The $16 Amazon Find That Finally Cured My Stinky Trash-Can Problem

published Jul 9, 2020
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One thing that hasn’t changed since middle school is that no one wants to be the smelly kid. To me, the adult version is that no one wants to have the smelly house. And let’s face it — there are a lot of things in the average home that can make it stinkier than you’d like. Cooking smells, gym clothes, pet odors, musty closets … you name it, it probably reeks.

My small apartment has had all of the above at one time or another, but an enduring trouble spot for me is my kitchen trash can. Trash pick up is twice a week, and without alleys on my block, anything stinky in your garbage stays in your apartment until Tuesday or Friday. Plus, living in a small space means I don’t exactly have a yard to hose down my bin on the reg.

I’ve tried those stick-on air fresheners (meh), a paper towel with drops of essential oil (okay), but nothing really helped. Until I saw Sherry from Young House Love‘s Instagram story about charcoal bags. She uses them everywhere: in shoes, in her mudroom, basically anywhere a little bit stinky. I know, it doesn’t sound like riveting social content, but one of the things I love about Sherry’s Instagram stories is that all of her recommendations are then backed up by tons of enthusiastic follower testimonials that she reshares. So after several slides of kids’ hockey equipment, skunked cars, and musty basements, I was willing to take the plunge on some charcoal bags.

Ever since I’ve started keeping a charcoal bag at the bottom of my trash can, it’s significantly less smelly, and scents don’t linger once I remove the full bag and replace it with a new one. I’ve also popped a few in my musty closets and by my cats’ litter box, both with great results. Once summer rolls around, you better believe I’ll be sticking some in my sweaty shoes.

Charcoal is a natural odor neutralizer and air purifier, and there’s nothing inherently special about these bags. You can find sets of different sizes and quantities, and it really doesn’t matter which ones you get. The main thing is that about once a month, you’ll need to set them outside in the sunlight so that the charcoal releases the stored up odors and then they’re good to go for another 30 days.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The $13 Amazon Find That Finally Got Rid of My Home’s Smelliest Spots