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Old 08-02-2016, 05:56 PM   #1
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Cleaning the gray tank

Would like to know what to use to clean my gray tank due to buildup of soap and grease from my kitchen sink. Also, how often do I need to clean the line. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:08 PM   #2
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Dawn dish detergent is good for cutting grease and scum. You might want to read about the Geo Method. The Calgon Water softener does help clean the tanks also. It's hard to find in stores, but Amazon has it available.

Ice doesn't work very much and many additives are a lot of money but only cover odors. Especially don't buy any with formaldehyde as an ingredient, it will kill campground sewage systems!
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:04 PM   #3
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We have started using Dawn as our dish washing liquid and that seem to be cleaning the gray ok.
I also pour half a drop in packs of black tank cleaner in the gray via various drains. This cleans the drains and gray tank also.
We use OXI when available and this is recommended on the package. I assume other brands are the same. My theory is what cleans black tank should really clean gray also.


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Old 08-02-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nxkharra View Post
We have started using Dawn as our dish washing liquid and that seem to be cleaning the gray ok.
I also pour half a drop in packs of black tank cleaner in the gray via various drains. This cleans the drains and gray tank also.
We use OXI when available and this is recommended on the package. I assume other brands are the same. My theory is what cleans black tank should really clean gray also.


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They grey tank can have more oils and grease than a black tank. Body lotions, kitchen grease, etc. can cause the grey tank to smell worse than a black tank at times. The use of Dawn helps cut down on grease and oil build up.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:12 PM   #5
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The Calgon is just sodium carbonate. Brand name stuff like this cost a lot of money. Washing soda at walmart is the same thing and cheap $2-3. It makes everything slippery and coats the bottom and sides of the tank

After doing a through black tank cleaning i mix 2 cups with a gallon of hot water. I stir it with a pvc pipe. Once dissolved i pour it into the tank. Then add blue tank cleaner and a couple more gallons of water.

I never thought about using it in the gray tank. Was always told the dish soap, shampoo cleaned the tank. I guess it wouldnt hurt to start adding it in the gray after its final dump that way the washing soda could coat the sides while driving home. It wouldnt be worth doing every time you dump since gray fills so fast

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Old 08-02-2016, 09:28 PM   #6
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Don't know if it helped or not, the DW had bought Borax to make an ant killer recipe. I but half the box in each tank filled half full with water. When I drained the tanks after driving all day looked really clean. Looked like the water sparkled when it drained.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:14 PM   #7
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Can you see into your grey tank? How do you know you have a build-up?

We always wipe off our dishes and wipe out the pans with a used napkin or paper towel after eating. Don't throw any coffee grounds down the drain and no foodstuffs. By doing these preliminaries we never felt we had a build-up and therefore - no need to add all the gimmicks down the tank. It gets enough soapy water from just doing dishes. Our dishwater is clean. Use Dawn for your dishes if you think it will help.

The tanks will never be really clean. Just don't think about it and everything will be o.k. Really.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:54 PM   #8
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Can you see into your grey tank? How do you know you have a build-up?

We always wipe off our dishes and wipe out the pans with a used napkin or paper towel after eating. Don't throw any coffee grounds down the drain and no foodstuffs. By doing these preliminaries we never felt we had a build-up and therefore - no need to add all the gimmicks down the tank. It gets enough soapy water from just doing dishes. Our dishwater is clean. Use Dawn for your dishes if you think it will help.

The tanks will never be really clean. Just don't think about it and everything will be o.k. Really.
This is us. Food and grease do not go down the drain. Have never cleaned or added any treatments. No problems after 30 years of RVing.

Black water tank is the same. After the initial draining, i add a bit of water then drain again. That's it. I'm always amazed at the how much trouble people go through cleaning and flushing. Some even buy the gizmos that you hook a hose to in an effort to get the inside of the tank spotless. All this just to hold up others waiting at the dump station.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:31 AM   #9
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Try using Happy Campers additive to a half full grey tank before you take off for your next trip. It will slosh around and significantly help loosen the oils and grease.


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Old 08-05-2016, 08:34 AM   #10
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Before we leave campground I empty all tanks and fill /rinse black tank at least twice and then add bleach and fill and rinse for the last time. On grey I empty and then add a little dish det and run the hot water after I turn off water heater and then drain it. I figure since my water temp is 400 degrees it will clean out tank and sewer hose too lol
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:43 AM   #11
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Water boils at 212 F., dropping ~1 per 500' elevation. Bleach would kill any microbes that would help break down biological waste in either tank.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:14 AM   #12
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400 dg water temp ???
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:05 PM   #13
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I don't want to get my tanks "spotless" but I do want them to be 100% operational without causing odors in the rv and of course, I want my sensors to work correctly.

My solution was to purchase and install a third discharge gate that I use to help flush out the black tank with the soapy water from the gray tank during each time I drain the black tank. This helps immensely and with help from my in-tank rinse, I can keep the black tank fairly clean of any deposits that can cause odors and/or faulty sensors.

We mainly stay pretty much in one place most of the time, but when we do travel, I will put a cup of liquid Oxy-Clean laundry detergent and a cap full of liquid Calgon water softener (which by the way is zeolite and polycarboxylate, NOT just sodium bicarbonate) in each of the tanks along with about 5 gallons of fresh water. The rocking motions when driving will slosh around this solution and clean out any stuff that may be lurking after my procedure above. As soon as we reach our daily travel destination, I'll drain both tanks and add about 5 gallons back into the black tank.

Over the years and five different rv's this method has kept my tanks odor free, operational, and with reliable sensors.

I know you asked only about gray tank, but I though I'd add the above info as it applies to both tanks.

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Old 08-05-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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Over the years and five different rv's this method has kept my tanks odor free, operational, and with reliable sensors.
Just for reference...in 16 years we used nothing but water and had no tank odor, they were operational and the sensors worked.

So basically...anything works.
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