The town provides us one of those automated trash collection 96-gallon trash cans. Ours really stinks... you do not want to be down wind from it in the summer. I have been avoiding cleaning it for more than a year now, but I figure with the cooler weather, it is a good time to tackle the job. What is the easiest/best way for me to clean it right now (I really do not want to climb inside)? And once I clean it how can I prevent it from getting this bad again... any regular maintenance or tips/tricks I should be using?

3 Answers 3


Dilute chlorine bleach and your garden hose (assuming an adjustable nozzle that can give you a focused spray). No scrubbing required.

You can't really prevent it from getting smelly, but keeping all the trash in plastic bags will help. I use 13-gallon drawstring bags in the main kitchen trashcan and plastic shopping bags in my others. Tie them off before dropping them in the trashcan.

  • 3
    +1 for using drawstring bags. If there's a Costco nearby, I HIGHLY recommend Kirkland bags: costco.com/Browse/…
    – Mike B
    Nov 23, 2010 at 16:09

A pressure washer would be my choice. Smaller ones are not that expensive, and can be useful for other things too.


Simple Green full strength - spray the entire inside of the can down and let it sit/dry out.

It will definitely deodorize and leave you with a relatively pleasant smell afterwards.

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