The One Smelly Garbage Hack You've Been Missing Your Whole Life

Everyone knows the unpleasantness of a stinky garbage can. Even if you've taken the trash out recently, there are certain foods that leave a yucky odor behind no matter how well secure the lid on your bin is. If you've ever wondered why your trash smells so bad just hours after you've tossed something into the can, the reason has to do with chemicals and decomposition (via Gleam). The complex organic compounds that make up the waste in your trash are broken down into simple organic and inorganic molecules by micro and macroorganisms. As these organisms decompose the waste, chemicals and gases are released into the air. The longer your trash sits, the more it gets broken down by these tiny single-celled organisms and the smellier your house gets.

So now you know why your kitchen bin smells so bad, but what can you do to get rid of the odor and keep it away? While changing the bag frequently and washing the receptacle with soap and water are a great start to keeping the stench out of your kitchen (or other area where you keep a trash bin), there's a tried and true hack that will get rid of the stink once and for all and keep it away. Best of all, this trick requires just two items that you probably already have in your house. Keep scrolling to find out what it is.

This hack uses two common household items

There are many tips and tricks floating around regarding how to get rid of the smell that lingers in your trash can after you take out the bag. Some of these ideas include sprinkling the bottom of the bin with baking soda or dousing the can with a homemade cleaner made with essential oils. However, there exists a truly simple and genius hack that relies on two items you already have in your pantry: bread and vinegar (via Simple Most). All you have to do is pour a bit of vinegar over a slice of bread until its damp but not dripping with liquid and then drop it into the bottom of your trash can. Let it sit overnight and then replace it with a fresh bag. You're sure to notice a difference straight away. If you're concerned with having to wipe out any potential bread and vinegar residue, place a piece of paper towel down first.

You may be unsurprised that vinegar makes up half of this odor-eliminating duo as vinegar is often recommended as a cleaning agent. Vinegar is great at getting rid of odors in particular. It contains acetic acid, which bonds to volatile molecules, such as the ones released as gas from the decomposing waste in your trash bin (via Pop Sci). The best part is that the scent of vinegar won't likely linger — as it bonds with other molecules, the odor of the vinegar itself also disappears.