Geo Method Recipe: Dawn, Calgon and Borax For RV (Guide)

No one likes to do it but these tanks do need regular cleaning. That is because the sensors inside need to be kept clean if they are going to give you accurate readings. Faulty readings can lead to delays and too many false pit stops to empty those tanks.

The Geo Method recipe helps you keep your tank sensors nice and clean. If they get dirty, they will not sense the level of your tanks that well and you end up making useless stops at the dump station. That is never a fun experience.

To learn more about the Geo method recipes and how to use them, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. The content will also tell you if this is overkill or not

What is The Geo Method?


This is a simple cleaning method where you put clean water in your tanks along with a combination of Calgon water softener and Dawn dishwashing liquid. Or you can use another mild grease-cutting soap.

Mix them together and add them to your tanks to get rid of hard water deposits, grease, and other issues that may interrupt your sensors and keep them from doing their job.

Some people have added bleach to the recipe but this ingredient is not good for your seals and valves. Others use Borax instead of Dawn but again, the high alkaline content may do its own damage as well.

You do not need much of either cleanser. About 4 ounces each should do the job that needs to be done. Some people use 40 ounces of Pine-Sol and 4 ounces of Calgon to clean their tanks.

The ingredients you use may be up to you but be careful, you want to avoid harsh chemicals that will ruin your holding tanks.

Geo Method Recipe

There are different recipes for this cleaning method. Some people have recommended a cup of Calgon, a cup of Dawn, or a cup of Borax, while others use the amounts we already mentioned earlier.

They also put 5 gallons of clean water inside their tanks before mixing the recipe and adding that to the clean water. They make sure the Borax is mixed and dissolved before flushing it into their tanks.

Another recipe is the following:

- 1/2 to 1 cup Calgon water softener

- 1/2 cup Dawn dishwashing detergent

- 2 scoops Happy Camper

- 5ish gallons in the tank

You are pretty much on your own as to how much of each cleanser you will use. As well as the cleansers you use. Some people add in laundry detergent with the Calgon and Dawn ingredients.

You can find different recipes on the internet and choose the one you like to use the best.

Can You Use Borax in RV Black Tank?

You can and it may be safe to use but some people do not care to use that product. They cite the high alkaline content as the reason for not using Borax in this recipe.

Some people say that Borax adds no cleaning value when you add it to this recipe. That may or may not be true and you are free to not use it or use it if you want. Those same people may say that you need to add hot water to the tanks first to make the Borax work better.

Some alternative black tank cleaners you can use are as follows if you do not want to use the Geo Method recipe:

Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment.

Walex BOI-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer.

Camco TST Clean Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins.

Aqua-Kem RV Holding Tank Treatment.

Energen Grey Water Tank Treatment – Holding Tank Odor Control and Cleaner.

Geo Method With Borax


Your use of this product is entirely up to you. Some people use it and are quite satisfied with their results. It is a cleaner that can help make sure your holding tanks are free from dirt and other contaminants.

However, there are those who do not use it as they do not see any results that impress them. They feel it is a wasted ingredient and you are throwing your money away when you use it.

The products you want to stay away from are Chlorine Bleach and antifreeze. Both products can ruin not only your valves and seals but also your entire sewer system.

While it is tempting to use the former because of its germ-killing power, those germs will return anyways when you go long periods between dumps. Bleach won’t do anything constructive to help you keep those tanks clean and germ-free.

How Much Borax Should I Put in My RV Black Tank?

Some people use Borax to help eliminate foul odors that can come through the pipes and into your RV or trailer. That is about all that cleanser contributes when you use it in this fashion.

You only need about 1/2 a cup of Borax and add it to about 1/4 cup of Calgon. Some people use more and since neither ingredient harms your holding tanks, it is safe to use more if you need to.

If you are going to use this ingredient, mix it in a gallon of hot water first. This makes sure the crystals or powder are dissolved completely and can do its job. This step only takes a minute or two so it is not going to delay your holding tank cleaning time by much.

If you are going for a better odor, there are other cleaning products that make a better contribution than Borax does. They also have a nicer smell, like Pine-Sol.

Calgon And Borax For RV

This is a safe recipe to use. How clean your holding tanks get is another question. Calgon helps get rid of mineral deposits. Plus, it may make the walls a little slimier so that waste does not stick to your sensors or the walls of the tank.

Borax, as we have already stated, is not much of a cleanser in this situation but you may experience better results than those who used to use it and stopped for other cleansers.

That ingredient does help stop the bad odors that may find their way back into your RV which makes it a very important part of the Geo Method recipe. Use your own judgment when using this recipe to clean your holding tanks.

There are numerous other alternatives you can use to make sure your tanks smell nice and get clean. Find some that fit your budget and are not too expensive to buy and use.

Calgon And Dawn To Clean RV Tank


These seem to be the two most popular ingredients in this recipe. Most people that we read use these ingredients to make sure their tanks are clean and the sensors are not blocked.

You do not need a lot of either product to do what you want them to do. Some people only use 4 ounces of each approx, while others use between 1/4 cup and 1 cup of each.

Again, it is up to you how much you will use and you are the best judge as you know how large your holding tanks are. That means you should use more for larger tanks and a lot less for small ones.

Do a few tests to see which mount does the best job and then stick to that recipe. Some people do the Geo Method option every other dump time. They think that after every dump is overkill.

The frequency of use is also up to you to decide. As long as the sensors work accurately, you should be fine.

Can I Put Dawn Dish Soap in My Black Tank?

Yes, you can. This is one of the main ingredients in the Geo Method of cleaning your holding tanks. How much you use of this product is up to you but just do not overdo it.

Also, you do not have to use this ingredient if you do not want to. There are other grease and dirt fighting laundry and dish-washing soaps on the market today that will make a fine substitute for Dawn.

When you check the RV discussion forum and the internet, you will find that everyone has their favorite recipes and ingredients. Choose the one that works best for your holding tanks and sensors.

Also, you can adjust the amount of Dawn to make sure you are getting the proper amount for your size of holding tank. Make adjustments as you see fit till you get the best amount for your RV situation.

Borax And Dawn RV Holding Tank

When owners use the Geo Method recipe, the ingredient that is optional is Borax. You can use it with Dawn or you can eliminate it. It is all up to you, your preference, and your budget. Some people think using Borax is a waste of money.

There are plenty of other ingredients you can use in place of Borax. Use your best judgment on this topic as those alternatives may have a more powerful cleaning action and get your holding tanks spotless.

There are also alternatives that produce a nicer fragrance that eliminates black water holding tank odors better than Borax does. You just have to be flexible and be ready to use different ingredients when one does not work that well.

Those alternatives may be cheaper and easier to use as you have to take some time to completely dissolve the Borax powder for it to work well.

Geo Method vs Happy Camper


The latter product may do more things than the former. While the Geo Method is good and cleans the black tank well, Happy Camper is supposed to liquefy solids and toilet paper making the tank easier to empty.

That product is also “biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and septic-tank friendly” but so is the Geo Method. The latter method does not use harsh chemicals that harm anything.

While it liquefies the contents of the holding tank, it also cleans, removes odor, and hinders any build-up inside the tank. That is something the Geo Method can do as well.

The basic difference between these two products boils down to cost. Happy Camper may be a bit more expensive to use than other household products. You would have to be the judge of that as well, as these products cost differently in different locations.

Geo Method With Pine-Sol

This is an option that some owners have used with success. They recommend mixing 40 ounces of Pine-Sol with 4 ounces of Calgon. The Pine-Sol does not break down the grease as well as Dawn does but it does have a disinfectant to it that helps fights germs and bacteria.

It also has a more pleasant smell. All you need to do is mix the Calgon and 40 ounces of Pine-Sol in a gallon jug or pail. Then slowly add water as you mix. The mixture will foam on you so make sure to slowly add the water.

Once mix, you only add a 1.2 cup to your holding tanks. This amount should last you about 50 dumps. The cost of this mixture is around $10. Compare the cost with the price of Happy Camper and similar products to see if this is cost-effective for you.

Some Final Words

Cleaning your holding tank is not as dirty a job as it could be. All you do is send the cleaners down your toilet, drive for a bit and then empty the tank. But to get those tanks clean, you do need to use the right products.

The Geo Method recipe is a good option and it should not cost you a lot of money to use it. The recipe is flexible enough for you to use different ingredients if one or the other is not available.

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