How Do I Stop My Portable Toilet From Smelling? (Explained)

How Do I Stop My Portable Toilet From Smelling

Portable toilets have a bad reputation for smelling bad, although they are convenient for outdoor events. 

If you own one, you may have experienced that at some point. And if you’re yet to purchase it, you may feel discouraged. 

Moreover, the offensive smell is unpleasant, especially in confined spaces. Hence, the appropriate question is, how do you stop your portable toilet from smelling?

The most conventional method of dealing with a smelling portable toilet is airing them when they’re not being used. Next, disinfect the toilet before use and allow the product to sit for some minutes before flushing. You can also use vinegar and baking soda to eliminate lingering odor, deep-cleaning blue products, and air fresheners.

Dealing with smelling portable toilets is frustrating and challenging, especially if it’s the only resort in an outdoor gathering. 

Hence, we’ve provided important details in this article on how to get rid of odors in your portable toilets.

Why Does a Portable Toilet Smell? 

How Do I Stop My Portable Toilet From Smelling

If you’re experiencing an unpleasant odor from your portable toilet, you haven’t cleaned it properly. It could also be the smell of mildew. 

Such outdoor toilets undergo heavy use, and not many users bother to clean up properly after doing their business. 

Hence you may notice some waste material dried up on the bowl or didn’t go down when flushed. Since portable toilets are usually in enclosed areas, airing and servicing them is vital.

Failure to do so encourages the odor to increase with no way to escape. The holding tanks responsible for containing the waste should undergo a thorough cleaning. 

It would also be nice to deodorize it often. You can buy deodorizing toilet drops for this.

Furthermore, remember that portable toilets differ from modern ones permanently fixed in homes since you must manually dispose of the waste products. 

Therefore, allowing it to be overfull will cause a buildup, making removing all the waste materials in it challenging. And leaving such material for long will cause a heightened unpleasant smell. 

Finally, bacteria grow quickly, especially in conducive environments with moisture, which may begin spreading in your toilet bowl. 

And when it does, it causes a bad smell, so you must clean these toilets regularly.

5 Ways to Stop Portable Toilets From Smelling 

There are different reasons why your portable toilet is smelling. But the good news is that there are as many elimination methods for this pungent odor as we’ll discuss below.

#1. Clean Frequently

We can’t overemphasize the significance of proper toilet cleaning. 

There are many factors at work in toilets to produce a bad odor, but deep, thorough, regular cleaning minimizes and even eliminates that. 

It involves using effective cleaning agents and air fresheners on these toilets to make them conducive.

#2. Regularly Dispose of Wastes

It doesn’t matter if the holding tank hasn’t obtained much waste before the end of its daily use. 

Once done using it for the day and even before it fills up, have a waste company deal with it. 

Storing them allows bacteria on the waste matter to grow and produce bad smells. But disposing of them puts your mind at ease.

#3. Add Baking Soda

Baking sodas naturally absorb foul smells, so add them to a container and keep it inside the portable toilet. 

Dispose of it daily to freshen up the atmosphere. For better results, you can add some sweet-smelling essential oils to deal with any other lingering smells.

#4. Air Fresheners

The air in a smelling portable toilet is thick and inconvenient. Add these air fresheners to help dissipate the previous odor. 

Choosing natural scents and changing them when you notice they’re beginning to wane is advisable.

#5. Air the Toilets

After cleaning toilets on days when they’re not being used, open them up to receive direct sunlight and fresh air. 

This mixture will change the atmosphere inside the toilet and even kill germs that enable the odor.

Are Homemade Deodorizers Effective on Portable Toilets? 

Homemade deodorizers are effective in eliminating unpleasant odors in your portable toilet. 

You only use common household and inexpensive materials to give your toilet a natural smell without worrying about toxic chemicals. 

The most common homemade deodorizer ingredients are white vinegar, citric acid, baking soda, and natural scents.

#1. White Vinegar

The vinegar you use, particularly white ones, doesn’t only deodorize your portable toilet but tackles the cause of the odor. 

It does this when used to clean the bowl, removing deposits left behind.  

#2. Citric Acid

Next, the citric acid you need is readily available in lemons. Slice some lemon pieces and place them all over the portable toilet, and it’ll replace the bad odor with a mild citric smell. 

It also removes tough stains on toilet bowls when you use their juices.

#3. Essential Oils 

Original essential oils not diluted with anything are a powerful toilet deodorizer and helpful in DIY cleaning. 

Most are plant-based, smell good, and have anti-bacterial/viral features. For example, Tea tree oil is an effective deodorizer and ills any bacteria-causing odors in portable toilets. 

These pure, natural scents linger longer than commercial air fresheners and will eliminate any unpleasant smell stuck in your portable toilets.

#4. Baking Soda

Finally, baking soda is a must-have for homemade toilet deodorizers. It neutralizes bad smells, eliminates stains, and is a non-toxic option. 

However, it doesn’t fight germs, so using it alongside other natural materials is best. 

You can combine these household items and spray them around your portable toilet as cleaning agents or natural air fresheners. 

And if you need a guide on using them to achieve an odor-free toilet, here’s one.

Although homemade portable toilet deodorizers are effective, it doesn’t downgrade the commercial ones with more active chemicals. 

You can compare and contrast the differences between both to know which is best for you and your home. We’ve done that below.

Homemade Toilet Deodorizers Commercial Toilet Deodorizers 
Homemade deodorizers contain mild acids & are effective. They’re also environmentally friendly.The active hydrochloric acid in commercial deodorizers is toxic &many others used are harmful.
They don’t contain extremely powerful materials that can kill bacteria-causing odors.The presence of strong chemicals aids in the elimination of bacteria and strong foul odor
Going homemade allows you to customize your natural scent concentration & has many varieties. You choose only available deodorizer scents & they don’t come in as many varieties as you may want.
They’re a more affordable option, especially since the materials are household items.They cost more, although they’re effective. 

Can You Use Vinegar and Bleach on Portable Toilets? 

Yes, vinegar and bleach are effective cleaning agents. 

However, many DIYers prefer white vinegar because it’s effective and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that can negatively impact you and your toilet.

Let’s begin with vinegar. It’s not just a cooking ingredient. Applying it to your toilet bowl and other parts you need to be cleaned will disinfect the area as it is mildly acidic, removing odors. 

It is safe to use as it doesn’t exude toxic fumes.

#1. How to Use 

To begin, follow the instructions below.

  • Pour a cup of vinegar or 240 ml into your toilet bowl. Move it around so it gets to all areas, and don’t dump it like you’re flushing the toilet. 

N/B: It’s advisable to use white vinegar because conventional apple cider vinegar can cause discoloration. 

  • Close the toilet lid and leave the vinegar to sit for at least 8 hours. 
  • After some time, sprinkle enough baking soda around the toilet bowl. These ingredients, when combined, effectively eliminate dirt and stains. 

When it starts to fizz, you know it’s working.

  • Afterward, scrub the toilet with a toilet brush or any other material you use for cleaning the bowl. Then flush it all away.

On the other hand, using bleach in portable toilets is arguably a good way to remove foul smells and kill bacteria. 

Some companies advise against it because the bleach doesn’t react well with the chemicals in the toilet, which may produce worse effects than intended. 

Before using, it’s best to confirm with the manufacturer’s instructions.

#2. Tips for Using Bleach 

Follow these tips to help you safely use bleach on your portable toilets.

  • Use a diluted bleach solution. Mixing it with water helps to reduce any potential damage to the toilet but still provides enough disinfecting power.
  • Ensure to ventilate the portable toilet when cleaning with bleach to prevent toxic fumes inhalation.
  • Don’t combine the bleach with other toilet-cleaning liquids. 
  • And most importantly, gear up when cleaning with bleach and cleaning portable toilets entirely. 

How to Keep RV Toilets From Smelling?

RV toilets come in handy on long trips, but unlike public, outdoor portable toilets, the smell will always be present because they’re in the vehicle with you. 

To keep it from smelling or even to eliminate foul odors, below are 4 simple methods. 

#1. Refill the Tank’s Water

It doesn’t matter if you frequently remove the RV toilet’s black tank water. It’s equally important to refill it. 

It ensures the solid waste material combines with liquid to prevent drying out. Dried-out waste smells and can damage the toilet’s holding tank.

#2. Add Black Water Tank Chemicals

These RV toilets have chemicals to help prevent foul odors. They work to disintegrate toilet paper and other waste, so endeavor to add some often into the toilet. 

But ensure to confirm from the owner’s manual which chemical to use. 

#3. Use Proper Cleaning Agents

Cleaning is the most important way to maintain an odor-free RV toilet. Ensure to scrub and dispose of waste materials frequently. 

You can use vinegar to remove tough stains and mix it with baking soda for a perfect cleaning. 

#4. Use Air Fresheners

Homemade air fresheners containing natural scents are excellent for the job. Or you can find chemical-free ones to do the job. 

Also, alternate with an open cup of baking soda; they’re effective odor absorbers. Lastly, you can purchase charcoal bag odor absorbers to eliminate bad RV toilet smells.

#5. Prevent and Fix Clogs

Regular toilet paper is one of the main causes of toilet clogs. It’s best to use RV-preferred ones. If it happens, you can hire an expert to remove or handle it yourself. 

Once it’s fixed, clean your toilet and use a beautiful scent that lingers in it.

Josh Matthews

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