What do enzymes do in my black tank?

Many enzyme-based RV and Marine holding tank products are available, but they aren't all of the same quality. So how exactly do enzymes benefit your RV holding tank? Keep reading to find out.

Enzymes are proteins that help speed up chemical reactions, such as the breakdown of solids. When released into your RV black or grey holding tank, enzymes immediately start digesting the waste and paper inside the tank. This action helps prevent clogging and facilitates easier dumping when the tank is full. It also helps control the odor-causing "poop pyramid" from forming.

Another benefit of enzyme-based deodorizers: they eliminate the need for special RV toilet paper. Often RVers purchase single-ply RV or septic-safe toilet paper to avoid clogging. However, enzyme formulas such as Bio-Pak, are powerful enough to digest normal toilet tissue.

Walex offers a range of higher quality, quick-acting, enzyme-based products. The most popular of these are Bio-Pak, Commando, and Elemonate. Bio-Pak is a black holding tank drop-in deodorizer and digester. Commando cleans and restores black holding tank walls and sensors; and Elemonate, a grey holding tank deodorizer.

You can pick these products at your local RV dealership. Happy adventuring!

The 4 products you need to keep your van or RV clean & odor-free

The four products that will keep your RV free from odors, grease and mess

With the wide variety of RV cleaning and deodorizing products, deciding which ones you need for your travels can be a daunting task. We’re here to simplify your shopping with four products that will tackle every potential odor source in your RV.

For deep cleaning: Green Hornet

Space in an RV is limited, so a 3-in-1 cleaner and degreaser is a must-have. Green Hornet combines the RV industry’s three most common product needs: rubber roof cleaner, awning cleaner, and black streak remover. It’s available in a ready-to-use spray and a super-concentrate, making it even more versatile because you can dilute it based on your cleaning need.

For deodorizing the black holding tank: Bio-Pak

The most obvious odor source in your RV is your toilet, so you need a powerful, easy-to-use black tank deodorizer. Bio-Pak is both a deodorizer and a digester. It contains enzymes that break down waste and paper, so you don’t need to use special RV toilet paper! Bio-Pak is also septic-safe and environmentally friendly.

For deodorizing the grey holding tank: Elemonate

Your grey tank might be less scary than your black tank, but it’s still a major odor source in your RV. Your sinks and shower drain into your grey tank, and without a deodorizer, organic sludge can build up over time. Elemonate contains enzymes that break down the grease, grime, and sludge. Plus, it emits a fresh lemon fragrance. It’s easy to use; simply drop one tablet in your sink and run water over it for a few seconds to help it dissolve.

For eliminating airborne odor molecules: Odor Absorber

Even after cleaning with Green Hornet and deodorizing the most apparent odor sources, you might still need to freshen the air, especially if you’re traveling with pets or you cooked a fragrant meal the night before. Simply peel back the label on Odor Absorber, and it goes to work immediately neutralizing odors in the air. It can freshen a space up to 300 square feet for up to 60 days. Odor Absorber is a gel product infused with a layer of charcoal, which traps and eradicates odor molecules. This product is perfect if you’re sensitive to fragrances; it’s available in lavender and orange twist, but the scent is very light.    

RV-ers Test & Review Walex Products

We love when RV-ers call or email us with honest feedback after using our products. We get a lot of positive reviews, which is great, but we also value constructive criticism because it helps us improve existing products or introduce new products to the market. Here's a fantastic, detailed review we recently received. If you're currently using Walex products, tell us what you think! Call 910-371-2242 or email RV sales manager Tony Butler.

Charles uses Porta-Pak, Bio-Pak and Elemonate. Here's his experience with the products so far:

Hi Tony, I wanted to follow up with you on our winter and spring camping experiences with Walex products in our two RVs. 

Our continued winter experience with bio-pac in our holding tank for our travel trailer was excellent, no smells and good breakdown. I was concerned that the cold temps would inhibit essential bacteria growth and hinder breakdown, but all was well!

In our small off-road pop-up camper’s cassette toilet, the porta-pac kept smells very manageable, but I do think that the bio-pacs do a better job in the cassette toilet as well for odor management. I was concerned that the small cassette tank would not afford enough time for the essential bacteria to work, but bio-pac seems to have performed well at breakdown and superior in odor management. 

Now that the temps are warming up, I will keep tabs on changes in performance characteristics. Our small off-road camper turns in a hot box in the summer when we close it up for the day to go hiking, etc. I will be curious to see if we need to switch to porta-pac for that one. Of course, I will follow up with you on that.

The elemonate did remove the tendency for grease to buildup on our dump valve, which is a huge plus. I noticed that change on first application. However, the sensor in that tank still wants to stick and I have no idea if that is a sensor issue, or a grease / containments issue. Do you think two tablets would be better, or maybe a time in tank issue? We typically have to dump the galley gray every other day. I do use elemonate every dump cycle. 

I hope my info and feedback helps and my goal of giving you all a year of real world feedback will conclude at the end at the summer. It has been a fun side camping project for me and we all gain in the end. I will let you know how things go over the summer we wrap it up and see what we learned!


Can I use Porta-Pak or Bio-Pak in my yacht's holding tank?

Keeping your yacht's toilet clean and odor-free

If you own a sailboat, yacht, or other vessel that has a toilet and you want to prevent or eliminate unpleasant odors, Walex has the solution.

You can use either Bio-Pak or Porta-Pak in your boat's holding tank. Walex's RV holding tank deodorizers are also designed for marine use.

Walex's R&D department recently tested Porta-Pak and Bio-Pak in saltwater since some yacht owners use seawater to flush their toilets. We found only a slight slowdown in enzyme digestion in Bio-Pak, and it still dissolved the toilet paper.

Usage of drop-in deodorizers is the same in RV toilets and yacht toilets. After dumping, start with one packet of product and 1.25 gallons of water for every 10 gallons of holding tank. Five gallons of water will let the waste and paper fall below the waterline, allowing the product to go to work controlling odors.

Happy Adventuring!

How long will my deodorizer last?

How often do you need to add deodorizer to keep your toilet odor-free?

We often get questions from RV owners about how often to use Porta-Pak or Bio-Pak, and how long one bag of the product will last. The short answer is this: two people living in an RV in a moderate climate will need to drop in one packet every five to seven days. Each Porta-Pak and Bio-Pak bag contains 10-packets, so the length of time one bag lasts depends on the number of people using the RV's facilities.

A good rule of thumb is to add a new packet of deodorizer right after you empty your tank. Always wait to empty your black holding tank until your sensors show that it's 2/3 full because gravity helps move all the solids out when you open the valve. Plus, if you're using a product like Bio-Pak, waiting long enough to empty will give the enzymes more time to liquefy the waste and paper.

Add enough water

After emptying the tank and adding your Walex drop-in, make sure to add enough water to disperse the active ingredients throughout the holding tank. The odor is less prevalent when the waste and paper sinks below the waterline. Otherwise, you may have a pyramid of waste and paper above the water line that causes malodor. We recommend starting with 1.25 gallons of water for every 10 gallons of holding tank. With adequate water added, one packet of deodorizer will control odor and treat waste up to a 40-gallons.

Keep your sensors functioning

One more thing to keep in mind: controlling holding tank odors depends heavily on watching your sensors, and if you start getting false sensor readings, you won't know when to empty and refill your tank. When this happens, you'll want to drop in one packet of Commando. This super-concentrated enzyme-based formula liquefies residual waste and paper build up within the tank, lubricates your valves, and cleans your sensors. Give Commando a minimum of 12-24 hours to do its job (longer is okay if it's a stubborn issue), and your tank will be good as new.

Happy Adventuring!

Should I Get Porta-Pak or Bio-Pak?

Porta-Pak and Bio-Pak are both black holding tank deodorizers. However, the two formulas work differently to eliminate odors.

Porta-Pak gets rid of foul smells by completely stopping the growth of odor-causing bacteria. In contrast, Bio-Pak eliminates foul odors by digesting the odor-causing bacteria, waste, and paper in the tank. Bio-Pak's formula uses natural enzymes and is therefore 100% safe for septic systems and all campgrounds. Porta-Pak, on the other hand, provides better odor control in hotter climates.

Basically, which product is best for you depends on where you're dumping and your climate's temperature. If you're unsure which product to use, call us at 800-338-3155, and we'll be happy to help you.

Can I use regular toilet paper in my RV toilet?

If you’re new to RV life, you’re also new to the world of RV products. As you stock up on necessities for your adventures, you’ll notice a specific RV and Boat toilet paper, and wonder if this RV toilet paper is necessary. This toilet paper is designed to rapidly dissolve because while TP flushed down a regular toilet moves through your pipes into the sewer system, TP flushed down your RV toilet gets stored in a holding tank. The fewer solids that end up in the tank, the easier it is to empty it thoroughly at a campground dump station.

The downside of RV toilet paper is that it is more expensive than regular toilet paper. And it’s not entirely necessary to spend this extra money if you use particular holding tank deodorizing products.

Two of Walex’s drop-in deodorizers, Bio-Pak and Commando, contain an enzyme designed to digest and break down toilet paper. Bio-Pak is a weekly drop-in that comes in two fragrances: Alpine Fresh and Tropical Breeze. Commando is a more robust black tank cleaner meant to be used every few months to destroy the residual waste and paper accumulated on tank walls over time. This build-up can interfere with sensor function, which means you won’t know how full your tank is. Commando also fixes this issue, lubricating valves and restoring sensor function.

For more information on Bio-Pak or Commando, call us at 800-338-3155. Happy adventuring!

Are holding tank treatments safe for septic tanks?

Certain holding tank treatments are more septic safe than others, so if you dump your RV holding tank into a septic system, you should know whether the holding tank treatments you use in the tank will harm the septic system.

Septic systems need healthy bacteria to function correctly because these bacteria help break down waste. Some sanitation products contain ingredients that control odor by stopping bacteria growth, which would harm a septic system over time.

Walex’s Bio-Pak controls odor using natural enzymes. Enzymes are substances produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction—these enzymes in Bio-Pak digest odor-causing waste and paper.

Because these enzymes are compatible with the existing bacterial microflora in the septic tank, they actually aid digestion and keep the system. Bio-Pak is also formulated with enzymes to directly manage tank and septic malodors emanating from sulfides and amines, including ammonia.

So, if you frequently dump into a septic system, you should use Bio-Pak. If you’re still unsure which of our sanitation products are best for you, call us at 800-338-3155.