How To Clean Stinky Trash Can


Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your stinky trash can, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. Having everything ready will make the process much more efficient and ensure that you can tackle the task without any interruptions. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves: Protect your hands from any germs or odors.
  • Trash bags: Have some extra bags on hand to replace the dirty one.
  • Broom or brush: Use this to remove any loose debris from the trash can.
  • Scrub brush or sponge: These will help scrub away stubborn stains and grime.
  • Mild detergent or cleaning solution: Choose a product that is safe to use on plastic or metal surfaces.
  • Vinegar: A natural disinfectant that can help eliminate odors.
  • Water hose or sink: You’ll need a source of water to rinse out the trash can.
  • Old towels or paper towels: These will come in handy for drying the trash can.
  • Deodorizer or baking soda: Optional, but can help keep your trash can smelling fresh.

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get started on cleaning your stinky trash can.

Empty the Trash Can

The first step in cleaning a stinky trash can is to empty it completely. Before you begin, make sure to tie up the trash bag securely to prevent any spills or leaks. Follow these steps to empty the trash can:

  1. Take the trash can to a well-ventilated area or outside, if possible. This will help minimize any unpleasant odors indoors.
  2. Hold the trash bag firmly and carefully remove it from the trash can. Be cautious not to spill any trash or liquids.
  3. Dispose of the trash bag in an appropriate waste receptacle. If you notice any liquid residue or leaks from the bag, place it in another bag for added protection.
  4. Inspect the empty trash can for any remaining debris or liquids. If there are any solid items or damp spots, proceed to the next step to remove them.

Taking the time to properly empty the trash can ensures that you’re starting with a clean canvas for the rest of the cleaning process. It also helps to minimize the chances of any lingering odors or bacteria. Once you’ve emptied the trash can, you’re ready to move on to the next step: removing any solid debris.

Remove Solid Debris

After emptying the trash can, it’s important to remove any solid debris that may be stuck to the bottom or sides. Here’s how you can effectively remove solid debris:

  1. Put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from any potential mess.
  2. Use a broom, brush, or even a gloved hand to gently loosen any solid debris inside the trash can.
  3. Carefully scoop out the loosened debris with a dustpan or your gloved hand.
  4. Dispose of the debris in a garbage bag or designated waste receptacle.

It’s essential to remove solid debris as it can contribute to unpleasant odors and attract pests if left unchecked. By taking the time to clear out any remaining trash or food scraps, you can ensure a thorough cleaning of your trash can.

Once you’ve removed the solid debris, it’s time to move on to the next step: rinsing the trash can with water.

Rinse with Water

After removing the solid debris from your trash can, the next step is to thoroughly rinse it with water. This will help eliminate any remaining residue and prepare the trash can for cleaning. Follow these steps to rinse your trash can:

  1. Take your trash can to an outdoor area, such as your backyard or driveway, where you have access to a water hose or a large sink.
  2. Use the water hose or fill the sink with warm water.
  3. Hold the trash can securely and pour water into it, ensuring that it covers the entire interior surface.
  4. Swirl the water around in the trash can to dislodge any trapped dirt or grime.
  5. Empty the water from the trash can, either by pouring it out or using the hose/sink drain.
  6. Repeat this process a few times until the water runs clear and there are no visible traces of dirt or debris.

Rinsing the trash can with water is an essential step in the cleaning process. It helps to remove any loose particles and prepares the surfaces for a thorough scrubbing with a cleaning solution. Once you have rinsed the trash can, it’s time to select the appropriate cleaning solution.

Choose Your Cleaning Solution

When it comes to selecting a cleaning solution for your trash can, there are several options to consider. The choice will depend on the material of your trash can and your personal preference. Here are a few common cleaning solutions you can use:

  • Mild detergent: A mild detergent, such as dish soap or a multipurpose cleaner, can effectively remove dirt and grime from plastic or metal trash cans. Dilute the detergent in water according to the instructions on the product.
  • Vinegar and water solution: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help eliminate odors. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water to create a cleaning solution. This is a great option for removing stubborn smells from your trash can.
  • Baking soda paste: Baking soda is a powerful odor absorber. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. The paste can be applied directly to stains or odorous areas in the trash can.

Once you have chosen your preferred cleaning solution, it’s time to move on to scrubbing the interior of the trash can. Remember to always spot test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the trash can to ensure it won’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Scrub the Interior

Now that you have selected your cleaning solution, it’s time to scrub the interior of your trash can to remove any remaining dirt, stains, and odors. Follow these steps to effectively scrub the interior:

  1. Dampen a scrub brush or sponge with your chosen cleaning solution. Make sure it is not overly saturated, as excessive liquid can be messy.
  2. Start from the top of the trash can and work your way down, applying the cleaning solution and scrubbing vigorously in a circular motion.
  3. Pay special attention to any stubborn stains or grime buildup. Use a bit of extra pressure and scrub those areas thoroughly until they are clean.
  4. If you encounter any tough odors, sprinkle some baking soda onto the affected areas and scrub it in.
  5. Continue scrubbing until the entire interior of the trash can is clean and free from dirt, stains, and odors.

Scrubbing the interior of the trash can is a crucial step in getting it thoroughly clean. It helps to remove any lingering residue, bacteria, and unpleasant smells. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the interior, it’s time to move on to the next step: wiping down the exterior.

Wipe Down the Exterior

After scrubbing the interior of your trash can, it’s essential to give the exterior a thorough wipe-down. This step will ensure that the entire trash can is clean and free from dirt, stains, and odors. Follow these steps to effectively clean the exterior:

  1. Prepare a fresh solution of your chosen cleaning solution or use a mild detergent diluted in water.
  2. Dip a clean sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution.
  3. Starting from the top, wipe down the exterior of the trash can, working your way down.
  4. Pay close attention to any areas that may have visible dirt or stains, such as the handles or the bottom.
  5. If there are any stubborn stains, use a bit of extra pressure and scrub gently until they are clean.
  6. Once you have wiped down the entire exterior, rinse the sponge or cloth with clean water and go over the trash can one more time to remove any cleaning solution residue.

Wiping down the exterior of the trash can not only helps to keep it clean and presentable but also keeps it free from dirt and grime buildup. This step adds the final touch to the cleaning process and ensures that your trash can is sparkling both inside and out.

Rinse and Dry

After scrubbing and wiping down both the interior and exterior of your trash can, it’s important to rinse it thoroughly to remove any cleaning solution residue. Follow these steps to effectively rinse and dry your trash can:

  1. Take your trash can to an outdoor area or use a large sink.
  2. Using a water hose or clean sink, thoroughly rinse the interior and exterior of the trash can.
  3. Make sure to remove all traces of the cleaning solution by rinsing until the water runs clear.
  4. After rinsing, shake off any excess water from the trash can.
  5. Use a clean towel or paper towels to dry the interior and exterior of the trash can thoroughly.
  6. Allow the trash can to air dry completely before using it again or putting a new trash bag inside.

Rinsing and drying the trash can is an essential step to ensure that it is clean and ready for use. This step eliminates any remaining cleaning solution residue and prevents water spots or streaks on the surface of the trash can. By thoroughly drying the trash can, you minimize the chances of any moisture or dampness that could contribute to unpleasant odors or the growth of bacteria.

Once your trash can is completely dry, it’s time to focus on preventing future odors and maintaining a fresh-smelling trash can.

Preventing Odors in the Future

After investing time and effort into cleaning your trash can, you’ll want to take steps to prevent odors from returning in the future. Follow these tips to keep your trash can smelling fresh:

  1. Regularly empty the trash can: Don’t let trash accumulate for too long. Empty the trash can regularly, especially if there are food scraps or items that can quickly start to produce odors.
  2. Use garbage bags: Always line your trash can with a durable garbage bag. This helps contain and control odors, making it easier to clean and maintain the trash can.
  3. Double bag when necessary: If you’re dealing with particularly potent or smelly waste, consider double bagging to provide an extra layer of odor protection.
  4. Tie up trash bags securely: Ensure that the trash bags are tied securely to prevent any leaks or spills, which can lead to unpleasant odors and potential messes.
  5. Dispose of food waste properly: Separate food waste and dispose of it in a compost bin or designated food waste container. This will help minimize odors and reduce the chances of attracting pests.
  6. Clean spills promptly: If any spills occur inside the trash can, clean them up immediately to prevent bacteria growth and odors.
  7. Use deodorizers: Consider using deodorizers specifically designed for trash cans. You can opt for commercial deodorizing sprays or natural options like baking soda or activated charcoal. Place them at the bottom of the trash can or sprinkle them into the bag to absorb odors.
  8. Regularly clean the trash can: Make it a routine to clean your trash can thoroughly every few months or as needed. This will help prevent the buildup of odors and keep your trash can fresh.

By following these preventive measures, you can maintain a clean and odor-free trash can, making your household environment more pleasant for you and your family.

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining a stinky trash can, here are some additional tips and tricks to help you out:

  • Avoid putting wet or damp trash directly into the trash can, as it can lead to unpleasant odors and a soggy mess. Consider draining liquids or wrapping wet items in a separate bag before disposing of them.
  • For stubborn odors, try placing a few coffee grounds or citrus peels at the bottom of the trash can. These natural odor absorbers can help neutralize unpleasant smells.
  • If you have a particularly stubborn stain or odor, try using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Apply the paste to the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse.
  • Consider storing your trash can in a shaded area or using a cover to protect it from direct sunlight. Sun exposure can accelerate the odorous breakdown of waste materials.
  • If you’re dealing with a particularly foul odor, you can try using a vinegar and water solution to soak the trash can overnight. This can help eliminate persistent smells.
  • Regularly inspect the lid and hinges of your trash can. Clean and disinfect them as needed to prevent any buildup of bacteria or odors.
  • If your trash can develops a persistent odor despite regular cleaning, it might be time to replace it. Over time, plastic trash cans can absorb odors that are difficult to remove.
  • To keep your trash can smelling fresh between cleanings, consider placing a dryer sheet or a cotton ball soaked in your favorite essential oil at the bottom of the can.
  • Encourage everyone in your household to dispose of waste properly and take extra care with messy or smelly items. This can help prevent the buildup of odors in the trash can.

By incorporating these tips and tricks into your trash can maintenance routine, you can ensure a fresh and pleasant-smelling environment while keeping odors at bay.