The Tiny house Blog

Managing Smells in Composting Toilets

Updated on:
April 18, 2024
Managing Smells in Composting Toilets

Image Source: Canva

In the pursuit of sustainable living, managing odors is a crucial aspect of adopting eco-friendly technologies in the home, especially when it comes to composting toilets. 

At the 2024 Online DIY Fest, Elizabeth Paashaus, a seasoned advocate for tiny and sustainable living, emphasized effective strategies for controlling smells in composting toilets. 

She highlighted that these systems are not only environmentally friendly alternatives but can also be superior options for minimizing one's ecological impact, provided they are managed correctly.

More Cover Material

A significant step in managing smells in composting toilets is the utilization of more cover material after each use. This could either be wood shavings, peat moss, sawdust, or any other suitable organic material that serves as a carbon source. 

It is necessary to emphasize the upgrade in the quantity and regularity of cover material if you notice persistent odors. 

As stated by Elizabeth, "You can successfully eliminate smells just by using enough cover material"

Diverting Liquids to Separate Pee and Poo

Controlling the composting toilet’s smell can also be achieved by separating the solids from the liquids. This strategy works because urine is naturally odorless when it doesn't come in contact with feces. You can find several composting toilets that embody this principle. Case studies have shown a significant reduction of smell since adopting this practice.

Empty the Toilet Frequently

Emptying the composting toilet frequently is another practical technique for managing smells. A full composting bin is likely to contain a mixture that hasn't yet composted properly. This could lead to an unpleasant smell. You have to get used to cleaning composting toilets and adopt a regular maintenance routine to keep the smells at bay. Frequent emptying is an indispensable practice.

Image Source: Canva

Separating Toilet Paper from the Solids Bin

Separating toilet paper from the solids bin could also significantly reduce smells. By separating the two, the composting process can be more efficient, which aids odor control. A lot of compost toilet owners observed that separating toilet paper kept the composting process under control and less odor was produced.

Choose a Deep and Steep Bowl to Keep Liquids from Flowing into Solids

A deep and steep bowl can also be effective in odor management in composting toilets. The design helps to quickly separate solids from liquids, thus reducing potential odor. Examples of this design feature can be found in several compost toilets. This is an effort to combat smells in their composting toilets.

Choose a Composting Toilet with a Really Large Solid's Opening

To further enhance odor control, selecting a composting toilet with a large solid's opening is usually recommended. This ensures that nothing hangs around longer than necessary, potentially causing unpleasant smells. Many tiny house owners have reported that this feature significantly minimized the smell in their composting toilets.

Get a Vent Fan

Another typical feature that aids managing smells in composting toilets is having a vent fan. It pulls out the smell and allows outdoor air to aid the composting process. Most modern composting toilets come with vent fans. You're sure to find a significant reduction in smell after installing vent fans in your composting toilets.

Frequently Check on Your Toilet to Avoid Overflowing

Lastly, to effectively manage smells in composting toilets, regularly checking the toilet to avoid overflowing is necessary. Overflowing can introduce excess liquid into the solids, which leads to inadequate composting and the production of unpleasant odors.

A regular oversight and intervention in the composting process greatly influences the smell of composting toilets.

In conclusion, managing smells is an integral part of maintaining composting toilets. Adopting the methods discussed will significantly improve your composting toilet experience and keep the air around you fresh. Therefore, take action and implement these measures today.

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