How to Destink Your Kitchen Trash Can

overfilled black kitchen can bag

When you clean the kitchen, what’s normally on your to-do list? Wipe the counters, clean the stovetop, scrub the sink, sweep and mop the floors, and take out the trash — all done, right? Then why does something still smell bad?

Take a second look at the trash can. If a foul odor lingers even after the trash is taken out, this is a clear sign that it’s time to learn how to clean a trash can. This is an easy chore to overlook, but if you keep up with it, your nose will thank you.

Supplies to Clean a Kitchen Trash Can

  • Bathtub
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Garden hose (optional)
  • New toilet brush or other long-handled scrub brush
  • Disinfectant spray or diluted bleach

How to Remove Trash Can Odors

Follow this five-step process to obliterate the funk:

  1. Wash the trash can with hot soapy water. Squirt dish soap into the bathtub and fill the tub part-way with hot water. Submerge the can and swish it around to get soap and water on every surface. Let the can soak for five minutes.
  2. Rinse the can in the tub or outside with a garden hose. Drain the water. If possible, take the trash can to an outdoor area and hose it down. (Pat the outside of the can dry with paper towels or rags first so it doesn’t drip as you carry it outside.) If you don’t have a yard, or it’s too cold outside, you can finish cleaning the trash can in your bathtub.
  3. Scrub the interior with a disinfectant spray or a diluted bleach solution. Either spray a product like 409 on the inside of the can or apply a solution of 1/8 cup bleach and one-quart hot water — it’s your choice. Scrub the cleaner with a new toilet brush or other long-handled scrub brush. This helps you reach the bottom of the can without straining yourself. Let the disinfectant spray or bleach sit for five minutes after scrubbing.
  4. Rinse with a hose. Remove all residual cleaner by hosing down the inside and outside of the can. The handheld sprayer in your bathtub can do the job as well.
  5. Allow the can to dry. Pat the trash can down with paper towels or rags to remove most of the water. Let it finish drying, preferably outside, before you line it with a new trash bag.

NOTE: If you have a plastic trash can that sits inside a stainless steel shell, don’t just wash the inner can — clean the exterior shell as well!

Get Extra Help with Household Chores

Now that you know how to remove trash can odors, you may realize there are other chores around the house that you’ve been neglecting. No one has time to deep-clean every week, but you want to live in a clean, organized home! For many people, getting a little extra outside help is the trick to balancing the need for free time and cleanliness.

Consider Molly Maid for the job. Our team of professional housekeepers can provide one-time deep-cleaning, occasional cleaning, or routine assistance with household chores. We keep your options flexible so you can spend more time with family and friends this holiday season! For a free house cleaning estimate, please contact your local Molly Maid today.