How To Ventilate Your Porta Potty From Stinking
Published on August 27, 2018

Are Porta Potties Stinky OR Ventilated?

Stinky potties are often the butt of many high school jokes, however, a modern porta potty that is designed, used, and maintained properly should not be any more odorous than a traditional restroom that you may find in a residence or business. This is because modern porta-potties are designed to ventilate fumes to the outside thus preventing a build-up of stinky smells within the potty itself. In addition, the special deodorizers added to the tank help to reduce bacteria and while inhibiting odors. Finally, with regular cleaning and servicing, you can ensure that users will always experience a clean potty complete with that recognizable clean potty fragrance.

Does a Porta Potty Come with a Ventilation Fan?

Most porta potties do not have a ventilation fan.  In fact, if the toilet seat is kept down and the potty is well maintained, odors and toxic fumes are not likely to build up inside the potty and a fan is not necessary. However, some porta potties, such as the ones that come with solar panels for power or the premium grade feature-rich potties, come with built-in ventilation fans.  These fans help to further reduce odors and can even help to offer potty users a bit more privacy.

How Do Porta Potties Ventilate Gases?

Modern porta potties are designed to vent odors through a pipe which helps to reduce foul smells within the potty itself. As the holding tank receives waste, hot gases start to build up and then rise through the ventilation tube where it exits the potty.  The cooler, lower pressure air outside of the porta potty will also help to “draw out” the warmer, higher pressure fumes that begin accumulating within the holding tank as well.  If it’s breezy outside, the ventilation system tends to work even better because the air moving over the ventilation tube opening can help to draw out more of the gases as well. Essentially, this ingenious design permits odors to leave the unit before they build up within potty thus preventing a user from being incapacitated and overcome by noxious fumes.

Should You Leave the Toilet Seat Up?

Sorry guys, but the answer is no!  The toilet seat actually serves to help make the ventilation system work properly.  When the seat is closed, fumes and odors that build up in the holding tank are directed to leave the potty through the ventilation tube. If the seat is left up, then fumes will start building up inside the potty itself and the next person to open the door will be in for a big surprise!

How Does the Weather Impact Porta Potty Ventilation?

The warmer the temperature is outside, the faster odors will build up and accumulate within the holding tank and the porta-potty.  However, a well-designed and maintained potty would still only contain limited odors even on really hot days, if the seat is kept closed. Porta Potty users in warm places such as Phoenix, AZ or Las Vegas, NV need not be afraid to use the restrooms. In colder climates, odors tend to build up more slowly.

Can You Deodorize a Porta Potty?

If a porta potty is experiencing heavy use, smells and odors can start to accumulate within the potty. For temporary relief you can add additional deodorizing detergent deodorizers to the tank water, leave the door open for 5-10 minutes to let the fumes escape, and/or try to remove or mask the odors with a deodorizing spray.  However, if excess odors are building up within the potty on a regular basis, you may need to have the unit serviced or you may have too few potties for the demands of the event or location.  Most porta potties are only good for 100 to 150 uses before they need to be serviced.

What’s the Best Way to Keep Odors Under Control?

The best way to make sure that fumes and foul smells don’t knock out the people using the potty is to make sure that it is regularly serviced and that it is not being over-utilized.  When a porta-potty is serviced, the holding tank is emptied and refilled with sanitizing deodorizers designed to kill bacteria and inhibit odors.  In addition, always order the right amount of potties for your special event and be sure that they are serviced after every 100 to 150 uses or at least on a weekly basis. Also, don’t forget to keep the seat down!


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