So, your kitchen stinks. It’s fine! It happens! We’re all human! We all have trash!
But sometimes that stench refuses to go away—it seems to be coming from the trash can area. It sticks around like that Cranberries song that I can’t seem to get out of my head. You change your trash bag. You change your trash bag with more frequency. You start bringing trash directly out of your house and throwing it away outside. You wonder: Do you have to, do you have to let it linger?
Well, the answer, actually, is no, no you don’t have to let it linger. Not at all.
The secret to a super stinky trash smell isn’t in the trash. But rather in the trash can. Think about it: You’ve got your plastic trash bag which, for the most part, does a good job of keeping hold of all your trash. But sometimes things rips, sometimes things spill. After a while, the bottom of your trash can starts to build up a funky little residue. Ew!
Whatever. It’s natural. In five minutes alone, however, there’s something you can do. Hear me out. Next time you take out your trash, don’t immediately replace the bin with a new bag. Instead, cart the can to your bathroom, squirt some soap into the bottom (I use Dr. Bronner’s or some dish soap), and fill it with some warm water from your bath or shower faucet. Let that sit for a minute, then swirl it around. Then, give the whole affair a rinse. See, easy!
All aboard the easy train!
Once you’ve let it dry completely, go ahead and return the trash to your kitchen and fill it with a new bag. Proceed as usual. If I’m feeling super precocious, I’ll do this once a week. If I’m feeling less diligent, this’ll end up happening only once a month. The frequency, really, is up to you.
I tend to up the ante in the warmer months when the trash smell peaks in pungency. Also, if my cooking has left me with more produce scraps then usual, I find that a garbage can clean is just waiting to happen. If you, unlike me, don’t have a bin that can fit in your bath tub or shower—say, something industrial size—an outdoor hose will most definitely do the trick.
Next time you find yourself sniffing something unpleasant in the kitchen, give your trash bin a rinse. You will not regret it.