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Effective Tips for Eliminating Odors from Your Outdoor Trash Bin

How to remove smell from outdoor garbage can

  Reading time 5 minutes

Dealing with unpleasant odors from your outdoor garbage can is a common issue, but fortunately, there are several effective steps you can take to eliminate the smell. This article will provide you with a complete guide on how to remove and prevent those nasty odors, ensuring that your garbage can stays fresh. Read on for detailed steps and useful tips on how to maintain a clean and odor-free outdoor garbage can.

Cleaning the Garbage Can

Regular cleaning is the most crucial step in keeping your outdoor garbage can odor-free. Start by emptying the can and then using a hose to rinse it out thoroughly. After rinsing, use a scrub brush and a strong detergent, such as dish soap or a cleaner specifically designed for garbage cans, to scrub all surfaces.

Make sure to pay attention to corners and seams where grime and bacteria can accumulate. Allow the can to soak for a few minutes with the soapy water mixture inside before rinsing it out again. Leave the can to dry entirely in the sun, as UV rays help kill bacteria.

Deodorizing Solutions

Once your garbage can is clean, using a deodorizing solution can help keep it smelling fresh longer. One effective method is to sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the can. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can absorb unpleasant odors.

Additionally, you can create a vinegar solution by mixing one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. Spraying this mixture inside your can can also help neutralize odors. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out. Another option is to use activated charcoal, which can effectively absorb smells. Simply place a few pieces at the bottom of the can.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your garbage can odor-free. Consider the following tips to maintain cleanliness and help prevent smells from developing in the first place:

  • Rinse the garbage can with water every time you empty it to remove debris.
  • Use trash bags that are strong and leak-proof to prevent spills and leaks inside the can.
  • Check the can for cracks or damages that could house bacteria and cause odors.
  • Ensure the lid is always securely closed to prevent pests from getting inside and spreading the smell.
How to Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells in Your Outside Garbage Container

Using Natural Remedies

A variety of natural remedies can help keep your garbage can smelling fresh. Citrus peels, such as those from lemons and oranges, can be placed in the can to provide a pleasant scent and combat bad odors. Alternatively, coffee grounds can be used to neutralize strong smells, as they are excellent odor absorbers.

If you prefer a scented option, essential oils such as tea tree or eucalyptus can be added to the garbage can. Simply add a few drops to a cotton ball and place it in the bottom of the can. This not only helps mask unpleasant smells but also provides antimicrobial benefits.


Maintaining a clean and odor-free outdoor garbage can is achievable with regular cleaning, deodorizing solutions, and natural remedies. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can ensure your garbage can stays fresh and free from unpleasant odors. Regular maintenance and choosing effective odor-absorbing methods will make a significant difference in handling this common issue.


How often should I clean my outdoor garbage can?

It’s recommended to clean your outdoor garbage can at least once a month to prevent the buildup of grime and odors. However, if you notice strong smells or spills, cleaning more frequently may be necessary.

Can I use bleach to clean my garbage can?

Yes, you can use a bleach solution to clean and disinfect your garbage can. Mix one part bleach with nine parts water, scrub the can thoroughly, and rinse it well. Be sure to let it dry completely in a ventilated area.

What can I do if my garbage can has a persistent smell?

If a smell persists after cleaning, sprinkling baking soda or using activated charcoal can help absorb the remaining odor. Additionally, consider using essential oils or vinegar solutions for a deeper odor-neutralizing effect.

Are there any commercial products recommended for this purpose?

Several commercial products, such as garbage can deodorizers or sprays, are specifically designed to combat odors. These products can be effective but are usually more expensive than household alternatives like baking soda or vinegar.

How can I prevent pests from getting into my garbage can?

To prevent pests, ensure the lid of your garbage can is always closed tightly. Using strong, leak-proof garbage bags and cleaning spills immediately can also help. Placing the garbage can in a secure location can further deter pests from accessing it.