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Cleaning your trash can may not be the most exciting chore, but it is an essential task to maintain a fresh and hygienic living environment. A clean trash can not only helps eliminate unpleasant odors but also prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria and pests. Let’s dive in!

1. Gather the Necessary Supplies:

Prior to commencing the cleaning procedure, assemble the following supplies:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Trash bags
  • Broom or dustpan
  • Scrub brush with stiff bristles
  • Mild detergent or disinfectant
  • Vinegar or baking soda
  • Hose or water source

2. Empty the Trash Can:

Initiate the cleaning process by ensuring the complete emptying of the trash can. Securely tie up the trash bag and dispose of it in a suitable manner. Eliminate any loose debris or waste from the interior of the trash can by employing a broom or dustpan.

3. Rinse the Trash Can:

Transport the trash can outdoors or to a suitable area equipped with a water source. Utilize a hose or accessible water supply to thoroughly rinse both the interior and exterior of the trash can. This process will effectively eliminate any lingering dirt or residue.

4. Apply a Cleaning Solution:

Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing mild detergent or disinfectant with warm water. Alternatively, you can use a natural solution by combining equal parts vinegar and water or sprinkling baking soda inside the can. Vinegar and baking soda possess inherent deodorizing properties due to their natural composition.

5. Scrub the Trash Can:

Wearing rubber gloves, use a scrub brush with stiff bristles to thoroughly scrub the interior and exterior of the trash can. Give special attention to persistent stains or residue, focusing on their thorough removal. If using a vinegar solution, allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing. Baking soda can be left overnight for better results.

6. Rinse and Disinfect:

After scrubbing, rinse the trash can with water to remove any soap residue or cleaning solution. This step is crucial to prevent any unwanted odors. Once rinsed, disinfect the trash can by spraying or wiping it with a disinfectant spray or a mixture of water and bleach (follow product instructions for proper dilution).

7. Dry the Trash Can:

Ensure that the trash can is completely dry before inserting a fresh trash bag. Adequate drying is crucial to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Whenever possible, place the trash can in direct sunlight as it aids in expediting the drying process.

8. Regular Maintenance:

To keep your trash can fresh and clean, it is important to establish a regular cleaning routine. Ideally, clean your trash can every month or more frequently if needed. In between cleanings, regularly bag your trash and avoid overfilling the can, as this can lead to spills and unpleasant odours.


Cleaning your trash can is a simple yet vital task for maintaining a healthy and odor-free kitchen space. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and unpleasant odours from your trash can. Remember to wear protective gear, choose an appropriate cleaning solution, and establish a regular cleaning routine to ensure a fresh and hygienic bin. With a clean trash can, you can enjoy a cleaner environment and keep pests and bacteria at bay. Be sure to also read our article on how to clean a garbage disposal.

Looking for something else? Read more detailed kitchen cleaning guides.