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How Does a Dry Flush Toilet Work? Ultimate Guide

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Off Grid & Self Sufficiency, Toilets | 0 comments

Knowing how a dry flush toilet works can be crucial for those considering an eco-friendly waste disposal option.

Unlike traditional flush toilets that rely on water, this innovative system employs a unique mechanism and special cartridges to encapsulate and seal waste, providing both convenience and sustainability.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of these toilets that offer a secure, environmentally friendly solution to waste management in a crisis. 

So read on, and arm yourself with this essential knowledge and be prepared for anything!

In This Guide

Dry flush toilet in the woods.

What Is A Dry Flush Toilet?

A dry flush toilet is a waterless, odorless system designed for waste management. Unlike traditional flush toilets that rely on water, this system employs a unique mechanism to seal and contain waste.

A Dry Flush toilet is a toilet with a system that doesn’t rely on water to process waste, unlike traditional toilets.

Instead, it employs groundbreaking vacuum-sealing technology to encase waste in a neat, compact package — all without a single drop of water.

It’s an ingenious solution you can use in off-grid living, RVs, tiny homes, and other areas where traditional plumbing isn’t practical or available.

The Dry Flush Brand

Dry Flush isn’t a term for waterless toilets but rather a reputable brand that creates Laveo Dry Flush toilets. It is a leading brand that specializes in creating high-quality, waterless toilet systems. Known for their innovative technology, they offer a range of models to suit various lifestyles and needs.

 These toilets feature a patented process to seal waste in a specially designed bag within the toilet, making disposal easy and sanitary.

Since its establishment in 2012, Dry Flush has been a pioneer in the industry, leading the way by being the first to create this type of toilet system for the consumer market.

How Does A Dry Flush Toilet Work?

A Dry Flush toilet works by using a refill cartridge containing a series of foil-lined bags. It revolves around a replaceable cartridge system. This cartridge works in tandem with a motorized unit to seal and contain waste effectively. When you use it, everything goes into a special liner in the bowl.

Each time you flush, the built-in vacuum system springs into action. It compresses the waste, neatly wrapping and sealing it within one of these foil bags.

This sealed liner, containing the waste, then drops into a hidden compartment in the toilet. Then a fresh liner automatically unrolls in the bowl, ready for the next use.

The waste stays neatly sealed in its liner, completely odor-free and out of sight, until the cartridge (which holds multiple liners) is full and needs to be replaced.

The disposal process is simple and sanitary. When the cartridge is full, you remove it like you would a trash bag, seal it up, and dispose of it appropriately.

Then, just replace it with a new cartridge, and you’re all set for many more flushes.

So while a Dry Flush toilet operates differently than a traditional toilet, it’s still a breeze to use, with no messy or unpleasant steps to deal with. And the best part? It uses zero water, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Many other reputable brands provide a variety of eco-friendly waste management alternatives. Laveo and Sun-Mar Excel are among other reputable names that provide alternative waterless toilet solutions.

Before you make a decision, it’s crucial to dig deep and compare different models. The perfect fit for your needs is out there, and a little bit of research goes a long way in helping you find it.

1. Laveo Dry Flush Toilet

Laveo is a well-known brand that offers the Dry Flush system.

It’s praised for its portability, ease of use, and odor-free technology, making it a favorite choice for those seeking waterless toilets.

2. Thetford

Thetford is a leading brand in the RV and camping industry, and they're known for their wide range of sanitation products. Their main focus is on portable toilets and cassette toilets.

But they also have models that offer a waterless waste disposal solution.

3. Sun-Mar

Sun-Mar is a pioneer in composting toilets.

They use natural processes to break down waste into compost, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional toilets.

4. Separett

Separett is a Swedish brand specializing in urine-diverting and composting toilets.

Their toilets are waterless solutions that separate liquid and solid waste which helps reduce odor and simplify the composting process.

Pros And Cons Of Using Dry Toilets

While dry toilets come with various benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Efficiency and sustainability are definite pros, but initial costs and cartridge replacements can be cons.


  • Conserves water: Using a Dry Flush toilet saves a significant amount of water compared to traditional toilets. So it’s an eco-friendly choice.

  • Easy to install: Requires zero plumbing, making it a quick and straightforward process to set up.

  • Portable and lightweight: With its compact design, you can transport Dry Flush toilets easily to various locations.

  • Odor-free: The vacuum sealing system effectively contains and eliminates odors.

  • Low maintenance: There is no need for septic tanks or sewage systems, reducing maintenance requirements.


  • Refill cost: A Dry Flush toilet refill can get expensive over time, especially with frequent use.

  • Limited capacity: The system can only hold a certain number of flushes before replacing the cartridge.

  • Waste disposal: You need to remove and dispose of sealed waste bags periodically.

Where Can I Use Dry Flush Toilets?

Dry flush toilets can be used in places where water supply is limited or non-existent. They’re versatile, so you may find them in numerous settings, such as the following:

Image of how does a dry flush toilet work  inside a camper.

RVs and Campervans

Dry flush toilets revolutionize waste management in RVs and campervans with their compact design and odor-free operation, making them perfectly suited for the limited space available during road trips. This is because traveling in a recreational vehicle often means long journeys without guaranteed pit stops.

Having a Dry Flush toilet onboard ensures a comfortable and worry-free adventure, giving you more time to enjoy the sights and less time fretting about the next rest stop.

Plus, they provide a compact and odor-free waste management system perfect for life on the road.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes benefit greatly from dry flush toilets with their small footprint and easy installation. Dry Flush toilets are compact, making them a clever solution to the small-space challenge.

Plus, their eco-friendly operation aligns perfectly with the ethos of the tiny house lifestyle.

Image of a dry flush toilet in a tiny home.

Off-Grid Cabins

Off-grid cabins often lack conventional plumbing, making dry flush toilets a suitable alternative. They’re not only easy to install but also minimize environmental impact.

Plumbing services are usually scarce in these untouched areas, making Dry Flush toilets a perfect fit. They help maintain sanitary conditions while keeping water consumption to a minimum.

Dry flush toilet in a cabin.

Construction Sites and Outdoor Events

Construction sites and outdoor events often require temporary sanitation solutions. For locations like construction sites or bustling outdoor festivals, Dry Flush toilets provide a cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional porta-potties.

They’re portable, easy to set up, and most importantly, they do away with the foul smells that usually come with outdoor toilet facilities.

Boats and Yachts

On boats and yachts, managing waste effectively is crucial. Dry flush toilets provide a hassle-free, odorless solution ideal for marine conditions. Whether setting sail for a weekend fishing trip or embarking on a long-term ocean journey, a Dry Flush toilet is a must-have on board.

It handles the choppy waters with ease and doesn’t need a constant water supply. It’s the reliable mate you need on your maritime adventures.

Emergency Shelters

In emergency shelters, sanitation is a high priority. Dry flush toilets offer a quick, deployable option that requires no plumbing or electrical setup.

In disaster relief situations, providing sanitation facilities can be challenging. Dry Flush toilets are a practical solution for home shelters and temporary housing.

Is A Dry Flush Toilet For Me?

A Dry Flush toilet is an excellent choice if you want a waterless system and want to conserve water.

They’re also a perfect option if you’re on the move or live in an area without access to traditional plumbing. So if you’re embracing a minimalist, eco-friendly lifestyle, a Dry Flush might be good for you.

On the flip side, the recurring cost of refill cartridges and the need for a proper disposal system may be a downside for some.

Also, if you are highly concerned about waste reduction and the environmental impact of the cartridges, you might want to explore other options like composting toilets.

At the end of the day, it really boils down to what matters most to you and the level of convenience you’re after. 

It’s a personal choice that should be based on a thorough understanding of how the Dry Flush toilet functions, its maintenance needs, and how well it aligns with your lifestyle.

Toilet inside an RV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Dry Flush toilets smell?

It depends on the type of waterless toilet you have. If you installed the toilet yourself, the answer is probably yes.

Unless of course, you’re using a Dry Flush toilet.

This is because they use odorless technology, and the waste is completely contained inside an odorless, double-lined bag within each disposable liner cartridge.

How do I dispose of the waste from a Dry Flush toilet?

You should dispose of the sealed waste bags in a designated trash receptacle. Check with your local guidelines on proper waste disposal.

How often do I need to change the Laveo Dry Flush toilet refills?

The frequency of changing the refills depends on the usage of the toilet. Each refill cartridge holds 15 to 17 flushes.

Once you’ve reached maximum capacity, you’ll need to replace the cartridge with a new one.

Are Dry Flush toilets environmentally friendly?

Yes, Dry Flush toilets are environmentally friendly. They conserve water and do not need chemicals for waste processing.

Remember, it’s essential to dispose of the waste bags properly. This helps cut any negative environmental impact.

Can I use a Dry Flush toilet in a residential home?

Dry Flush toilets are originally designed for non-traditional settings. But it could be used in a residential home as a supplementary or temporary toilet solution.

That being said, these may not be practical for long-term, everyday use. You have to consider the cost of refills and their limited waste capacity.

Do Dry Flush toilets require electricity to operate?

Yes, dry Flush toilets must have a power source to operate the vacuum-sealing system. A standard 110V outlet or a 12V battery is enough to power them for off-grid use.

Roll of toilet paper in the woods.

Key Takeaways: How Does A Dry Flush Toilet Work & Are They Worth It?

A Dry Flush toilet is an innovative product has undoubtedly transformed the experience of off-grid living, making it more convenient and sustainable.

The technology offers an exciting glimpse into the future of sustainable sanitation solutions.

Yes, there are costs to consider but when you weigh this against the ease of use, the water savings, the environmental benefits, and the sheer convenience, you might find that the scales tip in favor of Dry Flush toilets.

Understanding how a dry flush toilet works and evaluating its merits can help you make an educated choice.

Ultimately, the decision is based on your lifestyle and priorities. But if you’ve been seeking an efficient, waterless solution for your sanitation needs, the Dry Flush toilet is undoubtedly worth considering.

We hope this guide has given you insight on how does a dry flush toilet work and some good options to choose from if you’re in the market. Please leave your comments below about your experience with these toilets and if there is one you prefer that we did not mention.

Dry flush toilet in the woods.
Angie Montgomery
Angie Montgomery


Angie Montgomery is the co-founder of Monday Day Prepping. She and her husband Bill have been “prepper’s” since 2008. When she’s not helping manage the homestead, she enjoys teaching her two boys how to cook and make natural alternatives to cleaners and other household items.


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