Your kitchen bin has the potential to harbour a huge amount of bacteria unless you keep on top of its cleanliness. Not only that, it can emit odours and attract pets if you don’t take steps to keep it clean and fresh.
Thankfully, keeping kitchen and outside bins clean is a simple matter of taking precautions and regular cleaning. Take the following steps, and you should never have to worry about a dirty, smelly bin stinking out your home.
Keeping a kitchen bin clean
1. Close the lid
Always use a bin with a lid. This will keep pests away and minimise any nasty smells. As a matter of hygiene and convenience, opt for a bin that can be opened by foot. Swing-lid bins can get very messy, and they usually need to be touched by hand every time you use them.
2. Sanitise daily
Cleaning as you go is definitely the best policy. Every time you clean up after cooking or preparing food, give the lid and sides of your bin a quick wipe with antibacterial spray and some paper towels. This should only take a few seconds if you’re doing it every day.
3. Deep clean once a week
Once a week, you should completely empty your bin and give it a thorough deep clean. The chances are the dirtiest, smelliest area will be at the bottom, so steep it in hot, soapy water for around an hour. Empty the water, and use a scouring pad and fresh soapy water to scrub the bottom and sides of the bin. Alternatively, the superheated steam of the Shark Handheld Steamer will blast away dirt and grime while sanitising at the same time.
4. Line your bin
You should always line your bin with a recycled refuse bag. However, to soak up potential leakages, line the bottom of the bin with absorbent kitchen roll.
5. Soak up odours
If you find that bad odours linger after cleaning your bin, dry it, and sprinkle baking soda inside. Add a few drops of essential oil, and leave it to get some air for an hour or so. The baking soda will absorb smells, and the essential oil will create a wonderful odour to replace the stench of old food.
Keeping a wheelie bin clean
The council-owned wheelie bins many of us have outside our home can become a breeding ground for bacteria and pests unless steps are taken to keep them clean.
1. Take care with your rubbish
Prepare your rubbish before you take it outside and place it inside your wheelie bin. One way to do this is by rinsing out tins and bottles first. Also, squeeze the air out of everything before throwing it away — the lack of air in your rubbish bags will slow down the rate at which old food decomposes. And don’t forget to tie refuse bags tightly before running them outside.
2. Store your bins with care
Your wheelie bins can attract flies, wasps, foxes, mice and rats if they are emitting a strong odour or over-filled. You can slow down the rate at which odours develop by choosing a cool, secluded, spot in the shade for your wheelie bin.
3. Squirt lemon juice over the lid and handle
Wasps and flies don’t like citrus juice, so use it to keep them at bay.
4. Wash your wheelie bin every two weeks
Just after the refuse removal service has emptied your bin, take the opportunity to clean it with hot, soapy water. If you have a jet spray, use it to blast away dirt and old food. Most areas now have a wheelie bin cleaning service doing the rounds. At a price of just two or three Pounds for every clean, this is an effective and affordable way to keep your outside bins fresh.
Don’t open your home up to bacteria and pests. Make bin cleaning part of your weekly cleaning rituals, and you shouldn’t run into too many problems.