How to Get Rid Of Smell in Outdoor Garbage Can

Most outdoor garbage cans are kept closed to keep pets and wild animals from accessing the trash inside. How to Get Rid Of Smell in Outdoor Garbage CanWith poor practices, a closed garbage can will emit foul smell thus making the place unwelcoming.

Garbage odor is not only disgusting but it also attracts bears, raccoons, coyotes, bugs and flies to your trash.

However, you can actually reduce the smell from your outdoor garbage can by sticking to some simple daily routines. Although this won’t completely eliminate odor, it makes the place less annoying while reducing wildlife intrusion.

Related: Best Trash Can for Odor Control

How to Get Rid Of Smell in Outdoor Garbage Can

Outdoor garbage cans are the ultimate destination for all household waste before it is collected for disposal in the landfills. Depending on the neighborhood regulations you may be placing your garbage cans in the garage or on the curbside collection points.

Whichever the case, garbage cans should be properly maintained so as to minimize odor that results from the rotting trash.

Here are tips for getting rid of smell from both indoor and outdoor garbage cans.

Wash Garbage Can with Disinfectants

Regularly cleaning the inside of the garbage can provides an excellent way of minimizing odor. The damp conditions at the bottom of the garbage make a good thriving area for various types of bacteria.

That’s why you need to clean the inside of the garbage can with a strong bleach to kill the odor-causing germs.

Follow these steps to clean and disinfect the inside of your garbage can.

Step #1 – Safety First

Outdoor garbage cans will harbor all type of harmful mess including bacteria, maggots, bugs, rodents, sharp items and so on. To guard your hands against these hazards, it’s advisable to wear protective rubber gloves when cleaning your outdoor garbage bins.

Step #2 – Remove the Trash Bag

It’s more convenient to clean and disinfect the garbage can immediately after the trash has been picked up. When cleaning the inside of the garbage can, start by taking out the trash bag.

Step #3 – Add Detergent and Scrub

Using your garden hose, soak the inside of the garbage bin with water. With the garbage bin in an upright or inclined position, add your favorite detergent.

Scrub the surfaces with a stiff-bristled brush to remove accumulated grime. Use a long handled brush to scrub surfaces you can’t reach with a hand brush.

Step #4 – Rinse

Pour out the soapy water and blast the inside of the garbage can with high pressure water to rinse.

Step #5 – Drying

Allow the garbage bin to dry completely before tossing any trash in it.

Also Read: Should I Keep My Garbage Can in the Garage

Deodorize Outdoor Trash Can

Cleaning and disinfecting your outdoor garbage bin is intended to remove accumulated grime and kill odor-causing bacteria. To reduce odor even further, you can place deodorizers at the bottom of the garbage bin before adding new trash.

Here are some efficient deodorizers to use in your outdoor garbage bin.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is makes an excellent household deodorizer. If you sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the garbage can, it helps absorb odor from the decomposing trash.

Since baking soda has corrosive effects on metal, avoid direct contact if you’re using a metal garbage can. You can wrap the baking soda in a coffee filter before placing it underneath the trash bag.

2. Cat Litter

Cat litter has many other uses apart from absorbing cat feces and urine. The most common use is to absorb moisture and odor. So, when placed at the bottom of the trash can, it absorbs moisture and odor.

3. Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets also provide an excellent means of minimizing odor from the garbage can. They not only absorb odor but they also mask it with a pleasant smell. Place a few of these sheets at the bottom of the garbage can every time you change the trash bag.

Tips for Reducing Garbage Can Smell

Apart from cleaning and deodorizing, there’re several things you can do to minimize odor that comes from outdoor garbage cans. Try some of these best practices.

Seal the Trash Bag Tightly

Keeping the trash bag tightly sealed is one of the surest way to minimize odor from your outdoor garbage cans. Not only does this conceal the smell but it also prevents maggot infestation.

After eating fast foods, bag the packaging materials in airtight grocery bags before tossing them in the garbage can.

Use Heavy Duty Trash Bags

Use heavy duty trash bags because they are more resistant to pricking. Plus sharp objects should be embedded among the rest of the trash to avoid pricking the trash bags.

Shield the Trash Can From Direct Sunlight

Summer heat and humidity will make the odor from garbage bins more evident. So, it’s advisable to keep your outdoor garbage bins way from direct sunlight. You can choose a shady location for your outdoor garbage bin or buy an outdoor screen.


There’re two main reasons you should keep your outdoor clean and deodorized. First, it’ll be less offending to you and your neighbors. In addition, it reduces intrusion from pets, bears, raccoons, coyotes and other pesky creatures.

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