How to Clean a Trash Compactor

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Mild detergent or anti-bacterial spray
Spray bottle
Paper towels or dry clean cloths
New, clean trash compactor bags
Replacement Air filter if needed
Baking soda

If you have a trash compactor in your kitchen, garage, or any place else in the home, it is a good idea to keep it clean and in proper running order. Because it works overtime to keep your garbage and debris under control, maintaining it will be beneficial in the long run.


The purpose of a trash compactor is to condense garbage through the power of compression. These appliances can either be stand-alone units placed in a garage or they can be permanently installed under a kitchen counter where they can be accessed easily. Trash compactors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes colors, strengths, and have various amenities, but they all essentially perform the same task—condensing your garbage into minuscule proportions.

If you follow some simple cleaning steps at least a couple of times a week, the trash compactor should work well, remain clean, bacteria-free, and possibly have a long life. A trash compactor can also add value to the home and it saves on trash pick-up services.

Step 1 - Unplug Electrical Outlet

Before beginning to clean the interior of the trash compactor, pull the drawer out and remove the power plug from the wall outlet.

Step 2 - Remove Trash Bag

Next, remove the compactor trash bag from the interior of the unit and remove all loose debris that may be sitting on the bottom of the compactor. Be sure there is no broken glass, can lids, or other items blocking the unit which may cause trouble later on.

Step 3 - Spray and Clean

Mix warm water and a small amount of mild dish detergent in a spray bottle. Next, spray a good amount of the mixture or a store-bought anti- bacterial-fighting disinfect on the interior walls and the bottom of the trash compactor. Try and let either of the cleaning agents sit on the areas for a few minutes so they can penetrate through any dirt or bacteria build-up.

Step 4 - Wipe Dry

Be sure to wipe the soap or store-bought solution off thoroughly with clean cloths or paper towels from the unit and let it dry. Leaving damp or wet interior walls could cause more bacteria, mold and/or strong mildew odors.

Step 5 - Air Filter Check

Some trash compactors units come installed with special air filters. If your appliance has one, replace it if necessary.

Step 6 - Deodorize

If you do not have an air filter, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the unit before putting in a new trash bag.

Step 7 - Wipe Down the Exterior

Depending on the material of the exterior of the unit, wipe it down with the mild soap solution. If it is stainless steel or some other high-end material other than enamel, check with the manufacturer for special care of that particular surface.

Step 8 - Replace Old Bag

Place a new plastic liner or appropriate trash compactor bag and lock the unit into place. Plug it back into the electrical outlet.