Cleaning Garbage Cans

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated March 23, 2009)

One of the great fringe benefits of having a family of your own is that you're not always the one who has to take out the trash. Once your children get old enough, then you score as a parent because taking out the trash can be made a routine chore, and ideally, something you won't have to worry about. Taking out the trash isn't the only thing however that you need to make sure gets done. Trash is dirty and often gross, and just because your ten-year-old son can take the kitchen garbage out to the giant garbage can in the back yard doesn't mean that the grossness goes away. And just because your garbage man comes once a week to pick up your nasty garbage doesn't mean that the garbage doesn't leave traces in your yard. Your garbage can itself can get very dirty and so you need to make sure that you give it a good wipe down every once in a while.

This may be a thoroughly disgusting job, but one that must be done every now and again. You must be familiar with the tendency that trash has to let sticky, runny, and smelly substances leak out of the bag and into the interior of your trash can. When you do clean your garbage can, you'll need a few supplies. First, you'll need rubber gloves. No one wants to clean the garbage can with their bare hands. Second, you need a substantial supply of rags, wet and dry. Third, you need a good bucket of water spiked heavily with bleach or ammonia. (Use one or the other; don't mix them as you can create toxic fumes.) Fourth, you need to wear good cleaning clothes, meaning clothes that you don't really care about. And then finally, you need a strong stomach and perseverance (and it's not a bad idea to get one of those surgery masks to help with the smell).

Once you have all the supplies, you just need to dive in and scrub away. Don't be a cleaning sissy and get only most of the sticky unknown substance from your garbage can, but be diligent enough to get all of it out.

After you're done with the intense cleaning, there are preventative measures you can take to make sure that you don't have to do such an in depth and disgusting garbage can cleaning any time in the near future. Make sure that your garbage bags are tightly tied, that there aren't any holes in your garbage bag, and that there's nothing sticky on the outside of the bag. If you need to double bag to make sure that everything stays inside, then do it. Keeping your garbage can clean is much easier than actually getting it clean.

If you have any plastic trash cans around (for your bathroom, kitchen, or crafts area for instance), you may want to clean those periodically as well. You don't have to do an in depth scrub like you should do for your big garbage can, but you should at least wipe it out now and again.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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