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Toilet Cleaners and Brewers Yeast

Have just bought my first boat with electric macerator toilet and remote tank. I have been told NOT to use bleach for cleaning. Info for toilet says use normal domestic cleaners??. Also read that brewers yeast can be used in the tank to break things down. 2 Questions. 1. what's bet cleaning products to use for toilet? 2. How much brewers yeast should i use and do i buy it.
Thanks Paul

Asked by: Paul Jones  | 12.12pm, Saturday 21 April

WW says:

Lee Sanitation sells a cleaner called Sealand toilet bowl cleaner which is designed for marine toilets. It has a mild descaling action to break down limescale and stop it forming in the toilet mechanism. It costs £6.73 and is available via their website.
Brewers yeast can be effective in breaking down toilet solids and controlling odours but it will not work - for a while at least - if the tank has had conventional toilet fluids like Elsan Blue added to it in the past. The residual chemicals in the fluid kill off the yeast before it can get to work. You may have to flush the tank out and persevere with the yeast for several pump-outs before you notice any effect.
Brewers yeast is available from health shops and on Amazon. I have never tried this method so I cannot say how much you need. I guess it is a matter of trial end error before you find the right quantity for your tank.

Graham Booth  | 3.55PM, Saturday 21 April

I have to voice a slight disagreement with Graham on this- though i am sure we can agree to disagree!
Yeast will only break down waste that is high in saccarides- it doesn't really work well on faecal matter, or even toilet paper. It also produces enlarge quantity of sludge- I would generally avoid it, having cleaned and removed several holding tanks where owners have used yeast, it wasn't pleasant- and very smelly!
If you want biological digestion, then more proprietary mixtures are better. Also, without good tank ventilation, anerobic conditions can quickly occur, which can inhibit some biological control and increase the likelihood of pathogenic microbe development.
One issue with "green" chemicals, is that some do not prevent nasty organisms from developing. Imagine a crew member has food poisoning and diahorrea; if the microbes are not inactivated then those emptying the tank may be at risk of infection... Not a pleasant thought!
There are some biocides available, that break down quickly during sewage treatment- like OneChem. This gives the reassurance of a biocide with the environmental acceptability of a green product.
Also, a mild toilet cleaner like Ecover's is ideal for marine toilets, won't interfere with any toilet treatment or seals in the tank and is far cheaper than specific marine loo cleaners... And probably more environmentally friendly and effective!

Mark Langley  | 7.14PM, Saturday 21 April

I suspect that Mark and I are not so far apart as it may seem. As I said, I have never used yeast treatment - or the even more radical solution of no treatment at all! - although both of these have been used and recommended by some prominent members of the marine industry.
For the record, I started off many years ago using Elsan Blue but am now experimenting with various types of 'green' fluid. The current one is Odorlos which certainly lives up to its claim of eliminating odours but I am not sure how it fares in the 'killing nasty organisms' stakes. I must give OneChem a go next time.

Graham Booth  | 10.48AM, Sunday 22 April

Readers say:

Thanks, very helpful!

Paul Jones  | 12.41PM, Monday 23 April

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