When you think of the holidays, garbage can cleaning isn’t likely to be the first thing that springs to mind. However, with all the cooking, gift wrapping (and unwrapping) and post-party cleaning that occurs this time of year, you want to have a clean trash can.
How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen Trash Can?
The frequency with which you clean a trash can will depend on how many people live in the house, as well as your personal kitchen habits. Naturally, a single person will have less trash than a family of five. However, if you eat out a lot or are big into composting and recycling, your trash can might not see a lot of action. It’s really a judgment call, but you should generally clean your waste bin thoroughly on a monthly basis at minimum.
Garbage Can Cleaning 101
Scouring your trash bin will probably never top your list of favorite pastimes. Fortunately, it’s a fairly simple process that doesn’t call for any special tools or cleaning products.
- Empty your trash can.
- Wipe down the outside of your waste bin with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. Always start with the outside because the inside will be dirtier and you don’t want to smear that grime around on the surface of your trash bin.
- Using the same microfiber cloth and soapy water, clean out the inside of your trash can.
- Dry your trash can thoroughly using a fresh microfiber cloth or paper towels. Don’t put a new bag in until the bin is totally dry, inside and out.
- Place a fresh bin liner inside.
Tips for Maintaining a Clean Kitchen Trash Can
There are several steps you can take to keep a clean trash can in between monthly scrubbings.
- Always use a trash bag.
- Don’t throw away foods that are liquid or runny. If you do, contain them in a plastic grocery bag first. The same goes for any moldy or spoiled foods.
- Wipe down spills immediately so that they don’t have time to get sticky and gummy. A dampened microfiber cloth or paper towel is the perfect tool for this.
- Buff out smudges or fingerprints on stainless steel trash cans as soon as you see them. You can use a dry microfiber cloth to take care of these streaks and smears.
- Make sure your bin liner always fits snugly around the edges of your trash can. If it falls inside and you don’t realize it, you’re in for some major trash cleanup.
- Carry full trash bags to your outdoor container as soon as you can, rather than packing trash down.
- If you clean your trash can weekly or biweekly, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom to neutralize odors. Don’t use baking soda if you go longer between garbage can cleaning because it can clump up and make a bigger mess.
Remember, the more often you clean your trash can, the less likely you are to run into a stinky situation.