The Super-Important Thing You Need to Clean in Your Kitchen Before Summer Is Over

published Aug 21, 2022
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The changing of seasons is a great cue to clean neglected areas of your home. Chances are, even if you’re on top of deep cleaning and maintenance, certain parts of your kitchen need a bit of TLC every few months. So why not reset and start off with a clean slate before the fall baking and cooking season begins?

One area to focus on is unexpected but super important: It’s your trash can. The inside of your garbage receptacle should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent sticky messes and stave off unpleasant odors.

Both of these things are more likely to happen when you’re regularly tossing summer food, whether it’s wilted cabbage slaw or barbecue sauce-slathered leftovers. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Clean Your Kitchen Trash Can

Luckily, giving your trash can a thorough clean is probably a lot easier than you think. (You can always follow our trash-can cleaning tutorial for extra help.)

Credit: Catherine Meschia

After donning a pair of gloves to protect your hands, empty out the can and remove any lingering food particles from the inside. Then, take it outside and spray it down with a hose. If you don’t have access to water outside, a bucket of water works, too.

Credit: Catherine Meschia

Next, scrub with a disinfectant of your choice, which should kill any lingering germs and the not-so-good smells that come with them. Rinse once more, pat dry with a rag, and let the can thoroughly air dry before adding a garbage bag.

Credit: Catherine Meschia

Once your trash can is good as new, you’ll probably want to follow a few important steps to maintain it. Make a habit of checking the can for sticky or slimy gunk and stinky spills each time you take the trash outside, or once a week on garbage pickup day.

It can also help to double check that your trash bag is secure around the mouth of the can and avoid throwing anything sharp or pointy in your trash, which can puncture the bag and cause a huge mess.

Keep Your Trash Can Smelling Fresh, Longer

Preventing trash smells from permeating your kitchen just takes a few smart strategies. If you don’t take your garbage out daily, throw away smelly things (like meat or fish) outside right away rather than letting them linger in your kitchen garbage for an extended period. Adding a bit of

baking soda

scented bags can also help keep your bin from smelling. Or you can always give
charcoal a try.

These little fixes are simple, but they can go a long way in protecting your trash from big messes — and hopefully, make your next seasonal bin cleaning far less time-consuming.

How do you take care of your smelly kitchen trash can? Tell us your favorite products and strategies in the comments below.