How To Empty Portable Toilets: Our Guide To Camping & Traveling Commodes

Going camping? Bring a portable toilet with you rather than walk all the way to the public toilet where you will have to share it with other campers. You will appreciate the added privacy that a portable toilet can bring, especially in the middle of the night when walking to the toilet alone is not an ideal option. 

Different Types of Portable Toilets Out There

Portable toilets come in different forms and sizes. One of the things you should think about when choosing a portable toilet is how the contents will be emptied out. Size and capacity also come into play. Here are the most common portable toilets you can find today:

Bucket Toilet 

This is the simplest form of portable toilet. Just like what its name suggests, it comes in a bucket form. Since it is the simplest one, it is devoid of features that can separate liquid from solid wastes as well as odor-containing capabilities. It’s main advantage is its lower cost, so if you are on a budget, this is definitely an option for you. 

Composting Toilet 

The composting toilet shares some of the features of a real toilet such as a flush. It sits higher than your average bucket toilet and some even come with a toilet seat. You can sit more comfortably in a composting toilet. These composting toilets also have the ability to contain the smell and some even come with features like a toilet paper holder. The downside is that they can be bulky, so it can be heavy and can take up some space in your car during transport. 

Chemical Toilet 

It is similar to the composting toilet. The difference is that the holding tank is treated with chemicals in order to keep smell at a minimum. This is also the kind of portable toilet used in outdoor events and even in construction sites. 

How to Empty Portable Toilets

Some toilets have enough capacity to accommodate the needs of a family of campers for a day or two but others might need to be emptied out every morning. Know the capacity of your portable toilet, so you can determine when you should empty it out. 

Know the Parts of Your Toilet 

Familiarize yourself with the parts of the toilet. The last thing you would want is accidentally pull a latch and send all the contents spilling down on the ground. Know how to pull out the cassette where the wastes are collected. 

Find a Disposal Site 

Camping grounds usually have a disposal site where they are treated with chemicals. You would even want to know the details in advance, so you can avoid camping next to it. Ask the people over at the camping area where the disposal site is and plan your route. Make sure your route isn’t obstructed by a lot of campers as it would be such a hassle carrying the toilet and avoiding all the campers at the same time. 

Slide the Cassette Out 

The good thing about portable toilets is that you don’t just flip it down the disposal site and remove the contents. There is a cassette that you can slide out to safely and securely remove the contents. Don’t open the cassette yet as you would not want to be assailed with harmful gases and pungent odor from human waste. 

If you have a trolley, you can use that to take the cassette all the way to the disposal area. Some cassettes have a huge capacity, so they can be heavy. Take the cassette when there aren’t a lot of people around. You might want to wake up at dawn to do this chore. 

Empty Out the Contents of the Cassette

Once you have arrived at the dumping site, prepare yourself for the worst part. You might want to bring a mask with you to prevent you from inhaling all that foul smell. If you did not bring a mask, just hold your breath until you have completely emptied out the cassette. 

The cassettes come with a lid or a cap. Just remove that and pour all the contents. After pouring down all the contents, fill up the cassette with water and then pour it once again to make sure you have gotten everything out. 

Set Up Your Portable Toilet Once Again 

Once you are back at your camping ground, set the portable toilet back once again. Before putting the now-clean cassette back in the toilet, put chemicals first. Just pour the recommended amount of the blue chemicals that keep the smell out and prevent bacteria from forming. Now put the cassette back in and you are great to go. 

Clean Yourself 

Wash your hands well with an antibacterial soap. You might also want to change into fresh clothes. You don’t know if some of the wastes you poured down splashed back to you. 

Keep Your Portable Toilet Area Clean 

A clean toilet area is nice to use. If your portable toilet needs a cleaning tablet, keep it handy. Put a small table right next to the portable toilet so that users will be able to drop a tablet when needed. You can also put supplies right next to it such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes. 

Maintaining your portable toilet is also essential. Clean the touch points such as the lid, the flush button and the seat. You can spray it down with a disinfectant spray and use a tissue to wipe it clean. 

Before heading home, make sure you empty the contents of the portable toilet and clean the toilet before putting it at the back of your car. Air it out as well to get rid of lingering odor while packing the rest of your stuff. 

When storing it, put it in a dry and clean place. You can also cover it with a plastic cover to keep dirt and dust away from it. 


There are a lot of good portable toilet options out there. Let us help you find the right tone. You can decide better which porta potty to get after reading this. 

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