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Cleaning Trash Cans

Category Miscellaneous
While not a pleasant chore, cleaning your trash can needs to be done periodically. This is a guide about cleaning trash cans.
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April 4, 2007

When emptying the trash in my cans, I always sprinkle carpet deodorizer in my new trash bags and in the bottom of my cans to help keep them smelling fresh. Make the whole room smell great. I also do this to my ashtrays and not only does it keep the smoke odors down but also helps keep the nicotine from sticking to the bottoms of the ashtrays. I also place small containers with small amounts of the freshener in places that are not visible to help keep the house smelling fresh.

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By Michelle from Lanett, AL

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November 9, 20050 found this helpful

To make cleaning your trash cans easier put them (emptied of bags) out on the porch when it is misting or raining, being sure to flip them over at some point. Then when you have time sponge them down with a soapy rag, quick rinse, and good as new. All the gunk will be pre-soaked and comes right off.

By Melanie Mom2_5 from IL

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By 0 found this helpful
May 21, 2013

Hose your trash and kitchen garbage cans outside and put dish soap in and scrub with a sponge and let it air dry outside.Then spray with disinfectant.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 8, 20050 found this helpful

I have an outdoor trash can that is issued by the city. The prior owners obviously put trash in there without bagging it. The trash can is disgusting to smell. It is at least 55 gallons. I have filled it and soaked it in bleach water in the sun several times. I have scrubbed it with all kinds of cleaners that include vinegar, baking soda, bathroom cleaners, everything I can think of. Nothing will take the stench out. It is made of really hard plastic, rubber material. Please advise if you know of anything I can do.

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Thank you.
suzi_homemaker01

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Have you tried taking the can to the carwash and using the high pressure hose and soap? Maybe the smell has "soaked" into the plastic and maybe the high pressure wash will help?

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Since I know that crumpled up newpaper is good for taking smells out of shoes, I wonder if it would work if each week you put crumpled up newspaper in the bottom of the can. It would take a while to remove the odor, but each time the trash is picked up, they'd be taking away the smelly paper.

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September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Try spraying the inside with straight ammonia a few times without rinsing. Or maybe try a few mothballs.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Try leaving an open bag of charcoal in the garbage can. Leave the lid closed. Leave it in their for about a week. It worked for us when we forgot to take the garbage to the dump and the garbage stayed in the trunk of the car for a whole week. The smell was terrible. Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 9, 20050 found this helpful

Contact the City that supplies the trash cans and tell them what you have done to eliminate the smell ... ask if they can exchange this trash can with a new one!

Doesn't hurt to ask.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 12, 20050 found this helpful

Try putting about a cup of fresh dry coffee grounds in the container and let sit for a week with the lid on.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 13, 20050 found this helpful

A family member's trash can was so bad I couldn't stand the smell bringing it to the curb, so I crumpled up newspapers, a lot of newspaper, and placed them in the bottom and the top of the garbage under the cover, and in one month the odor was gone. Now I just place a large entire newspaper in the bottom every week after it's emptied and if really smelly stuff goes into it, so does some more crumpled paper, an+}"-- it's fine now. I'd try all of the suggestions one at a time. I think you are bound to get it done. Do you have one of the desktop air filters machines like The Sharper Image sells. Might work. Hasta La Vista, mis amigo

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 13, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you so much for all of your advice. I can always count on this website!! I put an entire bag of open charcoal, a cup of coffee grounds in a little throw away bowl, sprinkled some baking soda, and a full container of Glade carpet deoderizer all inside and closed it up. After 2 days, it is smelling very good! I have had to borrow space in neighbor's trash cans so that I could keep this one shut and empty during the process. I did contact the city and tell them about the problem after I first moved in and they said they would check and see if they had a new can and get back to me and of course they never did. I like the idea of keeping newspaper in the bottom all the time. I always keep everything in bags, but trash is trash!! Thank you all so much. I will still leave it closed up for a few more days! Thank you again!

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September 14, 20050 found this helpful

Call the city and tell them you need a new trashcan and why...you will get a replacement...I just did this
after our deep freeze went out with meat and we did not discover this for weeks in the hot summer...
Anyway they do not immediately offer a replacement
but they will if you insist. Ours is new and looked like
it had been just washed...Don't waste your hard earned money on this.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 31, 20050 found this helpful

Try adding aquarium rock salt to the bottom of the garage can and crumbled newspaper. It might take a while but it will eventually come out.

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November 9, 20050 found this helpful

I like the idea of letting the garbage company worry about the odor. If they have to trade enough cans, maybe they will give you some good, thrifty advice about deodorizing the cans.

Until then, try ZeroOdorStore.com . It's not inexpensive, but it works. Hooray!

O.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 30, 20070 found this helpful

If you live near Birmingham, AL call The Wheelie Bin Cleaning Service at 205-527-4132. They will come and clean, sanitize, and deodorize your cans monthly for a small fee.

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August 14, 20050 found this helpful

I'm looking for advice on cleaning and deodorizing a garbage can used to store dog poo cleanup (dirty paper towels, etc...). It's a plastic garbage can, is kept covered, and used only for pet cleanup. After dumping the garbage I can't find a good way to get the strong odor out of the garbage can, even after airing on the porch.

I've tried washing with pinesol, comet, etc., but none are 100% successful at removing the smell.

I am open to any ideas, even using a different type of garbage can if that would help.

Thanks!
Jenny

Answers

August 15, 20050 found this helpful

The problem with plastic is that it's porous and absorbs odors. You may want to try diluted white vinegar, or lemon juice to rinse out the can. If that doesn't work you might have to buy a metal garbage can.

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August 15, 20050 found this helpful

I put moth crystals in the bottom of my plastic garbage can. My dog is litterbox trained (T-cup Chihuahua) so everything goes in the garbage can. There is absolutely no odor. We even keep it in the garage and with the intense heat and humidity (FL) there still isn't any odor. I have one of those big green heavy duty garbage cans, so maybe it is the type of plastic that it's made of.

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August 15, 20050 found this helpful

This might be silly, but...are you using trash bags in the can to at least help cut down the odor that the can absorbs? Try white vinegar (neutralizes many odors). You could spray the empty can with white vinegar before you use it again & just leave the vinegar in there. Or the lemon juice used in the same manner? Good Luck!

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August 15, 20050 found this helpful

I use plastic, 5 gallon buckets to hold my dogs poop. I first, cut vent holes in the lid, then I put the lid on the bucket loosely. Each time she poops, I use the shovel and the bucket. When the bucket is full, I just throw it away at the dump, with the rest of my garbage. Each time I go to the dump, I get a new fresh bucket. No more stink. I get the plastic buckets free, from drive ins, espresso booths, restaurants,etc.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 16, 20050 found this helpful

Why aren't you using a plastic liner? I can't even imagine putting dog waste into a can WITHOUT a liner in it. We have a dog, and that's exactly what we do. We have a plastic spackle-bucket w/ a tight fitting lid, and line it w/ plastic grocery bags, then we pick up the waste with smaller plastic bags (all plastic bags free from various sources), and put them into the lined bucket, and place the lid on tight. When it's trash day, all that's needed is to lift-out the plastic liner, tie a knot, and off it goes, and the bucket is still clean. A few times a month, we clean it thoroughly. Your bucket is smelling probably b/c plastic is porous to odors and the waste is making the plastic permanently smell. You may want to use a metal bucket as metal does not hold odors the way plastic does. Keeping things clean is the easiest way to cut down on odors, smells, critters, everything. You may want to start w/ a brand new bucket. Hope this helps.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 16, 20050 found this helpful

I soak my trash can a couple of hours with some bleach water. Should rinse right out and smell better. after cleaning I fill the bottom of trash can with some cat litter. It will absorb liquid and oders. Hope this helps.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 17, 20070 found this helpful

I would suggest looking at SaniCan who will clean your garbage can for 7 bucks a month

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By 0 found this helpful
July 9, 2007

I have to clean my elderly mom's outdoor trash can. It is smelly and has lots of flies, bees and gnats around it. I will need something like a brush with a long handle on it to clean the inside thoroughly. Do you have a better way?

Onesummer

Answers

July 9, 20070 found this helpful

I have used straight bleach. This will disenfect and kill anything in there. You could buy a brush on a handle that is used for applying tar on a driveway. I think they sell for under $5 at a homecenter.

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