How can you clean a composting toilet?

Cleaning a composting/separating toilet is just as simple as using it and therefore requires little effort.

Cleaning the separating toilet - here's how:

Composting toilets always consist of two containers, the solids container and the canister for urine. Both can be cleaned separately. To clean the urine container, remove it from the top or front of the toilet, depending on the model. This container should never be cleaned with pure water, but with a mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure that the ratio of 1 litre of vinegar to 1 litre of water is maintained. If you do not have vinegar to hand, you can use citric acid as an alternative. The mixing ratio is 3 tablespoons of citric acid to 1 litre of water. Citric acid can also be used to remove urine scale. This cleaning process does not necessarily have to be carried out every time the urine container is emptied. It is sufficient to clean it every few weeks or before winterisation. After cleaning, the canister must be allowed to dry out thoroughly so that no moisture remains and no odour develops the next time it is used. If you use a composting toilet with a bag system, it can simply be removed and disposed of in the residual waste. This container requires little to no cleaning. The built-in separation insert and the composting toilet itself can be cleaned with a spray bottle and a cloth. No special cleaning agent is required. If you have a composting toilet, the solids container does not need to be cleaned as the remaining substrate serves as a compost starter for the next filling.

How do I clean a separating toilet?

Remove the separating insert and the urine container for cleaning. The urine canister of a composting toilet can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water (1:1). To do this, pour the mixture into the canister, leave to act briefly, tip out and allow the container to dry thoroughly. To remove stubborn urine deposits, you can add a few pebbles to the canister and shake it vigorously. The solid waste container does not need to be cleaned with a bag system, but you can wipe it out with a cloth and some cleaner. If you are using a compostable bag, it is recommended that you also place a bin liner underneath. If the compostable bag becomes soggy, the faeces will not end up directly in the container. The canister for solids in a composting toilet does not need to be cleaned. The litter that is left behind can be used as a compost starter for the next filling. The toilet and the separating insert can be cleaned with a spray bottle containing a mixture of vinegar and water (1:10).

Where to put the toilet paper with a separating toilet?

The toilet paper can be placed in the solids container, just like in a conventional toilet at home. If you have a urine-diverting toilet with a bag system, you just need to make sure that the bag fills up more quickly and needs to be changed more often. Alternatively, the toilet paper can also be disposed of in a small bin in the motorhome. If the toilet is a composting toilet, the toilet paper can also be placed in the solid waste container. However, it is important that it is a maximum of 2-ply, as otherwise the agitator can no longer tear it and it could wrap around the crank. Proper utilisation is then no longer possible. You should also bear in mind that the container reaches its capacity more quickly and therefore needs to be emptied more often.

What to do about urine odour in a urine-diverting toilet?

If there is a urine odour in the urine-diverting toilet, this may be because the urine has been in the tank for too long or urine scale has formed. A suitable countermeasure is cleaning with a vinegar/water mixture in a 1:1 ratio, pouring the mixture into the tank and leaving it to work for a few hours. This acts as a cleaner. If it contains stubborn urine scale, you can add a few pebbles and shake the container vigorously. Then tip out the mixture and allow the urine container to dry out thoroughly. It is important that you do not rinse with clean water. If you have a urine odour during the period of use, you can use an odour trap. This is inserted into the urine canister and prevents odours from escaping.

Odour trap

Why does the separating toilet not stink?

By quickly covering and drying with substrate and separating with the built-in separation insert, there is no odour and the toilet does not stink. Urine itself is odourless, unless you have eaten special foods such as asparagus or have to take pills. If the urine container is emptied regularly and collected for no longer than 3 days, it is odourless. As described above, the development of odours from solids is inhibited by covering and drying. This must also be emptied after a certain time so that no moisture develops and odourlessness can be guaranteed.

How do you dispose of a dry toilet?

Disposal of a dry toilet is similar or the same as with a urine-diverting toilet. The only difference between dry toilets and urine-diverting toilets is that with dry toilets there is no separation and all faeces end up in a bag. This bag is then removed from the toilet when full, tied together and disposed of in the residual waste.  Before inserting the new bag, the dry toilet can be wiped inside and out with a cloth or toilet paper.

Which bin liners for urine-diverting toilets?

Basically, any bin liner is suitable for urine-diverting toilets that fits into the toilet tank. If you want to take the ecological aspect into account, which a separating toilet always entails, you should make sure that the bags are compostable and biodegradable. Depending on the manufacturer, they may offer the bags as accessories and they can be ordered to fit perfectly when ordering. If you use a composting toilet, no bin liner is required as the solids end up directly in the container with agitator.

Which litter for urine-diverting toilets?

Litter that can bind moisture well and does not clump is suitable for a conventional urine-diverting toilet. Very fine sawdust, hummus or small animal litter can be used to sprinkle on top without any problems. One of our tips is coconut fibres. These are not only suitable for classic urine-diverting toilets, but also for composting toilets. Coconut fibres have the ability to bind moisture, but can also release it again, which is important for drying. Another positive side effect is the pleasant odour of forest soil. This substrate for urine-diverting toilets can be ordered as an accessory from the seller.

How do you neutralise urine odour in a urine-diverting toilet?

To neutralise the smell of urine in urine-diverting toilets, you can add 1 tbsp of pure vinegar to the canister after cleaning with the vinegar and water mixture. Allow this to act briefly and then tip out. Do not rinse with water, otherwise an unpleasant odour may reappear during use. Then allow the container to dry out well and replace it. When travelling, you can keep a small spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water or use an odour trap on the urine canister. Both are often available as accessories from retailers.

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