How to clean the grey water tank

How do you keep your grey water tank clean and make sure that it doesn’t start to smell? And which liquids are best to use when cleaning your grey water tank? We are happy to give you some answers and tips on how to do it.

Pre-cleaning – Watch what you flush

We’ll give you some tips on how to clean the grey water tank but first, let’s talk about prevention.

Food waste, dirt and grease always stick to the side of your grey water tank. Buy a simple sink strainer to prevent food remains from ending up in your grey water tank. Another tip is not to use too much soap when taking a shower or washing your hands. You don’t want the soap foam to sticks to the sides and clog up the tank together with the food waste and grease. It creates a nasty smell and the foam is definitely not easy to get rid of. If possible always try to take your showers and do the dishes at the caravan park’s facilities as much as possible.

Always empty the tank thoroughly and make sure that no nasty leftovers stay behind. This is really important when you won’t use your vehicle for a while (e.g. you put it in a storage facility or it just sits in your driveway). When emptying the tank, it’s important to place the vehicle horizontally and as straight as possible above the drainage point, because the grey water tank is also built in horizontally. Needless to say, only empty your grey water tank at the designated dump points.  

clean the grey water tank

Try to empty the grey tank thoroughly


So enough with all the prevention. Let’s get down to business – the actual cleaning of the tank! Not every product is fit for cleaning your grey water tank. We’ve listed some of the products and tips that we know have helped in the past.

–  The first and most obvious tip is to buy the special grey water tank detergents sold by your favourite camping or outdoor shop. They usually work pretty well and the best way to use them is usually written on the bottle.

–  If you don’t want to use these special detergents mix some warm water (not boiling!) with Biotex or dishwashing liquid and pour it into the grey water tank. It helps if you do this before a long day of driving. The water will splash around and the acids will soak up the dirt. Keep this mixture in your tank for a while but it is advised to drain it after 24-48 hours. After emptying the tank flush it out with clean water. If it is not clean enough after the first time, try again.

–  Steradent can perform miracles on your grey water tank. It is an easy, cheap and simple way of cleaning the tank. Put it in your tank together with water and let it soak for a couple of hours. We also advise to do this on a regular basis and even when your holding tank is not dirty. This way it will not get smelly.

–  A lot of people swear by Napisan. It seems to work on both the black water and grey water tank. Dissolve 2 tablespoons per 10 litres of water for the best results. Let it shake around on your way home and drain afterwards.

–  Another option is to use a solution of vinegar and bicarb soda to clean the grey water tank. Furthermore, flushing the sink every once in a while with vinegar is also said to have good results to control odour, but you have to love the smell of it.

Clean the grey water tank

Ready for some cleaning?

Double check!

Most of these options are garden-variety solutions and although they work for a lot of people, always make sure that your holding tank does not get damaged by any of the above-mentioned products and liquids. Check all the necessary documentation about your grey water tank and if possible always use a professional grey water treatment and don’t try any garden-variety solution without doing some proper research first. Do you have any good or bad experiences with any cleaning methods to clean the grey water tank we described? Let us know in the comments so we can help each other out!


About Camptoo

Camptoo is a platform that connects motorhome, campervan and caravan owners with people that want to enjoy some time on the road. If you own a motorhome, campervan or caravan we can help you rent it out when it’s not being used. We make this super easy for owners around Australia to earn an income and do the heavy lifting. If you want to learn more then click here.

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