A comprehensive guide to choosing a deodorizer

Selecting the best deodorizer to use in your portable restroom or restroom trailer holding tank is crucial. You service your units regularly to create a superior impression, but deodorizer is the agent that works around the clock to preserve that environment. Keep reading to discover which deodorizer will set you apart from the competition.

Know your options

There are many types of deodorizer from which you can choose: liquid or pre-portioned drop-in, different chemistries (formaldehyde-based, formaldehyde-free, or natural), and various formula strengths. Many factors influence your decision: usage, climate, frequency of service, and even personal preference.

Traditional liquid or pre-portioned drop-in?

There are different benefits to liquid deodorizers and portion-control drop-ins, so choosing between them is often a matter of preference. The packets remove the guesswork from adding deodorizer because no measuring is required. And while containers like the Walex EZ-Squeeze Bottles allow greater accuracy when using liquids, you're still less likely to spill or overuse a drop-in packet.

One advantage of liquids, however, is the variety offered. Walex portion control drop-in packets are available in three strengths: Porta-Pak Max, Porta-Pak, and Porta-Pak Express, while Walex liquid deodorizer is available in nine varieties—three formaldehyde options and six formaldehyde-free choices. Liquids can also be made in any of Walex's 24 fragrances, whereas packets only come in certain fragrances.

Formaldehyde-free or Formaldehyde-based?

Liquid deodorizers are available in two chemistries: formaldehyde-based and formaldehyde-free. Walex's line of liquid deodorizers includes three formaldehyde-based products (PT-615, PT-600, and PT-60 Pre-Mix) and six formaldehyde-free products (PT-50 Supreme, Endure, Advantage, Contender, PT-500, and Pre-Mix).

In our industry's early days, formaldehyde was the main odor-eliminating ingredient in deodorizers. However, some states have since banned formaldehyde, so Walex's research and development team created equally effective formaldehyde-free deodorizers.

Formaldehyde-free products control odors for a longer period of time. If you tested the products side by side, formaldehyde would be more effective initially, emitting a powerful chemical odor. But because it is gas, it will evaporate after three to six days, depending on temperatures. The formaldehyde-free products continue providing odor control longer using the modern technology developed by Walex R&D chemists, and they’re safer to use.

What strength of product do you need?

The final decision you must make is the product concentration to order, which depends on your climate, usage, and frequency of service.

If you're in a hot climate or your units get heavy usage, the best drop-in is Porta-Pak MAX, a potent formula with 50% more dye, 50% more odor control, and double the fragrance of the original Porta-Pak. Your best liquid options are PT-50 Supreme, Endure, PT-615, or PT-600.

If you're in a warm climate or your units get moderate usage, choose Porta-Pak for your drop-in or Advantage or Contender for your liquid.

During the cold winter months, you could switch your drop-in to Porta-Pak Express, a smaller dose of formula. You can stick with Contender for your liquid or choose a ready-to-use product like PT-500.

Porta-Pak Express is also an economical option for outdoor events where units get heavy usage but are serviced daily.

When in doubt, opt for a more concentrated formula. The benefits of investing in odor control far outweigh the relatively small cost increases.

If you still have questions about which deodorizer best fits your needs, the odor control experts at Walex are here to help. Give us a call at 910-371-2242.


Can I use Elemonate in my home sink too?

Elemonate is a deodorizer designed for an RV's grey holding tank—the tank that collects water from your shower and sinks. The quick-dissolving tablet not only smells lemony-fresh but also contains digestive enzymes that attack odor-causing organic sludge.

You may have a few extra Elemonate tablets left over from your last trip and wonder whether you can use them in your home. Even home sinks, shower drains, and garbage disposals can emit foul odors due to grease, greywater, and food scrap residue.

The good news is you can instantly freshen up your kitchen sink with Elemonate. Use it the same way you would in your RV. Drop it into the sink and run water over to dissolve it. The lemon fragrance and enzymes will coat the inside of your pipes, eliminating odors. Not only will Elemonate not harm your pipes, but it is also safe for your septic system. It deodorizes using natural enzymes that are completely septic-safe.

Happy adventuring!

How to Use Deodorizer in a Camper Van

Deodorizer usage for a 2.5-gallon or 5-gallon potty

Walex deodorizers like Porta-Pak are created for black holding tanks, but you don't have a black tank if you're living #VanLife in a converted camper van. Instead, you might have either a cassette toilet or a porta-potty, both of which have from 2.5 to 5 gallons capacity. So here's what you need to know about using deodorizer.

Add one entire packet of deodorizer

No matter what type of tank you have, you should always add an entire packet of deodorizer. You should not handle a holding tank product; that's why the Porta-Pak formula is contained in a water-soluble casing. Simply drop the entire packet into your cassette toilet or porta-potty and add water.

Add the correct amount of water

For a 5-gallon tank, add 3/4 to 1 gallon of water, and for a 2.5-gallon tank, add 1/2 gallon of water. You always need water because it dissolves the packet and allows the waste to fall below the waterline. The deodorizer can only treat the waste that it can touch!

In addition to deodorizing, Porta-Pak also breaks down waste and paper, making it easier to empty the tank.

If you have any questions about how to use our products, call us at 910-371-2242.

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!