How to Clean a Trash Compactor

The parts of your trash compactor that should be cleaner regularly are those that come into contact with trash the most frequently.

Clean a Trash CompactorClean a Trash Compactor
This includes the ram, which is what presses the garbage down into the bag, and the container that holds the bag, which may become torn and leak onto the container. Cleaning both of these parts regularly will eliminate odors and keep mold from growing on and in your appliance.

Use an all-purpose cleaner or water and dish soap to wipe down (with a rag or sponge) the front of the machine. If it is stainless steel, consider using a cleaner made specifically for that material.

Put on rubber gloves before cleaning the compactor's interior for hygiene and to avoid being cut by loose shards of glass or metal parts.

Pull out the drawer and use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any loose glass, metal or other debris.

Spray an antibacterial cleaner onto the interior surface of your trash compactor's container (where the bag goes) and the ram, the flat part that pushes down the garbage. Though available at drug, grocery and hardware stores, antibacterial cleaner can also be made at home with water and a bit of bleach. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water; wipe it on with a sponge or rag.

Allow the areas to air-dry before putting in a fresh trash bag and closing the drawer.

Things You Will Need

  • Water and dish soap (or all-purpose cleaner) Rubber gloves Wet/dry vacuum Rag or sponge Antibacterial cleaner (or 1/4 to 1/2 cup bleach and 1 gallon water) Bleach


  • Spray the inside of your trash compactor with a disinfectant between cleanings to discourage bacteria from growing. If your compactor has a filter, replace it once or twice a year.

About the Author

Gail began writing professionally in 2004. Now a full-time proofreader, she has written marketing material for an IT consulting company, edited auditing standards for CPAs and ghostwritten the first draft of a nonfiction Amazon bestseller. Gail holds a Master of Arts in English literature and has taught college-level business communication, composition and American literature.