RV Antifreeze: Can it be Reused, Stain Toilets and Harm Animals?

RV Antifreeze: Can it be Reused, Stain Toilets and Harm Animals?
RV Antifreeze: Can it be Reused, Stain Toilets and Harm Animals?

Is the RV Antifreeze Reusable?

When spring rolls around, it’s time to de-winterize your RV. This will involve flushing out the antifreeze from the plumbing system. Some people may wonder, “can I reuse that antifreeze?” The answer is no, because you will need to flush it out with lots of water, and that will dilute it.

Flushing Out the RV Antifreeze

  • Connect the RV water hose to a water spigot
  • Open up all of the faucets, the showers, and flush the toilet until all of the water runs clear
  • Be sure to open both hot and cold water to clear all of the lines

As you can see, after this procedure, the antifreeze would be very diluted. However, it’s relatively inexpensive, so it should cost $60 or less each year to buy enough RV antifreeze to winterize your rig.

The best place to do this would be at an RV park, where you can be hooked up to both running water and the sewer system. That way you’ll have plenty of fresh water and a place to dispose of the flushed out antifreeze.

Will RV Antifreeze Stain the Toilet?

The answer to that is maybe; some brands of RV antifreeze advertise that they are non-staining. It can stain clothing, so be careful not to splash any on your clothes. The simple solution is to clean up any stains in the RV sinks right away. If after you drain out all of the antifreeze and there is a stain in the toilet, a good way to clean it is to use an Oxy-cleaner and hot water. Fill the toilet with very hot water and add a scoop of Oxy-cleaner and let it sit for at least an hour. That should remove any stains.

Is RV Antifreeze Harmful to Animals?

When you flush it out with a lot of water, it probably won’t be harmful to animals; however, don’t let the flush-water run out into a stream, lake or pond. Fish and amphibians can be very sensitive to chemical pollution, even in small amounts.

RV antifreeze “straight from the bottle” could definitely be harmful to animals; it’s either made from alcohol or propylene glycol, both of which can be toxic in larger amounts. Cats are particularly sensitive to propylene glycol.

The best way to dispose of the used RV antifreeze (which is diluted with water to flush it out) is to flush it down an RV dump station or at an RV park when you’re hooked up to their sewer.

If you absolutely must dump the used RV antifreeze on the ground (along with the water used to flush the lines) then choose a spot where it won’t run off into a pond or stream, and avoid any areas where cattle or other animals might be grazing. While it’s pretty safe, it’s always a good idea to play it safe with any chemical.


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