Whether you’re at an event, festival or using a portable toilet at your work because of renovations, it can be hard to know what you can and can’t flush down. When you’re at home, it’s easy to get into the habit of using the toilet to dispose of other waste (over and above toilet paper and human waste). And, for the most part, you can get away with it. But flushing items down a portable toilet is a different story.
We’ve been in the portable toilet hire business for many years and we’ve seen it all. We’ve cleared out a number of very surprising things from our hired temporary toilets. It may be tempting to flush many different things down a toilet, but they’re a lot more sensitive than regular toilets so you might want to think twice before you do.
Things that should never be flushed down a portable toilet includes (we’ve seen all of these and more):
1. Things that have been dropped in the portable toilet by mistake
It happens so quickly, one moment you’re flushing the toilet and the next your phone has disappeared. Valuable items such as jewellery, phones and credit cards are some of the items that we quite often recover when we clean out a portable toilet. Now these items haven’t been flushed down intentionally, but by putting some basic principles in place, it’s easy to ensure that you don’t lose anything important next time that you visit a portable toilet.
What can you do instead?
The best way to ensure that you don’t flush anything down the toilet by mistake is to (before you sit down):
• Remove everything from your pockets
• Finish any conversations or texts that you are sending
• If you have a handbag, store any loose items securely inside
2. Sanitary waste is very difficult for a portable toilet to deal with
To make our lives easier, and to protect you from the embarrassment of having to report a blocked loo at a festival when hundreds of people are queuing for the toilets, please don’t flush sanitary waste down the toilet.
Tampons and other feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down a portable toilet. This goes for specialised portable toilet types too, including luxury portable toilets and disabled portable toilets. They may look and operate in a similar way to normal flush toilets, but they are not equipped to deal with sanitary waste. These products are all made of non-biodegradable materials that will not disintegrate or be broken down when they come into contact with the portable toilet chemicals.
So what is the solution?
At LetLoos our portable toilets come standard with sanitary waste disposal bins to make it easy to get rid of any used tampons or other objects that have been used and are no longer needed.
3. Baby Wipes and Paper Towels
If you’re at a multi-day music festival, chances are you’ve been keeping clean with wet wipes, and have probably started carrying them around with you to try and keep your immediate vicinity hygienic. If you find yourself in a loo holding your wet wipes, now is not the time to use them. Unfortunately, wet wipes are not broken down by the toilets chemicals and can quickly lead to a clogged or broken toilet. This is also true for ‘flushable’ wipes, which are also not able to be broken down by the chemicals.
What can you do instead?
If you’re worried that the festival might not be looking after the portable toilets then take along your own roll of loo paper and a packet of wet wipes. Any wet wipes that you use can be disposed of in a bin outside the loo, and your toilet paper can, of course, be flushed down the toilet.
4. Cigarette Butts
This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Dropping a cigarette butt into a portable toilet can damage the toilet by burning the plastic before it goes out. Then, once it is flushed into the waste holding tank, it can’t be broken down by the chemicals.
What’s the alternative?
Most festivals and events have designated smoking areas with places to dispose of cigarettes. So, the best option, if you need to smoke, is to use the facilities available.
5. Food and Gum That You Don’t Want
If you’ve got to go to the toilet and have food or gum that you no longer want, don’t throw it in the down the hole. Gum may stick to the toilet instead of flushing down, making the toilet very difficult to clean. And, if it does flush down, it can’t be broken down by the chemicals. Food is also a problem as it can easily cause a blockage in the toilet system, which will mean that the toilet can no longer be used.
Throw your food or gum into a rubbish bin before you join the queue for the toilet.
There are many other things that shouldn’t be flushed down a portable toilet such as grease, oil, dirty nappies and dental floss. But, since you’re probably using a toilet at a festival or event, it’s not likely that you’d be thinking of flushing those items down the loo anyway.
To finish off, we’d like to highlight the things that you can safely flush down the toilet (and it’s a very short list):
1 – human waste
2 – regular toilet paper
Anything else is just going to cause blockages and clogs which is embarrassing if there’s a queue and people are waiting, and really unhelpful if you’re going to be using the toilet for the next couple of hours or even days.
At LetLoos we provide the best portable toilet hire options in the UK. Choose from our range of units including urinals, event toilets, luxury portable toilets, toilet trailers, disabled portable toilets and more. Whatever you need for your next event or festival, we want to help you make it happen.