No one wants a home filled with offensive odours and besides the bathroom there is no greater source of disgusting odours than the kitchen rubbish bin. Because the bin is very likely to receive food remnants, it is important that this bin be given the proper controls to avoid odours and pest infestations.

The first order of business with regard to the kitchen bin is to determine how large your bin should be. Controlling the size of the bin will help in a couple of different ways. If the bin is too small for the amount of refuse you discard in a day, then you risk the tendency to over stuff the bin. This will often result in torn liners, spills and more of a mess than you bargained for. On the other hand, if you select a bin that is too big, you risk the tendency to let the rubbish sit open for a few days until you have a full rubbish liner.

Although it is implied above that a liner should be used, it is probably worth mentioning here because many people try to skimp and cut corners to save money. Not using a rubbish can liner is only going to make it more difficult for you to prevent odours. Using a liner helps keep odorous materials from contacting and contaminating your bin. If you don’t use a liner and then fail to wash the bin after you remove the kitchen waste to an outside bin, you will be promoting fungus, bacteria and odour. Just as not using a bin liner can be harmful, using a very thin liner with a lot of waste, or pointy objects like bottles, corners of packaging etc is equally as bad.

Keep a Lid on It

Bins with lids or swinging doors will help keep odour to a minimum, but even these items will fail if the garbage inside the bin is left to decay as it sits in the bin. Again, select a bin size that is just big enough to handle an average day’s refuse. Remove and seal that liner and place it in a secure outdoor wheelie bin. The outdoor bin should be placed away from the home so that any escaping odours do not invade the home. The outside bin should also have an airtight lid that can be closed and locked down. The lock down measure will keep wild animals such as rats, dogs, and cats from getting into your rubbish bin should it be knocked over. It will also help keep your waste from spreading across the neighbourhood in the event that your bin is tumbled by strong winds.

Removing Bacteria

Back in the kitchen, there are a number of measures you can take to help control the odour in your kitchen bin. Having removed the full liner to the outside wheelie bin, you should wash the inside of your bin with a mild anti-bacterial, anti-fungal soap. Be careful to clean away all food residues as even a small amount of decaying organic matter can produce an extremely offensive odour. Be sure to hand dry or blow dry the bin so that there is no moisture to become trapped between the bin and the new liner bag. Bacteria and fungus love dark, moist places, and leaving moisture in the bin are inviting the very thing you are trying to prevent.

Anti-Odour Sprays

Another trick that can be used in combination with the above is to add a small amount of odour-absorbing material to the fresh liner each time you replace one. This can be odour-eating kitty litter, cedar chips, pine chips, or baking soda. Make no mistake, these things will not prevent odours if the kitchen bin is not properly controlled and cleaned as described above. They are solely for the control of minimal odours and can become expensive if overused.

A powerful deodorizer spray such as Lysol or Febreze can be applied to the inside of the bin, the inside of the liner and the exterior of the bin as needed. These products destroy the bacteria, mold and fungus that cause odours and deploy a pleasant, long-lasting fragrance that masks any odours present.

If you are penny-conscious, as most people are in these tough economic times, you can save money by using apple cider or white vinegar. Vinegar is a strong anti-odour agent as it kills the microbes that cause odour. However, some people find the odour of vinegar to be unpleasant. Fortunately, vinegar dissipates quickly and is nowhere near as harsh as some other cleaning agents. Homemakers have used vinegar for ages as a natural cleaning agent in the kitchen and bathroom.

It is also possible to hang a solid air freshener near the kitchen bin. Some already have a looped cord, such as the pine tree solid air fresheners for use in an automobile. If you have a nearby outlet, it might be expedient to utilize one of the many “plug-in” air fresheners that saturate the area with the fragrance of the oils. There are countless solid air fresheners that could be placed on counters or even on the exterior or interior of the rubbish bin itself.

Citrus is another natural air freshener. Citrus products can be purchased and they are quite effective. Orange and lemon peels can also be used for this purpose. If you are having an orange for breakfast, just place the discarded peel in the rubbish. It will keep the pin smelling fresh most of the day.

Get Technical

The iTouchless Deodorizer Touch-free Sensor Automatic Stainless-Steel Rubbish bin is equipped with a carbon filter and a carbon deodorizer than destroys kitchen bin odours automatically. The infrared sensor will detect your hand when it is about six inches from the bin. The lid will automatically open without you having to touch it. This is excellent for preventing the transmission of staph and other bacteria that accumulate on rubbish bins.


There are a number of sprays, solids and chips available to help you control odours in and around your kitchen rubbish bin. The most important points for better odour control are: Select the proper size bin for the amount of waste you will produce in a day, use a liner, remove the liner daily to an outside locked-down bin, remember to wash and dry the bin before replacing the used liner.

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