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5 Easy Ways to De-Stinkify a Smelly Trash Can

When you consider what goes into your trash can, it’s no wonder it becomes smelly. If you’re tired of dealing with unpleasant odors, it’s time to do something about it.

Thankfully, having stinky garbage isn’t something you have to live with. You can do some simple things to eliminate the stench from your waste.

Today, we’re sharing five ways to deodorize your bin so you can finally breathe fresh air.

Let’s get started!

Are You Living With a Stinky Trash Can?

A smelly trash can is a common problem whether you live in a house, RV, or other dwelling. These containers typically hold leftover food and waste until the bag is full and you take it outside. Depending on how much garbage you generate, it could be a few days before it needs emptying.

During this time, the contents can begin to decompose. This breaking down process can create a funky fragrance. It’s not something that you can ignore. If left unaddressed, it’ll only worsen, and it could become a health concern.

We don’t want you to have to pinch your nose any longer. So, we’re sharing these five easy ways to deal with your garbage can.

#1 Use Baking Soda To Fight Smelly Trash Odors

Baking soda is the Swiss Army knife of cleaning products. It does a tremendous job of neutralizing odors. The alkaline mixture absorbs pungent smells and helps create fresher air. That’s why you’ll see an open box in many refrigerators. It keeps unpleasant aromas away.

If you want to go this route, there are a few ways to apply baking soda to your trash can. First, you can sprinkle it into the bottom of each new bag. It’ll sit in the base and soak up the stench. It can be effective but requires more product, and you’ll have to remember to do it.

Another way to use baking soda is to place a generous amount in a coffee filter. Close the filter with a rubber band and place it in the bottom of your stinky trash bin below the bag. With a constant deodorizer, you can finally inhale clean, fresh air.

#2 Switch Your Trash Can

Depending on your garbage can, getting a new one may be your best bet. We often buy into the lie that bigger is better. However, having a massive bin won’t do you any favors. It’ll just mean the food and other gunk will sit inside longer. As you can imagine, the stench tends to get worse with time.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider the materials used to construct your basket. Plastic may be cheaper, but it also tends to absorb odors. No matter how hard you try, eliminating them can be nearly impossible. You’re better off choosing a metal container instead. It’ll cost more, but your nose will thank you.

You can combine these two methods by buying a smaller metal receptacle. It’ll require you to empty it more often, but it’ll be easier to clean and won’t cause you to plug your nose.

Newer trash cans even have filters to help reduce smells: SIMPLI-MAGIC 50 Liter Soft-Close Trash Can.

#3 Try Cat Litter To Absorb Stinky Trash Odors

If you live with a cat, you know how well kitty litter keeps odors at bay. This method can help you keep the humidity and stink away for a week or more. It works similar to the baking soda option we shared previously.

Place a layer of kitty litter in the bottom of the container before inserting a bag. By design, this substance also does a fantastic job of absorbing liquids. It can be helpful if you have any spills or a hole in the bag that causes a leak. The litter will clump together to soak up the mess.

Get in the habit of checking the litter each time you replace the liner. For it to do its job, you need to replenish it before it’s no longer effective. If you add some rather odorous items, it also doesn’t hurt to sprinkle some kitty litter in. 

Deep Dive: Does Cat Litter Actually Prevent Mice in Your Home?

Cat litter can help cover smelly waste you've placed in your trash bag

#4 Clean and Disinfect Your Smelly Trash Can

Like most things, the best defense against a smelly trash can is to clean and disinfect it thoroughly. Depending on how much funk you’ve let gather inside, this may not be the most exciting task. Fortunately, in the end, you’ll be able to breathe deeply without gagging.

Every time you replace the bag, wipe up any spills or food particles you see. Making this a part of your routine reduces the chances of a small mess becoming a big problem. 

You likely have bleach, cleaning spray, or disinfecting wipes around the house. If not, make sure to add them to your shopping list. These are products that are useful to have on hand at all times.

Remember to clean the lid, too. When the receptacle gets too full, food and other gunk can touch the top and stick to it. If left unaddressed, the cover can get dirty, eventually creating a nasty problem. Giving the whole container a good wipe-down each time you replace the bag can minimize the elbow grease required.

#5 Fight Stinky Trash Can Odors With More Pleasant Scents

Another effective option to consider to win this battle is introducing more pleasing scents. You can find scented bags with various fragrances that can overpower bad smells. Instead of filling the air with funk, these products deliver a stronger, more enjoyable aroma.

Unfortunately, these bags are also more expensive. Luckily, you can try some equally useful DIY methods. Tossing citrus peels in with your waste can be a great option. Not only do you get a snack, but you can help keep odors away.

Citrus can help in other ways, too: Can Limes or Lemons Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

But if you’re not hungry for a sweet treat, you can try essential oils and dryer sheets. However, these last two options can quickly lose their potency. They may do well for a week, but the scents will fade, and the stink will return. 

Essential oils can help cover a smelly trash bin

Defeat Nasty Odors Before They Take Over

You don’t have to tolerate having a smelly trash can. After all, no one wants to worry about whether guests will notice foul odors while visiting. 

If you’re tired of losing this battle, take action today. Using our helpful tips, you can win the war to de-stinkify your space and enjoy a fresh-smelling home!

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