In the winter my trash doesn’t smell, but as soon as the warm weather hits, ewww! I’ve been known to put some trash in in the freezer (like smelly food that is headed for the garbage) just to cut down on the smell. I take out the garbage every other day and have used scented liners, but this year, nothing was working.
Deodorizer Tablets for Trash Cans
I found a product called Plink that can be put down drains to freshen them up. I tried using them in my trash can, but it didn’t work the same. So I started looking for other ideas.
I was making bath bombs one day and started thinking about baking soda – a versatile ingredient that absorbs odors. I was remembering the scented liners I had been purchasing came in either citrus, vanilla, or mint (which keeps mice, rats, and raccoons away).
So I set about creating my own version of trash can deodorizers using these ingredients.
Homemade Deodorizer Tablets: Odor Killers
Ingredients & Supplies
- 1 cup baking soda
- 4 tablespoons of water, give or take a bit
- 15-20 drops essential oil – see ideas below – (find pure essential oils here)
- a silicone mold (this one for brownies works well)
Essential oil ideas
You can use almost any essential oil or combination, but here are a few options:
- Pine, cedar, or fir to help keep moths away
- Any citrus oil to combat bacteria (my favorite is grapefruit)
- Vanilla for a comforting scent
- Mint to deter rodents (great for trash stored outside)
- Neem oil to keep bugs away (My neighborhood bear didn’t like it either!)
- Lavender for a calming atmosphere
- Measure out the baking soda. Sift through a strainer to be sure there are no lumps.
- Add water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stop at 4 and see if the mixture holds together. It should feel like damp sand. Add your essential oils. (See Essential Oil Ideas section above for good odor-fighting oils.)
- Press into the mold very tightly. Allow to dry overnight.
- The next day pop the tablets out of the mold and let them dry the rest of the way before packaging them. Store in a mason jar with a lid, or any airtight container of your choice.
How to Use Your Homemade Deodorizer Tablets
- Line your trash can with old newspaper (to catch any leaks) and toss a tablet right into the bottom.
- Put your trash bag into the can.
- You may need to replace it after a month or so, but it should keep your trash can smelling fresh for about that long.
I put one in every trash can in my house to help deodorize each area. These deodorizers can be used in outside cans too!
How to Avoid Crumbly Homemade Deodorizer Tablets
If your tablets fall apart when you try to remove them from the mold, several things could have happened:
- Too dry – Add more water, a tablespoon at a time until it feels like damp sand.
- Too wet – Use less water next time. Again, it should feel like damp sand before packing into molds.
- Not dry enough after removing from molds – They were taken out of the mold too soon. Leave them another day next time. This is common in areas with high humidity.
Uses for the crumbly ones
All is not lost with a crumbling batch. Allow these to dry the rest of the way and store the broken pieces in a jar.
- Use a tablespoon of these right in the bottom of the trash bag.
- If you have crumbles, you can put them right on the newspaper and empty the whole thing on trash day.
- Add crumbles to a muslin bag and hang near litter boxes to absorb any odors.
- Add to the bottom of your cloth diaper pail/bag, and empty into the wash along with dirty diapers.
- You can also use the crumbles in your sink! Toss some down your sink to freshen the drain. You can add some vinegar to cause a foaming action that will reach any hidden surfaces in the pipes. Just flush with warm water when it stops foaming. This small amount is safe for city sewers and for septic systems.
Trash can tablets are easy to make! Have you ever tried freshening up your trash can with anything natural?