How To Clean Your Loo With Cassette Toilet Chemicals
Author: Your RV Good Guide Date Posted: 22 May 2023
For many new motorhomers, one of the big questions around maintenance is ‘how do I clean the inside of my toilet cassette?’ The good news is, once you know the basics, it’s really very simple. In this helpful guide, we provide a step-by-step guide to keeping your camping toilet hygienically clean. We’ll also cover other helpful information, including:
- What is a cassette toilet?
- Difference Between a Cassette Toilet and a Portable Camping Toilet
- Where to empty your cassette toilet
- How often should you clean your toilet cassette?
- What makes cassette toilet chemicals different to regular toilet cleaners
- A step-by-step guide to cleaning your cassette toilet
- What you need to know about toilet paper
- The range of cassette toilet chemicals at RV Super Centre
What is a cassette toilet
On the face of it, your campervan toilet works similarly to your home toilet. You use it, flush it, wash your hands, and carry on with your day. But the big difference is that your campervan toilet waste doesn’t just disappear into the sewerage system. Waste from your campervan toilet is contained in either a blackwater waste tank or a toilet cassette. Both need to be manually emptied into a dump station. A blackwater tank is larger than a cassette and is emptied via a waste hose. A toilet cassette, however, is smaller and portable. You remove the entire cassette, transport it (on wheels) to the dump site, and tip out the contents into the dump station.
Difference Between a Cassette Toilet and a Portable Camping Toilet
The main difference between a portable camping toilet and a cassette toilet is that the cassette toilet itself is fixed to your motorhome. Whereas portable toilets can be carried from one place to another, a cassette toilet isn’t moveable or portable. However, it has a portable waste tank – known as a cassette.
Where to empty your cassette toilet
In New Zealand, it’s your legal obligation to empty your cassette toilet at a designated dump station. Dump stations can be found at most campsites. Look out for the dump station symbol.
To help you find dump points, refuse stations, recycling depots and more, it’s a great idea to download the thl Roadtrip app for Android or iPhone. This handy, easy-to-use app is the perfect travel companion for motorhome and campervan travellers. It’s packed full of great information for your New Zealand road trip.
How often should you clean your toilet cassette?
A clean toilet is a good toilet! And when you’re holidaying with others in a campervan, having a clean toilet is a must. So how often should you clean your toilet cassette? In the first instance, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. But as a general rule, you should give your toilet cassette a thorough rinse every time you empty it – usually every couple of days. Depending on how long you are travelling for and how many travellers are onboard, it’s also a good idea to give the cassette a deep clean weekly including a chemical treatment.
What makes cassette toilet chemicals different to regular toilet cleaners
When it comes to cleaning camping toilets, it’s important to use products specifically designed for use with a cassette. Cassette toilet chemicals are designed to break down waste quickly and efficiently. This is important because cassette waste doesn’t flush away like a regular toilet. The waste will sit in the cassette until it’s emptied. Cassette toilet chemicals are designed to work with less water, unlike normal toilet cleaners. They also help prevent and remove odours. You can also find several brands, such as Habitat, that are environmentally friendly.
In addition, in most cases, cassette toilet chemicals are better for the environment.
A step-by-step guide to cleaning your cassette toilet
Here’s a simple guide to keeping your toilet cassette hygienically clean.
1. Put on appropriate safety gear
Because you’ll be getting up close to the waste in your toilet cassette, it’s important to put safety first. You don’t want to risk exposure to the germs and bacteria that live within human waste. Always wear gloves and a face mask. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling the cassette and before touching anything else. You’ll also want to have a cleaning brush and bucket ready at this point.
2. Take out the cassette
Toilet cassettes are usually located within a side storage locker accessible from the exterior side of your motorhome. First, make sure the toilet bowl is empty and the valve blade is closed. Then, wearing your safety gear, release the latch that holds the cassette in place. It should then slide out easily.
3. Empty the contents at a dump station
Many toilet cassettes have a handle and wheels to make them easier to transport. If not, you might want to consider parking as close as possible to the dump station. Open the dump spout and pour the waste into the dump station.
4. Rinse the cassette
Once the cassette is empty, pour some water inside, give it a swish around, then empty again. Most dump stations have a water hose for this purpose.
5. Screw the top off
Next, you’ll want to give the inside of the cassette a thorough clean with a cleaning brush. To do this, unlock the seal to the top of the cassette itself and twist it off.
6. Prepare your chemicals
Depending on the type of chemicals you’re working with, you may need to prepare them to the correct ratio with warm water in a bucket. Other chemical types can be used without mixing with water.
7. Get scrubbing
Follow the instructions on the toilet chemical packaging and apply it to the cassette. Use a small toilet brush to apply and scrub within the cassette. You'll then want to leave the chemicals to sit for a while, usually at least 15 minutes.
8. Rinse the cassette toilet out
Give the cassette another good rinse out with clean water.
9. Apply toilet treatment
Now that the toilet cassette is clean, it’s a good idea to use a toilet treatment to help keep your toilet fresh and to break down future waste. There is a range of products available for this purpose. Many motorhome travellers like the ease of using a ‘porta pak’. These soluble sachets can be dropped into the cassette and will slowly dissolve over a week.
As part of your regular toilet maintenance, it’s also a good idea to apply seal lubricant spray several times per year. This will help prolong the life of your toilet seals.
What you need to know about toilet paper
Using household toilet tissue in your cassette toilet can quickly lead to clogging and blockages. This is because normal toilet paper doesn’t break down quickly. Having a blocked toilet on your holiday is no fun at all. It’s worth using RV toilet paper specially designed for use in a camper toilet. This tissue breaks down faster and makes it easy to empty your cassette. Alternatively, you may also like to have a separate bin for disposing of toilet paper.
The range of cassette toilet chemicals at RV Super Centre
RV Super Centre is the best place to get your cassette toilet chemicals. We’ve got everything you need to keep your camper toilet clean and fresh.
Our Thetford toilet chemicals include Thetford Aqua Kem Blue which is ideal for odour control and to help break down waste for easy tank emptying. Another good option is Thetford Duo Tank Cleaner which can be used to keep your grey water tank clean too.
For an even easier option, Walex Bio-Paks can be simply dropped into your cassette. These start working immediately to control odours and break down solids. They’re also completely safe for the environment.
Another environmentally friendly product is Habitat Pure Toilet and Waste Treatment. Locally made and 100 per cent natural, this treatment is also officially licensed and endorsed by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA).
How to know if it’s time to replace your toilet cassette
Usually, toilet cassettes will last for years if you follow the manufacturer's instructions and look after them properly. Having said that, even if your cassette is working well, it’s best to replace it every 10 or so years.
If you find leaks or broken parts or constant bad smells even after being cleaned, it might be a good time to consider purchasing a new toilet cassette.
Maintain your RV or motorhome with RV Super Centre
From cassettes and parts to cleaning chemicals and treatments, RV Super Centre has all the motorhome accessories you need to keep your camper toilet in good condition. We also have lots of other great RV accessories to help you make the most of your motorhome travels.
Looking for more information about campervan toilets and bathroom care? Check out more of our helpful guides:
- How to choose a portable toilet for camping
- All you need to know about motorhome bathroom types
- Must have accessories for freedom camping