How to Clean a Kitchen Garbage Can—Plus Prevent It From Smelling
Your nose will thank you.
Many of us (maybe all of us?) procrastinate on giving our kitchen garbage can a thorough cleaning, but once it starts to smell even after you've just emptied it, you know it's time to face this household task. Here's how to clean a garbage can to eliminate those unpleasant odors, plus a few tricks that can keep the can smelling fresh for longer. By absorbing leaks and lining the bottom of the can with odor-blocking items you probably already have around the house, you can prevent a smelly garbage can in the first place.
What You'll Need:
- Multi-surface cleaning spray
- Cleaning cloths
- Nylon bristle brush
- Disinfecting spray
- Newspaper or paper shopping bag
- Baking soda
How to Clean a Kitchen Garbage Can
- Clean the outside of the garbage can: Using multi-surface cleaning spray and a cleaning cloth, wipe down the surface to remove dust and grime.
- To clean greasy or sticky residue on the can, apply a drop of grease-cutting dish soap onto a damp cloth and work it into the spots.
- If you have any really stuck-on gunk, combine water and baking soda to form a thick paste, then use it to scrub the area. This mixture is mildly abrasive, but it won't scratch a stainless steel garbage can. Wipe down the surface with a clean, damp cloth.
- Clean the inside of the garbage can: Wearing gloves, remove any food bits or scraps that may be left at the bottom.
- Spritz the inside of the can with a multi-purpose cleaning spray, making sure to get the bottom of the lid as well. Scrub with a nylon bristle brush, then wipe clean with a paper towel or a cleaning cloth.
- To disinfect, spray the inside and the lid of the can with disinfecting spray, then let it sit for the recommended amount of time.
- Rinse the can outside using a garden hose. If you don't have a garden hose, you can also use the pull-out sprayer on your kitchen faucet or rinse it in the shower. Then let the garbage can air-dry outside in the sun, or wipe it down with an old towel.
- Prevent a smelly garbage can: Line the bottom of the can with a piece of newspaper or a paper shopping bag, which will absorb any leaks that may happen. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on top to stop odors.