Like your home toilet, your RV toilet needs regular cleaning. However, unlike your home toilet, an RV toilet bowl is made of soft material. Your rubber blade seal is susceptible to chemical damage; so, how do you clean it without harming your toilet?

To clean your toilet, pour 2 cups of water and a 1/2 cup of mild dish detergent into a bucket and mix. Pour half the mixture into your RV toilet bowl. Now use a sponge or soft bristle brush to gently clean your bowl and the remaining mixture to clean the outside.

How an RV Toilet Works

Your RV toilet lacks the tank and water pressure of a regular toilet. It has a simple mechanical switch that opens the blade allowing waste to flow into the blackwater tank. It simultaneously opens the line to the freshwater tank allowing gravity to refill the tank with water. If you would like more info about how RV toilet works

This system minimizes weight and is durable and straightforward. However, it is poor at cleaning the toilet and often leaves stains and waste buildup. Removing this and preventing the associated smells is a high priority in the limited space of an RV.

If it is too damaged from scuffs from improper cleaning or time, you may wish to replace it with a new one. Otherwise, a good cleaning can go a long way toward making your RV smell like new again.

Cleaning with Dish Soap

Mild dish soap is a safe, effective cleaner that can clean your toilet bowl effectively. To do this, follow these steps.

  1. Mix dish soap and water. Place 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of dish soap in a bucket and mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour part in the bowl. About one 1/2 of the cleaner should be fine to clean the interior. The rest of the soap should be left in the bucket to clean the outside.
  3. Clean the inside. Use a soft tool to move the cleaner around the inside, and gently rub stains free with side to side motions. For help deciding what tool is safe, read below. However, your RV’s toilet paper should do just fine.
  4. Clean the outside. Use the remaining cleaner and thoroughly clean the exterior.
  5. Flush. You are done cleaning the bowl. If it has been a while, now is an excellent time to clean the blade seal and lubricate it.

Cleaning the Blade Seal

The blade seal on your RV Toilet is easy to overlook. After all, you don’t need to worry about anything like it in your home toilet. But it is an integral part of every flush on your RV toilet, and it can suffer from nasty buildup and start to leak. Here is how to clean it.

  1. Acquire a blade cleaning tool. This can be bought from RV supply shops, or it can be made from a paper clip, a wire coat hanger, or a flathead screwdriver.  It merely has to be able to slip between the slit of the blade seal to clean inside. An alternative would be to use a gloved finger to clean inside.
  2. Wear gloves. You will be getting up close and personal with your toilet seal, so you will want to wear sturdy gloves.
  3. Turn off the water supply. If you aren’t connected to city water, turn off your water pump. Otherwise, shut off the water valve.
  4. Prepare Cleaner. Mix up some warm soapy water. If you have some leftover from cleaning your toilet bowl, this will work. Alternatively, some RV shops sell specialty cleaners and tools for this job.
  5. Close the door & shut off the vent fan. You will be opening the blade to clean the seal, which will allow fumes from the blackwater tank to escape. Therefore, you may want to consider wearing a mask to reduce the smell.
  6. Flush the toilet and hold it open. First, this will allow you to flush the water, and second, this will expose the blade seal.
  7. Clean the seal. To clean the seal, cover it in the soapy water, and use whatever tool you wish or even your finger. Clean thoroughly inside the slit and all over the seal.
  8. Lubricate the seal. To do this, just rub your lubricant over the seal. RV supply shops sell lubricants designed for that purpose. Other options include Vaseline and white lithium grease.
  9. Turn the water supply on. You are done. Your seal should be good for another season.

Everyday Cleaning

With bleach out of the question, you can find some safe drop-in tablets free of harsh chemicals. However, you can use mineral oil baby wipes, which can clean without risking harm to your bowl or seal. 

Safe Cleaning Tools

When cleaning your RV toilet, you have to avoid harsh chemicals. Bleach or harsh acids can damage the rubber seal on your toilet and damage the plastic in your blackwater tank and bowl. 

Also, harmful gases from the chemicals can build up in your blackwater tank. Some cleaners are sold for RV toilets that use more mild chemicals or use safe bacteria to clean your toilet. 

Safe Cleaners

When cleaning an RV toilet, it is best to stick with safe cleaners. These include those designed for RV toilets. However, mild cleaning agents such as mild acids, including vinegar and citric acid, baking soda, and mild dish detergent, are effective.

How Do I Stop My RV Toilet from Smelling?

The first step to stop a nasty smell from your RV toilet is giving it, and its blade seal a good cleaning. Then, make sure it is properly holding water; if not, that will need to be fixed. This prevents gases from escaping the blackwater tank.

To try and keep the smell from a blackwater tank from being too severe, try using an additive. Typically, these contain chemicals or bacteria that help to break down solids and toilet paper to make tank draining more effective. 

Lastly, cleaning your blackwater tank and your vent pipe is essential to prevent the buildup of fumes. To clean your vent pipe and remove any clogs, simply spray a garden hose down it when you drain your blackwater tank.

Is Sewer Gas in an RV Dangerous?

Yes, the gases inside your holding tank are toxic and can be extremely dangerous in high concentrations. Also, an RV holding tank releases methane that can be explosive in high concentrations. These are the reasons your RV has a vent to release the blackwater tank’s gases.