What’s in Porta-Potty Liquid?

Every ingredient in this forbidden blue Gatorade, explained (yep, even bacillus genus)

We’re often told that you should never eat anything (or put anything on your body) if you don’t recognize everything on the ingredients list. But since most of us have no idea what xanthan gum or potassium benzoate are — or more importantly, what they’re doing to our bodies — we’re decoding the ingredients in the many things Americans put in (and on, or near) themselves.

This edition: Green Gobbler Royal Flush Portable Toilet Treatment, which is made from five (or more) separate ingredients that we’ve broken down in the exact order they appear on this Amazon specifications pamphlet. (As is often the case with cleaning products, the ingredients in similar porta-john juices on the Green Gobbler website have been “withheld as a trade secret,” and so, the following list of ingredients is unfortunately less than comprehensive.)

The Ingredients

1) Water: But not just any water — blue-dyed water. Porta-juice is colored blue simply to cloak the repulsive mound of ass discharge that lurks beneath. Interestingly, blue might not be a random choice, either: The color blue can provoke a sense of calm and ease, a studied and proven phenomenon that may slightly improve the experience of being in a literal ass-box. 

2) Propylene Glycol: In cleaning products, the chemical propylene glycol is used primarily as a solvent, helping the various separate ingredients blend together to form a shit-blasting brew.

3) Surfactant: On the front packaging, Green Gobbler notes that poly(oxyethylene) nonylphenol is one of the surfactants used in this product — surfactants loosen unpleasant deposits from inside the porta-potty so they can be easily rinsed away during cleaning. Poly(oxyethylene) nonylphenol is more specifically known as a nonionic surfactant, which makes it especially good at emulsifying oils and removing organic soils, like, well, y’know.

4) Perfume: This is one of those “proprietary” ingredients, but the packaging notes that this product leaves behind a “fresh” scent. Nevertheless, even the strongest of scents struggles to make a brimming porta-potty bearable.

5) Bacillus Genus: Many porta-cleaners used to rely on incredibly potent formaldehyde for their disinfectant purposes. But when states started outlawing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, in portable toilets — because wastewater treatments plants are unequipped to properly dispose of such a toxic chemical — porta-juice companies largely switched over to “greener” enzymes like this one, which feed on odor-causing bacteria and speed up the decomposition of organic matter.

The Takeaway

Making a literal pile of shit bearable to be around — and add to — is no simple, nor glorious task. But I can appreciate the smart use of shit-eating enzymes and the considerate addition of blue dye. So overall, nice job, Green Gobbler.