How To Keep Garbage Can From Smelling In Garage?

For many reasons, people like to put their trash cans in their garages. Since it’s more convenient and saves you a lot of space and hazards, you might also prefer the same thing. But, garbage cans can smell really bad if things are not done properly. So, how to keep garbage can from smelling in garage?

To get rid of a stinky garbage can in your garage, you need to do proper waste management, including using the right bags, cleaning the can regularly, using products that reduce the odor, and much more.

In this article, we’ll try to give you useful information so that you can save your garage from a bad-smelling rotten garbage can.

Why Does Garbage Cans In The Garage Smell Bad?

It is convenient to put your outdoor trash can in your garage because it comes with a big disadvantage. The pungent, fishy, rotten, unpleasant smells! Especially in the summertime, things get worse.

There are many factors that contribute to it. The first one is improper waste management. Most of the time, we put our food waste and decomposing items inside the trash can without using the right bag or sealing it properly.

Most of the bad odor comes from these decomposing items: food waste, rotten veggies, diapers, pet waste, etc. The bacteria in these products break down these items to produce an organic compound that starts to smell.

Sometimes the garage lacks efficient ventilation, which doesn’t allow the odors to flow outside. Above all, the mismanagement of the trash causes the garbage can to smell in the garage.

Why Should You Get Rid Of That Smelling Garbage Can?

A good-smelling environment creates a great ambiance for a better life. You wouldn’t want to stay for even a second in a bad-smelling place. Our garage is one of those places where we spend a small amount of time doing many chores.

Besides, many garages are connected to the inside of the home, where the bad odor can easily make its way inside. Also, bad smells can cause serious health hazards, and the microorganisms responsible for them can cause many diseases.

So, for all these reasons, we must always keep our garbage cans clean and free from odor.

Ways To Keep Your Garbage Can From Smelling Bad

You suddenly don’t want to ruin your workspace in the garage or have the odor find its way inside your home. So it’s important to take steps to keep your garbage can from smelling bad.

Let’s divide it into two parts: the waste management part and the additional usage of other products to reduce the smell.

Waste Management That Works

This is probably the most important thing that you should make sure of. It includes:

1) Never Dispose Of Waste Without A Trash Bag

A little laziness can cause you great trouble. Don’t put your garbage into the rollaway cart without using a trash bag. The open waste will contaminate your garbage can and quickly produce an unpleasant smell.

2) Get Low-Density Thick Garbage Bags

A leaking garbage bag will cause you the most trouble. Make sure you get yourself thick, leak-proof bags that can withstand the weight of the trash.

thick garbage bag
Source: Green master packaging.

3) Keep Compostable Items Separate

Food waste tends to get decomposed quickly and produce unpleasant odors. Fish and fish products, rotten vegetables, leftover foods, fruits, and expired food items can smell pretty bad if not treated properly.

So make sure you keep those items separately or you can follow our next suggestion.

4) A Garbage Disposal May Come In Handy

Get yourself garbage disposal if possible. It will help reduce the amount of food waste that goes into the garbage can. Proper disposal of raw food materials and food waste will rapidly decrease the bad odor coming out of your trash can.

garbage disposal
Garbage disposal

5) Do Not Overfill The Trash Can

Putting more garbage in the rollaway cart than its capacity will result in an overpowering odor. Besides, you won’t be able to close the cover of the can, which will make things worse.

6) Clean Up Your Garbage Can Regularly

If you want to get rid of bad odors, you have to be consistent with the cleaning. You can easily wash off the grime from the can with some DIY techniques. You need:

  • A sponge with a long handle
  • Soap water
  • Hose
  • White vinegar

Take a handful of white vinegar and mix it with soap water. Give it a nice scrub until all the filth is released from the surface of the garbage can.

Wash it thoroughly with a hose.

7) Upgrade The Air Circulation

If your garage doesn’t have good air circulation, it‘s obvious that the odor will get comfortable inside. You can install a fan or ventilator to keep the air circulating.

It will allow the pungent smells to flow out of the garage.

8) Be Careful With The Outer Surface Of The Garbage Can

You’re supposed to put the trash inside the garbage can with a properly sealed bag. But sometimes we’re too lazy and we throw trash carelessly, which ends up being on the bin’s cover or outer surface.

This causes a bad odor and also attracts flies. So make sure you keep this in mind.

How To Get Rid Of Garbage Smell In Garage?

We’ve talked about how we can reduce the garbage smell in the garage by doing proper waste management. They may still stink because you can’t pay too much attention to or maintain these trash cans.

So we have some ideas that can help you fight the bad odors.

Products That Can Deodorize Garbage Can Smell

1) To Combat Germs, Use Bleaching Powder

We all know how effective bleach is when it comes to eliminating odors and killing germs. Germs and bacteria are the roots of all the decomposition inside the trash can. So, it’s a great practice to use bleaching powder after each wash.

After you’ve finished washing your garbage can, spread some bleaching powder inside the can thoroughly. Make sure you don’t miss the corners at the bottom.

Bleaching Powder
Bleaching Powder

2) Baking Soda Can Absorb Spills

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has the natural ability to neutralize an acidic environment. When the pH of the trash is kept neutral, the stinky, pungent smell will start to decrease.

Another important characteristic of baking soda is that it will absorb the moisture from the waste and make the environment unsuitable for germ growth.

3) Charcoal Has A Smell Eliminating Formula

Carbon has the property of absorbing odors. To help combat odors, place some charcoal in the bottom of the can.

4) Kitty Litter Can Come Handy

Have you ever wondered why kitty litter is used for pets? because it can easily absorb moisture and help to dry things out.

If you are someone who puts a lot of moist waste inside the trash can and the bottom of the trash can is always filled with filthy waste juices, you can try putting some kitty litter at the bottom of the can.

5) Spread Some Dryer Sheets

dryer sheets
Source: mike FG photo/Shutterstock

Place some dryer sheets at the bottom of the garbage can. They work in the same manner as baking soda and cat litter. They will soak up the moisture and reduce the smell of decomposed waste.

6) Citrus Peels Create A Fresh Aroma

Among all the natural air fresheners, citrus peels work the best. They have the natural, zesty, and refreshing property of spreading a refreshing smell. Even when they are rotten, they emit this citrusy smell. You can give it a try.

7) Coffee Beans And Vanilla Extracts

Who hasn’t used a coffee-scented air freshener, perfume, or candle? Of course, we all did, and we love the flavor. Ever thought about where the smell comes from? Yes, from coffee beans.

Place some coffee beans inside your trash can so that it can emit a mild, energetic flavor of caffeine.

You can also soak some cotton balls with vanilla extract and put them inside the trash can. Vanilla extracts have a strong odor that can last for a long time.

8) Make Your Own DIY Deodorizer

With the help of some easily available items, you can make your own deodorizer. It is a multipurpose mixture that will help you eliminate bad odors from any corner of your house.

First, take an ample amount of white vinegar and mix it with two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. Add distilled water to that mixture and keep mixing. While mixing, keep adding ten drops of your favorite essential oil.

9) Use The Best Trash Can Deodorizer

There are many products available that will save both your time and effort. Buy them and put them inside the trash can, simple as that. Below are some of the popular smell eliminators for your garbage can:


No one wants bad-smelling garbage can, not inside their garage for sure. But sometimes it’s quite impossible to stop your garbage can from stinking. But in this article, we’ve shown you how to keep garbage cans from smelling in your garage.

Just do the right waste management and get yourself the most convenient deodorizer to fight with the stinking trash can.


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I am Ramiro Garcia, founder and author of Garage Ever with a love of all things space. I have created this blog to share resources everything related to auto care and garage. I have a garage and parter with my friend and we started this as a hobby and now it’s our full-time job. I love what I do and enjoy sharing that with you.

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