The correct use of the urine-diverting toilet

How do you use urine-diverting toilets?

A urine-diverting toilet made of plastic, metal or even wood can be used like a normal toilet at home; nothing special needs to be taken into account when using it. The difference to a normal toilet is that a dry toilet does not use water to flush, but instead covers the solid waste with litter or coconut fibres. In addition, with a separating toilet, the faeces and urine do not end up in a container, but are separated by a separating insert. This means that the urine is drained into an extra urine container and absorbed, while the solids end up in an extra bucket. This has many advantages. After using the toilet, the solids are covered with a little substrate to prevent the build-up of gases and odours in the urine-diverting toilet. Before use, the solids container of a classic dry separating toilet is lined with a bag, which can be disposed of in the residual waste once it has reached its capacity. In a higher-quality separating toilet, the composting toilet with ventilator, coconut fibres are filled into the solids container in advance.

What is the principle of a composting toilet?

The way a composting toilet works can be deduced from its name. It works according to the principle of separation. A separation insert is built into every composting toilet, which ensures that the urine is separated from the solid faeces during use. This separation means that liquid and solid waste are collected in a separate container. The strict separation of urine and solid waste means that there are no odours in the composting toilet or during emptying.

Can I use normal toilet paper in my composting toilet?

Yes of course, you can use any normal toilet paper that you use in the toilet at home. However, you should bear in mind that the toilet paper will end up in the bucket with the waste in the composting toilet. Depending on the thickness of the paper, this container will fill up more quickly. In a classic composting toilet, the container for solids is usually lined with a bag, which may then need to be emptied more often. With a composting toilet, it is important to ensure that the toilet paper used is a maximum of 2-ply. As this dry toilet with built-in fan does not have a bag but an agitator, it must be ensured that this can tear the paper. If this is not the case, it could wrap around the crank and thus restrict the function of the dry toilet. Alternatively, the toilet paper can also be disposed of separately in a bucket with a lid for both variants.

What litter do I need for the urine-diverting toilet?

Which litter is right for your urine-diverting toilet depends on the type of toilet. If it is a classic dry separating toilet without a fan and with a bag, almost any substrate is suitable for re-littering. When selecting the litter, care should be taken to ensure that it can absorb liquids well so that the solids dry and no odours arise. Sawdust, small animal litter, peat or coconut fibres are very suitable for this purpose. Cat litter is not recommended as it is treated with additives that lead to odours. With a composting toilet, the higher class of urine-diverting toilets, it is important that the solids not only dry, but remain dry for a longer period of time. We recommend coconut fibres for this purpose. These have the property that they bind liquids, but also release them again to a certain extent. This ensures that the moisture in the bucket does not become too high for solids and that the camping toilet can maintain its range of up to 6 weeks. Disposal is therefore only necessary after a few weeks.

How do you empty a motorhome toilet?

Emptying a separating toilet is very simple. As a dry urine-diverting toilet works without water and chemicals, you don't have to rely on a disposal station. Depending on the model, the urine tank can be removed from the front, top or side. The liquid can be disposed of in a toilet or drain at the service station. When travelling, the urine can also be disposed of in the countryside where it won't disturb anyone. If you mix the urine with water, you have an excellent fertiliser that you can use for non-edible plants. With a simpler separating toilet with a bag system, the solids are already in the bag immediately after using the toilet. Once the bag has reached its capacity, it can be tied together and disposed of in the residual waste. With a composting toilet, there is no bag in the solids container. The substrate must be decanted into a bag and can then also be disposed of in the residual waste. Alternatively, you can also dispose of the used litter in your own composter. Composting produces valuable hummus that you can use in your own garden.

Using the urine-diverting toilet as a woman - is that possible?

Of course, once you get the hang of it, using a urine-diverting toilet is just as easy as using the toilet at home. The separating insert is designed so that all liquids drain to the front. The solids are collected at the back. The correct seating position can help to ensure that all excrement ends up in the container intended for it. Our composting toilets, the OGO Origin and Nature's Head, have another special feature. These dry separation toilets have a solid waste flap that acts as a double floor. As long as this flap is closed, all liquid flows out to the front. This means that no "aiming" is necessary here. A nice side effect is that the solids flap serves as a privacy screen.

Can I also use the urine-diverting toilet during menstruation?

Yes, a urine-diverting toilet can also be used during menstruation. If you use a menstrual cup, you can empty it into the urine container during your period. The liquid will turn a slightly reddish colour, but can be emptied as usual. You can also empty the menstrual cup in the faeces canister and cover it with litter. If you prefer tampons or sanitary towels, you can dispose of them in the faeces container in a classic separating toilet without an agitator if you do not plan to compost the solids. However, the filling volume is reached more quickly here, especially when using pads. Another option is to dispose of it in an extra container with a lid. A small spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water or a mixture of citric acid and water is very suitable for any residue on the separation insert or the dry toilet. Simply add a few squirts and wipe with toilet paper.

Can I put tampons in the solids container?

Yes - For a classic separating toilet with a bag

No - In a composting toilet with agitator

Why is this the case? In a dry separation toilet with a bag system, tampons can be placed in the faeces container. However, this must then be emptied more quickly, as otherwise too much moisture will build up and odours may arise. In a dry toilet with a built-in agitator, tampons cannot be placed in this container. The string of the tampon could wrap around the crank and impair its operation. The composting toilet is also designed for a longer range, which can lead to odours forming in the camping toilet. Tampons are not suitable for composting and would therefore destroy the pre-composting in the toilet.

How much coconut fibre do I need to fill the solids container?

How much coconut fibre is needed for a filling depends on the model of toilet. Depending on the size and nature of the solids container, it must be filled with a certain amount of substrate in order to function optimally. It is important that the tank is about half full before the first use. Coconut fibres are purchased as bricks and then swell completely with a litre of water to form a loose substrate. Our Natures Head, for example, has a solids canister with a filling volume of 26 litres; a whole brick is required for filling. Our OGO Origin has a smaller container for faeces, which holds 13 litres and requires half a brick of coconut fibre. The manufacturer usually states how much coconut fibre is required for the model. One of the advantages of this substrate is that coconut fibres are available worldwide.

How do I clean a urine-diverting toilet?

Cleaning is very simple, as they are usually made of plastic or metal. A urine-diverting toilet always consists of two components, the tank for urine and the solid waste canister. Both containers can be cleaned separately. The first step is to remove the separating insert, which is usually made of plastic, from the dry urine-diverting toilet. Then the urine container, which is not permanently installed, can also be removed. The urine container can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water (1:10). To do this, pour the mixture into the container, leave to act briefly and empty. It is important not to rinse with pure water, as water residues mixed with urine lead to an unpleasant ammonia odour. If you have stubborn urine deposits, you can add a few pebbles and shake them vigorously. If you use a urine-diverting toilet with a bag system, it is not necessary to clean the faeces container; it is sufficient to wipe it out with a damp cloth. If you use a compostable bag, it is advisable to place a second bin liner underneath. If the faeces soak through the bag, you will not have the faeces directly in the container for faeces. If you have opted for a composting toilet in your motorhome or campervan, cleaning and disposal is even easier. The canister for solids does not need to be cleaned with this dry toilet. It is sufficient to transfer the used filling into a bin liner and dispose of it in the residual waste. Any residue left behind from the litter serves as a compost starter for the next filling. The toilet itself and the fixed separator insert can be cleaned with a spray bottle containing a mixture of vinegar (1:10).

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