How Much Bleach to Sanitize the RV Tank? A Cost Analysis

how much bleach to sanitize the rv tank

Keeping your RV tank clean is an essential matter that rig owners should always prioritize. Most people sanitize RV water tanks with bleach to make sure that it’s clean throughout.

If you’re also interested in cleaning your RV tanks with bleach, then you might be wondering, “how much bleach to sanitize the RV tank?” Read this article until the end to answer all your questions regarding the use of bleach to clean up your RV tank.

How Much Bleach is Enough?


Using bleach is an inexpensive option since you would only need to use one cup of bleach for every 40 gallons. A 43-ounce bottle of bleach can be $10 or more depending on the brand, and you can save a lot since you can also use it for routine sanitation of your RV water tanks.

Over the past few years, more and more rig owners have been using bleach to sanitize their RV water tanks since it’s the most effective RV fresh water tank cleaner, especially when compared to other methods such as baking soda and vinegar. After using bleach, you’ll be assured that your RV is entirely free of bacteria.

In using bleach in an RV water tank, you need to make sure of the measurements to ensure that it will work effectively. It’s recommended that you use chlorine bleach or a bleach-only solution for better results. Using bleach solution mixed with other chemicals may not work as great as it would be.

Why Should You Sanitize an RV Water Tank


We use bleach for many benefits, not only for your RV but also for you and your health. Here are some examples of the importance of sanitizing your RV water tank.

1. Prevent any health risk

The first and most important benefit of cleaning your RV water tank is to prevent any health risks. Since your tanks are always filled and drained, bacteria and mold can quickly form inside their walls. This can cause many dangers to one’s health; that’s why proper maintenance is essential.

2. Get rid of bacteria build-up

Most RVs are stored away for quite some time, especially during winter. No matter how long or short it is, your water system will have a bacteria build-up. You can get rid of any bacteria buildup by cleaning your RV water tank with bleach.

3. Routine maintenance

For full-time RVers, water tank sanitation is routine maintenance to ensure that their RV is always safe. It’s done every six months to keep their water tanks clean and avoid contamination. On the other hand, for those who use their RV for part-time only, water tank sanitation is done every three months to prevent any bacteria build-up.

4. Block off water contamination

Most rigs have their water drinking system, and it’s vital to have them cleaned regularly. Since you’d be traveling a lot in your RV, water contamination is possible and can cause many health risks such as nausea, diarrhea, and any gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, it would be best if you sanitize RV fresh water tank to avoid any problems.

5. Get rid of smelly odor


If you don’t like your water to give off an unpleasant smell, it’s best to bleach RV water tank. Water stored in your RV water tanks for a long time will have an unpleasant odor and taste. That’s why it’s essential to have regular maintenance to ensure that water isn’t stored in your RV tanks for an extended time.

Easy Steps on Cleaning Your RV Tank



Now that you know how much bleach you need, here’s an easy set of instructions on cleaning your RV tanks with bleach. Just follow the following steps, and you can make sure that your RV fresh water tanks are clean and safe from all bacteria.

Step 1: Drain water.

When cleaning your RV fresh water tank, the first thing to do is to drain all of the water stored inside it.

Find all water lines in your RV and open them all one by one. You can also check the user’s manual if you are unsure where all the water tanks are.

Step 2: Mix the solution.


While waiting for the tanks to drain completely, you can mix up the solution you need to clean your RV. As mentioned earlier, use bleach in your solution and add one cup for every 40 gallons.

Mix a maximum of four gallons of water to your bleach, and this will be the solution you’ll use to clean your RV water tanks.

Step 3: Add the solution.


Once all the water is drained from your tanks, use a hosepipe and a drill pump to add your solution to the water tanks. After adding all of the solutions, turn on the water and refill all your tanks.

After filling it with water, open all your taps and do not close them until you smell bleach in the water that comes out from it.

Step 4: Refill and let the solution work.

Next, refill your water tanks again so that the solution will reach all parts of your water tanks. Let it sit for 12 hours to ensure that it’s properly sanitized.

Some rig owners cut the time if they don’t drink the water here, but it is still inadvisable since you will take a bath with the water from your tanks.

Step 5: Remove the bleach.


Once the 12 hours is done, drain all the water from your RV tanks. After draining it, refill it with water once again before draining it again to make sure that the bleach is entirely out of your RV water system.

To make sure that all the bleach is gone, you can also try smelling the water from your taps and stop the process once you don’t smell bleach anymore.


It’s better to use bleach when cleaning your RV tanks. Cleaning the RV fresh water tank can ensure safe water as you travel around in your rig—no more worrying about any bacteria that infects your water or any odor. You can rest assured that your RV tanks are clean and that you are safe from any health risk that comes with dirty tanks.

I hope this article was able to answer your question, “How much bleach to sanitize the RV tank?” Share your thoughts in the comments down below and share this article with your friends.

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