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Top 5 Interesting Facts About Portable Toilets

Author: Max Allum

23 April 2021

We here at Davlav know a thing or two about portable toilets (WCs, Honey Buckets, whatever you like to call them!), we have over 27 years of experience and are the UK’s leading supplier of portable toilets and welfare facilities. You could say we were experts in the subject.


Portable toilets are extremely useful and help out in a lot of areas, making construction sites, festivals, and a whole range of other events cleaner and more hygienic. They are used all over and are more common than you would think. This is why I thought I would compile a list of interesting facts about portable toilets to give you some further information on them.


You may not think there could be anything interesting about toilets, but I beg to different, they have an interesting history and do not live up to all of the stereotypes people think about them. Whether you are a regular customer wanting to know a bit more about the products you’ve been hiring or if you’re completely new to the industry take a look below.


  1. They are a relatively new invention

Portable toilets are a relatively new invention especially when we compare them to standard flushable toilets (which you would have thought came after due to their waste disposal technology). They were invented all the way back 1596 (although not commonly used until 1851) whereas portable toilets as we know them today have not even been around 100 years.


They in fact were created in the 1940’s during World War 2 in America. The shipbuilding industry was huge at this time, but they noticed their employees weren’t being as productive as they could be as would waste time in having to walk all the way up the docks and back to find the nearest toilet. Temporary wooden toilet blocks were designed to be placed on each ship with a small holding tank attached, thus creating a portable toilet not worlds away from what we have today.


They evolved over time using metal, fibreglass, and then eventually polyurethane plastic like we use today. All of these evolutions helped make the toilet more lightweight (therefore more portable). As well as more hygienic as each of the materials absorbs less than the one before. Be sure to check out our full blog post on ‘The surprising History of Portable Toilets’ for the full story.


A bonus fact with this is that toilet paper has also not always been available. Mass manufacturing only began to take place in the 1800’s. This however was not even splinter free so could be pretty uncomfortable I imagine. Harmless splinter free toilet paper like we know today was not introduced until 1935, just in time for the portable toilet!


  1. Chamber Pots however are not a new invention – they are far from it

Chamber pots can be seen as the original portable toilets. Usually a small bowl that people can go to the toilet in before having to empty and clean it out. It was discovered that they were being used all the way back in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. They have been commonly used throughout history as a way of disposing of waste, not too pleasant! Of course, they are still used in places today such as hospital bed pans.


  1. The mysterious blue liquid

The mysterious blue liquid that we’ve all come to know and love has a variety of useful purposes. They are all essential to portable toilets with no running water available. It is a deodorizing chemical that blocks the growth of bacteria that causes any odours. The aim is to kill as much bacteria and any possible smells. In order to keep the toilets fresh and hygienic for its users.

There is actually a reason for the colour of it being blue. The reason for the dye being a deep blue colour is that it simply is the best colour to hide and disguise any waste left behind. Way better then say a yellow or a pink! Simply making it a lot more pleasant for the user. If the chemical starts to become a green colour this means it has lost its effectiveness and needs to be changed. We here at Davlav offer a weekly servicing of all our products/services.


  1. They are better for the environment

It may seem obvious but portable toilets that are not connected to a mains water supply, waste a lot less water than a standard flushable toilet would. Flushing toilets is one of the main ways water is wasted, even more so than taking a shower. Portable toilets waste around 90% less water than a regular toilet so are in fact helping to save the planet!


  1. They can be full bathrooms no different to at home

Yes, nowadays we have advanced so much in the portable toilet and welfare world that it is not just the toilet itself that is portable. We here at Davlav offer a whole variety of different portable toilets and products. This includes; full bathroom blocks, with porcelain bowls and sinks as well as showers and changing rooms. Our Maxi Space steel cabin portable toilets are looking like they may become the future of the industry. They are a quicker, adaptable, and a more hygienic solution.


Hopefully you have learnt something interesting about portable toilets. Maybe something that you can pass on next time you are queuing up to use one. Whether it’s their history or about the blue liquid. If you did find this interesting be sure to check out some of our other blogs here. 


If you need a portable toilet or any other services, then be sure to get in contact with us here. We’ll be ready to help get you what you need.