Why clean my trash can?

You throw your garbage in the trash can, but have you ever thought to actually clean the trash can? Germs are everywhere and especially in that disgusting trash can where food sits for however long until you take the garbage out. Loads of bacteria can thrive in your garbage bins, but the most common ones are Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria. Salmonella is bacteria usually found in eggs, uncooked poultry or raw meat. The germs associated with the common cold can make it into the garbage bin by discarded tissues and napkins that contain the virus. E. Coli is found in uncooked beef and other household foods like cucumber.  Listeria can be found in many foods and thrive in colder temperatures. Now don't those sound delicious to have in your kitchen.

Just as you clean your counter tops and stove, you should be cleaning out the trash cans and you will be glad you did because that bacteria lurking there, can cause some serious health issues. Here is what I do to clean my trash cans at home and how you can have your home be cleaner and you be happier and above all healthier. 

Tools of Choice

Now before we even get into the cleaning portion you should make sure you have some weapons of choice. Cleaning the trash can be nasty business so rubber gloves are always a good thing to have. It keeps the germs away and also helps when handling chemical cleaners to protect your hands. Another tool to recommend would be a long handled scrub brush or toilet brush. They can be purchased at any supermarket or dollar store and they really help so you don't have to go dumpster diving, you can let the brush do must of the scrubbing. 

Good ol' dish soap and Water

Depending on how clean you want to get,  there are different methods in cleaning your trash can. Also, depending on the size of the can you may be able to do this in your kitchen sink or need to take it outside. The simplest way to clean a trash can is just with soap and water. This is really good for a light, quick cleaning. Simply squirt some dish soap in the bottom of your trash can, fill it up with water, scrub with your brush, and then rinse it out with a hose or in your sink. The ideal time would be to do this after the trash was collected, but if you can't do it by then just withhold from putting bags into the can until you clean it out. Now, you also want to do this somewhere you don't mind getting wet, like your lawn or driveway. You can dry it with some paper towels or let it air dry in the sun. 

How clean is too clean?

Now, we all know that soap is the best cleaner, but if your trash can is particularly smelly or you just want that extra cleaning you can make your own homemade disinfectant.  

The Recipe is:

3/4 cup of chlorine bleach

1 gallon warm water

1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent

Mix the ingredients in a bucket and pour it into your selected trash container. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then use a long handled scrub brush to clean the sides of the trash can. Rinse with water, turn the can upside down to let the excess water drain, and then towel dry or let your trash can air dry.

Other Alternatives

Now, you can use those name brand disinfectants and get a result the same way. Spray it with those foamy cleaners and using the scrub brush as suggested above. Cleaning wipes are also really great for the outside of the trash can or if there is just a little spill that you want to clean right away. 

Say "peace out" to Germs!

No matter what product you use, all that matters is consistency. After just a couple days of being left out, the harmful bacterium can begin to grow. Animals and insects can get into the garbage can and spread disease or nasty bacteria. You may notice how bad garbage can smell, these odors are produced by strong bacteria growth. Studies show that frequent cleaning is required to reduce the risk of  infection from waste containers. Cleaning garbage bins yourself may be a hard task to accomplish and you never know if you have tackled all of the contamination present, but its better to clean than to suffer the consequences and get sick. Germs do not stop growing and lurking around so keep yourself healthy, the people around you healthy, and lessen the amount of dirt and filth around your home. So say "goodbye" so smelly garbage and "hello" to healthy living!