The trash is a handy appliance that helps keep things clean and tidy in the kitchen. However, it can become a problem when it starts to smell due to spoiled food or other bacteria that increase after time causing disagreeable odors.

Is there any easy way to get rid of garbage disposal odor from the trash in the kitchen?

  • Probably the same as from the refrigerator, plugged in or not.
    – TIO Begs
    Jan 23, 2015 at 15:01
  • 4
    buy a smaller bin, empty it more often...
    – Bamboo
    Jan 23, 2015 at 16:12
  • Compost everything you can instead of throwing it in the trash. Oct 27, 2016 at 6:55

8 Answers 8


According to this article titled "how to get rid of trash can smell" it is not an easy task.

Recommended to get rid of the odour listed in order of effectiveness

  • Cleaning up the trash can with soap and water, using a hose outside, leaving the can in the sun to dry. Sunshine will kill the microorganisms that cause that trashy smell.

  • Use Charcoal The article suggests some chunks of charcoal in a small area will absorb the smell.

  • Baking soda also a good absorbent of smell in a small area.

The article gives some suggestions for masking the scent at the source, which might be answers to the OP request for something quick and EZ.

Trash Can Smell Masking

If you can't beat them, hide them; that's the whole idea behind perfumes and some such products, isn't it? The methods below basically mask the smell with another more powerful odor rather than remove the smell, so you should be sure you are going to be happy with the result.

  • Vanilla Essence: Pour several drops of vanilla essence on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined spaces nearest your trash can. Leave them for several days and you will notice that the area smells nice, or at least smells nicer.

  • Lemon or Lime Peels: Just put some lemon or lime peels into an uncovered container and leave them inside the confined area for a couple of days. The citrus smell will naturally replace the bad trash can smell.

  • Mint Extract: If you favor neither the smell of citrus nor vanilla, you can perhaps use mint extract instead. Pour several drops of mint extract on a couple of cotton wools. Toss the cotton wools inside the confined space and leave them for a couple of days.

  • Coffee: Ground coffee has a nice, crisp natural aroma. Just put about a cup of ground coffee in a flat, uncovered container. Place the container inside the confined space for several days. If the bad smell is extremely horrible, put more ground coffee. The area will smell of fresh coffee for many days.

  • Tea: If you don't like coffee, you can use tea bags instead. Just place 2-3 tea bags inside the confined space. The tea leaves in the bags will not only absorb the trash can smell but will also release the natural aroma of tea.

  • Orange peels: Get an orange and poke it with a sharp object like a needle or fork to form small holes. Place each of the cloves inside these small holes until most of the orange surfaces are covered. It may look like a hedgehog with the cloves jutting out of the orange fruit. Leave it in the confined area for a couple of days. The area will smell nice with the said combinations.

  • Pandan Leaf: It is easy to get pandan leaf in tropical countries as it is widely used in Southeast Asian cooking to add aroma to dishes. Its pleasant aroma also acts as natural air freshener. Just take a few strips of the pandan leaves and tie them into knots. Place the leaves inside the confined space and leave them until the leaves are withered or dried up. Replace the leaves regularly until the trash can smell goes away.

  • 3
    TYPO: Instead of soup and water, try soap with water.
    – Stan
    Jun 26, 2016 at 19:27

You may want to try, a piece of bread soaked in vinegar. Let it stay in the empty trash can for night and next day throw it out. The soaked bread in vinegar will suck all the odour.


Cat Litter is absorbent, has bacteria and smell inhibitors. Sprinkle a handful in the empty liner and then a couple more as the bin gets full. Some brands will be more effective than others.


The smell is mainly caused by bacteria, and they need moisture to live. So;

  1. Drain before binning the trash (in a sieve, or drill holes in a plastic box). Just till no more water drips out.

  2. Wrap wet stuff in a newspaper.

  3. Put newspaper or old egg cartons in the bottom of the bin. This also stops it freezing onto the bottom in winter, if your bin is outside.

  4. In summer put your wrapped rubbish in a plastic sack in the freezer, just put it in the bin on collection day.


I purchase activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal) from the chemical wholesaler Sigma Aldritch. In order to place orders from chem/lab suppliers you typically have to register an account with them as a researcher but once you get in it's just like any other storefront. Sprinkle some granules of carbon into each bin in your house and the only trash smell will be today's. The stuff lasts months for those purposes, and works better than most of the other natural solutions I've tried.


There are two reasons your kitchen trash bins could be smelling:

The most obvious is (1) the smell of the trash. Most kitchen trash bins are very large; I find when living alone it takes me a week to fill it up. By the end of the week, the items I threw in the trash during the beginning of the week have began to develop an odor.

Switch out your large kitchen bin for a smaller one that you can fit "regular" grocery bags into, which means you fill the trash bag up faster, and naturally taking the trash out to the dumpster or the large "outdoor container" more often.

If you have something that smells or will quickly develop a smell (fish, meats, old food that has been sitting in the fridge too long), take out the trash immediately after throwing the item away.

The second, much more overlooked source of trash smell in the kitchen is (2) the smell of the trash bin itself. Give the trash bin a thorough scrub with dish soap and water every now and then, and clean the floor area and walls right around the trash bin regularly. Often, small pieces of food or fluids that you don't even notice get stuck to those areas and build up a smell.

Several answers have already given great suggestions on how to reduce the odor of the trash bin itself, including cat litter, and avoiding putting liquids in the trash that may leak into the bin.


as a Persian i would suggest you to use some layers of newspaper at the bottom of your bin and a little rosewater.the amount depends on you.it works so good.we use it in our house.

rosewater itself smells so good.


The easiest way to prevent the smell is to carry it out to the trash cans outside the house. I have 2 trash cans inside, one for paper, one for metal/plastic, none of them contains anything organic:

Paper Metal/Plastic

The rest is put into a small plastic bag and carried outside soon after eating. If it's late or I'm too lazy to walk downstairs anymore, I seal the bag with a clip until the next day:

organic stuff

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