How To Keep Your Portable Camping Toilet Clean And Sanitary In 4 Easy Steps

How To Keep Your Portable Camping Toilet Clean And Sanitary In 4 Easy Steps

If you have a portable camping toilet such as the Thetford Porta Potti as featured in our article for the best portable toilets, you’ll want to know how to effectively clean it and keep it completely sanitary. Keeping your toilet nice and clean will help to eliminate odors as bacteria is not left to grow and multiply. But, are you having trouble finding out how to keep your portable camping toilet clean?

Because this is a chemical toilet, you do need to know how to clean it effectively so that it works as it should. Here are some comprehensive step-by-step instructions on cleaning a chemical toilet. You can also apply some of these steps when cleaning other types of chemical toilets.

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how to keep your portable camping toilet clean

Step 1 – Empty The Waste Tank In Your Portable Camping Toilet

Most portable toilets like the Porta Potti will have two sections that can be separated. The top second has a seat attached to the top of the bowl and also houses a clean water tank. 

The bottom half consists of the waste tank and this needs to be emptied on a regular basis. Most portable toilets of this type will have an indicator that turns red when the tank is full and needs emptying.

To empty the waste tank, you first have to separate the two halves of the portable toilet. There’s usually a clip that you push to one side and this allows the top section to separate from the waste tank.

Once you have the waste tank or cassette separated, you need to carry it to a designated dumping area to empty it. Some models of portable cassette toilets will have a pouring spout that you can use to empty it, making the job easier and cleaner.

You also want to check with the model that you have to see if there’s a pressure-release button. If your model has one of these, it’s important to push while emptying the cassette as it will release all the air pressure inside the tank.

This release of air pressure should eliminate any splashing or mess when emptying the tank.

After the tank is empty, add a little water and swirl it around. Then, empty this out again to remove any residue inside the tank. You can also add a little bleach or cleaning solution at this stage before giving it a really good shake. Make sure that bleach is safe to use with your particular model of portable toilet.

This will dislodge any residue inside the tank and also get rid of odor-causing bacteria.

Here’s a comprehensive video from Thetford which explains this step:

Step 2 – Clean The Interior Of Your Portable Camping Toilet

To clean the interior bowl of your portable camping toilet while it’s still in use, you can just use a proprietary liquid toilet cleaner and toilet brush. 

Once you’ve scrubbed the bowl, flush well to get rid of the cleaning fluid and any residue that you’ve scrubbed off. 

Then, use a sponge or some paper towel and detergent to clean the seat and the lid, just like you would with the toilet you have at home.

Step 3 – Clean The Exterior Of Your Portable Camping Toilet

You can use the same sponge and detergent to wipe down all the exterior surfaces of your toilet. This will make sure that it’s nice and clean and ready for further use.

Step 4 – Rinse And Dry Your Portable Camping Toilet Before Storing It

If you’re not going to use your portable toilet for some time, you can just take it outside and use a hose to give it a good wash. This should include washing out the clean water and waste tanks to make sure that there are no bacteria that can cause odors while your toilet is being stored.

Use a brush to remove any stubborn stains to make sure that the toilet is really clean.

Leave the toilet outside in the sunshine and let it air dry completely. This is important because any remaining moisture can attract bacteria and mold while your toilet is being stored.

Once your toilet is nice and dry, you can store it away so it’s ready for your next camping trip. You might like to pop it inside a large plastic bag so that it stays nice and clean.

If you have a Thetford Porta Potti, you can purchase a carrying bag for it. This would also make an ideal storage bag and will help to keep the toilet clean and dry.

Other Tips For How To Keep Your Portable Camping Toilet Clean And Sanitary

Here are some top tips from portable toilet experts and camping enthusiasts.

  • When using the portable toilet for number 2’s, place a couple of sheets of toilet paper in the bottom of the bowl first. This makes it easier to keep the bowl clean and helps with flushing.
  • Remember to open the sealing separator before you flush the toilet so that everything washes down cleanly. Don’t forget to close the separator after you’ve finished flushing.
  • Before using your portable again after it’s been stored, make sure that you add some chemicals to the waste tank as well as a little water. This will help to break down any waste and reduce odors.
  • If you’re going to be using your portable toilet in cold weather, you might want to add some specially designed toilet anti-freeze to both the clean water and waste tanks to stop the contents from freezing as this could cause damage to your toilet.

Cleaning And Maintenance Products To Consider

To keep your portable toilet working effectively, there are many products that you can buy in order to help with this. Here are just a few:

Aqua Rinse Plus from Thetford. This is added to the clean water tank and gives the inside a nice coating so that the toilet flushes easily.

Aqua Kem Concentrate in either green or blue (lavender). The green Aqua Kem is environmentally friendly while the blue is more concentrated and has a lavender fragrance. This is used in the waste tank to help break down the waste. Use around 50ml in a standard-sized waste tank.

Aqua Kem Original from Thetford. This is a chemical that you place into the waste tank to break down waste and reduce odors. It liquefies the waste so that emptying the waste tank is much easier.

AquaBio from Thetford. This is a treatment for your waste tank with a citrus fragrance. It’s formaldehyde and bronopol-free and will control odors and help to break down waste.

Camco toilet treatment drop-ins. These are little pouches or pods that you put into the waste tank to control odors and break down waste. These are even safe for septic tanks which means that you can safely empty your waste tank into a septic system.

Star Brite Toilet Bowl Cleaner. This toilet bowl cleaner is formulated specifically for plastic toilet bowls but can also be used on porcelain bowls. It contains no harsh chemicals and kills odors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to remove stubborn stains and odors from a portable camping toilet?

You can either get some specialized cleaning products for portable toilets or try using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

How often should I clean my portable camping toilet?

If you’re using your portable camping for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to clean it at least weekly. However, for short uses, make sure that you clean it after every use and before storing it away.

Can I use bleach to clean my portable toilet?

Check with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that bleach is safe to use with your particular toilet as it can damage some plastic toilets. It’s better to consider an alternative such as vinegar and baking soda or a specialized plastic toilet cleaner.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your portable camping toilet clean and sanitary is not that difficult. Cleaning is similar to how you would clean your toilet at home.

The only difference is that you will need to manually empty the waste tank and ensure this is also as clean as possible. Don’t forget to add a special chemical to the waste tank before using it again.