How to Keep Garbage Can From Smelling In the Garage (Easy, Simple Trick!)

You will agree with me that most, if not all garbage cans have this despicable, pungent smell that sometimes, churn someone’s stomach. This is usually the case if the content has been in the garbage can for an extended period. Of course, you don’t expect it to have a nice smell, but at least, it shouldn’t be awful. So in this article, we are going to explain how to keep garbage can from smelling in garage.

Summers are ideal periods where most people notice the smell emanating from their garbage cans. It gets worse at this time because of the rise in temperature. When this high temperature hits the garbage can, it causes it to smell, and since they are mostly placed in the garage, the smell becomes obvious.

It’s crucial to keep your garbage can in the garage clean because I’m pretty sure you will have a host of other things in the garage and you wouldn’t want the smell to interfere. Plus, you could be spending a lot of your evenings there and inhaling the smell of a garbage can instead of the natural air is not so good. A garage with bad smell is annoying and can attract insects, bugs, rats, etc.

What Causes Your Garbage Can to Smell In the First Place?

Let’s face it, bad smell can make one uncomfortable. Bad smell or odor can drive out people and friends from visiting you. They will be like, “what’s that smell?” It will be quite disappointing on your part and you will be accused of not taking good care of your environment properly.

The cause of that detestable smell in your garbage can is not something out of the ordinary. Spoiled or rotten foods, spoiled milk, fish, molds from bread, etc. are the major reasons why your garbage can smell badly. The smell can linger for a very long time if something urgent isn’t done about the garbage can. That is why it’s vital you do away smelly items like meat, fish, rotten foods, in a plastic bag before dumping them in a garbage can.

Any Downside of Inhaling Bad Garbage Can Smell?

You might think that the bad smell from garbage cans isn’t hazardous, but the truth is it is. Your garbage can contains bacteria that is a potential harm to human health. The content inside the garbage can undergoes decomposition by the bacteria and that results in the smell that emanates from the can.

Also, molds from breads can release spores into the atmosphere that can be harmful to health. Once you inhale it, your health system may suffer some malfunctioning. This is the reason why you shouldn’t leave moldy foods exposed while throwing them away in the garbage can.

How to Keep Garbage Can From Smelling In the Garage

Now that you have learnt how dangerous smell from a garbage can is, how can you keep it from smelling in the garage? When your garbage can begins to smell like the content inside, you have to be expedite in your actions.

Even after you must have taken the garbage away, the smell can still linger in your garbage can. That cabbage, food remnants, etc. will still give off that stench smell even though it doesn’t start to smell immediately. You need to ensure that this smell doesn’t return.

Here are some solutions that you should try.

Use Disposable Plastic Bags

Since food is the major cause of smelling garbage cans, you should try to avoid putting them away directly in the garbage can. Instead, get a disposable plastic bag and throw your old food waste inside.

The Newspaper Method

The newspaper method is an economical and easy method of controlling odors emanating from garbage cans. With this simple hack, you will never get to notice any odor coming from your garbage can again.

What this method does is to absorb the unpleasant smell, so that even if you don’t use a plastic bag, the smell will be minimal. All you have to do is put some of those old newspapers of yours to good use. Place some newspapers at the bottom of the garbage can. Replace it with the plastic bag.

Each time you want to take out your garbage, remove the newspaper as well as it might have gotten all soaked up by moisture and spillage.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is one household cleaning agent that can do wonders when it comes to removing dirt and eliminating smell from garbage cans. All you have to do is to measure a tablespoon or two of baking soda and spray it on the bottom of the garbage can before replacing the plastic bag.

If your garbage can is metal, you need to be more careful with applying soda to avoid corrosion. Pour some quantity into a close-tight container and place it at the bottom of the garbage can. Alternatively, you can place a sachet of baking soda at the bottom, and it will eliminate any odor coming from the garbage can.

Softener Dryer Sheet

Those sweet-smelling sheets that you use for your fabrics can work to eliminate odors from the garbage cans. Just place one or two sheets in the garbage can before replacing the plastic bag. The sheets will absorb the odors and leave a pleasant scent. If you don’t want new dryer sheets, you can use a used one. They both do the same thing of getting rid of odors from your garbage can.

Use Vanilla Extract

If you love the smell of vanilla extract, then you will enjoy using this solution in your garbage can. This solution works fine in keeping odors at bay and adding some freshness in the garbage can. After you must have disposed the garbage, sprinkle some drops on a few cotton balls and place them at the bottom of the garbage can. Leave it overnight with the lid closed. By morning, you will wake up to the soft, sweet-smelling scent of vanilla.


Another way to keep odors in garbage cans at bay is to apply some deodorizers like ZEP and others. Spray the deodorizer inside the garbage can before replacing the plastic bag. It will kill off any bad smell in the garbage can.


Just like baking soda, bleach is another powerful cleaning disinfectant that can get rid of odors and germs. If you can cope with the strong odor, bleach is an excellent alternative to removing odors from garbage cans.

However, you need to be careful while using bleach on your garbage can. If your garbage can is metal, it can corrode it. You also need to protect your hands by wearing gloves while using it.

Add a quarter cup of bleach to one and half gallon of water, and use it to clean up the garbage can thoroughly. Make sure the area is ventilated when using it to avoid the concentration of fumes.

Cat Litter

Placing a cat litter in the bottom of your garbage can will get rid of odor and moisture from invading the can. After absorbing the odors and liquids, the litter will leave a fresh scent in the garbage can.

The only issue with this method is that you have to change the cat litter periodically. You will have to discard and replace the cat litter immediately after a week or two or when the litter becomes damp. There are many cat litters available in the market to choose from.

How to Clean a Garbage Can In the Garage

In case you are not conversant with implementing the above methods, you can employ another effective cleaning technique to remove the stench in your garbage can. This method will deep clean your garbage can and won’t leave any bad smell that can make you and your visitor uncomfortable.

Giving your garbage can a thorough cleaning after discarding the garbage inside will prevent the buildup of foul smell.

If you have a high power washer, you can use it to hose down your garbage can, since it’s in the garage. Alternatively, you can use a hose or long-handled bristle brush to scrub the exterior and interior of the garbage can. With the addition of dish soap and disinfectant, you can give your garbage can a proper clean.

  1. Squirt a little bit of dish soap into the garbage can.
  2. Fill the garbage can with some warm water, about 1/3 full.
  3. Use a high-pressure power washer or hose to hose down the can. Spray down the exteriors and make sure that you rotate the bin as you spray. If you opt to use a bristle brush, scrub the interior and exterior hard, including the lid with the soapy water.
  4. Drain as much water as you can inside the can by tipping it over. Then towel dry using a rag.
  5. Apply disinfectant to kill any bacteria.


Thanks for reading this article. I’m sure it has taught you a thing or two on how to keep garbage can from smelling in garage.

The last thing you want is to have a smelly garage, due to the garbage can and be questioned by neighbors and friends about the smell that they are perceiving. It can be an awful experience, but don’t too worry, these simple tricks and hacks discussed here will banish any odor from your garage, especially the garbage cans. It will leave you with a refreshing smell.

If you are the type that can spare a few minutes, deep cleaning your garbage can is also a good option. You can either power wash, use a hose, or bristle brush to hose down and scrub the can in and out.

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