I have used several different products and none of them work that well. Bottom line, is there a product that will subdue the offending groover?

So a groover is a river toilet. On multiple day river trips you need to pack your solid waste out, liquid can usually go right into the river no problem depending on where you are (ask the local ranger). Originally it was an ammo can that you just dumped your solid waste in... directly. It was called a groover because when you were done and stood back up you had two grooves running down your backside (from the ammo can digging in). today we still use an ammo can to store it in, but we have a modern seat on it and a plastic inner container in the can. We also paint them white so they bake less in the hot river sun and smell (slightly) better. Also you know to not put anything in a white ammo can. Or open them on the river.

I have used a couple of different products and have yet to be impressed. I am hoping for an answer of "I have used X and swear by it, it might not be perfect but it's leagues better than anything else" Ideally the product will also be allowed to be dumped in septic systems and not just sewer, but if not I will haul my solid waste back to civilization if I don't have to smell it.

I have used Blue stuff (RV), bleach, kitty litter, and Pine Sol.

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    Excellent, thank you. Also, does a metal can full of human excrement have to stink? Uhm... yeah. Commented May 29, 2012 at 22:02
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    @RussellSteen Just imagine it sitting in a raft with no shade baking in the sun for 10+ days... and we are usually on rivers in the desert. Also, I had a ton of fun tagging this question I laughed as I tagged. Commented May 29, 2012 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


My gut reaction is this - it's a can full of human waste, it's going to smell whatever you do with it.

However, I wonder whether you might be going down the wrong kind of route with things such as bleach etc. - such chemicals may do more harm than good if they kill the micro-organisms that break down the waste. It may sound silly, I would try something like a composter material that should hopefully encourage the organisms that break the waste down over time. It's not going to make it smell great at all straight away, but may well make it stink a lot less later on after it's broken down, allowing you to more easily dispose of it on site (or take it back with you more comfortably.)

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    I completely forgot about this question. I met a guy this last season that used grooverlabs.com/Company.html It does basically what you suggest, and after 4 days you had to be pretty close to smell it. Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 16:12
  • @MaskedPlant Glad my instinct proved to be correct!
    – berry120
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 21:39

Reliance makes Double Doodie Toilet Waste Bags with Bio-Gel. Each bag has an inner waste bag and also an outer sealable, leakproof bag. The Bio-Gel inside the bag reduces odors and solidifies the waste into a gel. Works well with most portable toilets.

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