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Home » Blog » How To Avoid Having A Smelly Trash Can

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By: Rain City Maids
Aug 15, 2022

At home, you should be able to relax and cook without worrying about covering your nose from unpleasant smells. 

If you are dealing with foul odors inside your home, your trash can is the first spot you should check. The scent of trash or rotten food residue can permeate the air and ruin the ambiance of your house. Plus, in the summer months, this odor can become almost unbearable. 

Don't let the garbage make your time at home unpleasant! Check out these tips to eliminate the stink.

First things first: clean your trash can

When the trash decomposes, microorganisms begin to feed on it and release chemicals like sulfur or phosphorus. In other words, the real culprits behind trash odor are germs. So, it only makes sense to rinse and disinfect your trash can to eliminate that odor-causing bacteria. 

The good news is that you can do this easily with common bleach; although harsh, no one will doubt bleach is excellent at killing bacteria. Follow these instructions: 

  • Empty the trash can and give it a quick rinse with water. Some scrubbing or a pre-wash may be necessary if your can has stuck-on garbage.
  • Then, make a disinfectant by mixing ⅓ cup of bleach per each gallon of water. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and spray it all over your can. 
  • Let the solution sit for several minutes, and then rinse the can with more water. That's it! 

Do you want to avoid bleach? Dish soap can also do the trick

Chlorine bleach may work great, but it can be too harsh for most household chores. Since bleach is a corrosive agent, it may damage the finish or materials of your trash can. Also, chlorine fumes might pose a health hazard if you don't ventilate the area.

So, if you are looking for a risk-free method to clean your trash can, soapy water will do the trick. Fill ¼ of the can with water and pour a splash of dish soap into it. Now, grab your brush and start scrubbing. 

How to keep your trash can from smelling

Let's be honest: the trash smell will keep coming back even if you wash the can. However, you can add a few prevention steps to your routine. Here are three simple tips to keep the smell away for longer. 

Tip #1. Place baking soda at the bottom of the bin

Baking soda is a tried and true method to remove stubborn grime in your home. However, this time you won't use it as a cleaner but as a deodorizing agent.

Before getting a new trash bag in, place a generous amount of baking soda at the bottom of your trash can. The layer of baking soda should absorb moisture and smells. Just remember to replace the baking soda each time you wash the can, roughly once a week.

Note: Baking soda isn't the best option for metal cans—it's corrosive to metal and can damage the finish. However, there are alternative deodorizers you can try. 

Alternative deodorizers to baking soda

All these alternatives work in the same way as baking soda. When replacing the bag, you need to place them at the bottom of the trash can. 

  • Cotton balls: Cotton balls can be infused with your favorite scents by putting a couple of drops of essential oil or vanilla extract. These balls will leave a pleasant aroma to replace the trash odors.
  • Charcoal: If your family is big on BBQs, you must have some charcoal to spare. The charcoal you use for cooking is a natural deodorizer that will get rid of all the smells.
  • Citrus peels: Are you looking for a way to deodorize your trash naturally? All you have to do is save the peels from the citruses you use and dry them. Then, place them at the bottom of your can.
  • Cat litter: Whether you own cats or not, this is a cheap option to try. Kitty litter is designed to absorb bad smells and moisture. So, you can use it both to deodorize the can and absorb any leaks.

Tip #2. Separate your trash

Since the decomposing items are the ones that stink up your trash, separating those items from the rest makes sense. 

Separating trash is a common recycling practice, so you might already be doing it. However, if you don't, at least put biodegradable items in another can. The garbage that doesn't stink can remain in your house for a little longer while you take out the rest more often.

Tip #3. Cover the trash

Another thing that will help keep the odors trapped is getting a trash can with a top. The lid will cover the trash and the smells even if the garbage remains inside your home.

How to deodorize your outdoor trash can

The cans inside your house are not the only ones that battle unpleasant odors. So, here are some extra tips to deodorize your outdoor can.

Wash with soapy water and bleach

Fill a quarter of the can with water and soap, scrub it and rinse it. Then, if some odors remain, add two gallons of hot water to the can and pour in a splash of bleach. Swish the solution around the can and let it sit for half an hour. After time's up, rinse the can. It should be odor-free now!

Keep the lid closed

After you clean the can, keep the bags tightly closed and the lid down, so the smells don't get out. Plus, stronger bags work even better to seal away the odors. You can also use the same deodorizing tricks above to control bad smells.

Last but not least: Don't forget to take out the trash

Controlling the trash odor will be challenging if you don't take out the trash constantly! And bad smells don't stop in the bin; other areas of your home can start to give off an unpleasant smell if neglected. 

However, we understand that being on top of your home cleaning routine can be a challenge. 

Luckily, you can rely on Rain City Maids to help you with your regular chores. During our routine cleaning, our skilled maids will carry out every essential cleaning task in your home, including emptying the trash and replacing the liner.

Ask for an instant quote on our homepage and enjoy a fresh home!

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