How to Keep Porta Potty From Smelling: Porta Potty Odor Control Tips

how to keep porta potty from smelling

That porta potta stench is undeniable. We’ve all walked into an outdoor venue and been greeted by that horrible smell that comes from human waste festering in a holding tank for hours, if not days. Add some heat and humidity into the equation, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

This may not be a big deal for job sites – although it’s still uncomfortable to have to work around the odor. But for events, especially upscale situations, porta potty odor control cannot be taken lightly.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to keep porta potty from smelling to help you maintain as fresh an environment as possible. From regularly emptying your units to strategic placement, air fresheners, and more, we’ve compiled our top tips on how to make a porta potty smell better.

Let’s start with the basics, though – why do porta potties stink?

Why Do Porta Potties Stink?

There are quite a few culprits behind that unmistakable funk associated with porta potties – the most obvious being the biological waste breaking down within the unit.

When urine and feces are deposited into the holding tank, bacteria begin to decompose the organic matter. This decomposition process produces gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which are responsible for the foul smells commonly associated with porta potties. 

The warmer the environment, the faster these bacteria work, which can intensify the odors. That’s why hot summer days and porta potties are a dynamic duo for a disgusting stench.

Older porta potties lack proper ventilation, which causes the odorous gases produced by waste decomposition to become trapped inside the unit. When you open the door to step inside, you’re met with a horrific smell.

Sometimes it’s not even the human waste you’re smelling, though. The chemicals used to assist with efficient waste breakdown aren’t necessarily pleasant themselves. This is that notorious blue liquid you see in the holding tank.

While the stinkiness of a portable toilet is unavoidable to a certain extent, there are effective porta potty odor control measures you can implement. So without any further ado, let’s get into some of our top tips on how to keep porta potty from smelling!

How to Keep Porta Potty From Smelling

Ready to learn how to make a porta potty smell better? From routine cleaning to enhancing ventilation, air fresheners, placement, and more – here’s what you can do from a porta potty odor control perspective. 

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

The better job you do of keeping your portable toilets clean and the more frequent you empty them, the less they’ll smell. This is by far the best way to control portable toilet odors. 

Establish a regular schedule for waste pumping based on the porta potty’s usage volume. High-traffic units may need to be pumped more frequently to prevent overfilling and odors. 

If you’re handling this yourself, refer to our guide on how to empty a porta potty. Beyond simply emptying the unit, you’ll want to use a high-pressure hose to clean out the holding tank, ensuring all residues are removed. Then, refill the unit with a waste treatment and deodorizing solution. 

As far as how to clean a portable toilet goes, this is much easier to stay on top of on a daily basis. Wipe down all touchable surfaces, including the seat, door handles, and walls, using disinfectant wipes. This prevents the buildup of bacteria that can contribute to odors.

Regularly mop the floor to remove spills and dirt, using a disinfectant cleaner to kill any bacteria and reduce odors. Take the time to refill all consumables while you’re at it, like soap and paper towels.

Effective Deodorizing Solutions

Completely eliminating any trace of odor from your portable toilet is just unrealistic. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t implement any of our advice on how to keep porta potty from smelling – it just means you need to also use effective deodorizing solutions.

Use chemical deodorizers that contain biocides to kill bacteria and mask odors. Ensure the chemical is suitable for the type of waste and temperature conditions. While you’re at it, use gel gel packs or liquid deodorizers that release fragrance over time for continuous odor control.

For a more natural approach you can use essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or citrus into the cleaning routine. They provide a natural and pleasant scent without harmful chemicals. Vinegar-based solutions act as a natural deodorizer and cleaner too.

You can absorb odors by putting down some baking soda in the holding tank to absorb moisture and neutralize odors naturally. Or, place bags of activated charcoal inside the unit to absorb odors.

Proper Ventilation

Part of what makes porta potties so stinky is stagnation within the unit, especially in warm conditions. 

So make sure your porta potty is equipped with functional vent pipes, which allow gases to escape and reduce the concentration of odors inside the unit. If not, consider upgrading where you rent a porta potty from. Your guests/employees deserve better!

You can take this a step further with battery-operated fans inside the unit to improve air circulation and prevent the buildup of smelly gases. Open windows if the porta potty has them to increase airflow. Use mesh screens to keep out insects while allowing ventilation.

Waste Treatment Products

Anytime you empty your porta potty you need to refill it with bio-enzymatic cleaners that break down waste and reduce odors. These introduce beneficial bacteria that consume organic waste, leaving fewer byproducts that cause odors.

Better yet, use scented chemicals in the holding tank that mask odors and reduce bacterial growth. Be sure to choose products that are safe for the environment and effective at high temperatures.

Placement Strategies

Where you place your portable toilets has profound implications on guest experience along with odor buildup. 

Ideally, you’d place them in shaded areas to prevent them from heating up, which accelerates bacterial growth and odor production. You can use natural shade from trees or temporary structures like canopies to keep the units cool.

Position units away from high-traffic and high-visibility areas to minimize odor exposure to guests. While they may stink when guests go to use them, at least that pungent scent won’t interrupt the event itself. Balance accessibility with odor management.

Place porta potties downwind of main event areas to prevent odors from drifting towards guests. Use temporary windbreaks if necessary to control airflow.

It’s worth noting that excessive odor build up can be the result of a portable toilet becoming too full, too fast. So, think about how many porta potties per person you need and be sure you’ve allocated enough facilities.

Partner With Viking Rental for Fresh, Clean Units and Exceptional Service Every Step of the Way!

Even with all these tips on how to make a porta potty smell better, choosing a reliable rental provider cannot be overlooked. With access to premium-grade rentals, you’ll deal with fewer odors in the first place. That’s why Texas residents and companies alike trust Viking Rental.

We’ve been exceeding expectations since 1972 – a lot has changed over the past 50 years, but our commitment to serving our customers is stronger than ever.

You can choose from a wide variety of porta potty types, from a traditional porta potty vs bathroom trailer. Here are some of our most popular styles:

Each style features the latest designs to minimize odor build-up so your guests have the experience they deserve. You can rest assured your unit will arrive perfectly clean with no trace odors from the previous user.

Plus, we service the units throughout your rental duration, preventing issues with odor accumulation throughout the course of your event. This way you can focus on other areas of your event. Leave the sanitation side of things to us!

With exceptional customer service every step of the way, affordable porta potty rental prices, and a diverse selection to choose from, what more could you ask for? Reach out today and take the first step towards securing professional restroom solutions for any needs:

Parting Thoughts on How to Make a Porta Potty Smell Better

That does it for our guide on how to keep porta potty from smelling. We hope you are able to use these porta potty odor control tips to keep your facilities smelling fresh all throughout the course of your event.

Remember, keeping porta potties smelling fresh involves regular cleaning, effective deodorizing solutions, proper ventilation, strategic placement, and the use of quality waste treatment products. 

There’s a lot that goes into how to make a porta potty smell better, but you don’t have to handle it all yourself. Viking Rental is a click or call away, and we handle everything from delivery to emptying and cleaning the units.

Get more insights in our blog with resources like ADA porta potty dimensions, DIY bathroom trailer, how much to buy a porta potty, how to transport porta potty, porta potty size, and more.

Or, better yet, stop stressing about your portable sanitation needs altogether by connecting with Viking Rental today. With five decades of excellence under our belt, you can trust that your event’s restroom facilities are in good hands!