Or rather, it is free if you use any sort of holding tank treatment chemical.
I've done all sorts of holding tank stuff for Practical Sailor Mag. Chemicals, hoses, vent filters. Fun stuff. And in the process, in addition to learning all sorts subtleties, I solved all of my own odor problems, save one; odor from the bowl itself. If I flush with seawater and leave it a few days, there's some stink; sulfate in seawater is converted to hydrogen sulfide by millions of wee bacteria. If I flush with fresh water, it's better, but not zero; I guess something sneaks back down the waste hose, or perhaps up the feed hose. And either way, the bowl tends to get ratty, as marine flush volumes are limited and the water isn't chlorinated. I hate scrubbing.
The free solution? Place a 20% solution of holding tank treatment in a spray bottle and mist the bowl down each day, or at least whenever you'll be leaving the boat for a while. This cleans the bowl, treats the water in the bowl, and treats the water in the waste hose, preventing stink. And since it's the same treatment you would be using anyway, just subtract this from the usual dosage.
I haven't scrubbed in months; the treatment eats the waste off. Very lazy.
However, not all treatments work.
- No blue sterilizing treatments, with formaldehyde and the like. Toxic, smelly, stain-prone, and well... gross. Too much like a portable toilet. Very tough on joker valves. Ban those from your boat.
- No bacterial treatments, like Bactank T3 or Happy Camper. They grow in the bottle and get gross. They are quite effective in the tank, just not for this.
- Pick an scent you like, preferably very mild. I like Forespar Refresh, Raritan CP, and Camco TST Ultra-concentrate. These are compatible with any type of holding tank treatment, including bacterial treatments.