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trash compactor maintenance

How to Clean a Trash Compactor Properly

Once you’ve gotten used to the convenience of a kitchen trash compactor, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. The only problem is that foul odors can develop over time if you fail to clean it on a regular basis. Luckily, the process for how to clean a trash compactor is quick and painless.

Steps for How to Clean a Trash Compactor

It’s no surprise that a bit of trash compactor maintenance is required to keep things smelling fresh. Removing food particles and other debris is also helpful for avoiding breakdowns though, so get into a cleaning routine right away. Let’s start with the basics first.

How Do Trash Compactors Work?

These handy appliances use compression to compact your garbage to a much smaller size. That means you don’t need to take out the trash as often, giving it more time to stink up your kitchen. Most models use air filters which can be easily replaced when needed.

Bits of food are also bound to fall into the nooks and crannies of your compactor. The longer you wait, the worse the smell will get, so now’s the time for some trash compactor odor control.

how to clean a trash compactor
Image from GE

Step 1 – Disconnect Power

This is a crucial first step to ensure safety before cleaning any major home appliance. Most compactors have safety features to prevent them from turning on at the wrong time, but it’s always best to play it safe. Pull out the drawer and unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Step 2 – Remove Trash Bag

Now you can carefully remove the trash bag, making sure not to let anything fall back into the bin. Check the inside of the compactor for any leftover debris and remove what you can by hand. You can also use a vacuum to suck up any trash left behind.

my trash compactor smells
Image from OneEton Square

Step 3 – Clean Trash Compactor Interior

Start by filling a spray bottle with a mixture of warm water and a small amount of mild dish detergent. Spray the solution on every surface inside the compactor including the walls and floor. Don’t be shy! Let the solution sit for several minutes, as this renders the best results for how to clean a trash compactor.

Step 4 –  Dry Thoroughly

This may be the most important step for trash compactor odor control. Damp surfaces can lead to mildew growth that smells even worse than garbage.

Use a dry cloth or paper towels to thoroughly wipe down all surfaces inside your compactor. Mold and bacteria are even harder to remove, so double-check that no surfaces are damp before moving on.

Step 5 – Replace Air Filter

Some trash compactor models use charcoal air filters to block odors from your kitchen as garbage accumulates. Check your model’s use and care manual to find out where to find the filter, and how often it should be replaced. If bad smells have become noticeable though, a replacement filter is a good idea.

trash compactor deodorant
Image from Today’s Homeowner

Step 6 – Deodorize & Replace Bag

Before you add a new trash bag, try sprinkling a little baking soda into the bottom of the bin. This acts like trash compactor deodorant and helps to repel bad smells like it would inside your refrigerator. Now you can replace the garbage bag and enjoy a fresh-smelling compactor once again.

Now that you know how to clean a trash compactor properly, it should run strong for years to come. If you’re faced with a breakdown though, be sure to call the trash compactor repair experts at Cody’s Appliance Repair for service right away.


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