Updated 24 April 2020

How to keep the kitchen bin clean

As foodstuffs and other waste products get discarded in the bin, it is potentially a bacteria haven. Here are some ways to keep the kitchen bin clean

The kitchen bin - a germ-trap

Think of your kitchen bin for a moment. Is it properly covered? Is it out of reach of toddlers? Is it solid so that nothing can leak through? When last did you wash it?

As foodstuffs and other waste products get discarded in the bin, it is potentially a bacteria haven. Most bacteria that are found in households, will be found in a bin, including E. coli and salmonella. A bin is also a potential attraction for insects, such as ants, flies and cockroaches, all of which are attracted by decaying foodstuffs. Bins that are not covered or that are not properly lined can become health hazards. If a bin is not regularly emptied, it can become the source of unpleasant smells.

How to keep the kitchen bin clean

Let's face it, the kitchen bin is not the most exciting part of your life. Keeping this clean and washing it regularly is a lot less problematic in the long run than not doing so. So what can you do to minimise its intrusion in your life? 

The most essential thing is to empty the bin regularly and to keep it clean. Bin liners need to be used and the bin emptied into the outside bin on a daily basis.

The bins should be washed at least once a week with a strong household detergent, and more often if there are any food spills or unpleasant smells. Bins should be covered with sturdy lids and should not be easily accessible to toddlers. Closed bins will also limit odours and bar access to most insects.

If there are unpleasant smells, a strong air freshener can be placed behind the bin to counteract these. If the smell persists, you should detect its source and dealt with it. The area around the bin should be cleaned regularly with a strong household detergent. If there is an insect problem, treat the area with insecticides.

Handy hint:
Spend a little extra on strong bin liners. Place the refuse inside these liners in the outside bin for collection. This will mean that the outside bin will remain clean and odour-free, as it will never come into direct contact with refuse. 

The air


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.