Dollar Store Finds: Portable Mini Toilet

January 18, 2009

It's about the size of a sandwich bag, small enough to slip into your purse or backpack. How could this possibly work? We'll get to that in a moment. First, I want to point out the particularly enjoyable artwork on this packaging. It shows an man suffering from much anxiety as he is driving, because he has got to go! He ends up in the hospital with a broken leg since he was so distractedly hurried. (The marketing people for this portable toilet must know my mom, who is infamous in my family for her worst-case-scenario thinking.)

If only he had a portable mini toilet. You might find yourself saying the same thing in DC. OK, now back to how this thing works. Here are the instructions:


"1) Open the fastener. 2) For use by women, fold over the opening and
press firmly against skin. 3) Close the fastener after use. 4) Place in
the plastic bag which is provided." It then warns you not to ingest the polymer absorbent, which is supposed to solidify your liquids. 

toilet3.jpgThere are indeed some grains of something in the portable toilet (pictured on the right). The item on the left is the disposable bag it comes with.

So, there you go (no pun intended). If I were a good product reviewer, I would test this thing out for you. But somehow I didn't get around to it. If you try it, let me know how it works out for you. Japanese dollar store saves the day again?


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.



Shoot, wish I saw this post before I went to DC. But seriously, it was way too cold to be using this thing, and I can't imagine unzipping my ski pants in the middle of the Mall to go wee wee.
boo! you didn't maintain proper journalistic standards! go pee in that bag and tell us about it!
Disposable urinal bags, such as the one you describe, are a unique way of disposing of liquid waste. They consist of a portable "bag within a bag" system. So you urinate into a pouch, and there is a substance inside - a mixture of bioactive polymers and enzymes - that absorbs the liquid, makes it gel instantly, and also deodorizes. When "done", the pouch is spill-proof and, because it is waste-disposal safe, it can be thrown away after use. Popular examples are The Travel John ( and The WAG Bag Toilet in a Bag OlmertAuthor, Bathrooms Make Me Nervous (
Wow! But I doubt I'll use it.Sharon WilsonEditor, iChina magazine (