Does A Composting Toilet Smell?

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Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by acechapman

All those involved in the topic of camping toilets/motorhome toilets, and eventually the composting toilet, are most concerned about the unpleasant smells or stench.

On one hand, van owners and motorhome drivers are often concerned about an alternative toilet. They notice an unpleasant stench from the cassette toilet that spreads throughout their vehicle.

However, we all know that excrement smells bad, especially after using the toilet. Many people also picture several poopy stools in a bucket.

This article will show you why dry composting toilets and composting toilets do not stink. Do you find the composting toilet smell unpleasant? So, let’s start with the basics. No, composting toilets don’t smell or stink.

For over 90 years, the composting toilet is loved and used. It is not without cause. Motorhomes now have composting toilets that are available for around 20 years. In recent years, however, the demand for composting toilets has increased significantly.

Why? You can dispose of your waste at home with the dry composting toilet. For solid waste, the emptying times are longer and you don’t need additional water to use the composting toilet.

Long-term vehicle travel is becoming more popular as well as free-standing. Therefore, this means that the demand for toilets is growing.

A common reason to change the cassette toilet is an unpleasant odor.

composting toilet smell

What is the cause of unpleasant odors in bucket toilets and chemical toilets?

Unpleasant odors in bucket toilets and chemical toilets can be caused by a variety of factors, including the presence of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. These factors decompose the waste material and release gases that have a strong, unpleasant smell. The lack of proper ventilation and the accumulation of waste over time can also contribute to the development of bad odors. To help reduce odors, it is important to properly maintain the toilet, including regularly emptying and cleaning the waste container, using deodorizing chemicals, and ensuring that the toilet is well-ventilated.

Cassette toilets are designed to prevent bacteria activity by using liquid additives, which can be chemical or biological products. This reduces odor formation. Some chemical additives can cause harm to animals and humans, so it is important to be cautious with their use. These biological products use enzymes and microorganisms that work well, but they come at a cost.

Some cassette toilet users also use SOG systems. The SOG system eliminates odors by creating a vacuum inside the toilet.

Famous Composting Toilets

What is the cause of strong urine smells sometimes occurring with traditional toilets?

If you consume enough fresh urine, fresh urine will not smell. Some foods, like asparagus, or medications, can make urine smell.

The combination of water and lime, which is what causes the well-known urine smell, is the main culprit. The urine scale, which builds up over time, is another factor that contributes to the urine smell.

The more urine is collected, the more likely that an odor will be detected. Most urine-diverting toilets only have one 10-liter canister. This allows for a period of approximately 2-4 days.

composting toilet smell

Is there any unpleasant odor from the composting toilet?

Composting toilets are designed to convert organic waste into compost through the process of decomposition. While this process can produce some odors, they are generally not unpleasant. In fact, many people find that composting toilets have little to no odor at all. This is because the waste is converted into compost by microorganisms that break down the organic matter, rather than by chemical processes that can produce strong odors.

Do you prefer litter or fan or both?

Many people now use composting toilets, each with its own method. Some only use litter.

You can prevent this from happening by leaving the composting toilet’s lid open occasionally or using a fan to regulate it. This allows moisture to evaporate.

The condensation moisture can cause this that collects in the composting bowl and drips onto the mass. The moisture content of the composting toilet will rise and cause an increase in odor.

As an alternative or support to litter, you can use a fan. This allows the feces and air to dry outside and will not cause the composting toilet to smell. Also, the fan removes any odors that have just formed. This helps to reduce overall odor formation.

Some composting toilets have been designed so that solids can only dry with a fan. You can completely dispose of the litter with this composting toilet. Fans used in this area have very low power consumption. This is not a problem, even with continuous usage.

However, you can collect longer if you use a fan. The disposal intervals for items without fans are shorter.

Composting toilets can smell when emptied

It is possible for a composting toilet to produce unpleasant odors when emptying. This is particularly if you do not manage the composting process properly. If the composting toilet has not been properly maintained and the waste material has not been fully composted, it may produce a strong, unpleasant smell when it is removed from the toilet.

To help prevent this, it is important to properly maintain the composting toilet, including regularly adding materials such as sawdust or peat moss. This will help absorb moisture and control odors, as well as to ensure to ventilate the toilet.


Does a composting toilet really smell? A composting toilet is an excellent solution, especially if the odor was ever a problem with your toilet.

They don’t stink and they don’t smell bad either. Your composting toilet will work well if you easily remove the moisture.

We have an explanation in complete detail of the history behind odor formation. You now have a solid understanding of the principles behind it, and you can work with your composting toilet without worrying.

Image source:

UD composting toilet” by Sustainable sanitation is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Simple urine diverting composting toilet” by Sustainable sanitation is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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