Business Waste
No. 1 for Clean Wheelie Bins

How to Clean a Wheelie Bin

A clean wheelie bin keeps pests, germs, and bad smells away. It also makes filling and emptying it much more pleasant – nobody likes opening the lid of a smelly bin. Cleaning rubbish bins isn’t the most glamorous job, and Kim Kardashian’s probably never tried it, but it needs doing now and then at home and work.

It’s advisable to clean a wheelie bin every two months. Realistically most homes and businesses do it much less often. That’s why you must give your wheelie bin a thorough wash to remove as much dirt as possible. Doing it regularly can make it quick and easy – much faster than washing your car.

Pop some music or your favourite podcast on and rope in a helper and cleaning a wheelie bin becomes (almost) fun. At Business Waste we’re experts in wheelie bins and know what it takes to freshen them up. Discover the best way to clean a wheelie bin and keep it in good condition with these tips.

four standard wheelie bins in a line.
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What to use to 
clean a wheelie bin

First, you’ll have to gather your wheelie bin cleaning products. The items you need depend on how dirty and pongy the wheelie bin is. If it’s cleaned regularly then just a bucket of warm water, a cloth, and some washing-up liquid should do the job. For filthier ones, you’ll need a few extra items.

Antibacterial or bleach sprays are necessary to destroy germs, but there are eco-conscious options to stay green when you clean. A homemade recipe of water, white vinegar, and lemon juice works just as well. Then throw down a bit of baking soda as the finishing touch to dry it off and keep bad odours at bay.

Use these wheelie bin cleaning products to wash your bin:

  • Hot water
  • Hose or pressure washer
  • Mop or hard brush
  • Sponge and/or washcloth
  • Antibacterial spray or diluted bleach
  • Alternative cleaning products – water, white vinegar, and lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Towel or tea towels

How to clean the inside 
of a wheelie bin

Put on some old clothes, slip into your marigold gloves, and psyche yourself up to transform your dirty bin into a shining beacon of the street or business park. You can clean a wheelie bin in any order but tackling the inside first feels like the more sensible option.

Move your wheelie bin into a clear space outside and ensure it’s empty of any waste bags, debris, and other bits of rubbish. Prepare and gather your wheelie bin cleaning products, turn on some motivational music (whether it’s Binyoncé or Kanye Waste) and get to work cleaning the inside of your wheelie bin:

  • Base – scrape out any thick bits of grime, dirt, or rubbish stuck to the sides or bottom of the bin with a trowel or shovel. Lie the wheelie bin on its side and use a hose or pressure washer to blast away the dirt, pouring it out into a drain. Put the bin upright and add the antibacterial spray, bleach, or eco-friendly alternative and swill it around in the bottom. Leave to destroy the germs then pour it out and rinse with clean water.
  • Sides – as you spray water into the base make sure you get the sides as well to remove any bits of dirt. Cover the four sides with the antibacterial spray too and leave for as long as necessary to kill any germs. Scrub the sides clean with a mop or hard brush before the cleaning solution in the base is poured out. After the bin is emptied of all liquids leave it to dry, either on its side or upside down (you can also use a towel to speed up the process).
  • Lid – after washing the sides and base inside the bin, move onto the lid. Simply wipe the underside clean with a cloth and warm water, then apply the antibacterial spray and leave for a few minutes. Rinse it off with a sponge or cloth and some fresh water and leave it to dry.

How to clean the outside 
of a wheelie bin

The state of your wheelie bin’s exterior is what your neighbours will judge you by – whether it’s your neighbours at home or the business next door. Keeping the outside of wheelie bins clean isn’t just for aesthetic purposes though. It can also give off a nasty smell if it stays dirty for a while and any local seagulls or pigeons use it as target practice.

Use these steps for the best way to clean a wheelie bin’s exterior:

  • Base – flip the wheelie bin upside down and dust off any dirt and debris from the bottom of the base with a hard brush. Then wipe it down with some warm soapy water, rinse it off, and leave it on its side to dry (or pad it down with a towel).
  • Sides – with the wheelie bin stood upright brush off any loose dirt with a broom or hard brush. Use a hose or pressure washer to rinse down the bin before applying bleach, antibacterial spray, or an all-purpose cleaning product. Scrub this in with a microfibre cloth then rinse off with clean water and leave to dry.
  • Wheels – grit and dirt can get into the wheels, making it hard to move when empty (let alone full of waste). In winter they can seize up due to changing weather conditions. Knock off any big bits of dirt and debris then use a hard bristled brush to clean the wheels. You can use water and a cloth but it’s not essential. Apply some WD-40 or other lubricant to ensure the wheels keep turning smoothly.
  • Lid – simply get some warm soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean the outside of your bin lid. Feel free to use an antibacterial spray if it smells or is especially dirty, but as the bin lid is most exposed to rain it might not need as thorough a wash as the rest of your wheelie bin.

How to clean a wheelie bin 
without a hose

Cleaning rubbish bins effectively is still possible if you don’t have a hose or pressure washer at home or work. It can be a bit more labour-intensive, and gloves are necessary, but you’ll still achieve sparkling results. This is how to clean a wheelie bin without a hose:

  • Use a dustpan and brush to knock off any dirt and debris from in and outside of the wheelie bin.
  • Pour a bucket of warm water into the base of the bin, shake the bin a bit to swill it around, then drain to remove any bin juice.
  • Fill three-quarters of a bucket with warm water, a few squirts of washing-up liquid, and half a cup of white vinegar. Stir it in the bucket then pour most of it into the bin.
  • Get a mop and plunge it into the bin, using the mixture to wash the sides and base. Dip a cloth into the remaining mixture in the bucket and wipe down the outside and lid.
  • Drain the bin then chuck in a bucket of clean cold water to rinse and tip the bin on its side to drain. Rinse the outside of the bin too and leave it to dry in the sunshine (or use a towel if grey clouds are hovering nearby).
man cleaning his wheelie bin with mop in the street.

How to keep a 
wheelie bin clean

Once you’ve got a clean rubbish bin you won’t want it to get dirty and smelly again, no matter how much fun you had washing it. To keep your wheelie bin fresh, you must regularly give it a good scrub and look after it properly. These are a few things to do to keep your wheelie bin clean:

  • Only put clean and dry waste in your wheelie bin to reduce the chance of bin juice and bad smells developing.
  • Always close the lid to stop animals, flies, and pests from getting into the bin.
  • Place your wheelie bin under a roof if possible to avoid rainwater getting inside and bird droppings landing on the lid.
  • Move your wheelie bin out of direct sunlight when you can to slow down the decomposition of waste, which also reduces the chance of bad odours emerging.
  • Wash your bin every two months or so to keep it looking and smelling fresh.

Use free wheelie bins 
for your waste disposal

Not keen on the idea of cleaning wheelie bins? Save time, effort, and money with free wheelie bins for your commercial waste management. At Business Waste we can deliver a range of wheelie bin sizes to companies anywhere in the UK – you only pay for collection.

Choose from 120 litre to 1100 litre wheelie bins and use a variety to store everything from general waste to glass recycling, paper, cardboard, and food waste. There’s no need to clean them as our licensed waste carriers remove and replace your wheelie bins so they’re always looking fresh.

Get a free no obligation quote for wheelie bins and commercial waste collection in the UK today – contact us online or call 0800 211 8390.

Get your free wheelie bins
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Get a free quote

Get a fast FREE quote for your wheelie bins

  • Free quote within 1 hr
  • Any type of waste
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK

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