How to Get Rid of Outhouse Smell

An outhouse may be a necessary evil if you are camping or hunting in a remote area. If you have not-so-fond memories of holding your nose and using an outdoor loo at some point, you are all too familiar with the level of stank these facilities can produce. We’re talking some world-class crap here. There is nothing fresh or sweet-smelling about this environment at all. It just continues to get worse with each person who uses the facilities. Layer upon layer of stank gets added to the mix. You want to get in, do your business and leave.



There are solutions to help keep the gagging stench of human waste down to a more manageable level in an outhouse. Keeping the toilet lid down between uses can help immensely. (Yes, guys, we’re talking to you!) This simple step can contain the stench below decks. Keep reading for some other suggestions that will help to manage this specialized solid and liquid waste issue and make it a bit easier on your nose when you approach the proverbial brick you-know-what.



How to Get Rid of Outhouse Smell

1 Lime the Smell Away

Lime is the traditional remedy for getting rid of outhouse smell. Its chemical name is calcium hydroxide (CaOH2). This product is available at hardware stores and garden centers. Simply sprinkle it over the pile of waste to keep the smell factor down. A word of caution if you decide to use lime to combat the smells coming from the outhouse: do not get any of it on the toilet seat: the stuff will burn skin. You will need to wear gloves to protect your hands when working with lime at your outhouse.


2 Sprinkle Some Sawdust

After using the outdoor facilities, sprinkle some sawdust on the pile of waste.  You only need to use a small amount of the stuff on a regular basis to deal with the smell. The sawdust will absorb odor and still decompose over time, making it an easy and eco-friendly solution to the P.U. problem in the latrine.


3 Wood Ash it Out

If you happen to own a wood stove, don’t throw your ashes away once you have burned some wood. Let the ashes cool down and use them to make your privy smell pretty instead. Simply sprinkle them over the waste to deal with the smell.


4 Add Straw or Peat Moss

Consider adding some chopped-up straw or peat moss to the pile under your outhouse. It will encourage a crust to form over top, which will help to keep the stench down by containing the smell. Once the crust has formed, it will also help to keep flies away. This is a secondary benefit of using the straw or peat moss to keep the smell factor at bay.


5 Throw Some Kitchen Waste into the Mix

You can use your outhouse as a kind of composter. Add vegetable scraps to the outhouse on occasion to speed up the composting action and keep the smell factor down. Make sure that you are not adding any meat products into the mix. If you ever eat cooked cabbage, be sure to include some of it to your “special” compost mix. This ingredient is especially good for helping the composting process along.


6 Pour Some Rid-X on the Problem

Rid-X is a product that is used for treating septic systems. It contains bacteria and enzymes that break down solid waste. To deal with outhouse funk, your best bet will probably be to choose the liquid version of Rid-X, although this product is also available in powder and gel pacs, too. You may need to add some water to the product, since liquid is required to activate the bacteria and enzymes and start the process of dealing with the waste.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

One thought on “How to Get Rid of Outhouse Smell”

  1. We have a 2000 gal tank It is a single compartment 2 hatch with 2 outhouses on top. There is one 6 inch vent extending about 3 feet above the roof. There was about 8 inches of water in the bottom and has only been in use in our campground for a week. We are already getting complaints about the smell. Any suggestions
    for construction modifications and/or products to use…?

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