How to use a composting toilet

If you’ve been considering purchasing a composting toilet for a while, you’ve no doubt done a lot of research about how they work, how to install one, the different types of exhaust fans, solar units and accessories that can be added and attached to them.

Often, when we go down the rabbit hole of finding out about a product online we can sometimes forget to ask even the most basic of questions. Hence why we’ve decided to add an article about how to use a composting toilet. 

So, how do you actually use a composting toilet? 

This is often a basic question many people are embarrassed to ask as they think it’s too simple a question to table when talking about composting toilets with our staff. Many people don’t ask about how to use a composting toilet because they don’t want to ask ‘silly questions’ or seem like they don’t know what they’re talking about, but it’s a perfectly reasonable question. If you haven’t used a composting toilet before, you’re no doubt wondering about the differences like:-

  • Can you use it like a ‘normal’ flush toilet?
  • Do they flush?
  • Can you use normal toilet paper?
  • What can you put in them?
  • How do you clean them?
  • Are they just for number ones, number twos or both?
  • How much stuff fits in it?

All of these questions and more get asked of our representatives every day so we’re going to go through each one and give you a thorough answer. 

Can you use a composting toilet like a ‘normal’ flush toilet?

Essentially, yes. The action of going to the toilet is exactly the same as using a traditional flush toilet. You sit down or stand to do your business, wipe, shake (or whatever your routine is… we don’t ask and we don’t need to know!). Then, when it comes time to hit the flush button, this is where things get a little different. 

The first thing that’s different about composting toilets, there’s no flush.

The first thing you, your family or your visitors will notice about using a composting toilet is there’s is no flush mechanism (although there are a range of microflush composting toilets that use a small amount of water, for the sake of simplicity most composting toilets do not use water or require flushing). 

Instead of flushing, if someone has ‘offloaded some freight’ you will want to add a small amount of bulking agent to the top of the pile. We recommend using Mini Hemp Bulking Agent

Can you use normal toilet paper?

Yes, most definitely. Although we recommend using recycled toilet paper, or even better, ‘Who gives a crap’ toilet paper. It’s really important to not put anything that will harm all the bacteria and microbes that are in your composting pile into your composting toilet. Wet wipes that use chemicals will not only not break down, they will also do harm to all the good critters in your composting pile that work hard at breaking down human waste into a usable top-soil like humus for you to use on your gardens. 

What can you put in them?

Really, the only thing you should be putting into a composting toilet is number ones, number twos, toilet paper, bulking agent and enzyme based cleaners. It’s really important not to use harsh, chemical based cleaners as this will kill all the good bacteria in your composting pile. 

How do you clean a composting toilet?

The best and easiest way to clean your composting toilet is to use an enzyme based cleaner made from natural products like Nature Flush Enzymes. Not only will this product help clean your composting toilet so it sparkles and shines, it will give all the bacteria, microbes and fungi in your pile some extra nourishment. 

Are composting toilets for number ones, number twos or both?

Most composting toilet units will easily handle number ones, number twos and even the occasional bit of green apple splatters and kneeling before the porcelain throne after a few too many (it’s all natural, right?).

What you don’t want to be putting down there is anything that won’t biodegrade like nappies, wet wipes, plastic pad liners, etc. 

Note: Some medications can be toxic to your compost pile as they aren’t absorbed or metabolised completely by the body. Some chemotherapy medicines for example, are incredibly strong and can harm your composting toilet pile. 

How much, erm, poop fits in a composting toilet?

This really depends on a lot of things like:-

  • How many people in your family
  • How often is the toilet used
  • How large is the chamber

All our composting toilets will give you a guide on how much waste it will hold before the collection chamber is either emptied or swapped out. We offer composting toilets that range from two people using it part time, right up to commercial units that have heavy usage in national parks and road stops, etc. 

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of how to use a composting toilet. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us on 1300 138 182 during business hours and we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.