April 6, 2022

Can you use bleach in a portable toilet?

Bleach is a very effective disinfectant that can be used to kill a variety of potentially harmful germs. Because of this, it’s a common ingredient in many household cleaning products. However, when it comes to portable toilets ,it’s a product best left in the cupboard.

By itself, bleach can irritate your lungs, eyes, and skin, but when it’s mixed with other chemicals, it can lead to a potentially serious chemical reaction. The chemicals used in a portable toilet provided by a reputable provider like D-tox, can react with bleach causing harmful gases. The two are definitely best kept apart.

A portable toilet has a holding tank for waste, rather than being flushed through to mains waste water. This means any additional chemicals you put in the portable toilet on top of those in the tank provided by your supplier, are mixing and standing together. This means they could then react with each other.

You may have heard that you shouldn’t wee into a toilet that has bleach in it. Is there any truth to this?

It’s generally not a good idea to wee into a toilet (whether a portable or household toilet) that has bleach in the bowl.

Why? Bleach on its own can be harmful to your skin. Weeing into a toilet that still contains bleach can lead to skin irritation or burns if the bleach splashes on your skin.

It’s also possible that the bleach may interact with your urine, leading to irritating fumes.

The bleach and urine reaction

The active ingredient in household bleach is a compound called sodium hypochlorite. (liquid chlorine which is an alkaline) The sodium hypochlorite in bleach can react with ammonia(which is found in urine and is an acid) producing a potentially toxic type of gas called chlorine gas.

If you’re exposed to a large amount of chlorine gas, you can experience: Irritation of your eyes, nose, and throat, watering eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, to name but a few symptoms.

So, our advice is to leave bleach in the cupboard and allow your servicing to be done by a specialist such as D-tox to ensure the correct chemicals are used and that any waste is the toilet is safety and legally disposed of by a licensed waste carrier.

Related blogs

What chemicals are used in a portable toilet

Expert advice on portable toilets for your outdoor wedding

What’s included in a weekly toilet service

Jeannie Hoddinott

Jeannie has copywritten blogs for many years in several industries including sustainable transport, health, the charity sector and sanitation.
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