Long before our complex pipe system was invented and the sewerage treatment plants came into effect, people used to dig up multiple holes in the ground and use them as lavatories. There was no controlled sanitation system that had been put in place as yet. It was later upgraded to a form of the seat that was made up of a wooden plank with a hole cut in the middle, these toilets date back to the fourteenth century B.C. Some of the toilets were later given clay pots that were regularly cleaned instead of standing above a deep hole in the ground.  It, however, took them some time before they realized there was a need for privacy and this is how they started putting up walls to cover the toilet as opposed to placing the toilets in bushes that are far from their residential areas.

In the modern-day, we have a complex network of pipes fitted into almost every home collecting waste from all connected lavatories. These pipes lead everything down through the mainlines to the sewerage treatment plant where the water and waste undergo a series of specified treatments after which the purified water is then released back into the water system for re-use.

Now when the pipe system was implemented in the Victorian era, much like today a lot of areas such as work stations and farm areas far from the city centre still had no access to the luxury of the modern sanitary system. These are the people for which Comfort Loos has aimed at providing with dignified sanitation systems that are portable and need not be connected to any sewer lines.

Portable toilets are sanitary systems that are not built into any dug up hole in the ground, septic tank or municipal sewerage system and are therefore able to move to different locations. Some of the portable toilets are later fitted in long-distance trains, caravans, aircraft bathrooms and boats. All these portable toilets are self-contained. Portable toilets go back as far as the 1400s.

Though this earlier version of the lavatory system was a breakthrough innovation in their time, one can only imagine why they were not popular with both the army and the navy. They may have been convenient for the time but without today’s chemical technologies there might have been a lot less hygiene. In the Second World War, the air-force made use of what was called the “Elsan chemical closet “ and they were only sold at military stores. In present-day, the original Elsan chemical closet can only be seen in historic house museums. Today’s technology, of course, is far more advanced than that of world war two. These chemical-based toilets are a derivative of transportable toilets that are known by many other names.

What chemicals are used in portable toilets?


The chemical components in portable toilets characteristically use a mixture of quite a few different chemicals in the holding tank.

In order to cover up the contents of the toilet, a blue dye is added. The dye is also added in order for people to be alerted when the tank is at its maximum holding capacity. When enough urine and/or faeces (yellow to brown) are deposited, the overall mixture takes on a green colour which indicates that the tank is full, and should be emptied.

Fragrant chemicals are also added to the mixture in order to remove or minimize the odours. These are often aided by fragrant aerosols.

In order to ensure that there is no odour in the toilets Biocides are added. The purpose is to control the growth of bacteria that causes the odour. This type of bacteria is called gram-positive bacteria. The blander forms consist of a mixture of ethanol and quaternary ammonium compounds with very low concentration.

In the past, a formaldehyde founded chemical was used instead of the biocides. However, it raised multiple environmental as well as health concerns. This, in turn, led to it being removed completely from the chemical toilet industry. Formaldehyde causes a large number of irritations to human beings. Some of which are to the ears, eyes, nose, skin, and throat. The risk that comes with inhalation of this gas is one of the main reasons for its discontinued use in the portable chemical toilet industry. The formaldehyde would easily be splashed onto the skin while the user was sitting and the excrement dropped into the toilet bowl. This chemical was also extremely poisonous to aquatic life so the sewerage treatment plants found it difficult to treat the compound.

In order to speed up the process of breaking down the solid waste, certain enzymes are added to the modern chemical toilets. These enzymes not only break down the solid waste but the toilet paper too. They then add the microbial agents in order to suppress the odour-causing bacteria. This is how they are able to ensure the toilets are suitable for people to use continuously without attracting flies. They do not have to rely on concealment with fragrances.

All the added chemicals are subject to a certain lifespan some being 7 days. Because of this, they need to be frequently replaced to ensure efficiency.

Back in the wooden outhouse days a chemical known as Lye was used in portable chemical toilets. The purpose of the Lye was to prevent odours before the biocides became the new norm. The lye was to be sprinkled into the toilets holding tanks after a person was done making use of the lavatories. The chemical itself is known for being highly corrosive to the human skin and because of this, it is hardly used in any industry.


Where would you use a Portable Toilet?

Camp Site

These lavatory systems can be used in a number of different environments as mentioned above. One of which is a campsite. Generally, campsites are not linked to any municipal sewerage systems or water lines. This is where portable toilets come in. Usually, the campers would resort to digging holes in the ground for their excretive purposes. This can only take up so much land in the area and eventually, it would start to smell and spread bacteria and infection. Comfort Loos provides numerous options to choose from when seeking sanitary solutions. They do not just provide toilets but also a mobile shower hire option. These two can come in handy when running a campsite.

Informal Settlement

Informal settlements located all over South Africa have been subjected to poor sanitation as well as numerous other basic human rights. The use of these Portable Toilets has helped multiple informal settlements get the sanitation systems they need. Not only are they affordable but opposed to the holes in the ground or rivers as toilets they now have accessible and not demeaning private lavatories. These chemical portable toilets also eliminate the odours which makes life so much easier for people living in informal settlements.

Festivals or large gatherings

When hosting large events, it is essential to have adequate lavatory systems. More often than not people eat food that disagrees with their systems or maybe consumes large volumes of alcohol. Without adequate lavatories, this would be cause for a disaster at your event or festival. This is why Comfort Loos provides Portable Toilets along with a portable hand washing station. The lavatories provided by Comfort loos are suitable for any occasion of any price range. Events may vary from smaller family functions to large racecourses or other large events. Which is why they provide VIP toilets that come with the portable hand washing station and hand dryer.

Work Stations

Comfort Loos Portable Toilets, as well as Portable Showers, are perfect for work stations that are located far from decent lavatory systems. Take for example a construction site. More often than not, construction sites are located far from other buildings or simple lavatory systems. Even if they are close to other building, no one would want to open their bathrooms to cater to all the employees of a construction site. This is where Comfort Loos would come in. Having a number of Portable Toilets as well as urinals and portable showers on-site not only makes the best use of time management to ensure productivity but also ensures the employees can leave all the dirt and grime of their long working day at the site by taking a shower before they leave.

Another example of a work station where the Comfort Loos Portable Toilets would be helpful is a large farm area. While working on the farm, one would be so far into the fields that they cannot run back to the main building in order to make use of the restrooms. Placing a Comfort Loos Portable toilet in the field would not only make life easier for workers but also increases productivity by making the best use of time spent working and minimizing the amount of time spent going to the restroom.




The physical appearance of these lavatory systems has also changed over the years. From the original 19th century “thunderbox” which was a prelude to today’s chemical portable toilets. Nowadays Portable Toilets come in several shapes and sizes, from the small “thunderbox” modernization to the paraplegic flushable toilets that provide enough room for wheelchairs. As expected some of them will only require one person to move as it is small and compact however newer models need trucks in order to transport them due to their size and weight.

At Comfort Loos, There is a wide range of portable toilet designs ranging from ordinary Portable Units for events, Paraplegic Flush Toilets, Maxi VIP mobile toilets and a new design of Portable Showers. The most commonly used chemical portable toilet is the plastic outdoor cubicle. These are not only cheap but also take up very little space. Chemical toilets collect all the human excretion in a tank and the chemicals that have been added to the tank now mask the odour and kill all bacteria that forms the odour.


Most of the Comfort Loos portable toilets have open-front U-shaped toilet seats with a cover. They are often made up of lightweight plastic.

Portable Units

The most common Portable toilets at Comfort Loos are only large enough for one occupant, usually about 110 cm (43 inches) square by 210 cm (83 inches) high. While the units are typically free-standing structures, their stability is supplemented by the weight of the waste tank, most portable toilets contain an empty liquid disinfectant dispenser and air freshener. Some of these portable toilets include both a seated toilet as well as a urinal. Comfort Loos portable toilets all come with lockable doors, air vents that are strategically placed near the top of the toilet, as well as a ventilation pipe for the tank in which all the waste is held. When the wind blows above the ventilation pipe it creates a low-pressure area sucking the odour out. Leaving the toilet lid open will reverse the flow of the wind circulating in of the tank.

Comfort Deluxe

These lavatories come with fully flushable mobile toilets and urinals. Each of these come fully equipped with exclusive hand towels as well as top of the line soap dispensers. This Comfort Loos design is spacious and gives you the indoor feel of elite bathrooms as it also comes with background music for your amusement. The male restrooms come complete with three urinals as well as one toilet and three hand washbasins. The lady’s restrooms come complete with three lockable toilets as well as two hand washing basins.

Mobile Executive

These bathrooms much like the Comfort Deluxe come with fully equipped with flushable toilets. Each of course with luxury hand towels. Every unit is fitted with soap dispensers. The handwashing basins in each facility all have running water. Both male and female facilities are catered for. With this design, you can request at your own will for janitorial services to be added to your package.