How to Clean a Bathroom Trash Can

bathroom trash can

Keeping your bathroom clean and fresh is essential for maintaining a hygienic and pleasant environment. 

While we often focus on scrubbing the sink, toilet, and shower, it’s important not to overlook one crucial area—the bathroom trash can. 

Regular cleaning of your trash can not only help eliminate unpleasant odors but also prevents the buildup of bacteria and germs. 

In this article, we will guide you through simple steps to effectively clean your bathroom trash can, ensuring a sparkling and odor-free space.

Let’s get started.

Importance of Cleaning Bathroom Trash Can

Let’s take a moment to grasp the importance of regular cleaning for your bathroom trash can before we delve into the cleaning process. 

As time goes by, the trash can gradually accumulates residue from various bathroom waste items, including tissues, cotton balls, and hygiene products. 

This buildup can result in undesirable odors and even attract insects or pests. 

However, by ensuring the cleanliness of your trash can, you not only uphold a hygienic bathroom environment but also proactively prevent the spread of germs.

Gathering Supplies

To begin the cleaning process, gather the necessary supplies. 

You’ll need rubber gloves, a scrub brush or sponge, mild dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and a clean cloth or paper towels

These supplies are readily available and effective in removing stains, disinfecting, and neutralizing odors.

Emptying the Trash Can

Start by emptying the contents of the trash can into a larger trash bag. Tie the bag securely and dispose of it properly. 

This step allows you to work with an empty can and ensures you don’t spread any waste during the cleaning process.

Removing Stains and Odors

If you notice any stains or lingering odors in your trash can, it’s important to address them before proceeding with the cleaning. 

Sprinkle baking soda liberally inside the can, focusing on areas with visible stains. Allow the baking soda to sit for a few minutes to absorb odors and loosen stains. 

Then, using a scrub brush or sponge, gently scrub the interior of the trash can, paying close attention to stained areas. Rinse the can thoroughly with water.

Cleaning the Interior

Now it’s time to thoroughly clean the interior of the trash can. Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap. 

Submerge the scrub brush or sponge in the soapy water and scrub the inside of the can, including the bottom and sides. 

Pay extra attention to corners and crevices where dirt and grime can accumulate. Rinse the can with water to remove any soap residue.

Cleaning the Exterior

After cleaning the interior, it’s important to give the exterior of your trash can some attention. 

Wipe down the outside of the can with a clean cloth or paper towel dampened with a mixture of water and mild dish soap. This helps remove any dirt or smudges that may have accumulated over time. 

If your trash can has a removable lid, clean it separately using the same method.

Drying and Reassembling

To ensure your bathroom trash can is completely dry before use, leave it in a well-ventilated area or out in the sun to air dry. Once dry, reassemble any removable parts, such as the lid or inner liners. This step is important to prevent any moisture buildup. 

Regular Maintenance Tips

To maintain a clean and odor-free bathroom trash can, it’s important to follow a few regular maintenance tips:

  1. Line the trash can: Consider using a trash can liners or garbage bags to line the inside of your trash can. This helps contain the waste and makes it easier to clean the can later.
  2. Dispose of trash regularly: Empty the trash can regularly, especially when it starts to fill up or when there are perishable items that may cause unpleasant odors.
  3. Spot clean as needed: Keep an eye on any spills or leaks inside the trash can. If you notice any, spot-clean them immediately to prevent stains and odors from setting in.
  4. Deodorize with baking soda: Place a small amount of baking soda at the bottom of the trash can or inside a sachet. Baking soda helps absorb odors, keeping your trash can smelling fresh. Read Deodorize Garbage Bins with Baking Soda.

Preventing Odors

To prevent unpleasant odors from developing in your bathroom trash can, try these simple tips:

  1. Double bag when necessary: If you’re disposing of particularly smelly items, consider double bagging to provide an extra layer of protection against odors and accidental breaking of the bag and spills.
  2. Use odor-neutralizing products: Place a few drops of essential oil or a deodorizing disc at the bottom of the trash can to keep it smelling fresh.
  3. Avoid moisture buildup: Make sure the trash can is dry before placing new trash bags or waste inside. Moisture can contribute to the growth of bacteria, mold and cause odors.
  4. Dispose of food waste separately: If you frequently dispose of food waste in your bathroom trash can, consider using a separate container specifically for food scraps. For even better results, consider disposing of food waste in a separate garbage bin located in a different room, such as the kitchen.

Final Tips for a Sparkling Clean Bathroom Trash Can

  • Consider using a trash can with a pedal or touchless mechanism to minimize contact and keep your hands clean.
  • If you have a stainless steel trash can, use a stainless steel cleaner to maintain its shine and prevent fingerprints.
  • Encourage everyone in your household to be mindful of what they throw in the trash can, ensuring proper waste segregation and disposal.


Maintaining a clean and fresh bathroom involves paying attention to even the smallest details, including your trash can. 

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your bathroom trash can remains odor-free and hygienic. 

Regular cleaning and proper maintenance will contribute to a more pleasant and inviting bathroom environment.


1. How often should I clean my bathroom trash can? 

It’s a good idea to clean your bathroom trash can at least once every month. However, if you notice any stains, odors, or spills, it’s best to clean them right away.

2. Can I use bleach to clean my trash can? 

While bleach is a powerful disinfectant, it may be too harsh for certain materials, especially plastic. Stick to mild dish soap or vinegar for regular cleaning.

3. What can I do about stubborn stains or odors? 

For stubborn stains, you can create a paste using baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes before scrubbing. To combat strong odors, try sprinkling baking soda inside the can or using an odor-neutralizing product.

4. Should I clean the exterior of the trash can as well? 

Yes, it’s important to clean both the interior and exterior of the trash can. Wipe down the outside with a damp cloth or paper towel using a mild dish soap solution.

5. Can I use a pressure washer to clean my trash can? 

Using a pressure washer can be effective, especially for larger outdoor trash cans. However, ensure that the pressure isn’t too high, as it may damage the trash can or cause water to seep into areas that are difficult to dry. Additionally, be cautious when using a pressure washer indoors, as it can create a mess.

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