Cleaning a smelly garbage isn’t as simple as hosing it off.
If you’re like me, that’s probably been the start and end of your process, but that’s not going to get rid of strong smells and stains.
Properly cleaning a smelly garbage can is actually a three-step process of cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting. The following materials will help you accomplish this:
- Baking soda
- Dryer sheets
- Cat litter
Step 1: Empty and clean the can
The first step is always to empty your trash can.
Remove the garbage until you can see the bottom of the bin. Once you’ve removed everything, you will be able to tell if the foul smells derive from leftover foods or sticky substances.
It’s important that you figure out what substance is causing the smell because it will determine how you clean that smelly garbage can.
One of the more common issues is liquids leaking into the can. Even if you are extremely careful about not throwing liquids in a trash can, the chances are that organic scraps or open bottles have leaked onto the bottom or walls of the bin.
If you’ve got a liquid problem, you should wash the can thoroughly. For this first step, a pressure washer is an ideal tool, but a hose will be just as effective. The main aim of this step is to remove any scraps and smudges stuck on the surfaces.
If this is the first attempt to clean a trash bin that is always in use, spraying it with water might not be enough. For particularly tough-to-remove stains, consider scrubbing it with your preferred cleaning product. If you need a little inspiration about what cleaning products will work best for this job, check out the last section of this article.
Once you have decided on the best solution to use, proceed by filling up part of the bin with lukewarm water. Once soaked, scrub both the inside and outside of it with a deck brush. When you are satisfied with the level of cleanliness of the bin, rinse and continue to eliminate any residual odors.
Step 2: Eliminate odors
There are several ways to eliminate the foul smell deriving from your bin. While some of the most common bin fresheners contain chemicals, some natural remedies can be just as effective.
If you prefer to use chemical-based store-bought solutions, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to eliminate odors.
Alternatively, you can use undiluted white vinegar to spray the interior and exterior surfaces of the bin. Place the can’s lid in place and allow enough time for the vinegar to react. After a few minutes, rinse the container again with clean water.
Be aware that vinegar’s unique properties make it one of the most efficient natural weed killers out there. If inadvertently thrown on nearby flowers and plants, it might have the same destructive effect!
Step 3: Disinfect
The final step in cleaning that smelly garbage can is to disinfect.
This step aims at killing germs and bacteria that dwell on the cans’ surfaces. While this is not an indispensable step, it makes it safer for you to keep the bin inside the house.
Since white vinegar boasts disinfectant properties, if you have used it throughout the cleaning process, you won’t need to add any other substance. However, industrial chemicals that aim at disinfecting and sanitizing are also available on the market.
Best products to clean a smelly garbage can
Finding cleaning products that will clean, deodorize, and sanitize your bins has never been this easy. There are many manufactured cleaners on the market today that provide such services. However, some commonly used substances in your household can also clean your can effectively.
Bleach is among the most potent disinfectants out there, and it is incredibly common. Whether you use it for your laundry or to clean your toilet, there will probably be a bleach bottle left somewhere in the house.
The strong smell of bleach is the main downside to using it as a cleaning solution. Yet, if you have tried several other remedies to get rid of your bins’ smell and dirt without a positive result, bleach is your best bet, as it will kill the germs responsible for the odors spreading from your trash can.
When using such a potent product, you should take some essential precautions, such as:
- Avoid leaving the bleach in the trash can too long, as this can cause permanent discoloration.
- Use this solution outdoors or in a ventilated area to avoid inhaling excessive fumes.
- Wear gloves throughout the cleaning process. Bleach can have detrimental effects on your skin.
- Avoid touching your face and protect your eyes with goggles.
Bleach is such a vigorous product that can be just as effective if diluted with water.
Not only is baking soda available in most households, but it is also a multipurpose cleaner! You can use this substance throughout the cleaning process with brilliant results and without having to add any manufactured cleaner.
Firstly, during the washing and scrubbing phases, you can base your cleaning solution on baking soda. This substance will not only eliminate any food scraps and smears but also remove any odor.
Alternatively, if you have washed your can with other products, you can use baking soda to prevent future foul smells from forming. Indeed, once the trash can is clean, dry, and ready for use, sprinkling baking soda at its bottom can help you keep odors at bay until the next wash. Moreover, it will absorb any moisture and liquids that have leaked from your garbage, preventing them from sticking to the surfaces of the bin.
If you are looking for an all-natural solution that is affordable, eco-friendly, and just as efficient as store-bought products, look no further than white vinegar. While you might have been using it for other purposes such as cooking or cleaning rusty tools, vinegar is also a great natural disinfectant and deodorizer.
Similar to baking soda, vinegar is useful to clean your garbage cans from start to end. The acetic acid that is at the core of vinegar is also the same compound contained by most home cleaning products you can find in stores. Whether you prefer to use white or apple cider vinegar, it will be able to eliminate any smelly deposit on your bin, from grease to grime. Best of all, vinegar is potent enough to disinfect your cans and kill any germs thoroughly.
You might have been using dryer sheets for years without truly understanding their incredible potential. They can be incredibly versatile, and they are useful to care for your clothes iron or to polish bathroom appliances. Dryer sheets capture any bad odors that originate from the bag over time.
To make the best of these simple devices, add up to 2 sheets at the bottom of your garbage bin before inserting a new bag. For best results, use them only after you have thoroughly washed, deodorized, and disinfected the can. Swap old sheets for new ones every time you empty the bin or replace the bag.
If you are a cat owner, you know how important it is to buy good kitty litter. Both for your pet’s wellbeing but also for your household. Indeed, cat litter can absorb liquids and odors while spreading a fresher smell in the surrounding area.
Adding this product to the bottom of your clean trash bin can work wonders! Not only will it trap in liquids and moisture deriving from your garbage, but it will also capture any frustrating foul smells.