The British Love This Trash Can Deodorizer and I Finally Got to Try It

published Sep 20, 2021
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A modern rustic kitchen with an island and stainless steel trash can
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Here’s the thing about trash cans: They smell. I have a fairly large kitchen trash can and even though it has a lid, it can really stink up the whole house — usually, long before the bag is even close to full. But I hate taking out a half-full bag because it seems wasteful. So, I just deal with the smell until the bag is stuffed and I can justify taking it out. Then, the whole process starts all over again. Not ideal!

So you can understand my excitement when I heard about the super-popular Bin Buddy, a fan-favorite powdered garbage deodorizer from the United Kingdom that claims to make your bin smell fresh and soak up the mess. It’s also supposed to help keep bugs away (looking at you, flies!) while your trash collects — inside the kitchen and even out at the curb. Of course, I had to get my hands on a container. This stuff tends to sell out very quickly, but I managed to get one … and now I’m reporting back. Ready to find out how it did? Let’s talk trash!

Before I get too deep, you might be wondering if this stuff is just scented baking soda, as that’s a far less expensive odor absorber. I did some digging and looked into the ingredients: It’s not just baking soda and actually includes a pesticide.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Try to get your hands on one of these!

Onto how it works: I followed the instructions and sprinkled some of the powder directly into the bag before I started filling it up. The first thing I noticed about Bin Buddy is that the Berry Blast version has a very strong smell — it’s like a mix of berries and those citronella candles you put outside to stave off mosquitoes. (There are other scents including Spring Blossom and Pink Grapefruit, but they were sold out.)

I’ll be honest, I was a little worried my whole kitchen would smell like a summertime patio. And before the bin filled up with trash, it sort of did. But by the time the bag became full, the product did its job. While I didn’t smell the citronella in my kitchen, I also didn’t detect the odor of last night’s dinner. So far, so good!

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Sprinkling a little Bin Buddy in the trash!

Because the product instructions also suggest that you sprinkle Bin Buddy on existing trash, I gave that a try too. When the garbage bag was about halfway full, I shook a bit of Bin Buddy (you really don’t need to use much) and was again met with the scent of strawberries and citronella. I shut the bin and this time, the perfume-y odor stuck around a little longer (probably because there wasn’t as much trash to cover it up). The smell was noticeable until I took the trash outside, but definitely wasn’t headache-inducing or unbearable. And, let’s be honest, it sure smelled a ton better than the garbage.

I threw out some pretty nasty stuff (old meat, paper towels soaked with dog urine, moldy veggies — you get the point) and while I waited for the bag to fill up (it took two whole days), I didn’t smell these things one bit. And that’s saying a lot because I spend my workday at the dining room table about 15 feet away from the trash!

I also didn’t see any flies buzzing around. I’d have to do a formal test in order to confidently say it worked in this regard, but I will say that reviewers have noticed a real difference. I also watched it soak up some liquid (oil from a pan) and that was a nice bonus.

All in all, I’ll definitely keep this stuff around for those times when I’m tossing out expired fridge contents and I’m not quite ready to make the trip to the outside trash.

What do you use to deodorize your kitchen trash can? Tell us in the comments below.