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How to Clean a Trash Can and Keep It Clean

How to Clean a Trash Can and Keep It Clean

Industrial sites, construction areas, restaurant kitchens and your kid’s bathroom — what do they all have in common? A trash can that no one can seem to keep clean. It is no surprise that trash cans harbor 411 million bacteria per square inch. Not only is this uncomfortable in theory alone — many of these bacteria cause unpleasant odors and can even lead to illnesses. At the end of the day, trash management is about controlling all aspects of garbage collection: odors, bacteria and containing the items. 

Fortunately, it can be a simple task with a little discipline and know-how. 

Tip 1: Keep it Clean Kids: — Regularly wiping out and deep-cleaning your trash can is key to ensuring it stays clean and odor-free. Once a week, when you empty the trash, use a disinfectant wipe or spray to wipe out the interior of the can. Every few changes, clean out the empty bin and give it a deep clean using the following method.

  • Use a hose to rinse out the trash can.
  • Mix hot water with dish soap, creating a soapy mixture. For an extra boost of cleaning power, add a bit of distilled white vinegar.
  • Using a long scrub brush, thoroughly scrub the bin inside and out. Deck brushes work well for larger outdoor bins.
  • If you’re dealing with bodily waste or especially unpleasant waste, clean with a separate mixture of one cup of bleach to one gallon of warm water. Remember to never mix bleach with soap or vinegar, as this could create a potentially lethal gas.
  • Let the can thoroughly dry before using.
  • If odors are an issue, sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the can. This will help neutralize the bad smells.
  • Be sure to wipe down the handle of the bin with disinfectant often, especially if it’s used by lots of people.

Tip 2: Get Fit — Your trash bags are the first line of defense against gross waste and accidents, so make sure you use the right ones in the right size. Bags that are too small will fall into the bin, causing spills. Bags that are too large can be difficult to secure to the top of the bin. Stock up on 55-gallon trash bags for your larger indoor and outdoor bins. You can secure them to the bin using trash can rubber bands so they stay in place, preventing waste from leaking out of the bag and into the bin. Trash Can Rubber Bands Ensure Your Trash Can Won't Get Ruined Trash Bags Go for Thicker Bags — If your facility tends to generate a lot of waste or you deal with smelly, toxic or heavy materials, choose thicker plastic bags. For example, 1.5- to 3-mil thick low-density plastic trash bags will help prevent punctures, tears and holes while better containing odors. Keep your thinner plastic bags to less messy environments where waste is limited to paper and light consumer waste. It also helps to choose bags that have flat seals at the bottom, as this helps them stand upright and prevents tipping and spilling. The Plastic Place thicker drawstring trash bags are a great choice because they seal tightly at the top, further preventing accidents. Use Drawstring Trash Bags So You Can Pull Them from the Trash Can Easily Try Scented Trash Bags — While scented trash bags won’t make your trash bags cleaner on their own, they’ll certainly help you keep foul odors under control, and they can help you create a more pleasant environment in your home or business. If you don’t like the idea of a scented plastic bag, you can always use natural ingredients, such as lemons, oranges, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme or essential oils to leave behind a fresh, enjoyable scent.

Use Trash Bag Liners Outside — If you’re looking for easy ways to keep your outdoor trash bin clean, invest in some large trash liners. They prevent waste from coming into contact with the bin, keeping it cleaner for longer. Every week, your trash collection service will come and take the entire contents of the bin, leaving no waste, odors or bugs behind. Most city trash carts require 64- or 95-gallon trash liners, but check with your municipality for the right size.  Different Colored Bins Green and yellow waste container

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Prevent Insect Infestation — Unfortunately, your trash bin is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for certain bugs, especially fly larvae (maggots). These bugs are attracted to methane, which is produced by rotting food, so you want to make sure you take precautions so your garbage doesn’t become a maggot hangout. Regularly emptying the trash and deep-cleaning with soap and water will help prevent this. Read Plastic Place’s guide on how to get rid of maggots in a trash can for more information.

There’s no denying it: Trash cans are meant to get dirty. But that doesn’t mean you never have to clean them. Keeping your bins neat and tidy will help you create an environment that’s sanitary and pleasant for you, your clients and your guests. is here to help you find the right garbage bags and other supplies for the cleanest business possible.

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