There are many alternative options when it comes to using the bathroom that does not rely on plumbing, running water, or complicated systems. A composting toilet is a great way to dispose of your waste without breaking the bank on energy or water bills. A composting toilet is also the only toilet option that gives you a usable by-product after use. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to clean a composting toilet.
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How does a composting toilet work?
A composting toilet is a toilet that uses a mixture of high heat and dry materials to separate liquid waste and solid waste. Composting uses a dry material such as sawdust, dried leaves, or wood chips to pull moisture from your waste and create usable compost. The bacteria in the compost will break down the waste and destroy any possibly dangerous or smelly pathogens.
Compost toilets can be easily built at home with a few purchases from the hardware store. With a few pieces of wood, a couple of buckets, and the proper hardware you can have a composting toilet built in under an hour. So, you’ve built one and used it a few times. You have covered your waste with the dry materials of your choice each time and now your bucket is full. How do you clean a composting toilet?
Emptying your Receptacle
The first step when you clean out your composting toilet is to empty the solid waste. If you have been using the toilet for a few months, most of the solid waste should be well broken down and mixed in with your dry ingredients. The easiest way to empty your composting toilet is to dump the contents into a compostable bag.
While wearing gloves for optimum safety, place a large compostable bag over the top of your bucket or receptacle. If your container is full, you may need to double bag the opening to ensure that it does not rip. If you have a lot to dump, you may need to divide your dump into multiple bags. Carefully dump the contents of your bucket into the bag making sure that the entire contents of the receptacle are cleared out.
After you empty your composting toilet, you can do a few things with the byproducts. You can throw the contents into the compost bin if you have access to one at your home, campsite, or in your community. If you used a compostable bag to empty the contents you can throw the whole bag in. If you did not, make sure that you dump it out and throw the bag in the trash to maintain the composability of the bin.
If you are in nature, you can also dump your compost into the soil. Find a place off the beaten path, dig a little hole, and bury the compostable bag filled with your compost. This will act as a great fertilizer for any plant life in the area. If you have a garden at home, using the compost in your garden is a great way to keep your plants and flowers happy and healthy throughout the year. However, you should not use your self-made fertilizer on anything that you or others plan to eat. This can cause many health issues and could make anyone who eats it very sick.
Clean Out Composting Toilet
After you have emptied the contents of your composting toilet, it is important to clean it thoroughly to be sure that no harmful bacteria will grow over the next few months of use. The composting toilet will take care of most pathogens and dangerous bacteria, but to be safe, it’s a good idea to clean the bucket well with soap and water. Be sure to scrub the bucket down to make sure that it will not hold the smell of your last batch. Let the bucket dry completely to make sure that no extra moisture enters your composting toilet’s contained system. Extra moisture may lower your composting toilet threshold for pulling the liquid from your waste.
Refilling your Composting Toilet
When your bucket or receptacle is completely dry, you can refill it with your favorite dry material. Try mixing fragrant wood chips in with your dry material of choice. This will add to the mix’s absorbency and add a nice scent to your freshly filled toilet. It is a good idea to make sure that the filling in your toilet is completely dry and ready to absorb that waste. Make sure you also refill the additional dry mix that you will add to the toilet after each use.
Cleaning the rest of your Toilet
It may be a good idea to clean the rest of your composting toilet directly after you dump and clean the bucket. Be sure to clean the seat and any surface areas surrounding the attached toilet hardware. It may be a good idea to wipe down and disinfect the underside of your toilet to make sure that no harmful bacteria are growing. Cleaning the underside and legs of your compost toilet will help keep the entire area sanitary and completely smell-free.
Cleaning and refilling your composting toilet can be an easy and mess-free task if you do it the right way. Make sure to never dump your compost in a public area like a park, picnic pavilion, hiking trail, or campsite. When disposing of your compost in nature make sure it is nowhere near any food that people plan to eat. Always bury your compost in these scenarios. Be sure to use compostable toilet paper and bags to keep compost bins and landfills free of plastics.
Your composting toilet will continue to be a great option for off-grid, environmentally friendly waste management if you keep it clean and well maintained. Without proper cleaning, your compost toilet will begin to release dangerous pathogens in the air that could cause harm to anyone around. If follow these tips and show your toilet the care and maintenance that it shows you, you’re composting toilet will be just fine for years to come.