RV Water "Freshener"

Hi Y'all, I know how to sanitize my fresh water system, but wondered what the products marketed as "water freshener" do? Are they intended to delay the buildup of algae? Do they sanitize the system too? Or are they snake oil?

I looked at a bottle at Wally World, and was surprised to see all the warnings about it being hazardous to ingest, do not induce vomiting, call poison control, etc.

I'm concerned about putting HazMat into my water system! What gives?


Senior Member
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Maybe it's like bleach, which in concentrate is pretty nasty, but diluted as appropriate for sanitizing water is acceptable to ingest.

I can't imagine there is anything I would add to water to 'freshen' it, except possibly bubbling oxigen through it. If I didn't like the way the water was, I'd run it through a good filter or even better, a purifier.
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Water fresheners work great if you choose the right one. It depends on what you want to happen. If you just want to slightly clean and make the water have a lemony fresh taste, I would recommend Water Fresh Tabs. If you want to actually sanitize and flush the mildew, algae, or other gunk out of the fresh water system, I would definitely recommend Camco's TastePure Treatment.The ladder you definitely have to flush the system afterwards, but we have seen units dump loads of black gunk and mildew after using it. Hope that helps.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

If you want to sanitze, put in a 1/4 cup of clorine bleach and let it sit in a full tank of water for an hour and dump it and refill with fresh water and dump again. It will clean your tank out for pennies. :bleh:
RE: RV Water "Freshener"

Have you thought about the old tried and true - vinegar. It's not corrosive but is as effective as bleach, it doesn't
take much to get rid of the taste, it's not harmful to your system, it's cheap, and you can nearly always find it
around the house!
RE: RV Water "Freshener"

8 drops of unscented bleach will disinfect 1 gallon of water. Water treated in such fashion will have a mild bleach odor/taste but can be consumed without further treatment.

A recent article I read suggestedadding up the totalnumber of gallons your system has (fresh water tank + water heater) andmultiplying that figure by 0.13 to obtain the total oz. of bleach to add. For example:

100 gallons of water * 0.13 = 13 oz. of bleach

Add the bleach to the fresh water andpressurize your system. After the water heater has filled, top off thefresh water and wait 4 hours. Drain and refill 3 times. Clear your lines until there is no bleach smell.
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Aekisu, the following is not to criticize your post in any way. We all know that experience trumps the calculations most of the time. I just think it is interesting.

100 gallons = 12,800 ounces

13 ounces / 12,800 ounces = 0.001015625

0.001015625 = 1,016 ppm (parts per million) ( http://www.ilpi.com/msds/ref/concentration.html )

(I didn't try to calculate using the fact that typical "clorox" bottles only contain 6% of the active ingredient.)

Isn't 1,016 ppm about 10 times too high a concentration? We've been through this before on this forum with some nurses or someone chiming in on what concentration is NEEDED to do the job.
RE: RV Water "Freshener"

Well (pun intended) now, assuming your math is correct, it is about 10X too high according to the North Dakota Department of Health because they are recommending 100 ppm for well disinfecting.


The Wilkes University recommends 200 ppm.


The Simcoe Muskota District Health Unit recommends 50 ppm.


The Oklahoma Department of Enviromental Quality recommends 50-100 ppm


The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 50 ppm and a retention time of 8 hours.


As a general rules, it seems the following facts apply:
  1. A stronger concentration of bleach means a shorter retention time.
  2. Coolertemperatures require a longer retention time.
  3. Any household bleach you use should be unscented bleach.
  4. Your system should be completely flushed before use.

How many ppm to use? I don't know. It seems the "experts" can't agree. I do know though that I'm mathematically challenged so maybe you can help us out.

After reading through the various links, I have decided I want to use 100 ppm and a 4 hour retention time. Would the formula (total system gallons * 0.013 = number of oz. of bleach to use) give me the results I want?

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Well, I shouldn't have to worry for quite awhile :eek: . When we first got our MH I decided I should sanatize the fresh water system. Got the owners manual and doing my fast reading saw that it said a gallon for every ten or something like that. Missed the part where it said diluted with only so much in the gallon. Figured 6 gallon would do the trick :laugh: . Off to wally world and back with 6 and an extra if I had miscalculated :bleh: . Started pouring it in and the DW came out as I was pouring the third gallon in and wanted to know what in the world I was doing :angry: How dare she question my ability :angry: She said we had never used that much in our other rvs but I said this had a bigger tank :bleh: For some reason a bulb was begining to try and light in my head but my battery is getting kind of discharged :dead: . She got out the manual and figured it out. I flushed the tank for three days here and another few when we got to flordia :cool: Hope there were no fish kills. Saw some of them little bacterias look at the Mh the other day and run :eek: Just remember this when you'll read my advice. Anybody need any bleach :blush:
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Aekisu, here's some more math for you. Remember that I'm not saying anything about the 'real world' effectiveness of this in killing bacteria. (Chelse's method of scaring them off might be more effective! :laugh: )

0.013 % = 130 ppm (KEYWORD: "%")

The MULTIPLIER would then be 0.00013.

So, for 100 gallons (12,800 ounces) you would need 1.66 ounces to reach 130 ppm.

2 ounces is about1/4 cup. (For 100 gallons.)

PS. This still doesn't say anything about the 6% concentration of the active ingredient in a typical bottle of "clorox".
RE: RV Water "Freshener"

Grrr. I'm ready to pull my hair out. I figured to find "the" answer to ppm question, I needed to call the bleach people. I called Clorox.

Although I did not received an answer to my ppm question, I did get the recommended dosage. It is:

1 cup of unscented Clorox per 50 gallons of RV water storage. Wait 10 minutes and then flush system.
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

You guys, hey clod hopper we have a cistren up here in TN and when the water gets a litt funky I put one cup in 1,500 gallons of water and like Chelse said the funky runs and hides. Don't know about ppm in Tenessee. Gid you know they pour Epsom salts in their gardens up here, dangest thin I ever heard of, hmmm wonder if that would sweeten the water tank fo a friend.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: RV Water "Freshener"

Like I said. Pour in 1/4 cup of bleach in your tank, wait 15 minutes and drain it. It has worked for 12 years. with no bad taste or smell in the water. If you really have bad water in the tank, use a cup of bleach. :bleh: :bleh: :bleh: