Avoid a stinky wheelie bin this summerTips to keep your wheelie bin fresh in hot weather

16 July 2015

Pressure washing a wheelie bin

Using a pressure washer to clean a wheelie bin

Summer can be a bit of a nightmare for wheelie bin owners, with high temperatures and fortnightly rubbish collection leaving many with stinking, fly-infested bins.

Sadly, the only way to freshen up a bin that already smells is to wash it out. The quickest and most effective way to do this is to use a pressure washer. 

See our list of Best Buy pressure washers to find out which ones we recommend.

How to pressure wash a wheelie bin

The easiest way to pressure wash a bin is to use one with a brush that you attach to the lance and that dispenses odour-neutralising, dirt-lifting detergent as you clean. These accessories can sometimes be bought for entry-level pressure washers and are often supplied on more expensive models.

Although blasting the bin with the spray lance will get quick results, you run the risk of being drenched by filthy blast-back if the water pressure is too high. Turn the bin on its side first and use a variable spray lance on low power to loosen caked-on deposits. Empty the bin, then use a higher pressure to get it sparkling.

Take a look at our pressure washer reviews to find out which models come with these easy bin-cleaning accessories.

Other ways to clean a wheelie bin

If you don't have a pressure washer you could use a long-handled broom or mop to scrub your bin. Make the job easier by pouring a kettle of boiled water into the bin first and leaving it to steam for a few minutes to loosen the dirt.

Use a detergent to get rid of the smell. Stardrops, Jeyes Fluid and washing-up liquid are popular and effective choices for bin-cleaning. Visit our list of best cleaning products to find out if your favourite brand is tough enough to remove dried-on stains.

Whatever you use, it's worth remembering not to tip the dirty water into a rainwater drain to avoid contaminating local watercourses with detergent and unpleasant waste.  

Keeping your wheelie bin fresh

Some simple changes to the way you use your bin can help to keep it fresher for longer.

  • Keep your bin out of direct sun.
  • Keep the lid closed. This will keep the waste dry, flies, insects, animals out and the smells in.
  • Put a piece of folded newspaper in the bottom to soak up dribbling liquids.
  • Avoid putting any loose food scraps or leftovers directly into your wheelie bin. Wrap food waste first. 
  • Squeeze remaining air out of bin bags to reduce air contact with your waste and limit smells. Double bag particularly stinky waste.
  • Bin food scraps straight away to prevent flies laying their eggs in the scraps, which can lead to maggots.

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