There’s nothing more disgusting than a stinky, overflowing trash-can filled with rotting food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, containers, and other household waste. But it performs an important function – it’s a place to store your garbage temporarily till it gets collected and disposed of. They are usually ignored till they begin to look and smell. Long before this happens, your trashcan is already a brimming ocean of bacteria, allergens, germs, disease-carrying insects, and vermin. Keep your home safe from these hazards. Learning how to disinfect and clean your trashcan properly and regularly is important.
Why Don’t We Clean Trashcans Regularly?
When the trashcan looks moldy and stained, you feel that the only choice left is to throw it away. However, today most people are used to separating their waste into wet and dry. They may have a garbage disposal unit under the kitchen sink that takes care of food scraps. In large households, garbage tends to pile up quickly. For example, if you cook all meals regularly, there’s bound to be a large amount of food waste. Other trash, such as baby diapers, sanitary napkins, or medical waste, poses a different and more dangerous hazard.
In busy homes, taking out the trash is a chore that no one seems to want. While the kids fight it out, and mom and dad try to work out a mutually acceptable schedule, the trash pile keeps mounting. The environment inside the trashcan is warm, dark, and wet. This is the ideal breeding ground for a host of life forms! If you live in an apartment, hosing down your trashcan is an impossible task. Unless you change the garbage bags regularly, food and other waste decompose rapidly in the confined space, leading to a sickening stench.
This attracts fruit flies and houseflies that spread various ailments. Bugs, ants, rats, worms, and cockroaches are other potential nasty visitors to the garbage pile. You may keep your trashcans outside the house to avoid the smells. While this is a smart move, it’s not a permanent solution. Garbage cans sitting outside get heated in the sun, leading to faster decomposition. In addition, the can gets covered with mold in a few days if the weather is damp. The solution to all these issues is to view cleaning the trashcan as one of the chores on your to-do list every day. This keeps the can, whole kitchen, and home clean, fresh, and hygienic. It takes a little time and effort, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run. A set of clean, neat, and fresh-looking trash cans gives your home curb appeal. As a result, your neighbors don’t have to hold their noses every time they pass by.
How To Clean And Disinfect Your Trashcans
- Segregate your waste:Most people already do this, and it’s mandatory in some places. Paper, plastics, and metal are separated from the meat, vegetable, fruit waste, peels, cooked food, food scraps, and garden waste. They are stored in different cans and disposed of at different times. You can store recyclable items in another can, which keeps the cans clean.
- Use large trash bags:Garbage bags made from strong, recyclable plastic help keep your cans clean. If you’re skimping with small or medium-sized bags, it simply doesn’t work. You will have multiple bags to empty, and trash will certainly spill out. Trash that is bagged is a lot easier to deal with. Your garbage collection service will find it easier to handle it and they get the job done faster. Bagged garbage prevents attacks by rodents and stray cats and dogs.
- Use organic cleaners: You can make your own organic cleaner. A mixture of dishwashing liquid, white vinegar, and baking soda can be spritzed into the empty trash can. Use rubber gloves and a mask to protect yourself. Leave the cleaner in for a few minutes before hosing the can down. Use a scrubber brush to do a thorough job. You can also wash the can under the kitchen tap if you don’t have a large garden. Make sure that the trashcan is air-dried completely before you use it again.
- Commercial cleaners and disinfectants:You can use branded products to clean your trashcans effectively. Follow the instructions on the label. Make sure that you use the products in an open area, away from food, children, or pets. If the can is not too dirty, you can use disinfectant wipes to give it a good swabbing. Dry the can well before you use it.
- Deodorize:Use a room freshener, bathroom, or baking soda tablets to keep the stink at bay. Another tip is to add a few drops of citronella, peppermint, or lemon grass oil to the waste. This repels fruit flies and other creatures. You can make your own baking soda tablets. Mix ½ cup baking soda with 1/3 cup of Epsom salt, ¼ cup water, and a few drops of citronella or lemongrass oil. Pour the mixture into ice-cube trays and use them when they become hard. They absorb odors in the trashcan.
- Schedule a bath: Once a month, spray the can including the lid with a mixture of liquid bleach and water. Let it remain for 10 minutes. Wear a mask and gloves and use a brush to give a good scrub. This is a chore that you can schedule at least once a year for the big cans that stand on the curb outside your home. You can use your car wash hose to clean the cans and let them dry naturally.
- Don’t forget the outside: You could well forget to clean the outside of your can. This is where stains and rust may accumulate. Make sure that the lid fits well. Clean with a vinegar and baking soda solution and air dry.
- Check for leaky trash bags: Often, the culprit in creating a messy trashcan is leaky, poor-quality trash bags. If the material is too thin, they tear or stretch too much under the weight of the garbage. If there are liquid wastes inside the bag, they may leak out when the bag is not placed properly. Make sure you buy good-quality bags, preferably made of strong, biodegradable plastic.
- Identify the worst offenders:Seafood, fish, eggs, milk, and rotten fruit and vegetables tend to raise a big stink as they decompose. A good tip is to pack them separately in smaller bags and seal them tightly before placing them in the larger trashcan.
- Use a professional cleaning service:It’s worth the money to employ a professional cleaning serviceonce or twice a year. They will do a thorough job, and you can return to a fresh-smelling, spic and span environment safe for you and your family.