Outdoor Trash Container Maintenance

Outdoor trash cans are useful tools because they can collect large amounts of household waste until weekly curbside collection.  Like most household tools, they require cleaning and maintenance from time to time, especially in the summer months when heat and humidity speed up decomposition of perishable items.  Trash Cans - York County

Here are some steps to take to prevent a stinky outdoor trash can (use these for the recycling cart, too!):

  1. Clean the containers after curbside collection, when they are empty.
  2. Gather these supplies:
    • White vinegar (vinegar is a good deodorizer, avoid using bleach in the containers)
    • Long cleaning tool (an extendable tile and tub scrubber works great!)
    • Dish liquid
    • Bucket and water source
    • Rubber gloves
  3. Rinse out the empty trash can
  4. Create a mixture of vinegar, dish liquid and water and use the extendable brush to scrub the inside of the trash can with the cleaning mixture.
  5. Turn the trash can on its side to drain, then spray out the inside of the trash can
  6. Use a scrub brush to clean the outside of the can with cleaning solution as well, then rinse the outside
  7. Leave the lid open overnight to dry the inside completely

Keep the cans clean:

  • Use trash bags and seal them tightly.  Food and liquid can leak out of loosely bagged trash and create a stinky mess.
  • Use recycling whenever possible.  Too many recyclable items make their way into trash cans causing the cans to overflow and make messes
  • Rinse cans often after collection to prevent buildup of food and liquid in the trash can
  • Don’t put trash in wet trash cans
  • Rinse out food containers before throwing them in the trash