Asked on Jul 29, 2012

Best way to remove odor from garbage cans?

Linda JavorDobiAnna M


My plastic garbage cans smell awful. today I placed dish soap in each of them and rinsed them out really well. some of the odor is still lingering. I figured I'd ask here what methods and or products do you use to clean and freshen up your trashcans?
6 answers
  • Dee W
    on Jul 29, 2012

    To clean my cans I use equal parts 2 cups water and white vinegar with 1/2 cup lemon juice, swish with a broom on all sides, let sit for 10 mins. swish again, then rinse. When dry, I sprinkle 1 box of baking soda in the bottom until it needs washed again. To help keep smells down, I freeze meat/fat scraps until garbage day. I also rinse meat containers from store before putting into the garbage bag. With this heat it has been a challenge not making my garbagemen gag.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jul 30, 2012

    I compost most garbage. Since fats & meat should not be put in a composter I double bag and place them outside in a small container until garbage pickup & use diluted bleach on that container. On the indoor container I use vinegar & baking soda like DEE W suggests. Of course I also have liners in the garbage cans.

  • Therese C
    on Jul 30, 2012

    Pour 1/4 cup bleach and 2 cups boiling water into each trash can and leave set over night, rinse well in the morning. To prevent this from happening in the future Keep a spray bottle of bleach water handy and spritz the inside each time you change the bag. Anything strong smelling like onions, etc should be tied in a disposable plastic bag like the ones from the grocery store before being placed into the trash. Oh, and place folded newspapers in the bottom of the trash cans in case the bag leaks.

  • Anna M
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Here's a post I wrote on how to make homemade air freshener. This would work awesome for keeping your trash cans smelling fresh, and you can use whatever scent you want!

  • Dobi
    on Feb 17, 2015

    I use to put bleach water in mine every day to clean it out. But a vinegar solution works well.

  • Linda Javor
    on Jul 17, 2015

    I use fresh wave from ACE or BB&B store. it is all natural and works great. I also just found Odor ban from Home Depot it is very concentrated. works on dog pee so it should work, but I didn't try it yet.

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