This Genius Hack Makes It So Easy To De-Grime Your Smelly Trash Can

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Tossing discarded salmon skins, scraps of meat, leftover curry, or anything smelly into the trash creates optimal conditions for a stinky garbage experience. We all use garbage bags, but that doesn't stop odors from seeping through and food particles from defiantly sticking to the sides and bottom of the can. Frequently emptying the garbage can is a given, however, for possibly the easiest form of maintenance, we love the genius hack of melting half a dishwashing tablet in water to clean and de-grime the inside of your odorous garbage can.

Garbage can smells get especially activated in warm weather, but any time of year is the right time to engage in your overall cleaning and odor reduction campaign. It's unpleasant to live with, and it's yucky for guests to encounter. But more than anything, what you don't want is dirty or unmanaged garbage cans to attract unwelcome gnats, flies, or worse. The smell of garbage is mighty attractive to rodents searching for a free meal, and we're certain you want to keep mice out of your home.

How to easily de-grime your trash can

If your dishwasher has a compartment for cleaning tablets and you regularly utilize it, you already have a tablet supply stashed under your kitchen sink. What you want to do is empty the garbage and wipe the inside with a damp paper towel to remove any stuck food or debris. Break (or cut if needed) a tablet in half, put it in the can, bring it into the shower, and then add hot water. Some receptacles are designed with slits or holes near the bottom third of the can, so take care not to fill past that line. Let it sit for about an hour then you can discard the water. The tablet will do most of the work, but if you're feeling ambitious, use a brush to clean the interior. If the weather is cooperative, let your garbage can dry in the sun to sanitize it. Doing this easy maintenance routine once every six months is plenty to keep it in tip-top shape.

We do have one caution about the type of tablet you use. Most mainstream commercial dishwashing tablets are made with phosphates, fragrances, and dyes. Phosphates create large algae blooms in the sea that deplete oxygen. That's bad for sea life, which needs oxygen to survive. There are phosphate-free tablets from brands like Ecover, Clean Cult, and Blueland that won't contribute to "dead zones" in the oceans and are better options for using in this hack.