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SamIAm's avatar

I feel like no matter what I do, my garbage is always stinky. How do you keep your garbage from reeking?

Asked by SamIAm (8626 points ) March 25th, 2011

I clean it out with spray and wipes; I put newspaper or dryer sheets on the bottom; I change it regularly and try to put the stinkier stuff in a bag that’s going out sooner (which I can’t always do).

What else can I do to make it not smell as terribly? Yuck.

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28 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

What the heck are you throwing in there? My trash can doesn’t stink.

davduggan's avatar

Wash it! :D

anartist's avatar

Put the smelly stuff down the garbage disposal right away
I LOVE the garbage disposal.[I got an extra big HP one so more would go down]

and coffee grounds will go down [putting a paper towel with it to add roughage helps] and heavy roughage like artichoke leaves and flower stems and corn husks will go down [but slowly]
And if it seems sluggish or pluggy afterwards, I “make a plunger”—i.e. fill the sink up with a few inches of water, then pull the stopper and while water is running turn on disposal. Solid wall of water clears minor blockage.

For smelly things that won’t go down—bag em in old newspaper [plastic] bags before putting in trash.

Rinse the cans and jars you chuck, even if you don’t recycle them.

Trash can is enclosed under sink.

SamIAm's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: for starters, it’s plastic. Secondly, I don’t know. But it’s always the same smell… it’s hard to get rid of. It doesn’t smell outside of the can, or around it… just when you open it (which is good). I do have two cats, but if I throw their litter box goodies in there, I always put them in a separate bag that is tied.

@anartist: a garbage disposal? haha!!! I wish.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would clean the trash can and not let garbage stay in there too long before taking it out.
Hint-Always bury the body ;)

deni's avatar

Get a new can….also do you compost?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@SamIAm Hmmm, I don’t know what to tell you. My can is also plastic, but I don’t ever put the bags of scooped cat poo in it. I carry those out to the city can immediately. Our trash can doens’t really seem to have an “odor”.

Seelix's avatar

My garbage doesn’t smell. I use small bags and take ‘em to the garbage chute every other day.

If you don’t have a garbage disposal or a chute, use smaller bags and keep a large covered garbage can outdoors. When I lived in a duplex, that’s what I did, and it even worked for kitty litter.

They have bags these days that are supposed to keep stinkiness down. Glad and Hefty both have bags that claim to block odour.

SamIAm's avatar

@deni: if I can find one that fits the space. I have a very tiny kitchen and can’t fit multiple garbage cans (this one is perfect). Plus, the shape of the space is so odd!! Also, yes, I compost but not always. Should do it more often.

mazingerz88's avatar

@SamIAm and then there is that possibility that you could be a super hero with extraordinary sense of smell as part of your super powers and you just did not know it…yet.

SamIAm's avatar

haha @mazingerz88: that’s funny. You may be right. For someone who can’t breathe out of their nose, I have an extraordinary sense of smell.

So, I just realized that it’s a recycling bin… I wonder if the fact that I’m throwing more than just recyclables in there is making a difference. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a new one that’ll fit and do the job :)

marinelife's avatar

Take it out frequently.

chyna's avatar

Raw meat will smell and I would guess the cat litter will also. Odors cling to plastic, so if I were you I’d get a new garbage can and start over. Don’t put cat litter, meat or onions in it without wrapping them in aluminum foil or another sealed bag. And if you can wait, don’t throw smelly stuff in until you are throwing the entire garbage bag out for pickup.

johndoe88882222's avatar

pour perfume on your garbage

WasCy's avatar

The first answer is going to seem like a joke, but I assure you that it’s not: Don’t smell it.

By that I mean, if it’s starting to smell at all, then out it goes. Outside the house, that is, into the big bin. And if it’s very smelly, then I make sure it goes into an unbroken plastic bag that is then sealed.

Because I don’t use a “trash can” in the house. When I buy groceries I get a paper bag inside a plastic bag and simply use that as my trash container. If I have a specific need for plastic bags, then I have a stand-up covered plastic trash can with a lid – but I seldom use that. I haven’t used it in all of 2011 so far, for example.

And compost, by which I mean vegetable and some paper only, go directly into closed containers outside the house at appropriate intervals – which means “when the indoor container is full” or “when I can get a whiff of it”. And those containers, outside, do have an unpleasant aroma about them when I take off the lids.

SamIAm's avatar

@WasCy: I do that too. I use the paper grocery bags almost daily… especially when I’m cooking a big meal. The garbage itself (once I take it out of the can) doesn’t smell. I think it’s the plastic absorbing odors.

downtide's avatar

Anything that’s likely to smell or decompose goes straight in the outside bin. My indoor bins are mainly for recyclables.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Get a new trash can and never throw the cat litter in there. Instead, have your current trash can outside for cat litter only and take it out as often as you can.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Fill the thing with bleach water and let it sit overnight. This will kill any bacteria in there. Compost any vegetable scraps. With meat scraps, wrap in newspaper. Make sure you rinse any meat packaging out with water in the sink. If you clean out the refrigerator, and have lots of spoiled food, take that out immediately. Don’t let it sit under the sink.

To avoid odors, you probably should be taking your trash out every other day, even if you don’t have a full bag.

filmfann's avatar

I put things that will eventually stink in a plastic bag in the freezer. The night before garbage day, it gets placed in the outside can.

josie's avatar

Only eat flowers and cinnamon.

gorillapaws's avatar

I like to sprinkle coffee grinds in the bottom of the trash can. They soak up odor and emit a pleasant (to me at least) scent of their own.

Tastentier's avatar

I used to have the same problem with the waste bin in my kitchen. Some odors somehow pass through a garbage bag and are very hard to get rid of. Now I use a garbage bag holder in my kitchen, which solved the problem. I only have to wash off the inside of the lid on occasion.

Sunny2's avatar

There’s a product called “Odors Away” which is very effective. I got it at a hardware store when I was going to a place where the bathrooms were generally pretty primitive. 2 or 3 drops do the trick. When you clean the container for your garbage pail, add a few drops before you line it. Should help.

Bellatrix's avatar

Compost what you can. Better for the environment too. Vegies, green stuff, tea and coffee, not meat.

We freeze leftovers that will become very smelly i.e. leftover prawns and bits. Then put the frozen waste in the bin carefully wrapped up. Wrap up waste that will begin to smell bad too perhaps.

You can get bin deoderisers as well.

Plant plants that attract flies and other insects that break down waste near your bin? So they will perhaps go there rather than to the bin?

Kardamom's avatar

If there is really rank stuff that you need to throw out (during any particular week) keep that nasty stuff inside a sealed zip lock bag inside your fridge or freezer until it is time to put the big trash cans out on the curb.

Don’t just throw random, stinky, or likely to rot items into the trash can in your kitchen. Put disposable stinky items into the garbage disposal and “grind” them up with ice cubes, lemon juice and possibly a small spritz of rubbing alcohol.

Each time you pull the plastic bag out of your kitchen trashcan, clean out the can itself with a bleach enhanced all purpose kitchen cleaner, or a spritz of something like Febreze, which is especially formulated to remove odors.

Don’t ever leave items in your kitchen trashcan that are likely to decompose in there during the week before your big outside cans get put on the curb. Items like that are: onions, meat, cheese, smelly veggies like garlic, broccoli and caulifower. Keep those nasty leftovers and potentially rotten items in plastic ziplock bags inside your fridge or freezer until trash day.

Brian1946's avatar

I haven’t read all of the answers above, so hopefully mine won’t be repeating that of someone else.

I put all my food waste in an open and peripherally vented basket, and I toss the contents into my compost pile (which is outside) almost every day.

I put all cat waste directly into my outside waste receptacle, and I’ve occasionally poured bleach or sprayed deodorant on the waste itself.

AshlynM's avatar

Try getting trash bags that absorb the odors. Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of your trash can. Or clean it with a mix of water and bleach, don’t forget your gloves.

As soon as the bag is full, take it out to the dumpster. Don’t let it sit around, even though that may be very tempting.

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