If Your Compost Heap Is Starting To Smell A Little Ripe, Here's What You Need

Setting up a composter is a great way to get rid of food scraps in an eco-friendly way. However, if you've just started composting, then a few issues might pop up that you weren't quite expecting. For instance, you might find that the rotting scraps of veggies, fruits, and other compostables are making the area more than just a little stinky. Fortunately, all you need to do is put a particular baking soda hack to good use in order to solve this unpleasant problem.

While you may have heard that baking soda can absorb odors — for instance, from the inside of your fridge where stale food smells can build up — you might not be sure how it does so. This might also leave you wondering if it can really help with the nasty smell that your compost is producing. The truth is that it definitely can help, thanks to its chemical makeup as well as a bit of handy-dandy science. Alex Reed, the co-founder of Truman's, explained to Martha Stewart, "Most smells are acidic in nature, and baking soda can be a pH neutralizer."

That means baking soda will, indeed, help to weaken the unwanted odors around your compost. Of course, you can't just toss a box of baking soda into your composter and cross your fingers. Instead, you have to use it in just the right way.

Sprinkle baking soda to eliminate compost odors

If you've ever used baking soda to deal with odors in your fridge, then you might have simply opened a box and left it inside with the hope that it will be effective. However, that's not going to give you the kind of results that you're looking for. Instead, you need to remove the baking soda from the package so that it can perfom its odor-eradicating action. The same goes for using it in and around your compost.

Sprinkle the baking soda onto the compost mound while focusing on spots that are particularly stinky. However, don't dump it all in one place. Instead, spread it around in an even layer so that each spot is completely coated. You can also shake some baking soda into the composter (or onto the open compost heap) every time you add more scraps. Just toss the baking soda on first and it will be ready to absorb any smells that come from whatever is placed on top.

If you're using a closed composter and the lingering odor is too persistent (or too disgusting), then the baking soda may need a little help. Grab some vinegar and clean the interior of the composter. Then add baking soda to the bottom to create a base for the bits of old food that will eventually rot and produce odors that will now be absorbed before they can become a problem.