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Getting Rid of Smelly Trash Can Odors

  • Published: 2014-05-13 (Rev. 2015-01-23) - Contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Handy hints and tips to eliminate smelly trash can garbage and rubbish bin odors.

Main Document

"Dry sprinkle the bottom of the rubbish bin with bicarb soda as this will absorb smells."

Trash cans and rubbish bins are among the most useful things you have at home, but they can also become very smelly! Over time, the smell of accumulated and unsegregated garbage will reek and make everything in and around your home smell bad.

For inside trash cans, in the kitchen etc., place some orange peels or fresh mint leaves in the bottom, and change them weekly. You can also use a plastic lined cloth laundry bag in the trash can as it prevents leaks, and is completely washable in the washing machine.

Other Tips to Eliminate Trash Can Odors:

  • Place a small amount of vanilla extract on a couple of cotton balls, and let them stay overnight in the trash can.
  • Pour distilled white vinegar into the garbage can. Use 2 to 3 cups of white vinegar and fill the rest of the garbage can with hot water. Let the vinegar and water solution soak inside the garbage can for an hour. Empty the solution out of the garbage can and allow to air dry.
  • If your trash cans are made from plastic, you can put a generous amount of baking soda inside the can and leave overnight. If your trash can is metal, you need to put the baking soda inside a suitable container to prevent the chemical from corroding the bin.
  • Buy a bag of charcoal, pulverize it a bit and dump the charcoal into the trash can. Let the charcoal sit overnight to remove the odors.
  • Dry sprinkle the bottom of the rubbish bin with bicarb soda as this will absorb smells. Line with rubbish bag, and keep a tight lid on the bin. If you are storing full rubbish bags make sure you tie them up tight.
  • A combination of tea tree oil and lavender is great for covering biological smells.
  • As soon as you empty your trash can for the garbage collectors or out to the dumpster, give it a good hose-down with extra strength soap and water.


  1. Get Rid of Dishwasher Odors and Smells - Ian Langtree - (Apr 26, 2014)
  2. Getting Rid of Stubborn Odors in Clothes and Fabrics - Ian Langtree - (Mar 29, 2014)
  3. How to Eliminate Smelly Kitty Litter Box Odor - Ian Langtree - (Apr 17, 2014)


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