Winterizing Portable Toilets

Winterizing Portable Toilets

When winter comes and the freezing temperatures—not to mention snow—start to fall, it’s time to think about how to winterize the portable toilets you use on your job site. Taking steps to protect your porta potties from cold weather is an essential step to ensuring they’re available for your construction personnel to use when they need them.

Wondering how to winterize a porta-potty? Read on for 6 essentials to weatherproofing your portable toilets.

#1 Block the Wind

A simple method for how to keep the porta potty from freezing is to protect it from direct wind. Whatever the actual temperature at the worksite, the wind chill is bound to be significantly lower. But it will have less of an impact if your porta-potty rental unit is guarded against it.

Some effective solutions for wind-guarding your portable toilet rental include: 

  • Keep it out of direct wind – In the northern hemisphere, winds tend to blow easterly from the west, especially during the winter.1 For that reason, you may be able to keep it from freezing by setting it up on the east side of a building or structure. 
  • Use sandbags – Packing sandbags around the base may help block enough of the wind to keep the water inside from freezing.
  • Use windscreens – Consider using heavy-duty windscreens to protect your porta potties or restroom trailer during the winter. You can set them up around the porta potties to block the wind and keep the chill away.

#2 Find a Place Inside 

Most people think of porta potties as outdoor structures. But breaking from convention and bringing your portable toilet inside is a surefire solution for how to keep a porta potty from freezing.

But what inside locations are suitable for a porta potty? Here are two ideas:

  • Garage – Garages are a convenient solution here. Keeping your porta potty in a garage can protect it from the cold and keep it accessible for you and your crew. 
  • Restroom trailers – Restroom trailers are stand-alone structures that provide a climate-controlled environment for portable toilets and ensure that you don’t have to worry about your porta potty freezing.

#3 Harness the Power of the Sun

When it comes to how winterizing a porta-potty, never underestimate the power of the sun. Even in the dead of winter, the sun may provide just enough warmth to keep your porta-potty from freezing.

Our tip? Move your porta-potty unit to the sunniest spot at your new construction site. Direct sunlight may help keep snow and ice from accumulating on your porta-potty, which could contribute to freezing.

#4 Clear Off Snow and Ice 

Speaking of the elements—if you want to keep your porta potty from freezing during the winter, keep it clear of snow, ice, and exterior moisture that can freeze daily. This can help regulate the temperatures and protect the porta potty’s exterior. 

Be sure to remove any snow accumulation after each snowfall. Ice and icicles should be scraped off. Additionally, putting down rock salt around the entrance to the porta-potty keeps the path clear for your employees and may prevent snow from building up around the base. 

#5 Use Antifreeze 

If your worksite is susceptible to extremely low temperatures, it’s a good idea to add an antifreeze agent to the water tank to make the portable toilet cleaning easier. You have several options here, from salt remedies to chemical solutions. To winterize your porta potty, consider the following: 

  • Salt solutions – Just as salt is an effective way to eliminate ice from your front door or walkway at home, you can also winterize your porta potty at the worksite. Readymade de-icing salt solutions are a conventional option here, as are chloride pellets that go right into the waste tank.
  • Rock salt and methanol – A solution of rock salt and methanol is another way to go. As a type of alcohol, methanol is a well-known antifreeze.2 It can be poured into the tank along with salt crystals to melt existing ice and prevent freezing. 
  • Rock salt and brine – You can mix a solution of rock salt and brine to keep your porta potty tank from freezing. Be sure to mix the solution before adding it to the waste tank. Using this method only on tanks made from non-corrosive steel will prevent damage to the porta potty.3 

#6 Use a Space Heater 

Our last tip for how to winterize a porta potty is to use a space heater. Placing a small heater inside the porta potty will keep the liquid in the tank from freezing, even if temperatures drop considerably. 

As a bonus, the heater will keep the interior warm and toasty when you and your crew need to use it. 

Winterize Your Entire Work Site with ASAP Marketplace 

When it comes to keeping your work site operable in any kind of weather, trust ASAP Marketplace. 

Here at ASAP Marketplace, we’re your go-to expert for affordable, reliable, and convenient worksite solutions, from portable toilets to roll-off dumpsters. 

Reach out today before things get too chilly.

Read More: When to get a portable toilet when your plumbing breaks

Read More: What not to do when renting a portable toilet?


  1. National Weather Service. The Jet Stream. 
  2. Sciencing. Substances That Affect the Rate of Melting Ice. 
  3. Anti-Icing Brine Fact Sheet.