When your garbage can starts to smell like the stuff you put in it, you’ve got to act fast—these three easy tricks will stop that reek in its tracks without a trip to the store.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated August 21, 2018

It happens to the best of us: You return home after a long day, walk into your kitchen, and realize with horror that your trash can has started to smell like… well, trash.

It’s not just kitchen trash cans, either—garbage receptacles all over your home can easily start to smell unpleasant, even after you take out the trash and replace the bags. Fortunately, stopping that lingering smell and keeping it from ever returning is simple. You probably already have the necessary materials.

Method #1 to Stop Trash Can Smells: Newspaper

Place a couple of layers of newspaper at the bottom of the trash can. These will absorb smelly leaks, so if something in your trash bag starts to drip and the bag leaks, there won't be a lingering stench and cleaning up the spill will be a breeze.

Method #2 to Stop Trash Can Smells: Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets can do wonders for your clothes, but they can also help with your trash can problems. Simply drop a sheet into the bottom of the can—soon it will smell just as fresh as your laundry does.

Method #3 to Stop Trash Can Smells: A DIY Sachet

Using pantry staples, you can make a sachet (yes, like the ones you use in your dresser) to help stop unpleasant garbage can smells. Fill a coffee filter with baking soda, then tie the top closed with floss. Set the sachet at the bottom of your trash can and get ready to breathe freely.