Let’s face it, no one really likes cleaning stinky trashcans, particularly in the summer when they attract flies and bugs. But the chore doesn’t need to be disgusting. With the right equipment and a determination to clean them regularly, you can disinfect your trash cans in minutes leaving them clean and sanitary. Follow these tips for cleanup of your outdoor trashcan.
The best time to clean your trashcans is right after trash pickup. Schedule time for this task on trash day. If that isn’t possible, set the cans aside and don’t use them until you have time to clean the next day.
Gather Your Supplies
You will need household cleaners, a long-handled scrub brush, bucket and garden hose with a powerful sprayer. A small towel for drying yourself off isn’t mandatory, but will likely come in handy.
Choose a Location
Cleaning your trashcan will get the surrounding area wet and soapy so choose an outdoor area that you don’t mind getting wet. The lawn is a good option as the soapy water will not harm your plants (if bleach and/or vinegar are used according to the following recommendations) and the water will soak into the soil without getting muddy. A paved driveway is also a good option if you don’t mind it getting wet. If you choose to use harsher cleaners, beware of potential damage to the lawn or nearby plants.
Mix Your Cleaning Solution
There is no magic solution for cleaning your trashcans, but here are a few options.
- Dish Soap and Water: If your trashcans are moderately clean, ordinary dish soap and water will likely do the trick. Pour hot water into the bucket and add enough dish soap to make a sudsy solution.
- Dish Soap, Vinegar and Water: To combat smelly trash cans and remove light stains, add a cup of white distilled vinegar to your dish soap and water solution.
- Bleach and Laundry Detergent: For heavily soiled trashcans, cans with nasty residue from spoiled foods or cans with maggots or other insects, a stronger solution is called for to clean and sanitize. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chlorine bleach and 1/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent to a bucket of hot water.
Spray the Trashcans
Use the highest power on your sprayer to hose down both the inside and outside of the trashcans. This will loosen and flush away surface dirt and debris.
Scrub the Trashcans
Dip the scrub brush into the bucket of cleaning solution and scrub both the inside and outside of the trashcan vigorously to remove soiled or stained areas.
Rinse and Empty the Trashcans
Use your hose to rinse the trashcans and then turn them upside down to drain. Then set the trash cans right-side-up in a sunny location and allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing the covers.
Maintaining Clean Trashcans
Once you’ve done the nasty work of thoroughly cleaning your trashcans, establish good habits for keeping them clean and minimizing spills. Keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t overfill trash bags. Overfilled bags tend to rip, tear or make securing the top more difficult. This means more spilled food or trash in the can.
- Cut down on the amount of trash by recycling what you can.
- Do not toss loose trash in the outside trashcan. It can be tempted to toss a bit of trash into the top of the can, but this also attracts insects and rodents, making a mess.
- Rinse your trashcans with the hose after trash pickup every week.
Debris box is here to help with all your trash and recycling needs and even provide tips for making your life more manageable. Check our blog for more great ideas to help you clean and organize your home and yard.