How To Clean An RV Toilet: 3 Effective Ways

We all know how a clean toilet can make a difference in the RV lifestyle, and yet people often overlook this one very crucial thing. They realize later on how a dirty toilet can spoil the adventure once the bad smell and filthy surrounding sets in.

Just like any essential task in your trip, cleaning the RV toilet will save you a lot of discomfort and inconvenience later on. Thus, it is important to know how to clean an RV toilet.

So how do we clean the toilet inside your RV? In this post, you will learn effective ways to clean your RV toilet. These steps are applicable to different RV toilet types.

Deep Cleaning

cleaning the toilet


It is always more convenient to wear waterproof rubber gloves when cleaning your toilet. Dirty toilets could have bacteria, and you want to stay clean and protected at all times.

Use A Damp Sponge To Wipe Over The Toilet

Moisten the sponge using hot water before wiping the exterior, base, seat, lid, or tank of the bowl. Often, you may need special cleaning products to remove dirt in your toilet.

Use Toilet Cleaner To Clean Inside The Bowl

Special toilet cleaners can easily eliminate mineral deposits, rings, and stains in your RV’s toilet. Apply cleaner on the bowl’s rim surface and allow it to drip downwards along the side and towards the water.

Scrub Over And Inside The Bowl Using A Toilet Brush

Thoroughly scrub the whole surface of the bowl with a firmly bristled toilet brush and spend some extra time scrubbing on mineral stains that have accumulated inside or outside the bowl.

The toilet cleaner may accumulate in the bowl’s water (especially that the RV toilet has a special seal for covering bad odor from the tank), and sometimes, you may need to plunge your brush inside it while working on the suds. This will give more cleaning power to your scrubbing.

Flushing The Toilet

Flush the toilet to rinse the brush and bowl. Continue scrubbing while the water is draining inside the toilet since the water’s motion may not be strong enough to wash the dirt and minerals away.

Apply more toilet cleaner and repeat the cycle of scrubbing and flushing if persistent stains remain inside the bowl.Warning: Turn off the fan when flushing the toilet. Never flush the toilet with the fan on.

Use A Disinfectant To Clean The Other Parts Of Your Toilet

Once the bowl is cleaned, you can then deal with the other sections of your toilet; even the ones that aren’t dirty. This will ensure that your entire toilet looks evenly clean and free from bacteria.

A "bathroom" or an “all-purpose spray-bottle disinfectant cleaner would do the trick. (You may also want to check out Natural Cleaning Products on the Road to find out more about these cleaners.)

Make sure to mist not just the top but also the bottom of the toilet seat and thoroughly cover the exterior and base of the bowl. Lightly wipe the cleaner away using paper towel or cloth.

Thoroughly Cleaning The Handle Or Paddle

The handle must be clean since you are touching it each time you flush the toilet. The area could be teeming with bacteria that will stick to your fingers. So don’t forget to spray the disinfectant on the handle as well.

Many of the RVs also use a paddle instead of a handle which you can step on with your feet when flushing the toilet. You still need to clean these paddle since they can get easily get dirt from the shoes or the soles of your feet.

Fast Cleaning



You need to gather all your tools beforehand to clean your toilet fast. Make sure you have: rubber gloves, toilet cleaner, cleaning rags, unused toothbrush, sanitary wipes and toilet brush.

An all-purpose cleaner will also come in handy, but if you are saving on cash, you can use vinegar. (You can read more about how vinegar can make your toilet clean here.)

Wearing Gloves

This is basic and very essential.

Scrubbing The Bowl

If you want fast cleaning, then deal with the bowl first before proceeding on the other parts of the toilet. In this manner, you can splash dirty water that may go outside the bowl and prevent it from contaminating other parts of the toilet that you have already cleaned.

A toilet brush can scrub away mineral deposits and stains on your toilet faster than other alternative cleaning tools. Apply some more pressure to eliminate persistent stains. Apply all-purpose or toilet cleaner to the water and dip the brush in it for extra cleaning power.

Cleaning The Lids​

After cleaning the bowl, you can then proceed on cleaning the major points of contact such as the bottom and top lids. Use cloth or paper towel and all-purpose cleaners to do a fast and careful cleaning on both sides of the lids.

You can utilize old toothbrush in cleaning spots in the toilet that are hard to reach like those in between the lids and hinges.

Doing Some Quick Wiping To The Toilet’s Body​

You can give your toilet a clean shine with a spray bottle. Mist the outer areas of your toilet with a toilet or all-purpose cleaner. Wipe over the toilet’s porcelain with cloth or paper towel and don’t forget to include the handle.

Begin the process at the highest point of your toilet so that dirty water will drip down and only stay in areas that haven’t been cleaned yet.

Do not forget to clean areas that are hard to see such as the base or back part of the tank facing the wall. You can use toothbrush or pipe cleaners to clean such areas successfully.

Flushing Your Toilet 

Flush your toilet to wash away dirty water inside the bowl. If you’re going to flush any toilet tissue that you used in cleaning the toilet, you need to make sure that it’s only in small amounts to avoid clogging, especially with RV toilets.

You may have to put in extra water manually using a sprayer or water bottle to flush toilet since many RVs don’t have that much water pressure for a very strong flush.

You can use this fast method of cleaning your toilet if you are on a tight schedule with your RV activities. For serious stains that remain for a long time, though, you may need to follow the deep cleaning method to get rid of them successfully.

Warning: Turn off the fan when flushing the toilet. Never flush the toilet with the fan on.

Scouring, Sanitizing, and Sweetening the Tank


Your toilet may be clean, and the water in it may be crystal clear, but to maintain the freshness and sweet fragrance, you need to make sure that the tank is clean.

Thus, the tank is an essential part of your toilet and should be included in your cleaning routine even though it’s not necessary to do this very often.

Using the right materials and steps, you easily can scour and clean your tank. (You can refer to How to Dump, Clean and Maintain Your RV's Blackwater Tank, for detailed information on how to do this final step.)

The trick here is to sweeten the tank with Spic and Span or Pine Sol mixed with some water. Experienced RVers consider Spic n Span as a better option since it will free the smelly debris inside your tank.

You can deep clean your tank a few times during the year using the correct enzyme chemicals, and it can stay clean for long even if you are using the toilet on a daily basis.

​Watch this video and get a better picture on how to get rid of the bad smell of your RV’s toilet:


We hope you found valuable information on how to clean the RV toilet in this post.

I shared this information with you because I’ve been traveling with my family a lot lately and I know how gross a dirty RV toilet can be.

Aside from this list, it is also important to practice good personal hygiene when using the RV toilet, especially if you’re traveling with kids in the family.

If you like this post and have any comments, questions, and suggestions, feel free to write them in the comments section.

Related: Best RV Toilet On The 2018 Market.​

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3 thoughts on “How To Clean An RV Toilet: 3 Effective Ways”

  1. I want ideas on how to clean rv plastic toilet further down beyond the bowl, there is staining there. I cannit find any ideas on the web so am i the only one who cleans there, or tries to!?

  2. NO LYNN U ARE NOT BECAUSE I DO THE SAME THING. AND WE ALSO HAVE A PLASTIC TOILET. THEY DO HAVE A wand that’s next to the water outside and then you can feed it through your bathroom window. The part you bring though the bathroom window it’s like a sprayer to get under the rim of the toilet. You can get them at any RV STORES. Make sure someone stays out side to turn off the water. Hope this help you.

  3. What cleaners are safe to use in an RV toilet and tank? Is bleach ok? Or regular toilet bowl cleaners containing bleach ok?

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