DIY Cleaning & Organizing

3 Fixes for a Foul-Smelling Trash Can

Even after taking out the garbage, some foul smells can still linger in your trash bin. Try any of these three easy solutions, and your kitchen will be scent-free in no time.
How to Deodorize Trash Can


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The trash can doesn’t have a lot of positive imagery associated with it, especially when it comes to the smell. But as the receptacle for that limp lettuce from your refrigerator, those bits and pieces you’ve swept up from the floor, and the congealed scraps from your delicious meals, it’s only natural that your garbage will eventually emit a not-so-pleasant stench. While changing the bag and washing the trash can with soap and water are good smart first steps in eliminating the odor, they only get you so far. Follow up your cleaning routine with one of these fresh-scented solutions that will save your trash can from foul smells.

How to Deodorize Trash Can - baking soda

Battle with Baking Soda

There are few household cleaning quandaries that baking soda can’t solve. You’ve probably heard that an open container of baking soda placed in the back of your fridge can eliminate odors. Well, the same is true for smelly trash cans. If you have a plastic trash can, simply sprinkle a light layer of baking soda on the bottom of the can before replacing the bag. For a metal can, you’ll need to take this extra precaution to avoid corrosion: Pour a heaping amount of baking soda into a coffee filter, and close it up tight using a twist tie. Put this baking soda sachet at the bottom of your trash can to help absorb odors fast, leaving your trash can smelling as good as new.

How to Deodorize Trash Can - dryer sheet
Photo: via trenttsd

Dryer Sheet Detox

The same fresh-smelling sheets you use for your clothes can also work wonders on foul trash can odors. The next time you take out the trash, simply place a dryer sheet or two beneath the new bag. The sheets will absorb garbage odors and leave a pleasant scent in their wake. Change out the sheets each time you remove the trash to prevent the smell from returning.

How to Deodorize Trash Can - vanilla

Sweet Relief

This solution is pretty sweet: You love the smell of vanilla extract, but did you know that the subtle scent also works wonders on freshening a stinky trash can? After you take out the trash, splash a couple of drops of this common baking supply on a few cotton balls, and then place them at the bottom of your empty trash can. Let them sit overnight with the lid closed, and wake up to the soft scent of vanilla wafting through your kitchen.

Check out this video for more on fixing smelly trash cans: