how to stop a kitchen bin from smelling

Does your kitchen bin smell bad? Kitchen bins are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria that can easily spread to the rest of your kitchen, potentially colonising your home and contaminating your food.

It is said that if something smells terrible, it probably isn’t good for you. The same holds true for your kitchen rubbish container. Do you want to know how to stop a kitchen bin from smelling? Here’s all you need to learn. 

Why Does Your Kitchen Bin Smell So Bad?

Your kitchen bin regularly comes into contact with many items that smell or start to smell very soon after getting thrown out. Think about it, most of the food waste that goes into your bin was previously kept chilled or, in the case of fruit, vegetables and dried goods, intact and dry.

Once these items reach your bin, they have generally been opened, heated or exposed to various substances. When leftovers and off-cuttings reach your bin, they are prime breeding grounds for bacteria to begin the fermentation process.

vegetable peel and cuttings

The best way to keep kitchen bins odour-free is by regularly emptying into your wheelie bin, cleaning, and combining our odour-free bin tips below. 

Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen Bin

Thoroughly cleaning your rubbish bin every week, with quick wipe-downs in between, is the best way to prevent a permanent stench from building up.

As kitchen bins are not the easiest or most pleasant household items to clean, it can be tempting to put their cleaning off. Here are some tips that will make cleaning your bin easier and help avoid unpleasant smells.

Step 1: Empty All the Content

Not just the bin bag – before you get started, you’ll want to empty your bin of those lingering crumbs and stuck bits of peelings, paper, rubbish and goodness knows what. Make sure you wear rubber gloves to get rid of any rotting food stuck at the bottom of the bin.

Step 2: Use Your Garden or Bathroom

You can easily clean out your bin with less hassle if you have outdoor space and a garden hose. Otherwise, the best place to wash your bin indoors is your bathroom. Place your bin in your bath or shower. If you rinse it out over a kitchen sink, it will result in a substandard clean and plenty of water all over your floor. 

Step 3: Sanitise It

bleach cleaner

Remember to clean your bin inside and outside, depending on how dirty your food waste bin is, what it is made from, and your choice of household cleaner. Use a cloth or brush to make sure you get soapy water into all of the little crevices around the top hinges.

If you have not been regularly cleaning out your bin and it has a nasty odour, you could use a light bleach solution on the plastic inner bucket and leave it for a few minutes to ensure a deep clean.

If your smelly bin has a stainless steel or coloured enamel exterior, make sure that this does not come into contact with any bleach.

Step 4: Dry It in the Sun

After rinsing out your bin using your garden hose or showerhead, always make sure to leave it out to dry in the sun or wipe it dry with waste paper, a kitchen roll or a dry cloth. As bacteria thrive in damp conditions, your bin must be completely dry before returning it to your kitchen and fitting a new clean bin bag. 

Top Tips to Stop Your Kitchen Bin From Smelling

Even with regular weekly cleaning, you may still find that your bin still occasionally smells bad. Try out some of our following quick tips to keep those nasty smells at bay and make your bin smell fresh.

1. Empty Often

Sometimes, we neglect the most obvious solutions to our problems. If your kitchen bin smells a lot, make sure that you are emptying it often enough. Don’t wait until it’s overflowing with old food or until it is wheelie bin collection day. If your bin starts to smell, empty it straight away before it worsens. 

2. Use Cat Litter

Tipping a small amount of clean, unused cat litter into the bottom of your fresh bin liner is a great way to absorb smells and humidity. Cat litter is specially designed to absorb moisture and prevent bad smells from becoming worse. Hence, it’s an ideal choice to mitigate your stinky bin issue. You could also use bicarbonate of soda instead. 

3. Relocate Your Bin

Is your bin located in direct sunlight or next to your electric kitchen appliances? Moving your bin to a cooler location will help reduce the rate at which the bacteria in your bin multiply and help prevent your leftovers from decaying and smelling bad as rapidly. 

4. Think Before You Fill

Do you need to throw out those chilled items from your fridge right now? If they are sealed, why not throw them out just before you empty your bin and help to keep your bin fresh? If you need to throw out some spoiled items right away but aren’t ready to empty your inside bin yet, dispose of them directly into your outside wheelie bin to prevent them from sitting in your house at room temperature and decaying for several days. 

garbage containers

5. Use a Bin Deodoriser

So, bin deodorisers attempt to mask the problem rather than provide a solution. However, sometimes bins still have that lingering smell despite regular cleaning and emptying. A bin odour eliminator sits in the lid of your bin and helps to neutralise bad odours. It also provides you with a fragrant scent each time you open your bin.

For a Fresh Smelling Kitchen

Given everything we put in them, it’s hardly surprising kitchen bins often smell bad. However, with regular cleaning, frequent emptying and planning, you can have an odour-free kitchen bin with relatively little hassle.

It may take extra organisation, but learning how to stop a kitchen bin from smelling is well worth it for a more hygienic home.

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