How to get dried poop or solids out of an RV black tank: EASY Steps

Getting dried poop out of an RV tank can be a challenge given that it can be difficult to access this. Poop should be pumped out of an RV tank every few days to make sure that it doesn’t dry up and clog. Dried poop can clog and make it harder to pump out. To get the dried poop out, we will have to make it liquid again.

 The easiest way to do this is by adding water to the toilet. You can also add soaps and other cleaners to get this done. Once the poop is liquid again, it is quite easy to pump it out. You might have to repeat these steps several times before you can completely empty the tank.

This process can take 2 hours or more so make sure to take your time for this!

What you need to get dried poop out of an RV tank

RV pump systems can handle some solid waste but if it is completely dried out, it can be difficult to pump it out. It can even break some of the parts on your RV. For this reason, you have to be careful when you want to empty a tank with dried poop. Let’s go over some steps that you can take to get it out of the tank!

Add water to the RV tank

 Adding water will make it easier to pump out. Hot water can make the poop liquid faster. You can do this by pouring buckets of water down the toilet. You can also use a garden hose to flush water down the toilet. Over time, the tank will get filled with water and this will start to mix with the dried poop. The poop will become liquid.

You can also use the standard toilet flush but this is rather slow and you don’t know how much water you have added so far.

Let this sit for a few hours or overnight.

There are special attachments that you can add to your water pressure washer to get water pumped into the tank directly. Make sure to only use a very soft setting on your pressure washer. The tank on your RV can break as it is made out of plastic or fiberglass so you have to be careful with using water pressure. These parts can allow you to target certain parts of the tank though. This is for advanced DIY’ers as these attachments can get stuck in the tank if you don’t use them correctly. A standard hose nozzle can work as well and is easier to use.

Make sure that the toilet doesn’t overflow when you do this as this can create a mess inside your RV!

You can also use a plunger to remove poop that is stuck in the drain of the toilet. Place the plunger inside the toilet bowl. Fill the toilet bowl with water. Once this is done, you can give the plunger a few pushes. This will push air in the tank and can make the sticky poop move around.

Soaps and cleaners

Soaps and cleaners like Dr. Bonner’s Liquid and Nature’s Miracle are good to get the dried poop out of your RV tank. These soaps and cleaners are designed to dissolve solids and dissolve fats. Soaps are designed to break down fats and fats are what make the poop sticky. 

You can also try adding vinegar since it has the ability to naturally break down organic matter. Vinegar can also dissolve solids and dissolve fats. Check the manual of your RV to make sure that you can use these products before doing so.

There are also special products for this on the market. This can be found in marine or RV shops. These products break the poop down and make it easier to pump it out. Just follow the instructions and add the right amount of this product to your toilet tank. After a while, the poop will dissolve and you will be able to pump it out.

Getting help and tools

If your RV tank is full of dried poop and the water is not working, you can try getting help from a mechanic or a pro at the repair shop.  You can also try calling a pro at the repair shop and see if they can come and pump out your RV tank for a fee. They often have stronger pumps that can help to remove the poop.

In some situations, they can even remove the tank to get it cleaned. This requires the right tools so make sure that they have these when they work on your system.

Final step: Pump the poop out

Once you have added water, soaps, and cleaners, and have done all the other steps, it is time to pump out the poop. Pump the water out first and make sure to keep a close eye on the toilet to make sure it does not back up. 

You might have to repeat this process several times as dried-up poop can be sticky and hard to remove. There can be several layers of poop that need to be removed step by step.

Make sure to do this in a place that can handle this type of poop. In some cases, it is not allowed to pump poop with soap or other additives. Not every station can handle this.


With the right tools and help, you can get dried poop out of your RV tank. You can also try pouring warm water into your toilet bowl and letting it sit for a while. 

 This process can take a while but it should be possible to remove dried poop from an RV tank so there is no reason to worry too much!

Always check the manual of your RV to see what is allowed and what isn’t. Each system is different so it is difficult to provide general input.

To avoid dried-up poop in your tank, make sure to pump it every few days. Use the right type of toilet paper and add enough water. All of this avoids a sticky mess inside your RV toilet tank.