Empty the bin of any loose bits of food or peels, and dump in one-half cup of ammonia, one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent and two cups of hot water (careful not to splash yourself). Swish it all around vigorously. We normally don’t like to use ammonia or bleach because of the harsh fumes, but ammonia is an excellent disinfectant for the garbage can, and it usually cleans off any garbage ooze and yuck without having to scrub the interior. If you don’t want to use ammonia, use one-half cup of white vinegar instead.
Note: Never combine vinegar with ammonia or bleach of any kind. This combination creates a toxic gas that’s harmful. You should also never combine ammonia and bleach together—that creates toxic chloramine vapors, which can cause respiratory damage (yikes!).
Rinse the bin well, and wipe or air dry. Then sprinkle a thin layer of borax powder (available at grocery stores or department stores such as Target or Walmart) on the bottom of the can. Doing this should inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold and will also prevent the dreaded reeking garbage can. Resprinkle the borax about once a month, and use the cleaning mix every six months—or if you’ve had a leak or spill and the garbage smell has come back.
Bonus tip for easier trash cleanup: Put several liners in the garbage can at once. When the can is full, take out the trash in the top liner, leaving the liner underneath all ready to go!
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