Time: 30 minutes
Throwing out garbage is one of the most dreaded household chores. No one wants to deal with spilled garbage or residue that can build up on the inside of your can and cause horrible smells and slimy growth. Clean your trash cans every few weeks and make this necessary task a little more bearable.
What's in it for you?
- Avoid mold and mildew buildup
- Prevent horrible smells
- Extend the life of your trash cans
- Keep it outside. The best time to clean a smelly, outdoor trash can is on garbage day, right after it’s been emptied. Move your trash can to a spot outside that you don’t mind getting wet (and a little dirty). A grassy area works best for this.
Pro Tip: Be sure to wear the proper gear (including gloves, respiratory masks, and goggles) before you get started, especially when dealing with mold or mildew up close.
Soap up. All you need to wash your trash can is a bit of regular dish soap. Lay your trash can on it’s side and pour a generous squirt of dish soap into the bottom, as far back as possible.
Hose it down. Using a regular hose, turn it up to its more powerful setting and hose down the inside of the can. Rotate the can as needed–and don’t forget to wash the lid.
Scrub scum out. For exceptionally tough grime that the hose can’t wash off, pour a small amount of detergent onto the brush and scrub away any remaining residue.
Rinse (and repeat). Rinse the entire trash can fully and flip upside down to drain out all the soap and water. Then turn it right-side up and leave it in a sunny spot to fully dry. Plan to wash your trash cans out every couple of months or as needed.
Keep it fresh. Spraying disinfectant into your newly clean trash can help keep mold and mildew from forming. If possible also try to store it somewhere cool or shady. Additionally, you can avoid food waste mucking up your trash by composting food in an outdoor compost bin.