What’s That Blue Stuff in Porta Potties?

February 4, 2021

If you’ve ever used the facilities at a campground, event ground or construction site in Chattanooga, TN, you’re probably familiar with the blue liquid in a porta potty. Even those who try to avoid looking into the contents of the portable toilet as much as possible still have almost certainly caught a glimpse of this blue substance before.

Here’s an overview of that blue liquid and what it’s used for.

The blue liquid and why it’s used

The primary purpose of the blue liquid throughout the decades for which it’s been used has always been to deodorize portable toilets to the fullest extent possible. It can be easy for portable toilets to develop quite a foul smell, when you consider the enclosed spaces and the fact that they’re frequently used outdoors during the summer under the heat of the sun.

Consider the fact that portable toilets will use about 90 percent less water than conventional toilets. While this saves a lot of water, it also means there isn’t as much to reduce the smells emanating from the toilet.

Early portable toilets used formaldehyde-based deodorizers to cover up the waste and mask the odors. However, formaldehyde is toxic to humans, and can be very harmful for the environment. Formaldehyde breaks down rapidly in the atmosphere and results in the development of harmful substances like formic acid and carbon dioxide. When animals are exposed to formaldehyde, it makes them sick and can affect their appearance, behavior and breeding patterns, all while reducing their lifespans.

Fortunately, advancements in the portable toilet industry made it so that formaldehyde would no longer have to be used in deodorizing solutions. In addition, advancements in the construction of portable toilets using lighter and different materials also yielded some environmental benefits.

Today’s deodorizers have no formaldehyde. The four main ingredients are biocides, dye, detergents and fragrances, and companies might add some proprietary ingredients on top of those. As for why the dye is that dark blue color, it’s simple, really: the goal is to obscure as much of the contents of the portable toilet as possible to at least reduce some of the “grossness” factor when using the toilet. Nobody wants to look into the contents of the toilet and see, well, everything down there, and the blue dyes make for a bit more of a pleasant (or at least neutral) experience.

The fragrances can also vary. They might be designed to provide a sort of floral smell, or the smell of fruits or berries. The fragrances are often heavy—after all, they need to be able to cover up a lot of unpleasant smells.

You have a wide range of options when it comes to the blue liquid you use in your portable toilets. Most portable toilet companies will use the same brand over and over again.

For more information about the blue liquid in portable toilets in Chattanooga, TN and what this substance is used for, we encourage you to contact Pit Stop Portables today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have for our team.

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