Welcome to day 25 of the ‘31 Days of Deep Cleaning Your Home‘ series!

Today’s task is to clean our trash cans.

The kitchen trash can, in particular, can get pretty gross if you don’t clean it regularly.

Start by emptying your trash can and taking out the trash.

Take your trash can outside and use the hose, or put it in the bathtub, and wash it out with hot, soapy water,. You may need to use a stiff brush to get all the dried on gunk off. Rinse and dry. (Be sure the can is completely dry before replacing the trash bag.) Be sure to pay special attention to lids. These have a lot of crevices and places for food and debris to get stuck. You can use a q-tip or toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies.

If you have a metal or stainless steel trash can, after cleaning you can use a product specifically made for stainless steel to bring back the shine and remove any fingerprints.

If you want to disinfect your trash cans, you have several options. Use any of these options after first washing out the trash can. Some are greener than others.* Each of these should help to remove any lingering odors. Be sure to wear gloves with any of the below methods as even natural cleaners can irritate some people’s skin.

  • Allow the trash can to sit in the sun for several hours.
  • Mix a solution of 1:1 vinegar and water and spray on. Allow to sit for 15 minutes and wipe off.
  • Mix a solution of 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry.
  • Use 15 to 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of hot water and wipe down your trash can with this solution. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Wipe off.
  • Spray a disinfecting spray on the trash can after it is cleaned. Be sure to allow the product to stay wet for the recommended amount of time or you won’t be getting all the germs.
  • Wipe down with a disinfecting wipe (again, making sure you follow manufacturer directions).
  • Make a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Wipe down your trash can with this solution and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry.

See you back here tomorrow for day 26 of 31 Days of Deep Cleaning Your Home.

*More information on green cleaning: Healthy and Natural World, Apartment Therapy

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