Can you put bleach in your RV holding tanks?

Household bleach is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and other secondary ingredients. As we know, it’s commonly used as a cleaning and disinfecting agent around the house and even RV. Chlorine, the “Cl” in the molecular formula, is a powerful oxidizer.

While many RVers use bleach to sanitize their freshwater tanks (and that’s fine, as long as you don’t let it sit in your waste tanks too long), using it directly in your black and gray holding tank is probably not a good idea. That bleach can damage soft rubber and plastic parts in your seals and gate valves, something you should try to avoid. If you are looking for a safer alternative, try our RV Tank Solution recipe.

Jim & Debbie Tome, Owners

Hi, we're Jim and Debbie Tome and we're the owners of Kleen Tank LLC, the nationally-recognized and largest professional network of RV tank cleaning service provider.

We've been RVers like you since 2004 and have traveled all over the U.S. in our Airstream travel trailer. We started the business about twelve years ago and have cleaned tens of thousands holding tanks in thousands of RVs. From tiny weekend travel trailers to monstrous fifth wheels to luxurious motorhomes, we've seen just about every situation there is with RV holding tanks and waste systems.

We hope you enjoy our question-and-answer articles; we try to post at least a couple per week and we've got a great library of them to cover just about every problem.

And if you like these short question-and-answer posts, be sure to check out our main Kleen Tank website which contains years of longer-format articles that go more in-depth on many topics. Enjoy!

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself and your RV.