Beware the Bean Juice!

beanwater biohazardAnother quick tip, before I forget … though I don’t know how I could. They say the sense of smell is the strongest trigger for recollection.

The biggest stink we ever smelled coming out of our RV holding tanks was not from the black water. Our kitchen grey water tank started expressing itself with a very pungent sulfur smell when we were staying at Lindenwood City Park back in Fargo, ND.

The lower campground had recently been re-opened after major flooding from the Red River, and a couple fellow campers said they wouldn’t be surprised if it was the water so we left it at that. When we dumped the tanks, however, we knew it had to be something more.

After putting two and two together, we realized we had more than just four times the worst stink we had ever smelled from even the toilet tank. A few days prior, we had rinsed a can of kidney beans and let all the water go down the kitchen drain. Well, unless you want a big surprise, I highly recommend you never do this.

After stewing for a few days in the hot holding tank, that bean juice fermented and gave off a sulfurous odor worse than any rotten egg. To avoid this from happening again we rinse our canned beans in a bowl and dump the water in our camp site’s fire pit. Just to be safe, we do the same with water from rinsing bowls used to scramble eggs and anything else we fear might cook up a big stink. We’ve also prepared ourselves with a bottle of RV grey water tank deodorizer but haven’t found the need yet and only plan to use it periodically.

8 Responses to “Beware the Bean Juice!”

  1. I have used Bio Clean and it worked great. Take a week or so to start working properly but it gets the job done.

  2. Hi There
    If you use a product called Bio-Clean in your RV holding tank it will get rid of those unwanted smells.
    Bio- Clean is a natural drain and odour cleaner, commonly used for blocked drains and smelly drains. It even gets rid of cat litter smells.
    More info is avaliable on our web site if you are interested.

  3. Oh man, a composting toilet in an RV. I’m all for it on land, but in such a small compact space? P-U!

  4. This is a good thing to remember, as we eat lots of beans too 🙂 I always try to rinse with tons of water too…and we dump our gray water VERY frequently. Although this last dump was on the stinky side and I thought it was odd. I had made some hummus and dumped the bean juice down the drain…so maybe that was it? Anywhoo…Thanks for the tip!

  5. Mike and Cindi August 12, 2007 at 10:26 pm Reply

    I was just citing the article..didnt think you wanted to do that to your rig..just the fan idea was what I wanted to bring up..

  6. Thanks Kale! That’s basically what we discovered, and are suggesting to others above. Though it only took a couple days for this particular stink to develop.

    And thank you Mike for your tips too. But I don’t think a composting toilet is an option we care to consider. And instead of any additional vents and fans, we plan to just keep the odors at a minimum in the first place, like Kale suggests…

  7. Mike and Cindi August 12, 2007 at 11:48 am Reply

    Hi guys, having fun with your journals..keep on truckin.. On this subject, unknown if this might help or possibly even be ‘do-able’:

    Composting toilets have a vent pipe that supposedly vents the ‘gasses’ away. Some models even have a small fan motor that is w/in the vent pipe (or somewhere in the system) that actually draws the smell outside..can power it off your solar..draws negligible electric..

    Check this Sunmar link out, the bottom paragraph entitled ‘Odor Free’.. Maybe some other tech, even if not primarily RV related might be of assistance to you on various topics..

    I even saw a composting toilet installed in an old Airstream trailer I owned, that the new owner had installed for display at SolFest in Hopland:

    Take care, Mike and Cindi in Eureka, currently 61 degrees and sunny..

  8. If you rinse something stinky use LOTS or PLENTY of water!!! And don’t hold it in your tank on weeks on end!!! Walla!! problem solved…
    from an o’le RVer…(fulltime)

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