A smelly or dirty wheelie bin is one of those jobs that often gets overlooked and it’s a job most of us will try to ignore for as long as possible … but it can’t be ignored forever … eventually you’re going to have to clean it! Apart from horrible smells and odours, a dirty bin will be responsible for a plague of flies, maggots, other bugs, germs and bacteria, so it’s important to keep it clean.
The day your rubbish is collected is the perfect day to clean the bin as it will be empty. If you own a pressure cleaner, that will allow you to clean the bin easily without the use of detergent or chemicals, which is friendlier to the environment. There may also be a Wheelie Bin Cleaning Service available in your area for a fee, however, if you need to do the job yourself, here is my simple method:
- Move the bin to a suitable area.
- Pour approximately ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid into the bin. Grab your hose and add 5 or 6 inches of water to the bottom. If the base is particularly dirty, allow the bin to soak for at least ½ hour. Another option is to add some detergent to the bin, along with 3 – 4 jugs of boiling water, close the lid and let the steam loosen up the dirt and grime.
- Use a long handled broom to clean the base and sides of the bin. I really recommend a Cobweb Broom for this job and that’s what I’ve used in the photos. A Cobweb Broom is a dome-shaped broom more commonly used for getting cobwebs and other dust from high and hard-to-reach areas like ceilings. The rounded shape really lets you get into the corners and that’s why it’s ideal for a wheelie bin. This type of broom usually has an extendable handle, which allows you to get right into the bottom of the wheelie bin (without fear of falling in) and don’t forget to pay attention to the inside of the lid. Whatever style of broom you use, I wouldn’t then use it again inside the house. Label it as your “Outside” broom and keep it separate from your indoor cleaning brooms.
- Next, add a small amount of detergent to a water-filled bucket to clean the outside of the bin. Clean the top of the lid then turn the bin upside down and use the broom to clean the base, wheels and outside of the bin.
- Once you’re satisfied that you’ve removed all the dirt, turn on the hose and give the bin a good rinse. The water pressure from the hose will also help to dislodge any dirt. If any areas of the bin still aren’t clean, simply repeat the process with some fresh water and detergent.
- Allow the bin to air dry and then spray it all over with some “Exit Mould”, “Glitz” Mould Killer or a similar product. Leave that to work it’s magic for 10 or 15 minutes and then rinse again.
- Tip the bin upside down on a clean surface like a driveway or tiled area and allow it to dry.
Although this is a job my hubby normally does, I cleaned both my bins recently (regular and recycling) and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Call me strange but I was quietly thrilled once the job was done because there were no more smelly bins.
This is a job I recommend doing at least every 3 months but it really depends on just how dirty your bin gets. We try to put all our rubbish in plastic bags that we tie tightly closed but despite this, spills and dirt from loose items are always inevitable.
There are Wheelie Bin Cleaning Products available at the supermarket and hardware stores but I find using detergent works just as well and is certainly much cheaper. I will also mention that I have tried using vinegar on the wheelie bin but I’ve found it just doesn’t cut through the dirt as well as dishwashing liquid/detergent. Plastic Wheelie Bin Liners can also be purchased but again, that’s another cost.
This is a yucky job but a necessary one all the same. So tell me, is your wheelie bin one of your regular cleaning jobs or do you try to ignore it?