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RV Sanitation Products/Toilet Chemicals

Portable Toilet Chemicals


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 formaldehyde.

Caution 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 disposal. 

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 job.


Bio MagicIt 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 3-4 days, 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 powder. 

For example –

Ordour-B-Gone Portable Toilet ChemicalsOdour-B-Gone – 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 their website.


Thetford 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.

  Thetford Portable Toilet Chemicals

Safe AquaKem Green Portable Toilet ChemicalsThetford’s ‘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 AquaKem Dri Portable Toilet Chemicalssay 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.

Coleman have a Biodegradable Toilet Liquid Deodorizer which they claim is septic tank safe, biodegradable, formaldehyde free with a mint fragrance and breaks down waste and tissue.

Portasol Portable Toilet Chemicals

Portasol 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 disposal problems'.


Bio MagicBioMagic 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 eyes.

Although some home made toilet chemicals (See related article) 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.  

Portable Toilet Chemicals - Home Remedy
Portable toilet chemicals are not cheap. Save money and make your own home remedy from simple ingredients bought at the local supermarket.

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