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Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh With Simple DIY Garbage Can Fresheners

March 22, 2024

Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh With Simple DIY Garbage Can Fresheners


Have you ever walked into your kitchen or laundry room only to be greeted by a foul odor emanating from your garbage can? It’s a common problem that many households face, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple DIY garbage can fresheners, you can banish those unpleasant smells and keep your home smelling clean and inviting. In this article, I’ll share several easy-to-make solutions that will help you maintain a fresh-smelling living space without breaking the bank or exposing your family to harsh chemicals.

The Problem: Smelly Garbage Cans

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first understand the root cause of smelly garbage cans. The garbage can is a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria and microorganisms that thrive on the organic matter and moisture present in household waste. As the waste decomposes, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce unpleasant odors. These smells can permeate throughout your home, making it feel less welcoming and potentially even attracting pests.

Solution 1: Baking Soda and Citrus Peels

One of the simplest and most effective DIY garbage can fresheners is a combination of baking soda and citrus peels. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and deodorizer, while citrus peels provide a fresh, invigorating scent.

To make this freshener, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Peels from 2-3 lemons, oranges, or grapefruits (or a combination of all three)


  1. Place the baking soda and citrus peels in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the mixture at the bottom of your garbage can before adding a new trash bag.
  3. Replenish the mixture as needed, typically every time you take out the trash.

The baking soda will absorb odors, while the citrus peels will release their natural fragrance, creating a pleasant and refreshing scent in your garbage can.

Solution 2: Essential Oil and Vinegar Spray

For a more versatile freshening solution, try making an essential oil and vinegar spray. This spray can be used not only in your garbage can but also on other surfaces around your home where odors tend to linger.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus work well)
  • A spray bottle


  1. Mix the vinegar, water, and essential oil in the spray bottle.
  2. Shake well to combine the ingredients.
  3. Spray the solution directly into your garbage can and around the rim before adding a new trash bag.
  4. Use the spray on other surfaces, such as carpets, upholstery, or bathroom tiles, to freshen and deodorize them.

The vinegar will help to neutralize odors, while the essential oils will provide a pleasant, natural fragrance.

Solution 3: Activated Charcoal Pouches

Activated charcoal is a highly effective odor absorber, making it an excellent choice for DIY garbage can fresheners. You can create your own charcoal pouches using inexpensive materials and customize the scent with essential oils or dried herbs.

Materials needed:

  • Activated charcoal powder (available at pet stores or online)
  • Cheesecloth or muslin bags
  • Essential oils or dried herbs (optional)


  1. Fill the cheesecloth or muslin bags with a generous amount of activated charcoal powder.
  2. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil or a sprinkling of dried herbs to the charcoal for added fragrance.
  3. Tie the bags securely and place them at the bottom of your garbage can before adding a new trash bag.
  4. Replace the charcoal pouches every 2-3 months or as needed.

The activated charcoal will absorb odors from the garbage can, keeping your home smelling fresh and clean.

Solution 4: Herbal Sachets

For a more natural and aromatic solution, try making your own herbal sachets. These sachets not only provide a pleasant scent but also offer a decorative touch to your garbage can.

Materials needed:

  • Dried herbs (lavender, rosemary, mint, or a combination)
  • Small muslin or cheesecloth bags
  • Ribbons or twine for tying the sachets


  1. Fill the muslin or cheesecloth bags with the dried herbs of your choice.
  2. Tie the bags securely with ribbons or twine, creating a decorative sachet.
  3. Place the sachets at the bottom of your garbage can before adding a new trash bag.
  4. Replace the sachets every 2-3 months or as needed.

The natural fragrances from the dried herbs will permeate the garbage can, creating a refreshing and inviting aroma in your home.

Additional Tips

In addition to using these DIY garbage can fresheners, here are a few more tips to help keep your home smelling fresh:

  • Take out the garbage regularly, especially if it contains food waste or other organic matter.
  • Clean your garbage can periodically with a disinfecting solution or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
  • Consider using a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid to help contain odors.
  • Place a bowl of baking soda or charcoal in the area where you keep your garbage can to absorb lingering odors.
  • Open windows or use fans to promote air circulation and prevent odors from settling in your home.


With these simple and cost-effective DIY garbage can fresheners, you can bid farewell to unpleasant odors and enjoy a fresh-smelling home. Whether you choose baking soda and citrus peels, essential oil and vinegar sprays, activated charcoal pouches, or herbal sachets, you’ll have a range of natural and eco-friendly solutions at your disposal. Say goodbye to harsh chemicals and embrace the power of DIY to create a welcoming and inviting living space for you and your loved ones.

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