Wheelie bins allow for an easier and more secure waste collection system, for you and your local council! Because they come in many sizes, they can cater to any household size. Thanks to their mobility, keeping them out of sight until collection day is made easy. As the warmer weather sets in, wheelie bins become somewhat of a health hazard, especially if they are neglected. Flies and maggots (the larva state of common houseflies) become an issue, and the smell of decomposing food waste starts to attract pests, and repel human beings!
Wheelie bins are airtight by design. However, the introduction of flies before tying rubbish bags, liquid spills in the bin or a small crack between the lid and container, is all it takes! We’ve got a few cleaning and maintenance tips to prevent a smelly, dirty and infested wheelie bin!
Getting rid of maggots in your wheelie bin
- Pour boiling water into the container and rinse the interior out
- Add bleach or disinfectants to the water, although we recommend the green alternative of only using water!
- Try covering maggots with lime, salt or vinegar, which dries them out!
Cleaning dried liquids and residue at the bottom of bins
- Mix soap and water and drench the inside of the bin, use an old broomstick for reach
- Put your wheelie bin on the side and rotate on all four sides as you brush the sides
- Use the pressure washer or simply cover half the opening of a water hose with your finger for added pressure
- A cool tip we read that doesn’t require much effort: spray the inside of the bin with soap or a disinfectant, turn the bin upside down and place on top of a garden sprinkler
Waste & residue buildup prevention is key
- Always bag loose rubbish, invest in good quality bin liners to ensure they don’t fray or tear as you handle them
- Do not overfill garbage bags as they cannot be closed properly and can come apart in your wheelie bin, overflowing bins cannot be shut completely and also invite pests in
- Do not leave cooked food waste exposed in the kitchen, as this attracts flies
- Double wrap fish, meat, used nappies and pet waste (food and feces) to ensure they don’t smell & cannot come loose
- Rinse cans, bottles and plastic containers before placing them in your household rubbish or recycling wheelie bin
- Squeeze out any remaining air from garbage bags, this ensures you can close your bin properly and slows the decomposition process
- Keep your bin out of direct sunlight, as this is a sure way to encourage maggot growth and stronger smells from waste decomposition
Wheelie bin maintenance tips & tricks
- If available, hang sprigs of Elder, Lavender, Mint, Pennyroyal, Rue or Southern Wood next to your wheelie bin or tie them to the handle to keep flies away
- Smear Tea Tree Oil or Citronella on the lid and around the container opening
- Place mothballs in a bag at the bottom of your wheelie bin to keep it smelling fresh during summer
- Add a layer of newspapers and cardboard at the bottom of your bin to soak up any spilled liquids
- Spray a disinfectant, perfume or add absorbent powder to the sides after every bin collection
- Use a wheelie bin liner to keep the inside of your wheelie bin clean and liquid-free
Consider employing the services of a bin cleaning company if you cannot or don’t want to maintain your wheelie bin yourself. These services can be on a one-time basis for a small fee or can be regular, paid monthly or yearly. Browse Domestic & Commercial Bin Cleaning Companies in the UK.
If salvaging your wheelie bin is impossible, you can ask your council for a replacement. Alternatively, shop for a wheelie bin that can reach you on the next working day!