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ibstubro's avatar

Water conservation wise, how long can you let the yellow mellow?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) January 16th, 2016

“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

Fine. But how long can you let the yellow mellow?

I’m the only one that uses my toilet. Of a morning I might have 3–5 yellows by the time I’m up, showered and dressed.

Traditionally, I don’t brown more than once a day, and that’s not always in the morning and not always at home.

I’m guessing that we’re not advocating leaving the toilet unflushed for 24 – 48 hours or more? It is going to be really, really rank, and eventually lead to some intense scrubbing.

So, what’s the guideline? The cutoff?
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow [until]...”

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15 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I flush after every event. Anything less than that is disgusting and you should feel bad.

Seek's avatar

Having lived in a home with poor septic drainage, I’m intimately familiar with this problem.

I wouldn’t leave it for more than a few hours. If you’re leaving the house for work, flush before you go.

Alternately, if you know anyone who makes their own fabric dye, you might speak with them about donating to their cause. For a while my son would conserve water by conserving his own water in gallon jugs for a friend of mine.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Years ago, out of conservation and environmental concerns, I tried living by the motto, “in this land of sun and fun, we do not flush for number one.” It was disgusting. Even though fresh urine is usually germ-free, clear, and odorless, it does fester as it sits and get that ammonia smell. As urine accumulates in the toilet, and as water evaporates from the bowl, the effects grow more pungent.

Instead, I replaced my 1941 toilet, and its huge tank, with a high-efficiency model that uses 1.28 gallons per flush.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Close the lid or pee in a jar (the one plus to being a guy). Screw the lid on and hide it somewhere til the daily, weekly, etc. flush.

Pachy's avatar

I always zap a number two
Why one would not, I have no clue
That rule I bend for number one
Especially when done on wee-hour runs

zenvelo's avatar

Being a Californian, I have been conserving water for a long time. And since I often brown for the day at work and not at home, I will go a while between flushing the toilet.

But unless I have had a asparagus, it really doesn’t smell bad if I put the lid down. And I have gone 48 hours without flushing.

One other thing is, I am well hydrated, so I don’t have that strong dark ammonia smelling pee.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

When I build my detatched garage/shop/mancave it’s going to have a goddamn urinal. There is no reason why homes don’t have these.

ibstubro's avatar

Places are experiencing severe water shortages, @ragingloli, and doing everything they can to conserve.

A few hours seems to be my limit, @Seek. Fresh urine may be germ free as @Love_my_doggie suggests, but my yellow seems to build a strong smell relatively quickly. I believe I’ll pass on the fabric dye, idea. The chemicals in urine, or were they just dying yellow?

Sorry, @Love_my_doggie, but my yellow is not, and never has been, clear and odorless. I even doubt the ‘germ free’. In any case, my toilet gets rank after a few short hours.
Ah, sorry you lost the aesthetics of the 1941 toilet. I guess you tried brinks-in-the-tank first?

I have a couple acre yard, @stanleybmanly. If I was dedicated enough to yellow in a [gallon plastic bottle] jar for a day or a week, I’d poor it outside. Which I am not.
I must be the exception in the my yellow stinks. As does, admittedly, my brown.

Seussian, @Pachy!

48 hrs with the lid kept closed in my bathroom, and you might be sitting on the floor when you went to yellow, @zenvelo. Maybe I need to sanitize the bowl more. I currently have a bottle of something hanging in the tank that’s supposed to be good for the septic – Ty-de-bowl style dispenser.

I totally agree, @ARE_you_kidding_me. At the auction we have one of those old-fashioned urinals that are shaped like a 4’ long porcelain sink at knee level. I can yellow in pitch black…just have to be careful to walk in slowly.

Seek's avatar

The chemicals in the urine are important to the dye process for certain dyeing materials.

It’s funny: certain, um, sources are better than others. My friend, mentioned above, swears pre-pubescent boys have the best pee.

ibstubro's avatar

Scarily, @Seek, I had suspected both those things from your post.
Chemicals, not color and that there was some reason for boy yellow in particular.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I always flush, every single time, and would not do otherwise. The mere thought disgusts me. Water conservation be damned.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ibstubro smelly yellow can have so many causes that there’s no point to discussing them. Personally, I would take it as a sign that I’m not drinking water. But I guzzle a lot of water and drink a lot of tea the downside being that I pee a lot. This can be problematic now that I’m older. This question made me suddenly realize that I am now tuned to being acutely aware of the restroom logistics wherever I find myself. Funny, because when I was younger, I noticed that women had a talent for this sort of thing, and I found it curious.

Seek's avatar

@Darth_Algar – if the alternative was a puddle of shit bubbling up into your front yard you might change your tune.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Maybe, but it isn’t.

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