Proper Way to Clean and Disinfect Your Trash Can

Proper Way to Clean and Disinfect Your Trash Can

Are you worried about the germs and bacteria in your trash can? You need to clean and disinfect it properly. Discover the best way to ensure a hygienic bin in your home by reading this helpful article. You’ll learn how a simple solution of soap and water, combined with careful cleaning, can keep your trash can germ-free!


Preparing for Cleaning

Before you start cleaning your trash can, you should ensure that all of the materials inside it are safely disposed of. If your trash can is lined with a trash bag, these bags should be tied off at the top and removed. Be sure to keep the trash away from any living areas while cleaning to minimize odors and avoid any potential health hazards. Once all of the contents have been removed, you will need to prepare your cleaning supplies.

The following items may prove useful when cleaning and disinfecting your trash can:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Cleaning brush or cloth
  • Disinfectant (e.g., bleach, rubbing alcohol)

Emptying the Trash Can

It is important to regularly empty and clean your trash can to ensure the prevention of offensive odors and bacterial or fungal growth. Here are steps to follow for emptying, cleaning, and disinfecting your trash can:

  • Take the entire bag of garbage out of the can. Tie the top end of the bag in a knot or use a twist tie and place it safely out of reach from animals and young children.
  • Emptying an indoor trash can will reduce potential animal access, so make sure you are using airtight indoor cans when at all possible – these usually have lids that close securely. Outdoor cans might require an extra step, such as secured locking lids or using large rocks on top of the lids to prevent animals from accessing your trash cans.
  • Remove any visible bits of food, crumbs, liquid residue or soil in the container with a wet/damp cloth or disposable wipes while simultaneously spraying down with a disinfectant solution made up of one part bleach to ten parts water (or an all-purpose cleaner if bleach is unavailable). Be sure that any troubled areas are given extra time for effective sanitation.
  • Once you’ve wiped away dirt, rinse all surfaces with hot water, paying attention to difficult areas like corners and crevices where debris could accumulate quickly over time, as well as inner lip where crumbs often hide away unnoticed between uses. Allow container to air dry completely before moving onto filling it up once more when finished with disinfecting process—though best practice would indicate an emptied container should be filled with a new liner prior to this step if total sanitation is desired each week during usage cycles.

Removing Any Trash and Debris

Removing any trash and debris from the trash can should be the first step of the cleaning process. This can be achieved by emptying out the container, taking out any liners, and dumping out any remaining contents. If a liner is being used to make emptying easier, it should be disposed of when you have removed all of the contents. If a bag-less design is being used, it is best to lightly shake out or vacuum up any trash that has settled inside the can.

Additionally, if possible, pull your trash can outside and use a hose to rinse off any remaining particles or residue before returning it indoors. This will create a cleaner space from which to begin disinfecting.

Washing the Trash Can

To properly clean and disinfect your trash can each week, begin by wetting the exterior of the can with warm water and then apply a disinfecting cleaning solution. Work from top to bottom on the outside of the trash can, scrubbing gently with a bottle brush. Wipe away any remaining residue or dirt. Allow your cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes before rinsing off with a warm wet cloth and drying thoroughly with an absorbent towel.

Wash the inside of your trash can next using hot soapy water and again using your brush to work up any stuck-on bits of food or debris. Rinse well and dry completely with a paper towel or cloth. Identify any areas that need special attention according to manufacturer instructions, such as resealing plastic lining around lids or removing movable parts like an odor filter that requires weekly replacement, if applicable.

Once all surfaces are washed, wiped dry, and put back together again, give it one final pass—spraying with an approved cleaner/disinfectant such as diluted bleach following label directions for safety and maximal disinfection result. Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off in all surfaces thoroughly. Wipe down one last time to make sure that no residue is left behind before allowing the can to air-dry completely prior to use.

Disinfecting the Trash Can

It is important to properly clean and disinfect your trash can in order to maintain a safe, hygienic environment. To properly disinfect your trash can:

  • Empty the contents of the trash can and dispose of solid waste properly.
  • Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away excess dirt or debris from the interior and exterior of the trash can.
  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add an appropriate disinfectant solution or cleaning product according to the label instructions (be sure to use a product that is safe for use on plastic).
  • Scrub the interior and exterior of the trash can using cloths or mop heads dipped in the cleaning solution. Let this sit for five minutes before rinsing with cool water (do not rinse contents onto the ground).
  • If necessary, repeat this process depending on how much debris has accumulated inside the bin before air drying it completely.
  • Use white distilled vinegar as a finishing touch to ensure that odors are neutralized before placing new liner bags inside your cleaned trash can container.

If you decide to clean your trash can yourself, make sure to follow the steps outlined above to ensure a thorough cleaning. However, if you have any concerns about the cleanliness or sanitation of your trash can, or if you are unable to clean it yourself, it may be a good idea to consult with expert cleaners who can provide additional guidance and assistance.

Drying the Trash Can

Once the trash can has been cleaned and disinfected, it is important to dry it thoroughly. This can be done in a few ways:

  • For manual cleaning purposes, you can use a dry cloth to wipe down the inside and outside of the bin. To ensure complete drying, you should have a separate washcloth and dry cloth for each cleaning round. After wiping the inside, keep it open until it is completely dry.
  • If possible, take your waste receptacle outdoors to heat in direct sunlight for at least an hour or two. The radiant energy from the sun helps not only evaporate residual moisture but also kills any germs still lurking in your trash can. During cold weather months, taking your unit indoors to warm up near a space heater also works well as long as all sides of the bin get exposed to the temperature change.
  • Another effective drying method is using an electric fan or hair dryer set on low speed and cool temperature setting. Place it directly opposite the opening of your waste container so both sides get dried evenly with minimal blasting force that could cause dirt particles to go airborne into the surrounding area. Extra precaution should be taken if small children are around since they are most susceptible to harmful pathogens that may still be present in small amounts after cleaning and disinfecting processes have failed.

Maintaining a Clean Trash Can

Maintaining a clean trash can is an essential step in maintaining a healthy, hygienic, and odor-free home or workspace. Properly cleaning and disinfecting your trash can provide you with the greatest protection against germs, bacteria, and bad odors. Here are some tips on how to properly keep your trashcan clean:

  • Emptying: The most important step to keep your trash can clean is to regularly empty the contents of the bin. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or more often, be sure to make this a regular habit in order for the contents to not accumulate and become difficult to remove.
  • Washing: After emptying, you should thoroughly wash the inside of your bin with hot water, soap, and a cleaning brush or sponge. Be sure not to forget about the bottom of the bin since it tends to hold more dirt and bacteria than any other part of the waste container.
  • Disinfecting: After washing, be sure to use proper cleaners or disinfectants such as vinegar or bleach solutions on surfaces that come into contact with food waste containing bacteria or fungi (such as fruits & vegetables). You may also want to use a “calming scent” cleaner such as pine oil or citrus solutions every once in a while for an added defense against odors and germs.
  • Deodorizing: As part of regular maintenance, periodically adding deodorizing products such as baking soda is an effective way to absorb foul-smelling liquids that may have accumulated in your bin over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps to clean and disinfect a trash can?

The first step is to empty the trash can. Make sure to take out any trash and debris and dispose of it properly. Next, you’ll want to rinse the can with hot soapy water. Use a scrub brush if necessary to remove any stubborn dirt and grime. Once the can is clean, you can use either a diluted bleach solution or a disinfectant cleaner to disinfect the interior and exterior of the trash can. Allow the cleaner to sit for a few minutes before rinsing and drying the can.

How often should I clean and disinfect my trash can?

It’s recommended that you clean and disinfect your trash can at least once a month. This will help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, as well as keep your trash can free from dirt and debris.

What kind of cleaner should I use to disinfect my trash can?

You can use either a diluted bleach solution or a disinfectant cleaner to disinfect the interior and exterior of the trash can. Make sure to read and follow the instructions on the product’s label.


Taking the time to clean and disinfect your trash can is important for both hygiene and sanitation. Regularly cleaning your trash can will help keep it looking good, smelling fresh, and free of germs, mold, and bad odors.

It’s important to use the right cleaning products for the material type that you have in order to effectively clean without damaging the surfaces. After your trash can is cleaned, it’s a good idea to consider using a disinfectant product in order to further reduce any bacterial growth or odors.

By regularly cleaning and disinfecting your trash can, you’ll be helping to keep you and your family safe from germ build-up, while also making sure your home stays fresh and pleasant-smelling.

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