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Trash Can Cleaning Tips

by Lindsay Wilcox

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Stainless steel touchless trash can

A durable, stylish trash can will eliminate odors in your kitchen or bathroom and store your waste effectively. However, even the best will become dirty after a while and require cleaning. This guide provides you with tips on cleaning your trash can.

Cleaning Your Trash Can:

  1. Remove trash bags. While buying large trash can liners can prevent food waste from dripping into your trash can, crumbs and other particles can slip through. Before you clean your bathroom or kitchen trash cans, take out the bags and empty the cans into them. This will remove all loose fragments and make cleaning easier. Remove the lid of your trash can before cleaning it, too.

  2. Take it outside. If the weather is nice enough, you can take your trash cans outdoors and rinse them out. Use a hose nozzle to create enough water pressure for removing sticky residue at the bottom of both indoor and outdoor trash cans. If they're especially dirty, pour a bit of dish soap into your trash cans and let them soak in the soapy water for a few minutes.

  3. Use your bathtub. When it's chilly outside or you only need to wash small kitchen or bathroom trash cans, place them in the tub for a quick rinse. Add soap and use a scrub brush, if necessary, to clean stains from old cans. Using a scented soap can also help you get rid of odors, especially in bathroom trash cans.

  4. Clean the exterior. Outdoor trash cans often become grimy from mud and grass outside, so you may need to use soap and hot water to remove spots. Buy a long scrub brush to scrub all surfaces of your outdoor trash cans or use an old sponge and a bucket. If your metal trash can is getting brittle and rusty, however, it may be time to replace it. Be sure to check both galvanized and stainless steel trash cans for rough edges frequently, as these types are prone to rusting.

  5. Wash the lid well. Lingering odors can remain in your trash can lid, as food and other waste products can smear and leave residue. Rinse lids outside or in the bathtub and use a rag or a scrub brush to clean spots on the inside and the outside. Make sure to clean outdoor trash cans, too. Both plastic and metal trash can lids may require a bit more soaking to remove stains and odors.

  6. Prevent stains and odors. To avoid scrubbing your trash cans frequently, line them with durable trash can liners that cover the sides and tops of the cans. Take the trash out when the bag is full to avoid waste overflowing and soiling your trash cans, especially frequently used kitchen trash cans. Finally, wipe up any spills on the lid or exterior of your trash cans immediately so that they don't harden and create odors.

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