Clean Your Trash Compactor to Prevent Breakdowns

Time: 30-60 minutes

Of course, trash compactors are noisy — They crush all your trash into a small, manageable bundle. But there may come a day when the usual grinding begins to sound like a banshee in its death throes. Clean your trash compactor once or twice a month to prevent screeching breakdowns like that.

What's in it for you?

  • Decreased mildew and mold spread
  • Stronger trash compactor
  • Less noise

(Show me how)

Clean Your Trash Compactor to Prevent Breakdowns

  1. Take some safety measures. Don a pair of rubber gloves — No trash to skin contact here and unplug the trash compactor. It probably won’t turn itself on while you’re working, but why take a risk? Safety first, people.

  2. Empty the trash compactor container. When you run the trash compactor, it compresses and collects trash and dumps it into a bag in the bottom of the unit. Find the container holding the bag and remove it. Don’t forget to grab any stray pieces of trash that spilled into the machine — No bacteria or mold growth here.

  3. Scrub the interior walls. Spray the inside walls of the unit with a pH-neutral, all-purpose cleaner. Let it soak for a few minutes. Grab a microfiber rag and wipe away all the icky buildup. You know what we’re talking about — stains, mold, mildew — All the stuff that can spread to the compactor motor and cause damage.

  4. Clean the air filter. Find the air filter — It’ll be just above the bag. Slide it out with a slight tug and clean it by running it under hot water. Make sure to check for damage and replace it if you’ve had it for over a year.

  5. Put in a new trash bag. Now that everything’s cleaned, put in a new trash bag. Close the trash compactor and wipe down the outside for good measure — You don’t want any leftover residue finding its way back in.

Pro Tip: Throw in a disinfectant (such as baking soda) every time you use your trash compactor. It’ll eliminate smells, but more importantly, keep compactor-destroying bacteria and mold at bay.

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