Little superheroes: All about Effective Microorganisms and how they help you keep your composting toilet hygienically fresh

Little superheroes: All about Effective Microorganisms and how they help you keep your composting toilet hygienically fresh
Table of Contents

Effective microorganisms are industrious little superheroes that play a crucial role in many areas of our lives. Their places of use range from agriculture and waste management to composting toilets. As their name suggests, these tiny organisms are extremely effective at what they do. But what exactly are EM, and how do they work?

What are Effective Microorganisms?

Effective Microorganisms

EM are a mixture of different types of beneficial microorganisms, including lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and photosynthetic bacteria. These little helpers are therefore natural organisms that occur in the environment and work together in a synergistic manner. Originally developed in the 1980s by Japanese scientist Dr. Teruo Higa, EM has since established itself worldwide as an environmentally friendly solution for various applications.

How do Effective Microorganisms work?

The way Effective Microorganisms work is based on a complex, yet natural process. This is how the little helpers work:

  1. Fermentation and Decomposition: EM are living microorganisms that operate in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. They are able to break down organic matter. This is done through fermentation, a biochemical process in which microorganisms decompose organic matter. In the process, they produce useful metabolic products such as antioxidants and enzymes.

  2. Displacement of harmful microbes: EM have the ability to displace pathogenic microorganisms. Through their strong reproduction, they compete for resources and space, which suppresses the growth of dangerous germs. In this way, Effective Microorganisms create the basis for a hygienic environment.

  3. Odor control: One of the most remarkable properties of EM is their ability to reduce or eliminate unpleasant odors. Because they efficiently break down organic waste, odor emissions are minimized.

  4. Soil improvement: In agriculture, EM are often used for soil improvement. Through their ability to break down organic matter and release nutrients, they contribute to soil health, increase fertility and improve plant growing conditions.

What bacteria are contained in Effective Microorganisms?

The combination of different microorganisms in EM creates a diverse ecosystem of beneficial organisms working together. Each species performs specific functions, ranging from fermentation and decomposition of organic materials to improving soil and environmental quality. We take a closer look at the main species and ask, "What's your Superpower?"
  1. Lactic acid bacteria: These bacteria are responsible for the production of lactic acid. They play an important role in fermentation and decomposition of organic materials. Lactic acid bacteria are able to displace harmful microorganisms and help improve soil quality.

  2. Yeasts: Yeasts are an integral part of EM and contribute to the fermentation, breakdown of sugars and other organic compounds. They are also responsible for the production of enzymes that play a crucial role in many biological processes.

  3. Photosynthetic bacteria: These bacteria are able to convert sunlight into energy, much like plants. They can live in oxygen-free environments and help produce antioxidants and enzymes, which in turn contribute to plant and soil health.

  4. Yeast fungi: Yeast fungi are another component of EM. They also play a role in the fermentation of organic matter. They help reduce unwanted odors and improve environmental quality.

  5. Photosynthetic bacteria: These bacteria have the ability to reduce sulfur-containing compounds and help improve water quality. Therefore, they are particularly suitable for supporting wastewater treatment.

Effective microorganisms in the composting toilet

Scent Blocker

With their natural superpowers, EM are ideal for cleaning your composting toilet. Since they take up a lot of space due to their strong reproduction, they unpack their boxing gloves, so to speak, to displace pathogenic bacteria and thus ensure a hygienic environment.

Since the little helpers are also able to absorb odors, they help to keep your quiet little place clean and naturally fresh in an environmentally friendly way.

Effective microorganisms are not only suitable as a natural cleaner for your composting toilet, they also promote the composting process. In addition, they help to reduce odors. For this reason, they are also a component of our scent blocker, a litter that was specially developed for composting toilets.

How are agents with Effective Microorganisms used in the composting toilet?

Cleaners with effective microorganisms are best sprayed onto the toilet seat and the partition insert with a spray bottle and then wiped dry. You can safely use a piece of toilet paper for this purpose, which you then dispose of in the solids bin. The body and lid of your toilet can also be cleaned naturally in this way. You can learn more about cleaning a composting toilet in our big composting toilet guide .

You use litter with EM just like any other litter. After the big business, you cover it with one or two cups full and the microorganisms start their work. You want to know what other litter you can use? Then check out our article .

Other effective microorganism's application areas

effective microorganism's application

Effective microorganisms are versatile. Their superpowers are thus not only limited to the cleaning of composting toilets. Here is a brief overview of the most common areas of application: 

  •  Improvement of soil quality
  •  Promotion of plant health
  •  Increase yields
Waste water treatment
  • Acceleration of the degradation of organic materials
  • Reduction of odors
  • Improvement of water quality
Animal husbandry
  • Reduction of unpleasant odors
  • Improvement of hygiene in stables and enclosures
  • Treatment of manure and stable waste
Waste management
  • Efficient decomposition of organic waste
  • Minimization of harmful landfill gases
Household cleaning
  • Improvement of hygiene
  • Reduction of pathogens
  • Reduction of odors
  • Promotion of the decomposition of organic materials
  • Support of the composting processes
Environmental protection
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Remediation of polluted waters
  • Revitalization of soils
Public health
  • Improvement of hygiene
  • Reduction of pathogens
Food processing
  • Fermentation
  • Production of probiotic products
  • Improvement of soil quality
  • Prevention of plant diseases
  • Promotion of plant growth

Conclusion: Why Effective Microorganisms are simply great

Little superheroes

Effective microorganisms in composting toilets are natural, environmentally friendly and incredibly effective. With their powerful properties, they help keep your composting toilet hygienically clean and simply fragrant. Due to their versatile applications, they have established themselves in a wide variety of areas of life. Making them a promising step towards a cleaner and greener future and showing once again that nothing is too small to be a superhero.


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