Home Remedies for Customizing, Fixing & Cleaning Trash Cans

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Most of the waste in your home is placed in handy receptacles kept throughout the house. As the garbage accumulates in your kitchen, odors can develop. In the bathroom, you may face sanitary issues. You may need solutions to keep critters away from outdoor garbage. Luckily, home remedies for trash cans make it easier for you to address common problems.

home remedies for trash cans

Home Remedies for Trash Cans

Raccoon keeps knocking over the garbage can? Something awful stinking up the kitchen? When it comes to garbage cans, a little extra help goes a long way. You may want to consider using the following home remedies for trash cans, which can come in handy for both indoor and outdoor solutions:

a) Baking Soda:

Sometimes, spills can gather at the bottom of your trash can. To get rid of lingering odor, clean the inside with a wet paper towel dipped in baking soda. Rinse out the can with a damp sponge and let it completely dry before putting in a new garbage bag. Sprinkling a small amount of baking soda in the bottom of your pail after each bag change will also keep the can smelling fresh.

b) Garden Hose:

Before the contents of a broken garbage bag have a chance to harden on the inside of your trash can, use a garden hose to spray out the nasty contents.

c) Bleach:

If you are in need of disinfecting your garbage can, take the pail outside and use a garden hose to flush out any loose debris. Then, add ½ to one cup of bleach and several drops of dishwashing liquid to one gallon of warm water. Use a scrub brush with a long handle to scour the inside of the can. Empty the contents, and rinse with the hose. Empty out the liquid and let the can air dry.

d) Cat Litter [1]:

To remove an unpleasant scent from your trash cans, sprinkle cat litter into the bottom of the cans to encourage a fresh smell. Change the litter on a weekly basis or when it becomes damp.

e) Fabric Softener Sheets:

To freshen wastebaskets, toss a scented dryer sheet into the bottom to neutralize unwanted odors.

f) Ammonia:

To keep raccoons and other wild animals from going through your trash, spray the outside and lids of your garbage cans with a half-strength solution of ammonia. You may also spray the bags inside the can as well.

g) Duct Tape:

When a split or crack has developed on the side of your plastic trash can, repair with duct tape. The tape is flexible enough to handle the curves and ridged surface of the can. Place the tape over the crack on both the outside and inside of the can.

h) Boiling Water:

A broken garbage bag can create the perfect environment for maggots to breed. After your trash has been picked up, you may see a gathering in the bottom of your trash can. Pour a pot of boiling water over the maggots to solve the problem in an instant.

i) Drill Holes [2]:

If you must leave your outdoor garbage cans without a lid, drill holes in the bottom so that water cannot accumulate. This will prevent the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

j) Spray Hot or Sour Liquids:

To keep neighborhood dogs from knocking over the garbage cans and tearing up the bags, spray the outside of the can and plastic bags with something to deter canines. The hotness of cayenne pepper or the sourness of vinegar are a few things that can make your trash less appealing.

k) Lemon Juice:

To wash and deodorize trash cans, create a solution of one teaspoon lemon juice mixed in one quart of water.

l) Scouring Powder:

To clean a kitchen garbage can, sprinkle a bit of scouring powder (such as Comet) at the bottom to soak up any liquids that may have leaked out of your bags. The powder will also keep away mildew, as well as add a fresh scent to the can.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 119.
[2] Five Minute Fixes by Reader’s Digest; pg. 238.