Having a portable toilet may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about equipping your RV for camping.
However, experienced campers understand the importance of the best portable toilet for camping & RV in matters of hygiene and general comfort. Even then, the most significant task is knowing how to clean a portable toilet. It is a rather straightforward process that involves three critical steps.
You first have to empty the tank and dispose of the waste, clean the tank and toilet’s interior, then cleanse the surface before resetting the toilet for future use.
The design and construction of a portable toilet, along with the frequent traffic in such confined spaces, means you can easily create a mess in your portable RV toilet without proper cleaning. The toilet is not connected to a sewer, which poses an unhygienic risk. To properly clean the portable potty in the RV, here is a step by step guide elaborating all the essential aspects;
Table of Contents
What you will need to clean a portable RV toilet
For the best result and your safety, you need the right tools. Fortunately, most of the items you need are readily available, and even for items you cannot get from your local outlet, you can replace them with homemade solutions and still achieve quality results. For your cleaning, you need the following;
- Heavy-duty rubber gloves
- Sufficient water
- A toilet cleaner of an all-purpose cleaner/in the absence of all these you can use a safe bleaching product
- Toilet brush and a toothbrush you no longer use
First Step: Emptying the Toilet Tank
You have to empty the toilet tank containing the waste. Before any cleaning can be done. The tanks should be emptied even before it fills up to reduce the chances of spillage during the emptying process. You also need to empty it at a designated sanitation area.
There are two ways you can go about the process. You can either use a hose to suck out all the waste, or manually pour the waste out into the septic tank.
You will have to start by driving to the sanitation area. When there, detach the waste tank from the water tank of the RV following guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
Ensure the section that connects the waste tank and the water tank is closed during this whole procedure. If you are using a hose, make sure it is the designated one, and you will want to keep the valve open while releasing the contents to prevent splashbacks.
Once the waste tank has been emptied off all contents, you can add clean water and a suitable cleaning detergent inside. You can use specialized cleaning products or regular bleach.
Shake the tank vigorously to enable the cleaning chemicals to get to the hard to reach areas. Let it settle for a while for optimum cleaning action and then empty it. The chemicals help break down stains and deal with odor-causing bacteria.
Second Step: Cleaning the Interior of the Toilet
Once you are done with the tank, you can now focus on the interior of the toilet, including the walls, the outer part of the tanks, the seat, the lid, bowl, ceiling, and top tank.
You have to connect the waste tank to the top tank for this part of the cleaning process. For the top tank, add a mixture of water, detergent, and bleach inside it to clear any stain and then flush the contents down to the waste tank. Add clean water to rinse and flash again.
Clean the bowl as you would a regular toilet by adding a toilet cleaner insider and letting it wait for a while before using a toilet brush to scrub the sides applying sufficient pressure on the stain spots. Press the flush button to rinse the inside and wash away the dirt.
Use the toilet towels or a sponge along with an all-purpose cleaner to clean the rest of the toilet’s body, including the lid.
The toothbrush will help you get to the hard to reach areas and clean them. Once satisfied, you can rinse for the final time and empty the toilet waste tank and, along with the top tank, leave them to dry.
Third Step: Cleaning the TouchPoints of the toilet
The touchpoints of the toilet, along with its walls, are usually forgotten during cleaning, yet they carry plenty of dirt and can quickly accumulate grease and contaminate the area. The latch handle, the hand sanitizer dispenser, and other places of contact need to be appropriately cleaned and sanitized.
The most straightforward approach, if you can manage, is to use a spray vacuum. You spray each surface with a low-pressure disinfectant and let it stand for a while to allow the germ-killing action to take effect.
You then vacuum the surfaces with a spray of water and vacuum the water off. If, for reasons of space or affordability, you cannot do this, wash the areas with a disinfectant and cleaning detergent and then dry them.
Final Step: Refill the tank, deodorize it and restock the toilet
Once everything and the surface are clean and dry, you can assemble your portable toilet and fill the tank with water and the right chemicals to kill bacteria and prevent the accumulation of odor. Restock it with the necessary supplies, and your toilet will be ready for use.
Final tips on how to care and clean a portable toilet
It is important not to let the waste tank get full before emptying it and cleaning it since, by then, the buildup of stains could be excess, and they are hard to remove while the cleaning is messy.
When the toilet is not in use, open the door for at least thirty minutes to let fresh air in and bad odors out.
It is advisable to use only chemicals especially deodorizers approved by the portable toilet manufacturer.
If you are not planning to use your portable RV toilet anytime soon, store in a dark place to prevent the growth of algae.