AVOID PUTTING DOWN THE DRAINS IN MY RV?
  • ARE UNIQUE CAMPING + MARINE PRODUCTS SAFE FOR MY SEPTIC SYSTEM?
  • ARE UNIQUE CAMPING + MARINE PRODUCTS DANGEROUS IF I GET THEM ON MY SKIN?
  • WILL UNIQUE CAMPING + MARINE PRODUCTS DAMAGE SURFACES IF I ACCIDENTALLY SPILL THEM?
  • IS IT NECESSARY T0 RINSE MY BLACK TANK AFTER DUMPING?
  • CAN I KEEP RV DIGEST-IT IN MY TANK WHILE STORING MY RV?
  • CAN I USE UNIQUE PRODUCTS WITH ANTI-FREEZE IN MY RV?
  • DO ENZYMES / BACTERIA LEAVE RESIDUE INSIDE YOUR HOLDING TANK?


  • Why does my holding tank stink?

    Tank odors are caused by naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria (that come from your stomach and are found in nature) who release foul odors as they break down the waste in blank and gray tanks. RV Digest-It infuses a blend of naturally occurring aerobic bacteria into the tank to replace the anaerobic bacteria and quench the foul odors by breaking down the waste while emitting only water and carbon dioxide. RV Digest-It uses a proprietary blend of safe, eco-friendly bacteria that are a much higher grade of bacteria and are significantly more concentrated than competitor brands which is why RV Digest-It consistently outperforms competitor products by breaking down waste faster, reducing odors better, and leaving behind no residue in your tanks to clog lines, foul up sensors, or degrade seals.

    Simply put, Unique spares no expense in creating the highest quality bacteria blends with concentrations that far exceed competitor products which means better waste break-down and stronger odor removal. And to top it all off, it’s less expensive per use than leading tank treatments!

    How do I get rid of strong holding tank odors?

    Odors in a holding tank are bound to happen but if you are doing all of the right things you shouldn't experience those odors inside your RV. When you smell odors inside your RV it is a good indicator that something isn't right and it's a smelly reminder to address these problems.

    Below is a list of the common reasons why tank odors make their way into your RV:

    1. Keep water in your toilet

    Water is a natural barrier for sewage gasses. In your home toilet you have a trap that keeps water in the line at all times preventing the sewer gas from seeping into your home. Not only does sewer gas smell terrible, it is also dangerous and can be damaging to your health if you allow it to seep into your RV.

    To ensure no tank odors seep into your RV always keep a few inches of water in the toilet bowl whenever you are parked. Obviously, you will want to flush the water from your toilet before traveling so the water in the bowl doesn't splash out.

    2. Ensure your vents are working correctly

    Again, just like your home, your RV is equipped with a vent that allows the naturally occurring sewer gasses to escape out the top of your RV so the smells don't backup into your RV. If you are experiencing odors in your tank there is a good chance that you need to take a look at your exhaust systems.

    Several things can cause your exhaust system to underperform. Outdoor temperatures or wind can force a downward pressure on the sewer gas causing it to backup into your RV. Installing a vent cover, fan, or damper can help eliminate this problem. There are several options available so try to "sniff out" (pun clearly intended!) the root of your problem and that will help you to determine what your solution is. There are even turbines that will use the wind above your RV while you are moving or are stationary to lift the sewer gasses out and exhaust them into the air.

    3. Watch your tank temperatures

    The waste in your tank should be breaking down and becoming liquified if you are following our 5 Rules For Proper Black Water Care. The specially formulated bacteria and enzymes in RV Digest-It boost the naturally occurring bacteria that is in your tank (from your stomach) to digest all of the waste into liquid as well as remove the odors by forcing out the anaerobic bacteria that gas off methane (the nasty smell coming from your tank). However, bacteria are living organisms and just like humans they tend to become less active if they are overly hot or cold.

    To ensure the bacteria in your tank are performing at their peak regulate the temperatures in your tank. If you encounter extreme heat pour cold water or ice into the tank. If you are in extremely cold areas bacteria activity is a concern, but so is freezing of the sewage, so explore your options for ensuring your holding tank is well insulated. You may need to use a heater depending on your situation.

    The ideal temperature for properly working holding tanks is roughly 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Tips for eliminating odors

    1. Keep water in your toilet

    2. Make sure your vents are working properly

    3. Regulate tank temperatures

    4. Don't kill the beneficial bacteria in your tank by allowing caustic chemicals into your holding tanks

    5: Dump regularly and treat with RV Digest-It

    6. Make sure enough water is getting into your tanks so the waste in your holding tank doesn't dry up - without ample water, RV Digest-It can experience bacteria die off and become less effective for treating clogs and odors.


    How Much Tank Treatment Do I Need To Use In My RV?

    We recommend treating your Black and Gray tanks after each dump.

    Finding out how much RV Digest-It to treat your tank is simple. Add 2 ounces of tank treatment for every 40 gallons of tank. So, a 40 gallon tank would require 2 ounces, an 80 gallon tank would require 4 ounces, etc.

    Here is a quick-glance guide to help you measure the amount of RV Digest-It you need to use in your RV holding tanks:



    RV Digest-It Treatment Amounts
    40 Gallon Tank (or Less) - 2 ounces after each dump
    41 - 80 Gallon Tank - 4 ounces after each dump
    81 - 120 Gallon Tank - 8 ounces after each dump

    How Much Tank Treatment Do I Need To Use In My Boat?

    We recommend treating your Black and Gray tanks after each dump.

    • Black Water Tank: Pour 2 ounces Marine Digest-It per 10 Gallons of holding tank capacity down the toilet after each tank dump.

    • Gray Water Tank: Pour 1 ounce Marine Digest-It per 20 Gallons of holding tank capacity down the sink drain after each dump.

    Here is a quick-glance guide to help you measure the amount of Marine Digest-It you need to use in your boat holding tanks:



    Marine Digest-It Black Tank Treatment Amounts
    40 Gallon Tank (or Less) - 8 ounces after each dump
    41 - 80 Gallon Tank - 16 ounces after each dump
    81 - 120 Gallon Tank - 24 ounces after each dump

    Marine Digest-It Gray Tank Treatment Amounts
    40 Gallon Tank (or Less) - 4 ounces after each dump
    41 - 80 Gallon Tank - 8 ounces after each dump
    81 - 120 Gallon Tank - 12 ounces after each dump


    How Do I Unclog My Boat's Holding Tank?

    If you are experiencing clogs or back ups in your holding tanks you can open those tanks without paying a service tech to manually clean them out.

    1. Pour 32 ounces of the Unique Holding Tank Cleaner per 40 gallons of tank capacity into your tank through the toilet
    2. Pour several gallons of water down your toilet (preferably warm water)
    3. Let sit for 12 - 24 hours (More time may be needed)
    4. Dump your tank

     

    Can I Clean My Bilge With Marine Digest-It?

    Marine Digest-It will digest and eliminate oils, greases, and odors that are often present in bilges. To use: Mix 1 cup of the Marine Digest-It with 5 cups of warm water in a pump up sprayer. Then spray the premixed solution evenly on the bilge. Keep the area moist for 24 hours or until it is clean.


    Can Marine Digest-It be used to treat my shower sumps?

    Marine Digest-It, though it is not intended for use in shower lines, is a great solution for cleaning drain lines and sumps that can become clogged or run slowly due to backups from soap, shampoos, greases, and oils. 

    Please Note: Marine Digest-It will not eat hair. However, the reason why hair clogs drains is because grease or grime from soaps, shampoos, and body oils, collects along the walls of drain lines and catches hair as it runs down the pipe, thus clogging the line. Marine Digest-It rapidly digests the contaminates on the pipe walls eliminating the debris, leaving nothing for the hair to cling to so it can simply wash away.

    Often a line will run slowly because hair has attached itself to the drain cover, plunger, or stopper in your sink or tub. Simply pull the hair off to allow the water to drain normally.

    If there is still no sign of improvement, the hair may need to be removed manually. We recommend using a small drain cleaning tool to remove large amounts of hair, like this one. Once the hair is removed, the bacteria will be able to eat away anything that the hair might stick to.


    Is Marine Digest-It Safe For The Environment and Water?

    Absolutely! Marine Digest-It's highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of safe bacteria contain no harsh chemicals and no scary additives, which means no possibility of harm to your family or pets or the environment.

    How Do I Keep My Tank Temperatures In Check?

    There are ways to know your temperature exactly, like a laser thermometer that you can point down your toilet - but that’s probably a little more information than you want to know!

    A good estimate is best. Think of it this way - bacteria are living organisms like you and I and they thrive in the same temperatures as you and I. So, if you believe the tank temps are going above 85 or below 45 then there is a good chance the bacteria are having to work harder and will thus perform less optimally.

    If temperatures get too low and stay there you can consider using insulation or insulation tape to keep the tank warmer. In some really cold applications people will install electric tank warmers. This is for really extreme cold. Like North Dakota full timers in the winter.

    If temperatures get too hot, we simply recommend pouring a bag of ice or cold water down your toilet AND/OR treat your holding tank with Unique Tank Odor Eliminator.

    Tanks temps are likely culprits of odors and backups, but there are other causes. We recommend following these guidelines for proper black water care to keep your RV clog and odor free!


    What causes a holding tank to get clogged?

    Pyramid Plug

    A pyramid plug is the result of leaving your black water tank valve open when parked at a campground and hooked up to the sewer line. When you leave your valve open the liquid waste in your black tank will flow out of the tank and into the sewer leaving behind the solid waste. Over time that solid waste will build up forming a pyramid of paper and human waste until it reaches the top of the tank. At this point you can't get any waste to flush into the tank because it is effectively clogged.

    Excessive Paper

    Your tank can become clogged by using excessive amounts of paper. Of course, traveling in an RV should be more comfortable that camping and you SHOULD be using toilet paper. Some people believe that paper should never be flushed into your black tank. These people aren't maximizing the capabilities of their tanks and are not getting the maximum amount of convenience and enjoyment that you may have when you use your RV plumbing correctly. You should use toilet paper, but using it in excess can cause trouble. Just like in your home toilet, too much paper can cause plugs. You can mitigate this problem by using Unique Tank Cleaner which contains specially formulated paper digesters that will break down the paper waste so it can flow out of your tank like it's supposed to.

    Using too little water can also cause paper backups in your tank. Without adequate hydration for the bacteria in your system (from RV Digest-It) paper will not break down and you will likely end up clogging your tank.

    Can I use regular toilet paper in my toilet?

    Absolutely! Don't fall for the misconception that you should be using no paper - or only special, expensive "RV Toilet Paper". This overpriced paper is almost always nothing more than single-ply toilet paper. If you are using RV Digest-It with each dump you can use any brand of paper without fear of backups or clogs.

    Note: Make sure you flush enough water down the toilet with each toilet flushing to provide life-sustaining water to your system so the active bacterial cultures can digest your paper effectively.

    Can I use flushable wipes in my toilet?

    No. We never recommend using flushable wipes of any type in your black water tank. These sheets are quite difficult to digest and you will almost certainly lead to a tank clog at some point.

    How do I unclog a holding tank?

    Most clogs are a result of a pyramid plug. Not sure what that is? Read more in this informative article.

    Note: It's important that you fill your tank with enough water to feed the bacteria that will effective digest the base of your pyramid and allow it to come tumbling down.

    To unclog a holding tank overnight, fill your tank with several gallons of water (preferably warm) and pour the entire bottle of Holding Tank Cleaner into your tank through your toilet. Let this solution sit for 12 hours (or more if possible)  before opening your valve and dumping your tank. If you can drive your RV it's beneficial to get a good "sloshing" of the waste that is in the tank.

    To read more about compacted tanks and holding tank clogs read this informative article.

    I see solid waste coming out of my hose. Is this a problem?

    It can be. If you are using RV Digest-It you should see a noticeable reduction in the volume of solids that flushing out of your black tank. Of course, depending on usage, time between dumps, and many other factors, there may be some undigested matter that flows out of your tank. The key word here is "flow". Your goal is to make sure all of the waste flows out of your tank. Even if there is some degree of solid, if it's flowing out of your tank, your doing exactly what you should be doing.

    Should I use your products in my gray tank?

    Yes! RV Digest-It contains bacteria that are incredible grease and soap digesters. These commonly found items are present in most gray tanks from soap, shampoos, toothpastes, etc. and can cause all kinds of foul odors to come from your gray tank. We recommend pouring 2 oz. down your sinks each time you dump to remediate odors.

    When Camping on Full Hookups: We recommend leaving your gray tank OPEN and creating a "pee trap" with your waste hose. Creating a "pee trap" effectively makes a barrier between the sewer and your RV. By leaving your gray tank valve open on full hookups, you keep grease and fat from building up on the walls and sensors inside your gray tank.

    Note: In some states, your waste hose must be off the ground. Please make sure you are following all local laws and ordinances  

    When Dry Camping: You should always keep your gray tank valve CLOSED when dry camping. It is illegal in most places to dump that volume of gray water on public land. To deal with possible grease build-up from storing your gray water, treat your holding tanks with 16 oz. Unique Holding Tank Cleaner after every trip.

    How do I restore my tank sensors?

    Over time sensors can collect waste on them that force them to read "Full" at all times. In many cases the tanks aren't actually full. Sensor Cleaner will restore dirty sensors by digesting the waste that is causing them to read "full".

    If your sensors are broken, Sensor Cleaner will not aid you by cleaning your sensors and you will need to replace your sensors.

    Will temperature affect my holding tank?

    The waste in your tank should be breaking down and becoming liquefied if you are following our 5 Rules For Proper Black Water Care. The specially formulated bacteria and enzymes in RV Digest-It boost the naturally occurring bacteria that is in your tank (from your stomach) to digest all of the waste into liquid as well as remove the odors by forcing out the anaerobic bacteria that gas off methane (the nasty smell coming from your tank). However, bacteria are living organisms and just like humans they tend to become less active if they are overly hot or cold (below 45°F or above 85°F).

    To ensure the bacteria in your tank are performing at their peak regulate the temperatures in your tank. If you encounter extreme heat pour cold water or ice into the tank or treat with Unique Tank Odor Eliminator. If you are in extremely cold areas bacteria activity is a concern, but so is freezing of the sewage, so explore your options for ensuring your holding tank is well insulated. You may need to use a heater as well depending on your situation.

    The ideal temperature for properly working holding tanks is roughly 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    What items should I avoid putting down the drains in my RV?

    Before we get into the long list of things that you should avoid putting down your drains, let us explain how your tank works so you can understand why it's important to not add contaminants to your tank.

    As waste enters your gray and black tanks it is digested (turned into liquid) by bacteria - sometimes called microbes or pro-biotics. The bacteria is introduced to the tank by the naturally occurring bacteria that is found in nature and in our stomachs. RV Digest-It uses similar bacteria to jump-start digestion by simply adding more bacteria as well as bacteria not commonly found in our stomachs to increase the speed and effectiveness of the waste digestion.

    The last thing you want to do is kill any of the bacteria that is found in your tank. We know this sounds crazy! We have all been told how dangerous and detrimental bacteria can be, but the truth is, in your holding tank you want good bacteria and you want as much of it as you can get! If the good bacteria is wiped out by caustic chemicals, your solids will not digest and you will end up with clogs and blockages. If you rely only on the bacteria found in your stomach you will end up with strong odors as your stomach is full of anaerobic bacteria - the kind that create foul methane smells as they break down your waste. Simply put, this is why your poop stinks! This is also why it's important that you treat your tank with RV Digest-It. The highly concentrated aerobic bacteria found in RV Digest-It will force out the anaerobic bacteria, digesting your waste without excessive sewer smells.

    Simply put, you never want to add items that will kill your natural bacteria colonies or cause clogs.

    Never Allow These Items Into Your RV Gray or Black Tanks:

    Are Unique Camping + Marine products safe for my septic system?

    Yes! Not only are they safe, but they will truly benefit your septic system! Your septic runs on a similar concept as your holding tank and introducing beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your system from our waste treatments will help digest the waste in your septic tank, reducing sludge, odors, and backups.

    Are Unique Camping + Marine products dangerous if I get them on my skin?

    99% of all Unique products are safe for your family, pets, and home. The only product that we have that has serious warnings is Unique Tank Odor Eliminator. To help mitigate those issues, we enclose the product in a water soluble pouch to minimize contact. We want to be completely up-front about our products. It is very important to us and we go to great lengths to make "Safe Products That Work". 

    Please follow all safety precautions on all products.

    Will Unique Camping + Marine products damage surfaces if I accidentally spill them?

    No. The only damaging item in these products is water, so you need to be careful of water damage. That's it!

    Is it necessary to rinse my black tank after dumping?

    In some places online you may have read that we recommend users of RV Digest-It to refrain from rinsing or flushing your black water tank after dumping. Is this a practice we recommend? 

    As a rule we recommend flushing your tank every 3 - 5 dumps to remove any residual waste that may have accumulated in your tanks. In fact, we recommend running a very thorough tank flush - for at least 20 - 30 minutes - to fully clean your tank before storing or moving the unit. Often waste can accumulate in corners of the tanks and won't sufficiently empty out completely if the RV is even slightly not level. To make sure you get ever last bit of that waste out, a good rinse is necessary. 

    So, why did we recommend not flushing in the past? In previous versions of RV Digest-It it wasn't uncommon to for us to recommend NOT rinsing because bacteria technology was in it's earliest stages and the bacteria needed extra help to get started. Now we have stronger, faster acting bacteria that go to work much quicker and don't need to be "jump-started", so the practice of refraining from rinsing or flushing is now an obsolete practice.

    Flush away in confidence!

    NOTE: When flushing your tank, it's best to never add harsh chemicals or cleaners to your tanks - residual chemicals left in your tank can decrease the effectiveness of RV Digest-It. Not only will you cause the bacteria to be less effective (throwing money away!) but you may actually be opening yourself up to odors and clogged holding tanks. And that will NOT make you a happy camper!

    Can I keep RV Digest-It in my tank while storing my RV?

    Bacteria require food (your toilet waste) and water to thrive. Many people will add a little RV Digest-It to their tanks before storing their tanks to help clean up their tanks while the RV is inactive. Just remember that if there isn't water in the tank, RV Digest-It it will become ineffective. Also, it is very important to remember that you should NEVER STORE ANY LIQUIDS in your tanks or water lines if there is a chance that they could freeze.

    Can I Use Unique Products With Antifreeze In My RV?

    You can use RV Digest-It in your holding tanks during winter months! The bacteria in our products can survive in many brands of RV antifreeze as long as it doesn't have any caustic chemicals like ethyl alcohol (alcohol). Alcohol based antifreeze WILL NOT work with our products and will kill any bacteria in your holding tank. With that in mind, make sure you check with the manufacturer of the brand of antifreeze you use to make sure it will work with bacteria. You can do this by requesting a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). 

    We recommend you use an RV antifreeze that is glycol based that way RV Digest-It will continue to work in your system breaking down residual waste and build up over the cool winter months keeping you clog and odor free!

    Here are a few brands we recommend:

    Peak RV Antifreeze -50° F Concentrate

    Truegard RV and Marine Antifreeze -100° F BULK

    One thing to also remember is that even though an RV Manufacturer/Brand makes their own antifreeze, doesn't mean it will work well with RV holding tank chemicals. For example, this RV and boat antifreeze made by Camco contains 25% Ethyl Alcohol and it WILL NOT work with our products. 

    Do Enzymes / Bacteria Leave Residue Inside Your Holding Tank?

    The short answer is no, enzymes and bacteria alone do not leave residue or build up inside your holding tank. The way that many RVers get residue inside their black tanks is because either:

    1. There is not ample water inside the black water tank to reach all of the waste.
    2. 2.) They don't flush their tank for long enough after dumping.
    3. Bottom line is, there is no bi-product of our bacteria that will get stuck inside your holding tanks. Waste and poop will always be what creates build-up if it sits inside the holding tank over time. To learn how you can further prevent clogs and residue build up, follow these guidelines for proper black water care.