How to maintain a composting toilet

When it comes to living with a composting toilet, there are many benefits. Environmentally friendly, less water usage and not relying on being connected to the grid to deal with your family’s waste requirements are all benefits of installing a composting toilet; however, it’s important you are aware of the small amount of maintenance that’s required when you choose to live with a composting toilet in your home. 

Maintaining a composting toilet is an incredibly straightforward process that doesn’t require much thought or effort. Our range of cleaning products and accessories can help make the job of maintaining your composting toilet even easier. Below are the regular maintenance jobs you will want to consider when installing your new toilet. 

A healthy poo pile is key

It’s important when regularly using a composting toilet that the health of your composting pile is top-notch. A healthy composting pile will keep breaking down waste into usable top-soil-like hummus in no time at all because your pile is working at peak performance. 

An unhealthy pile will lead to unwanted smells and a reduced ability for all the bacteria and microbes in the composting pile to work at optimum speed. 
In very bad cases, you can even ‘kill’ your pile. This is when conditions in your composting pile kill off all the bacteria, microbes and fungi, so they stop working altogether. 

To avoid killing off your pile, you want to make sure you maintain it and keep it healthy so it can do the job of breaking down waste into compost. Below are some tips to keeping your composting toilet pile healthy:-

  • Avoid extreme temperatures (very hot or very cold)
  • Add a bulking agent regularly (we recommend Mini Hemp Bulking Agent)
  • Ensure your exhaust fans are working properly
  • Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners (we recommend Nature Flush Enzymes)
  • Don’t add foreign objects (food scraps, etc, save these for your garden compost) 

Keeping your composting toilet clean

Part of the maintenance of your composting toilet is keeping it clean. As mentioned previously, you must use natural cleaning products as harsh chemicals will kill off your composting pile and leave you with a pile of sh!t instead of a healthy compost pile that’s being broken down into a usable one product. 

We recommend using Nature Flush Enzymes as this is an all-natural fermented cleaner with a fresh vanilla fragrance and will also help accelerate your compost pile. Every time you do a #2, simply give your composting 10-12 sprays of diluted Nature Flush Enzymes. 

Cleaning the outside of your composting toilet
To keep the outside of your composting toilet clean, you can use a mild detergent and wipe down the pedestal or dilute white vinegar with water and wipe down your toilet using this mixture. 

Mixing your system

It’s important to read your manual to find out if your unit requires mixing of the compost pile every so often. 

For example, our Clivus Multrum LP and Clivus Multrum HP units have a built-in compost mixer that helps increase the unit’s volume capacity by breaking down the compost more efficiently, meaning you will need to empty it less often. This crank handle design makes it super easy to keep your compost pile rotated and working at peak performance. 

Many other systems don’t require mixing as they’re big enough to handle a large amount of waste or they have interchangeable containers that you can swap out when one container becomes full. 

Make sure your fan is working

The exhaust fan is one of the most important components of your composting toilet as it will move any unwanted smells up into the atmosphere and, more importantly, remove moisture from your compost pile. 

Too much moisture can kill off your pile leading to unwanted smells and even the death of all the microbes and bacteria in your composting toilet. Here are a few tips to ensure your fan is working in tip-top shape:-

  • Spray your exhaust fan with WD40 every six months
    • This extends the lifespan
    • It helps to loosen dirt from ball bearings, etc
  • Hook up your exhaust fan to a solar unit

 

That’s pretty much all you need to do to keep your composting toilet at optimal condition. By their very nature, composting toilets are incredibly easy to maintain and don’t require much attention if they’re set up correctly and kept in the right conditions.