Nothing is worse than walking into your home that reeks of garbage. Unless you want to find yourself having to shoo away fruit flies swarming on top of your garbage cans, you need to clean out your trash on a daily basis. Including your garbage cans into your regular cleaning routine not only will help remove any disgusting odor from your home, but also make your living environment as germ-free and healthy as possible.

While your kitchen garbage can should get a thorough cleaning every week, the ones in your bedroom and bathrooms can be done so either every month or on a weekly basis depending on how often you are eating in your bedroom.

TIP: You do want to keep in mind that, using plastic cans instead of the metal ones means that they are holding on to the germs and odor as they are porous. Hence, you should put in an additional layer of old newspapers to line the cans and sprinkle in a little baking soda to help maintain spills and neutralize the odors after you clean them. This will also make your life much easier when you are about to clean them the next time around.

What you will need:

  • Rubber hand gloves
  • Scrub brush with a long handle
  • Cleaning rags are preferred but paper towels would do just fine
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water


Step 1: First things first, protect yourself!

It is no secret that garbage cans are full to the brim with germs and bacteria that can often prove to be extremely dangerous. Hence, take precaution and put on your rubber hand gloves.

Step 2: Take matters outside

While you may think that going through this whole process in your kitchen sink or bathtub is very convenient, think again. What you are neglecting to see is the additional step afterwards where you have to sanitize your said bathtub and sink. Save yourself the hassle and just work on this outdoors. However, if you have no other choice than to work indoors, opt to clean your trash cans in the sink instead of in your bathtub.

Step 3: Get rid of all the gunk

Dump out everything inside your trash can and remove as much of the gunk adhering to the inner sides of the can as possible. While paper towels should do, using an actual cleaning rag is a lot better and you can dispose of it after this whole process.

Step 4: Wash it down with water

Give your cans a thorough cleaning by spraying water with a hose. Proceed by scrubbing vigorously with your scrub brush to remove the remaining grease and stains from food spills from the sides and bottom of the can. Use a scrub brush with a long handle, similar to those used in cleaning toilets. Repeat until most of the stains are gone.

Step 5: Cleaning with the vinegar solution

Fill the bottom of the can with hot water and add about two cups of white vinegar. Try to cover every inch of the interior with the vinegar and water solution in order for it to effectively disinfect the trash can. Using the long handled scrub might make it easier to spread the solution around. Allow for the vinegar to work its magic for about half an hour or so.

Step 6: Dump the solution in the right place

After waiting for about 30 minutes, you can throw out the vinegar cleaning solution down the drain or in the gutter. Whatever you do, do not dump it over your lawn or any plants nearby as it will be killed instantly by the vinegar.

Step 7: Air drying is mandatory

Again, wash it down with clear water to get rid of the vinegar solution completely and set it out in the sun to let it air dry. The sun will further help in killing off any of the germs remaining.

Step 8: Line the cans before use

Once dried iff, quickly bring it inside and line them before using it a second time. Making use of plastic grocery bags for the trash cans in the bathroom and bedrooms are a great way to recycle them, and prove to be inexpensive solutions. For the kitchen, however, it is best to utilize the thickest garbage bags that you can buy as it will be able to effectively hold in spills and prevent hard stains to form on the can itself.