how to clean a portable toilet

We’re not going to beat around the bush – portable toilet cleaning sucks. It’s not something anyone wants to deal with, whether you’re managing a construction project or a multi-day event. 

But with the right process, portable toilet cleaning can actually be less miserable than you may assume. That’s why we created this guide on how to clean a porta potty yourself. 

From determining the proper cleaning frequency to actually emptying the containments, tidying up the interior, restocking supplies, and more, we’ll leave you with a clear understanding of how to maintain your unit to maintain hygienic conditions and enhance user experience. 

We’ll also talk about the appeal of professional porta potty cleaning services and show you how you can avoid the frustration and disgust of cleaning portable toilets by renting through Viking Rental. 

When you source your restrooms through us, you don’t have to stress about keeping them clean. We handle everything from drop off to maintenance to pick up, so you can focus your attention on better (less messy) tasks! Reach out today:

The Importance of Porta Potty Cleaning

Those who are using a porta potty at a job site may not feel like taking the time to clean their restroom is worth the work. It’s there to serve a simple purpose, who cares if it’s a little dirty?

However, cleaning a portable toilet is actually a matter of safety to a certain point. Dirty porta potties can become breeding grounds for pathogens such E. coli, norovirus, and other harmful bacteria that thrive in unhygienic conditions.

Keeping your facilities clean will protect your workers or any guests from disease transmission while also ensuring you’re meeting health regulations for sanitary conditions in public and work spaces.

And let’s be honest – porta potties can start to seriously stink after use. Taking the time to clean yours on a regular basis will go a long way in keeping these odors at bay, which everyone will appreciate.

When users notice the effort put into maintaining cleanliness, it also increases the chances that they’ll take better care of the facilities when using them.  

The importance of porta potty cleaning is elevated if you’re running an event, as the last thing you want is for the storyline after the fact to be about how nasty your restrooms were. 

So, let’s get into how to clean a portable toilet below so you can avoid all this and provide guests and/or employees with the experience they deserve.

How to Clean a Porta Potty Yourself: Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Porta Potty

We can practically sense your excitement to learn how to clean a porta potty yourself. Pull on those gloves, maybe put on a mask, and let’s get to work!

Gathering Your Cleaning Supplies

There are a number of cleaning supplies you’ll need to effectively and efficiently clean your portable toilet. The basics, of course, are gloves – either nitrile or latex – to protect yourself from harmful bacteria and chemicals. 

While some may look at it as overkill, there’s nothing wrong with wearing safety goggles or a face shield to guard against splashes. This isn’t just about protecting yourself from waste during the tank emptying process – it’s especially important while handling disinfectants. Here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Disinfectant: Choose a hospital-grade disinfectant proven to kill viruses and bacteria.
  • Brushes and Scrub Pads: A long-handled brush can clean hard-to-reach areas inside the tank, while smaller brushes or scrub pads are used for detailed cleaning around the seat and corners.
  • High-Pressure Sprayer: Useful for removing debris from the tank and interior surfaces, a sprayer can be attached to a garden hose.
  • Deodorizer: Select a high-quality deodorizer specific for porta potties to manage odors effectively.
  • Bio-Enzymatic Solution: This helps break down organic waste and reduces odors naturally.
  • Waste Bags and Paper Towels: Essential for disposing of any solid waste and wiping down surfaces after cleaning.

Gather all these so you don’t have to interrupt your workflow to look for them during the actual porta potty cleaning process. We’re trying to get you in and out of the unit as quick as possible, after all.

Initial Cleaning Preparation

We know you’re excited to get into that porta potty and start scrubbing, but pump the brakes. Our advice is to open the door and any vents in the unit and give it a chance to air out for a bit first. 

This not only brings in fresh air to reduce the potency of odors, it will also provide ventilation so that you aren’t breathing in the chemical cleaning fumes. 

This is also a good chance to inspect the porta potty for any visible damage or leaks that may affect the cleaning process or the functionality of the unit.

Take this opportunity to remove any trash or debris from the holding tank and cabin area. This includes checking for toilet paper clogs or other blockages that might impede the cleaning process. This ensures the disinfectants and cleaners can reach all surfaces for a thorough clean.

Emptying the Tank

Now comes the real fun – emptying the holding tank containing all the waste. This is something you should only do if you feel confident in your ability to operate a pump safely. Here’s how it works:

  • Pumping Out the Waste: Use a pump specifically designed for sewage that can safely transfer waste from the porta potty tank to a sewage disposal system. The pump hose MUST be securely connected to prevent leaks.
  • Rinsing the Tank: Once the initial waste is pumped out, rinse the inside of the tank with a high-pressure water sprayer to dislodge any remaining debris. You may need to repeat this step a couple of times.
  • Applying Bio-Enzymatic Cleaner: Now you can apply a bio-enzymatic cleaner to break down any leftover organic matter and reduce odors. This type of cleaner works over time, so give it a few hours to sit and work its magic. Or, let it soak overnight if time allows and you’re dealing with a serious mess. 
  • Rinsing and Refilling the Tank: Finish up by rinsing out the cleaner and refilling the blue sanitizer fluid to its optimal level. You may even throw a deodorizer in the tank to help keep future odors at bay. 

Deep Cleaning the Interior

You can take a deep breath, as the worst of the work is complete. But you’re far from finished, as we now need to discuss how to clean a portable toilet interior. 

Begin by addressing the interior walls, floor, and ceiling with a disinfectant cleaner and a long-handled scrub brush. Vigorously scrub each surface to remove grime and buildup, paying special attention to corners and crevices where dirt tends to accumulate.

Then, you can apply a broad-spectrum disinfectant spray to all surfaces. This will kill any remaining germs and ensure the porta potty is hygienic. Give the disinfectant the recommended dwell time according to the product’s instructions to ensure its active ingredients work their magic.

You can complete the interior portable toilet cleaning steps by using clean cloths or disposable paper towels to wipe down all surfaces. This removes any residue from cleaning products and leaves the interior looking clean and fresh. 

Ensure the space is completely dry to prevent mold or mildew growth. This may require you to leave the door and vents open a bit longer, or better yet, focus your cleaning activities when the sun is out during the day if possible.

We want to note the importance of focusing extra attention on high-touch areas such as door handles, lock mechanisms, and the toilet seat. These are more susceptible to harboring pathogens as they’re the most frequently used components in the porta potty. 

Refilling Supplies

The final step in learning how to clean a porta potty yourself involves refilling key supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and other essentials. Regularly checking these supply levels between cleanings is crucial, but that’s a conversation for another day.

You should also replace or refill any air fresheners at this point to maintain a pleasant odor within the porta potty – or at least mask the unpleasant smells that are sure to come with a bit of use.

How Often Should You Clean a Portable Toilet?

There you have it – all you need to know about how to clean a porta potty yourself! The question now is, how often does portable toilet cleaning need to be done? 

There’s no one size fits all answer as it depends entirely on the specific usage frequency of your facility and your standards for hygiene. Environmental factors also play a role here as heat and humidity can accelerate the growth of bacteria and produce unpleasant odors more quickly. 

That being said, here’s a general overview of the best practices for porta potty cleaning frequency:

Regular Usage at Job Sites

For construction sites or long-term projects with a consistent number of users, portable toilets should be cleaned at least once a week. 

This routine cleaning includes pumping out the waste tank, scrubbing and disinfecting surfaces, and restocking necessary supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

High Traffic Events

Events that attract a large crowd, such as festivals or concerts, may require more frequent cleaning, potentially several times a day. 

For such occasions, it’s advisable to also schedule mid-event inspections to ensure that the units are functioning well and remain stocked with consumables. 

The stakes are higher here because it’s not just about keeping your employees satisfied with the conditions of the facilities – you’re dealing with paying customers who expect the best.

But when in doubt, your best bet is to listen to user feedback about the cleanliness of the facilities as a guide for whether or not you should clean your porta potties. Better yet, check the condition yourself on a regular basis until you have a good idea of your typical cleaning frequency. 

Should You Hire a Porta Potty Cleaning Service Instead?

At a certain point, you may find that it makes sense to schedule regular porta potta cleaning with a service provider – but, you’ll have to weigh the costs against the benefits.

Pros of Professional Cleaning Services

Professional cleaning services are equipped with the right tools and chemicals to effectively sanitize and maintain porta potties. 

This, combined with their experience, enables them to perform cleaning tasks more quickly and thoroughly than untrained staff, so you can rest assured you’re consistently meeting the highest hygiene standards. 

Further to that point, portable toilet cleaning services are familiar with health and safety regulations related to waste management. They’ll be able to safely dispose of waste to protect you from legal issues associated with non-compliance.

Most importantly, though, these services allow you to focus on what you do best. The truth is, you shouldn’t be wasting your time worrying about how to clean a portable toilet or even delegating this task to someone on your team. 

Cons of Professional Cleaning Services

The main drawback to hiring a professional porta potty cleaning service is the cost that comes with it. Budget constraints may make regular professional cleaning unfeasible, especially for long-term projects or frequent event needs where costs can accumulate quickly.

Of course, there’s also the issue with availability. In the event of an emergency blow out you may not have access to quick help through one of these services that tend to work on a tight schedule. 

You may even run into scheduling conflicts if you need your units serviced during off hours, such as in the middle of the night when nobody is present to use the facilities. 

But ultimately, you don’t need to worry about cleaning porta potties when you partner with the professionals here at Viking Rental. As we said from the start, you can rent your restroom facilities through us and let us take care of everything, including facility maintenance!

Put the Stress of Portable Toilet Cleaning in the Past by Getting Your Porta Potties Through Viking Rental!

Viking Rental brings more than 50 years of experience serving Texas businesses with top-tier rental solutions, from fencing to sanitation units. We’re the premier choice across the Lone Star State, from Dallas to Houston, Austin, and everywhere in between.

We have all the different types of porta potties you could need, too – be it a traditional porta potty vs bathroom trailer with all the bells and whistles. Here are our most popular sanitation rentals:

From our standard porta potty rental prices to our bathroom trailer rental cost, and even the price for ADA porta potty, you can expect transparency across the board and low rates that align with your budget. 

Most importantly, you won’t have to worry about portable toilet cleaning. From scheduling your drop-off to maintaining your units over the course of your rental period until we pick them up, you can expect world-class service.

But, the only way to know for sure if you should partner with us for your sanitation needs is to get in touch today for a personalized consultation and quote. So, reach out as we wrap up our guide on how to clean a porta potty yourself below!

Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Portable Toilet

We hope this guide on how to clean a porta potty yourself leaves you with a whole new appreciation for what goes into maintaining these facilities. 

From emptying the tank to cleaning the interior and restocking supplies, portable toilet cleaning is quite the task. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it when you rent your units through us.  

Our blog has more resources on topics like ADA portable toilet dimensions, how many portable toilets are needed per person, DIY restroom trailer, and more. 

But now that you know where to rent a porta potty, you can put all this stress and uncertainty behind you. We’re your partner in providing the sanitation experience your employees and/or guests deserve so you can enjoy peace of mind. 

Don’t let porta potty cleaning drag you down. Experience porta potty rental as it was intended with Viking Rental today!