Best Homemade RV Holding Tank Treatment
(Complete Guidance)

Finding an easy, cost-effective, and homemade RV holding tank treatment can be challenging. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

I’d share two of the most common solutions. Both of these keep your RV tank clean.

In the below article, we’ ll take a look at the Geo Method and the Unique Method, what they are, their pros and cons, and how to make them.

Table of Contents

Types of RV Holding Tank Treatment

The Geo Method for RV Tanks

Coined by RV enthusiast Charles Bruni in the 1980s, the Geo Method came from his recreational vehicle experience. His method is very cost-effective and uses accessible ingredients.

Bruni created this method using his understanding of science and his time on the road. The result was a cheap and easy holding tank treatment.

With the ease of sourcing the ingredients, it’s no wonder the Geo Method has become so popular and so widely used.

You can use the Geo Method on various types of tanks. Whether you have a grey tank, black tank, or a full hook-up,  this method will work for you. However, you need a lot of water. I wouldn’t recommend this method for dry campers/boondocking.

It’s an eco-friendly method of RV holding tank treatment. This process can help remove odors, clogs, and issues in your RV’s holding tank.

The Geo Method was designed to create a difficult environment for waste to build-up within the tank. Making it more challenging for waste to accumulate. In turn, leading to preventing issues in your tank such as clogs, misreading sensors, and build-up.

The method creates a slippery surface in your tank, which stops waste from clinging to the sides. It aims to prevent waste from causing misreadings on your sensor probes.

As RVs have holding tanks, not septic tanks, the Geo Method caters to this. It can prove useful for anyone, from beginners to RV experts.

Pros & Cons of the Geo Method

Good For:

Bad For:

How to Make the Geo Method Treatment

The Geo Method is one of the most common homemade treatments. It uses a combination of water softener, chlorine or bleach (to fight odors), laundry detergent, and lots of water.

You will ‘make’ your Geo Method in your tank, and basically, just add the ingredients in one by one.

You’ ll need a couple of boxes of water softener (ideally powdered); Bruni recommends Calgon as it dissolves quickly in water. Cheaper ones take longer. Also, you’ ll need some detergent and the bleach ready to add at each step.


First, you’ ll want to add 2-4 caps of water softener into a gallon of hot water. Once it’ s dissolved, pour that solution into the tank. The drain valve should be closed at this point so it doesn’ t drain out.

Adding too little water softener can be ineffective, so if you have a larger tank, add a little more. Too much will not hurt your tank, so don’t worry if you’ve added more than you think you need.

Next, add a few cups of laundry detergent to your tank. Some campers have used dish soap in place of the detergent and got similar results for a cheaper cost.

Finally, pouring chlorine or a half-gallon of bleach into the tank can help deodorize, disinfect, and sanitize. I’ d often recommend doing this step when the tank is half full, but either way works. It’s mostly dependent on your trip length or time of year.

The Unique Method for RV Tanks

The Unique Method aims to solve the three major issues when performing tank maintenance. Eliminating odors, breaking down waste, and ensuring your sensors are working correctly.

The method was created after extended conversations with RV users. It’s also backed by science to provide a quick and easy solution to treating your holding tank.

The process is straightforward and helps reduce odors, clogs, pyramid plugs, and sensors misreading. This gives you peace of mind that your tank is running smoothly.

The Unique Method focuses on using bacteria to help eliminate odors and digest waste. This makes it a treatment that targets a few different maintenance areas. In addition it’s an excellent way to keep your RV fresh.

Unlike the Geo Method, the Unique Method doesn’t recommend using caustic or antibacterial cleaners for your sinks, toilet, or showers. This is because it is said to impact the good bacteria negatively.

The majority of issues people face are because of the lack of water flowing through the holding tank. With this in mind, whenever I have access to more water, I like to flush out the system. The unique method works best with a lot of water but can be done with less.

There is no substitute for proper RV holding tank maintenance, but the Unique Method makes it easier. Alongside this method, I’d recommend deep cleaning your tank twice a year.

Pros & Cons of the Unique Method

Good For:

Bad For:

How to make the Unique Method

The Unique Method utilizes bacteria & enzyme treatment with each tank dump. These help alleviate many different problems you can get in your tank.

This method is straightforward and just requires you to buy the treatment and use a lot of water.

You want to treat your tank with a good volume of this treatment. Although the amounts vary between manufacturers and products, you always want to ensure the bacteria are well hydrated.

How to make the Unique Method

Holding the pedal and flushing between 8-10 seconds should keep your tank flowing better. A hydrated tank will help the good bacteria in the treatment break down the waste.

Aim to dump your tank every four days or so. This will maximize the potential of the Unique Method without causing any issues for you.

The Unique method focuses on the good bacteria, so it leans away from using bleach or harsh chemicals, which will kill them off.

Pro Tip – The Unique Method works best if you keep a few inches of water in your toilet. This will keep odors from coming up into your RV. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way.

Final Words

Both of these methods are useful to help treat your RV’s holding tank. Hopefully, these give you a good insight into both methods. Enabling you to decide whether the Geo Method or the Unique Method is best for you and your RV.

Do you have any good suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, I hope this information has been helpful to my fellow RV enthusiasts, from beginners to veteran travelers. Until next time, Happy RVing!