Why You Should Let Your Garbage Can Sit In The Sun After Washing It

Cleaning your trash can is an unpleasant and smelly job, but using the sun to dry it afterward can make the job a little easier. Once you've thoroughly washed and rinsed your garbage can, allowing it to sit in the sun can help disinfect and deodorize your trash can. With this method, you won't need to struggle to dry it out yourself, and after a few hours, your trash can will be clean and ready to go back inside. 

Trash cans can also develop mold on the inner bottom if the bag leaks or if it isn't cleaned for a long time, but since sunlight can act as an anti-fungal, allowing a trash can to dry in the sun will kill any spores that remain after cleaning. If you're cleaning a colorful plastic trash can, like a small one that's kept in a bedroom or bathroom, leaving it in the sun may bleach it and lighten the color, but this shouldn't be an issue for metal or outdoor trash cans. Sunlight may also help remove discolorations from white plastic. 

The benefits of drying your trash can in the sun

Letting your trash can sit in the sun after washing is a simple and easy way to save time while cleaning, especially since most people wash their garbage cans outside. While your trash can is drying, you'll have more time to finish other household tasks and won't need to worry about disinfecting it. Sunlight can help kill some of the bacteria that are left behind after cleaning, which also helps with the smell. Make sure to leave the lid of your trash can open to allow the air to circulate and dry the can, and to let the sun's rays reach the deepest spots.

If you have trouble getting your outdoor trash can totally dry when leaving it outside, drilling a couple of holes in the bottom can help the water drain after it's washed. While this is helpful for outdoor garbage cans, doing this with the receptacle you use in your kitchen could lead to some disastrous messes.

How sunlight disinfects

While sunlight has natural disinfectant properties because of its UV rays, it will not guarantee that all bacteria die and is not the most effective disinfectant. Depending on what you're trying to disinfect, the sun's rays may not have a sufficient amount of ultraviolet light to kill all germs and bacteria, but it does make a difference for garbage cans. If you're concerned that drying your trash can in the sun won't leave it clean enough for your home, you can also disinfect it with bleach or other cleaning products.

While leaving a clean trash can in the sun is a great way to dry it, letting dirty garbage cans sit in direct sunlight can worsen the smell. The heat from the sun will bake whatever is stuck inside the trash can, but once the garbage can is clean, letting it sit in the sun is more likely to be helpful than harmful.