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How to Get Odors Out of a Trash Can [2010-12-20]

After a few months your plastic trash can might start holding on to bad odors. This is especially common with porous plastic trash cans with lids that trap the odor of garbage inside. Another cause of bad trash can odors is food or other garbage that misses the bag and ends up at the bottom of the trash can. Keeping a trash can odor-free is not easy, as it frequently holds food that, once spoiled, smells awful. Using scented garbage bags can help mask odors, but cannot get rid of odors already in your trash can.


1.Remove all trash from the garbage can including any trash that has missed the bag and is stuck to the bottom of the can.

2.Wash the can out using baking soda and a rough scrubbing sponge. A water hose enables you to wash a large trash can outside. Smaller kitchen trash cans can be washed in a bathtub. Use a generous amount of baking soda for cans with very strong odors.

3.Dry the trash can, inside and out.

4.Sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the trash can to absorb future odors.

5.Wash the trash can and replace the baking soda every few weeks or as often as needed.