You got your own composting toilet, and now you need some supplies because you need to clean it. Not every toilet will be the same, but I compiled a list of composting toilet supplies you may need to help keep your toilet clean and maintained. 

Some tried and true products can make your toilet cleaning world even easier. 

Composting toilet units are quickly becoming a staple in tiny house bathrooms on camping trips, RVs, and Camper Vans.

I personally love the flexibility of them and know with the right supplies, you can keep this toilet churning for years to come. 

I will walk you through the essential supplies you need to ensure a sanitary and eco-friendly way to take care of your human waste needs while you experience the joy of alternative living with this dry toilet unit. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I can earn commissions. If you decide to purchase through my links, it is at no cost to you.

Composting Toilet Supplies Summary

Some of these items may only be needed based on manufacturers’ recommendations.

I also listed some items that may need to be replaced in the future so you can have a quick reference guide to all your composting toilet supply needs.

Items you may need to purchase regularly

Single time purchase items (unless you need to replace them)

Composting Mediums

Composting toilets rely on the right balance of carbon and nitrogen to break down waste effectively in the solid tank.

Perfect composting environment

A carbon-rich source not only generates the necessary energy for rapid compost breakdown but also helps to regulate moisture retention, solid covering, and loosening within the composting toilet.

There are several compost mediums to choose from. Let’s learn more about them so you can choose the best option.

The compost medium is the most crucial item for a composting toilet. It aids in the drying process. Your compost medium is carbon-rich, and your solids are nitrogen-rich.

3 Best Compost Mediums for Composting Toilets

When choosing the right bedding material for your composting toilet, consider availability, cost, and local regulations.

Some materials may be more easily accessible in certain regions, while others may be more cost-effective.

Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the material is free from any contaminants that could interfere with the composting process.

1. Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is from the fibrous husk of coconuts. It should be a staple on your composting toilet supplies list. It is a popular and eco-friendly choice.

It acts as a natural absorbent, effectively absorbing moisture and reducing odors in your composting toilet. It provides excellent aeration and drainage, creating an ideal environment for the decomposition process.

Additionally, coconut coir is lightweight, easy to handle, and has a long lifespan, making it a practical choice for composting toilet systems.

I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to who only use this for their compost medium. 

✅ How to use Coconut Coir in a Composting Toilet
  1. The blocks you purchase must be rehydrated.
  2. Put the block in a bucket and add water to let the coconut absorb and rehydrate.
  3. Keep adding water until the mixture looks like dirt. You can break it up with your hands or mix it with a shovel.
  4. Once the material is rehydrated, add it to a clean solids container until it is about halfway full.
  5. If you have an aerator, give it a few spins to ensure the material can be easily mixed.
coconut coir pros and cons

2. Sawdust and Sawdust Alternatives

Sawdust

Sawdust is a popular choice because it is readily available, affordable, and helps control odors by absorbing moisture. You could also opt for wood chips, but they need to be smaller.

Pine Shavings

Another option is pine shavings, which have a pleasant scent and antimicrobial properties that help control odors. They are a commonly available bedding material in pet stores.

✅ How to use Sawdust or Pine Shavings in a Composting Toilet
  1. The material comes pretty lose, but if you need break it up with your hands or mix it with a shovel.
  2. Add it to a clean solids container until it is about halfway full.
  3. If you have an aerator, give it a few spins to ensure the material can be easily mixed.

3. Sphagnum Peat Moss

Peat moss helps absorb excess moisture from waste, preventing odor buildup and promoting decomposition. The peat moss gradually decomposes with the waste, adding organic matter and nutrients to the final compost.

Pro Tip: To get the most out of peat moss in your composting toilet, consider using it in combination with other absorbent materials, such as sawdust or coconut coir. Be sure to use Sphagnum peat moss, not the one with miracle grow.

Experiment with different ratios and find the best mix for your specific needs.

✅ How to use Sawdust or Pine Shavings in a Composting Toilet
  1. The material comes pretty lose, but if you need break it up with your hands or mix it with a shovel.
  2. Add it to a clean solids container until it is about halfway full.
  3. If you have an aerator, give it a few spins to ensure the material can be easily mixed.
Pros and cons of peat moss (1)

Other compost mediums you may consider, but I can’t vouch for them as I have not used them:

  • Straw – Lightweight and easy to manage.
  • Pine Needles – Natural deodorizer.
  • Corn Cobs – Biodegradable and absorbent.
  • Rice Hulls – Lightweight and good for aeration.
  • Leaves – Readily available in the fall.
  • Grass Clippings – Use dried clippings for better results.
  • Coffee Grounds – Great for odor control
  • Newspaper – Shredded or torn into small pieces.
  • Cardboard – Also shredded or torn.
  • Hemp – Biodegradable and sustainable.
Comparing composting mediums

If you are in a cold climate, watch this video:

Enzymes

Enzymes break down complex organic matter into simpler compounds, making it easier for bacteria and other microorganisms to digest the waste.

This leads to a faster aerobic decomposition and reduces any potential odor. 

✅ How to use Enzymes in a Composting Toilet
  1. Measure the recommended amount of product per package directions.
  2. Add it to a solids container.
  3. If you have an aerator, give it a few spins to ensure the material can be easily mixed.

This Microbe Mix is a 100% natural blend of microbes and enzymes. It is designed to start and accelerate composting in all composting toilets.

You likely only need a small amount but check the package details to be sure. 

Biodegradable Waste Disposal Bags 

If you are emptying your solids in a bag to dispose of in a trash can or dump site, biodegradable bags will be your best friend.

Biodegradable bags break down naturally over time, reducing the environmental impact. They are also strong and durable, ensuring they can contain waste without the risk of leakage.

✅ How to use Biodegradable bags with Composting Toilet
  1. If you do not want to put your solids waste directly in a compost bin or you do not have one, place the solids in a biodegrable bag.
  2. Dispose of the bag in a regular trash can.

Composting Bag LIners

Some toilets use compostable plastic bags to line the solids compartment. These are designed to break down into organic matter under specific conditions.

Ensure that the size and design of the bag fit your toilet model and that it is easy to install and remove. 

Curious about Compostable Bags? Check out this Video:

Deodorizer and Odor Control

When it comes to composting toilets, one of the main concerns for users is controlling odors. That’s where composting toilet deodorizers come in handy.

Look for deodorizers specifically designed for composting toilets, as they are formulated to be safe for both the environment and human health.

  • Baking Soda – A classic, just sprinkle it on.
  • Vinegar – Mix with water and spray it.
  • Essential Oils – Lavender or lemon works well.
  • Activated Charcoal – Great for absorbing smells.
✅ How to regularly use Deodorizers with Composting Toilet
  1. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of baking soda or activated charcoal in the solids compartment every few days.
  2. Mix 50/50 Vinegar and water with essential oils in a spray bottle to spray the urine section after each use.
toilet deodorizers

Cleaning Agents

Simple white vinegar and a little biodegradable soap go a long way.

You can use vinegar in a spray bottle and put the soap on a small brush to clean the nooks and crannies of your composting toilet. 

Biodegradable Gloves

This should be a no-brainer, but I will offer a small tip on gloves. If you use disposable ones, at least get the biodegradable ones to throw in the compost pile. 

If you get reusable ones, you may want to store them in a separate space to ensure they only get used for toilet cleaning.

Toilet Paper: Biodegradable type

Biodegradable toilet paper is a staple of the composting toilet supplies you need. It is a game-changer for eco-conscious living.

It breaks down quickly, speeding up the composting process and reducing environmental impact, making your green lifestyle even greener.

Composting Worms (Red Wrigglers or Redworms)

So worms…Vermicomposting with worms in a compost bin is a great way to speed up the composting process while reducing waste.

The worms eat organic material and produce nutrient-rich castings. Their waste makes excellent fertilizer too!

You have to make sure you get the right worms. You need to get red wrigglers or redworms. 

While some swear by them, I have not tried worms. I just can’t do it personally. It is an option though! 

✅ How to worms with Composting Toilet
  1. Add the worms to your composting pile.
  2. Gently mix them in so they can get to work.

Typically one-time purchase supplies (or to replace)

Composting Tumbler Bin

Compost tumblers are the life hack of gardening. Toss in your kitchen scraps and yard waste, spin it, and boom—you’ve got compost in no time.

Dual bins let you keep filling one side while the other’s doing its thing. You can use this tumbler to compost your kitchen and yard waste.

It is not recommended to put your human waste in it.

Fan

Many composting toilets use a fan to pull moisture out of the air to aid in decomposition. If your toilet has one, then great.

The issue comes if you don’t have one or if the one you have stops working. 

ProTip: Clean the fan with a soft brush each time you empty your solids to remove dust and build-up. This will extend the life of the fan.

If you have to replace the fan, consider a few factors:

  • Noise level
  • Power consumption
  • Installation requirements

Most of the fans I have seen on the toilets look like a computer exhaust cooling fan. 

Urine Diverter

A urine diverter is much like a fan; you should not have to replace it. You may consider utilizing one if you do not have a urine diverter. 

Its purpose is to separate urine from solid waste, preventing excess moisture and accelerating composting. By diverting urine from the composting chamber, the system remains drier, reducing the risk of odor and promoting better decomposition.

Benefits of Using a Portable Urine Diverter

  • Improved composting: Separating urine from solid waste reduces moisture content, creating an optimal environment for decomposition. This helps to speed up the composting process and produce high-quality compost.
  • Reduced odor: Urine is a major contributor to unpleasant odors in composting toilets. The system removes excess liquid and minimizes odor issues by diverting urine away.
  • Easier maintenance: The separation of urine allows for easier removal and disposal, reducing the frequency of emptying the composting chamber.

ProTip: Have men and boys sit to urinate to ensure the liquid gets in the right place.

little boy sitting on the toilet

Toilet Seat with urine diversion

Perhaps you are doing a DIY composting toilet. You may consider getting a special toilet seat with a built-in urine diverter.

The following items are nothing special and can be found at most local hardware stores:

  • Trowel: For mixing the compost
  • Lid: For the composting chamber
  • Bucket: Extra one for compost or waste
  • Spray Bottle: Cleaning and most people spray the urine section down after use

Start your own Humanure Compost Bin

Find it on Amazon 🔎

Final Thoughts

A composting toilet can be a great addition to your tiny house bathroom or other off-grid setup. Some living in rural areas as adding these gems if things like access to water or a sewer system are not available.

I think they are worth the money to enjoy some of life’s creature comforts. As long as you take care of them, they will last. 

Proper composting toilet supplies is key, and maintaining your toilet is the best way to avoid a stinky situation. So glove up and get to cleaning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a composting toilet?

A composting toilet is an alternative to a conventional flushing toilet It uses organic materials to cover waste and promote decomposition, creating nutrient-rich compost.

How does a composting toilet work?

A composting toilet collects waste in a container or integrated composter, which is then covered with dry organic materials like sawdust or woodchips. Over time, the waste decomposes and turns into compost. 

Do composting toilets smell?

Properly maintained composting toilets should not produce any unpleasant odors. Using absorbent materials like sawdust or coconut coir, and regular emptying of the waste container, helps control moisture and odors.

How often do I need to empty a composting toilet?

The waste container may need to be emptied every few weeks to a few months. It is important to monitor the level and smell of the waste to determine when it needs to be emptied.

Can I use a composting toilet indoors?

Yes, composting toilets can be installed both indoors and outdoors. They are a great option for areas without sewage connections or where water conservation is a priority.

Is a composting toilet sanitary?

When properly maintained and emptied, composting toilets are sanitary and can be used without any health risks. The composting process helps break down pathogens, and the end product is safe for gardening.

Can I use toilet paper in a composting toilet?

Yes, toilet paper can be used in a composting toilet. However, it is recommended to use biodegradable toilet paper to ensure quicker decomposition.

How much water does a composting toilet save?

Unlike traditional flush toilets, composting toilets do not require any water for flushing. This can result in saving about 36,000 gallons of water per person each year 

Can I use a composting toilet in a cold climate?

Yes, composting toilets can be used in cold climates. Just watch out for frozen poop-sicles! 😝 Additional insulation may be required to prevent waste freezing.

How long does waste in a composting toilet take to turn into compost?

Composting in a composting toilet usually takes nine months to a year. However, the exact time may vary depending on factors such as temperature, moisture levels, and waste composition.

Author
  • Erin Hybart

    Meet Erin, a real estate enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and an insatiable curiosity for all things Real Estate and living with intention. She passionately advocates for alternative, affordable, and eco-friendly housing solutions. She believes in pushing the industry's innovation boundaries and thinking outside the box. As a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana, Erin dedicates herself to assisting clients in buying and selling properties and mentoring fellow agents to succeed in their own Real Estate businesses. In addition to her professional pursuits, Erin channels her expertise into captivating house-flipping adventures.

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