There are a wide variety of sanitation or toilet
chemical products available for portable toilets
used in caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers. Do
your best to choose environmentally friendly
biodegradable chemicals and avoid products containing
should always be exercised in handling any toilet
chemicals as their ingredients may cause eye and skin
irritation and other side affects if inhaled.
Essentially there are two applications for toilet
chemicals, one is for the flush or fresh water top tank
and the other is for the holding or waste tank/waste
cassette. The chemical used for the fresh flush tank is
mainly to deodorise and the chemical for the holding or
waste tank/waste cassette is to reduce gas build up and
break down the solids (faeces) into slurry for easy
Wikipedia defines ‘biodegradable waste’ as typically
originating from plant or animal sources which may be
broken down by other living organisms. There is often a
‘contradiction’ as some chemicals kill the
micro-organisms and mask the odour thereby working
against this natural occurrence so it is a challenge to
find a sanitation product or toilet chemical that will
‘allow’ this biodegradable breakdown but still do the
is often difficult to find information on biodegradable
chemical products from manufacturers or distributors
websites so make sure you read the product labels. Some
toilet chemical manufacturers will supply Material
Safety Data Sheets
(now called Safety Data Sheets (SDS))
upon request and others are available
for viewing on their websites.
Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDS) detail the chemical ingredients and list
any hazardous substances as well as any likely physical
reactions if spilt on the skin or inhaled.
Notwithstanding a lot of claims about the efficiency of
sanitation products we find the portable toilet cassette
requires emptying after
depending on usage,
particularly if the
portable toilet is exposed to sunlight and heat.
The sanitation product or chemicals for portable toilets
can come in the form of a liquid, tablet, sachet or dry
For example –
– Odour-B-Gone have fast and slow release discs which
can be used in cassette and black-water holding tanks. The
discs or tablets release oxygen that kills odour causing
bacteria. Their website states their product contains no harmful
chemical and is environmentally friendly.
Odour-B-Gone claim it is safe to discharge the waste
into septic systems and long-drop toilets.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is available on
have a liquid pink concentrate product ‘Aqua
Rinse’ for the fresh water flush tank which they
state has a pleasant lavender smell and has
lubricating qualities to assist opening and
closing the blade to the waste tank. Thetford
states their ‘Aqua Kem Blue’ for the
waste or holding tank has a pleasant pine odour
and assists breaking down solids. Thetford
state their Aqua Kem Liquid is an
environmentally safe, biodegradable formula
holding tank deodorant but this is confusing as
their Material Data Safety Sheet (Form 50001/50085)
states it contains formaldehyde. The Material
Safety Data Sheet (Form 50039) for the Thetford
‘SupremeGreen’ holding tank deodoriser
states it contains Broncopol which is a
preservative agent and often used in
substitution for formaldehyde.
‘Safe AquaKem Green’, label states it does
not contain formaldehyde and is ecologically safe,
biodegradable, non-toxic and non-ecotoxic
as well as septic tank safe (Test ISO 11734). Mix 60ml per
5 litres holding tank capacity. The label goes on to
Aqua Kem Green is not designed for use in recirculating
toilets and Holding Tank Models.
Thetford Aqua Kem Dri is a concentrated dry
granular holding tank deodorant for use in RV and marine
portable toilets. Thetford state Aqua Kem Dri is
biodegradable and environmentally safe when disposed of
in a waste treatment system.
have a Biodegradable Toilet Liquid Deodorizer which they
septic tank safe,
biodegradable, formaldehyde free with a mint
fragrance and breaks down waste and tissue.
by Chemtech is an antibacterial sanitiser. It contains
10g/L Glutaraldehyde which is often used to disinfect
medical and dental equipment and as a chemical
preservative and embalming fluid.
However, their advertising material states it is 'Biodegradable,
meets Australian sewerage disposal requirements' and 'The
resultant solution can be tipped into sewerage or septic systems, no
BioMagic state their odour and waste control products
are non toxic, non hazardous and 100% environmentally
friendly. BioMagic also state their products are safe
on the skin, harmless to animals and good for the
environment. BioMagic have product containers from
500ml – 20L for small and large waste tanks.
BioMagic Loo Drops are a dry granular form of BioMagic
for small portable toilet cassettes or holding tanks.
The LooDrops can also be used for grey water treatment
to repress odors.
Feedback on various caravan forums are mixed but the
trick seems to be to ensure the waste cassette has been
cleaned well prior to using BioMagic.
Alternative toilet chemical -
caravaner's favourite/ Sodium Percarbonate Laundry Soakers
Over time, and as a cheaper
alternative, there has been a move to the usage of washing or
laundry soaker products containing sodium percarbonate. For
laundry soaker products to be effective they must contain 32% to 35%
sodium percarbonate and a 'cap full' is dissolved in about 1-2
litres (depending on size of cassette tank) of water. Sodium
percorbonate products are considered to be safe to empty into septic
tank systems and most pit toilets.
Brand names like Coles Ultra
Booster Advanced Oxy, Supreme Oxy Active from The Reject Shop and Di
San Oxy Laundry Soaker & In-Wash Booster from Aldi are popular.
As with any chemical, care should be taken when handling these
products not to inhale the dust and avoid contact with the skin and
Although some home made toilet chemicals
may be cheaper to mix up, feedback on some
caravan forums suggest some caravan parks with
septic toilets have banned the deposit of the
toilet waste into the septic system. The reason
for this is given that as most of these home
made toilet chemicals contain Pine-O-Clean or
Bleach and this kills bacteria required for the
natural breakdown of the waste solids.