How Porta Potties are Made

Do you ever wonder how things are made? Have you ever looked at a porta potty and just wondered how did they get to be in that shape? How did someone make those portable toilets blue or orange? Does someone carve them from one large piece of plastic? 

Definitely “no” to that last question! Over the years, we’ve gone from very basic wood and metal construction to High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE) plastic units which are much lighter and easier to move and use. Let’s go through the manufacturing process.

The Early Years of Portable Sanitation

When porta potties were first invented, it was because of the need for restrooms that construction workers could use while working on shipping docks in Long Beach California, in the United States. We covered that story in depth in our article “The History of the Porta Potty” if you’re interested in taking that plunge. Take a look at this porta potty diagram from the U.S. patent office:



What was quickly realized is that they were heavy and awkward. In the 1970’s, the materials were switched over to fiberglass which helped, but porta johns really reached their peak of modernity in the 1980’s when polyurethane was used to mold the portable restrooms.

With the popularity of portable toilet rental units on construction projects and building sites around the world, innovation came rather quickly to keep up with demand.

How Porta Potties are Made

Now porta potties are most often constructed from Polyurethane plastic because it is easy to make, easy to clean, and it doesn’t absorb odors, but there are other manufacturers that also use HDPE, which is recyclable and more earth friendly.

The construction of porta potties goes something similar to this, depending on the manufacturer:

  1. Plastic pellets are heated and melted down.
  2. UV protectant and colorants are added to the plastic.
  3. This material is now sent through rollers where it is pressed into sheets in a specific width and then cut to a specific length.
  4. A sheet of this plastic can be heated again and placed into a mold, then vacuum pressed to it for a period of time to create the panels of the unit.
  5. Other parts, such as toilet paper dispensers and cleats, can be created using injection molding or CNC machines.
  6. Once all of the panels are created, workers drill holes and assemble the units.
  7. Finally, they are inspected, cleaned, and ready to be shipped.

Of course, this is not every single step in the process. Different manufacturers may use different processes for getting the units made. But now you have an idea of what goes into making a new light weight, portable restroom and you can watch the video below, if you’d like more information.


When it comes to renting a portable toilet and making sure your guests or employees are happy and healthy at your next special event or job site, we’re your “go” to.

We are Oklahoma’s leader in construction porta potty rentals and we are the best in the business for special events! So next time you need a high rise porta potty or “VIPee” restroom trailer, let us know! We have trailers with running water, hand sanitizer stations, portable sinks, and other sanitation equipment for your construction site or event. 

We offer free quotes and are happy to assist you in figuring out how many units you might need for weddings, build sites, remodels, and more. Give us a call at 918-272-0568.

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