Funky Smell in the RV? Five Tips for Tackling Black Tank Odors & More!

If you’re an RV enthusiast, you know how much funky odors in the RV can detract from your enjoyment of a trip. Managing smells in a small space can be a headache—but it doesn’t have to be! Follow the tips below to keep your RV smelling fresh throughout your next adventures.

Start using a black tank cleaner—it’s a Game-Changer.

Most RVers know they should use a black tank deodorizer, but you should also regularly use a black tank cleaner like Commando. Not only does Commando deep clean the black tank, eliminating residual odors, but it also addresses another source of annoyance: malfunctioning sensors. A little bit of waste or paper can get stuck to your sensors, causing them to indicate the tank is full, even after dumping. Commando’s super-concentrated formula contains carefully sourced digestive enzymes that target and break down both waste and paper, removing any solids caked to the tank walls or sensors. To use Commando, flush one packet down the toilet, fill the tank with water above the sensors, and let it sit for 12-24 hours. For more stubborn issues, leaving Commando in for longer is completely safe.  Don’t worry about scrubbing or agitating the tank; the enzymes do all the hard work for you!

Use the correct deodorizer.

Choosing the correct deodorizer can make a world of difference. An enzyme-based formula like Bio-Pak provides excellent odor control and digestion, ensuring the tank contents are emulsified and easy to dump. Bio-Pak contains enzymes that target paper and waste, meaning you don’t have to worry about using special RV toilet paper! If you need an extra-strength deodorizer due to an extremely hot climate or heavy toilet use, switch to Porta-Pak, the world’s best-selling tank treatment. Both Bio-Pak and Porta-Pak are easy to use—one drop-in packet treats a 40-gallon tank for about seven days.

Add Enough Water to the Black Tank

Not adding enough water is one of the most common reasons for black tank odor. Inadequate liquid in the tank leads to mounding, also known as the poo pyramid—a situation you want to avoid at all costs! We recommend adding at least 1.25 gallons of water for every 10 gallons of tank capacity. Sufficient water helps ensure solids stay below the water line, where your deodorizer can treat them.

If you have a grey tank, use a grey water deodorizer.

Grey tanks, which collect water from your shower and sinks, also need attention to prevent odors. Elemonate is a fast-dissolving tablet that releases enzymes specifically designed to break down grease, soap scum, and organic sludge. Simply drop a tablet into the sink, run a little water to dissolve it, and enjoy the fresh lemon scent it leaves behind.

Add an elegant air freshener.

Once you’ve tackled the tank odors, give your RV an extra boost of freshness with an elegant air freshener. Ovation is a long-lasting fragranced disc that you can easily hang, pin, or place anywhere in need of a boost of pleasant fragrance. Assure is a fragranced spray that destroys odor molecules on contact. It instantly eliminates unsavory smells from mildew, dirty laundry, pets, diaper pails, trash cans, and other odor sources. Odor Absorber is a charcoal-based air freshener that absorbs odors for up to 60 days. It’s the ideal solution for those sensitive to fragrance.

Following these tips will ensure your next adventure is carefree and odor-free. Happy RVing!


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