How to Wash Trash Cans and Recycling Bins

how to clean trash cans and recycling bins
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One way to get rid of a foul smell in a home or an office is to wash out trash cans.  Honestly, there’s only so much a scented trash bag can do.  Go the extra mile with your professional cleaning business and offer this extra cleaning to your customers.  Here’s how to clean dirty trash cans and recycling bins fast and efficiently for your customers…without pulling your hair out.


Okay, so this is classic,  While collecting trash in your customer’s homes or office buildings, you come across that smell.  Oh, you know the one.  The smell of onions, garlic, old meat, and mildew!




So what would you do?  Simply replace the bag and keep it moving to stay on schedule?  Or take the time and wash the stink away?


(Hahaha, hehe, we’ll keep it clean here…)


Most cleaning services want to provide a great experience for their customers, just as long as it doesn’t cause an inconvenience of time and material.


Let’s be honest.


But check this out… consider charging the customer for your extra time.  Yea, extra time = extra money. Besides, you’re helping your customers in a bigger way.  So offer to provide this detail cleaning task for an additional fee.


To make this process easier for you, here’s a quick tip to help with your time and material to clean trash cans and recycling bins for your cleaning business clientele.

Enter the FREE DEEP CLEANING CHALLENGE.  You’ll learn how to upsell this detail cleaning task to make more money and encourage good customer service starting TODAY!

How to clean dirty trash cans and recycling bins

how to clean trash cans and recycling bins. White trash can and silver and brown can.

Materials needed to clean trash cans and recycling bins 

  1. Towels or paper towels (your preference)
  2. Disinfecting soap in a spray bottle. I like Thieves!
  3. Good music to keep you in a good mood
  4. Trash bags


Instructions for cleaning trash cans (2 great tips)

  1. Collect all trash cans and take them to one designated cleaning area preferably the slop sink or janitor’s closet at office buildings. For homes, take the cans to a utility sink or laundry room sink.
  2. Remove all bags and loose debris from all cans.
  3. Rinse cans and recycling bins first.
  4.  Spray heavenly with cleaning solution and water and let sit according to chemical’s instruction.
  5. Wipe with paper towels or cloths.
  6. Rinse again.
  7. Then wipe dry on the interior and exterior of the cans and bins.


Mwah!!!  All done.  Now the offices or houses won’t reek of onions and garlic as soon as you walk in. This is a simple tip to clean trash cans and recycling bins for your professional cleaning customers.

Creator of A Janitor’s Story®.  I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams!  Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams.  I’d like to help you do the same.


Click here to join my email list for constant inspiration, deals and special offers EXCLUSIVELY for new cleaning business solopreneurs and small cleaning teams.  I look forward to meeting you inside!

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