The Cleaning Product You Can Use To Disinfect Garbage Cans

We throw all kinds of disgusting stuff in our garbage, therefore it's no surprise that the average household garbage can is estimated to have about 400 bacteria breeding on each square inch. All that icky stuff we throw away also makes your garbage can susceptible to mold and bugs. While you might commonly reach for the bleach to disinfect things around your home, if you've run out, or you are trying to use fewer chemicals, there is an alternative – hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is most commonly used to bleach hair or as an antiseptic for cleaning wounds, however, it has many other uses around your home and is also a powerful disinfectant. Its antibacterial power comes from the additional oxygen molecule it possesses, which oxidizes and fizzes when it comes into contact with contaminants, including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Since it's only made from oxygen and water, hydrogen peroxide is also an eco-friendly alternative to chemical cleaners, which means you don't have to worry about polluting water supplies.

How to clean your garbage can with hydrogen peroxide

To clean your garbage can with hydrogen peroxide, you'll want to use a medical-grade hydrogen peroxide that contains 3 percent peroxide and 97 percent water. Avoid using one that's higher, like a 35 percent peroxide mixture, which is referred to as food grade. Higher-strength solutions of peroxide can give off harmful fumes and can burn if you get it on your hands, notes Cleveland Clinic. With that in mind, even when using medical-grade hydrogen peroxide, it's still a good idea to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.

Once you have your safety measures out of the way, you'll want to pour your hydrogen peroxide into an empty spray bottle. Use this to wet your garbage can generously on the inside and outside. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes for the oxidization process to do its job, before rinsing it clean with hot water. Then, wipe your wastebasket down with paper towels or place it in the sun to dry. It's very important that you make sure the garbage can is completely dry before you place a new garbage bag inside to prevent new bacteria from growing.