How to Keep a Portable Toilet from Smelling

If you are an avid camper or just spend a lot of time out on the road or in nature, you may have had this experience. You’re out enjoying the calm, pristine surrounding when suddenly, nature calls, and your miles away from the nearest plumbing. You need a portable toilet. A portable toilet is any device you can use to ‘go’ on the go. It can be as simple as a contained system within a five-gallon bucket or as complex as a vented composting toilet. As long as your system can be easily transported and there when you most needed, it’s a portable toilet. Ultimately, my job is to discuss how to keep a portable toilet from smelling. So, lock yourself in, and let’s go!

A portable toilet can be a valuable tool when running water and plumbing are not an option. A portable toilet is a great way to save energy, water, and money. Although convenient in your moment of need, portable toilets have one major downside: they reek. How do I stop my portable toilet from smelling?

Disclosure: Best Composting Toilet, as an Amazon Associate, earns commissions on qualified purchases. This informative review article may contain affiliate links. Commission and earnings support our work. This means we may receive a commission if you purchase items from links embedded in the articles.

Our Pick
Walex TOI-61776 Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Fresh Lemon Scent (Pack of 5)
HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 130 Treatments
Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue,...
Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)
Walex TOI-61776 Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Fresh Lemon Scent (Pack of 5)
HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 130 Treatments
Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue,...
Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)
$7.97
$79.45
$16.30
$9.98
1,457 Reviews
642 Reviews
6,590 Reviews
12,997 Reviews
Our Pick
Walex TOI-61776 Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Fresh Lemon Scent (Pack of 5)
Walex TOI-61776 Elemonate Grey Water Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Fresh Lemon Scent (Pack of 5)
$7.97
1,457 Reviews
HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 130 Treatments
HAPPY CAMPERS Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment - 130 Treatments
$79.45
642 Reviews
Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue,...
Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated Orange Citrus Scent RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins, Formaldehyde Free, Breaks Down Waste And Tissue,...
$16.30
6,590 Reviews
Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)
Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins, Sunglow Scent (Pack of 10)
$9.98
12,997 Reviews

Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Keep it Dry

Odor is released from waste when the bacteria inside the toilet can thrive and multiply. The best thing you can do to make a no smell portable toilet is to ensure that the receptacle you are using for waste stays as dry as possible. Filling your portable toilet with an absorbent material will help separate smelly bacteria from your waste keeping the smell down. Using sawdust, crushed dried leaves, pre-packaged coconut fibers, or other dry materials will help absorb the moisture in the receptacle making it harder for smelly bacteria to grow and spread. You will want to make sure that after a few uses, you refresh your dry materials. The drier you can keep your portable toilet the better.

Use a Thick Liner

If you are using a bucket or other singular receptacle as your portable toilet, you’ll want something to keep the waste off the actual container so that you can continue to use it and transport it from place to place. Without something protecting the container from waste, bacteria may seep into the material over time. This means that your portable toilet will start to stink, and you won’t be able to wash the smell out. If you have the option, pack heavy duty plastic bags with you when you go. Place your dry material into your heavy-duty garbage bag and place the whole system inside of your chosen receptacle. This will keep a sturdy layer of plastic between your waste and your container. The bag will also increase the heat of the dry materials and the waste within, drying out the contents quicker. When you are all done using your toilet and are ready to move on, simply pull the bag out of your container and toss it in the trash.

Find Deodorizers Throughout your Home

There are few household items that can help keep your portable toilet from smelling badly. Baking Soda is a natural deodorizer that absorbs liquid and captures bad smelling fumes. If you are able, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of your portable toilet. For maxim effect sprinkle more baking soda into the toilet after every use. When used alongside your dry material, baking soda will help absorb those smelly bacteria.

Another household item that you could use to keep the smell in your portable toilet down are dryer sheets. Scented dryer sheets can trap odor while providing a continuous stream of pleasant-smelling scent. Lining the bottom of your receptacle with dryer sheets could be a good way to keep it fresh. You could also try placing a few dryer sheets into your bag of waste to cover the smell. Throwing a new one in on top of the contents after every use can keep a pleasant smell doming from your toilet.

Food items like coffee grounds and green tea leaves can be used to naturally mask the scent that arises from your portable toilet. Dry coffee grounds and green tea leaves will help absorb moisture while giving off a nice scent that will cover up those not so nice toilet smells.

How to Keep a Portable Toilet from Smelling

Air it Out

Although it seems counterintuitive to leave the contents of your portable toilet open, it is important to allow oxygen into the system and allow for any moisture to escape. As oxygen enters the system it will assist your dry materials in keeping the contents dry. Although it may fix the immediate smell issue, covering your toilet could develop moisture where stinky bacteria can thrive making your toilet smellier in the long run. Letting your portable toilet breathe will help it stay odor free for longer.

Keep it Clean

When in a hurry it might sound appealing to just empty your portable toilet and hit the road. However, the most important thing you can do to keep the odor of your portable toilet low is to thoroughly clean it after use. After dumping the contents in the appropriate manner, you will need to clean your receptacle with soap and water. Make sure to scrub the inside well, as many smelly bacteria may remain in any small crevices in the plastic. After a wash, give it a good rinse, and allow the toilet to air dry. This will allow any remaining fumes to be lifted from the surface as the water evaporates. For extra caution, it may be a good idea to spray the portable toilet with a disinfectant to ensure all possibly smelly bacteria are gone.

In particularly smelly cases, it may be a good idea to bleach the inside of your portable toilet. The bleach will kill any bacteria that remain in the bucket and neutralize any odors they might have produced. This could also be done with a heavy-duty disinfectant or cleaning solution.

A no smell portable toilet is a great tool to have in your outdoor arsenal. Following these tips will keep your portable toilet smelling fresh by limiting the growth of stinky and dangerous bacteria. Keeping your portable toilet well-maintained will ensure that it will be ready when you need it most.

Free Karambit Tactical Knife
No prize
Next time
Almost!
Free Tactical Pen
Free Ebook
No Prize
No luck today
Almost!
50% Discount
No prize
Unlucky
Get your chance to win a Free Karambit Tactical Knife or Tactical Pen!
Enter your email address and spin the wheel. This is your chance to win amazing gifts and prizes!
Our in-house rules:
  • One game per user
  • Cheaters will be disqualified.