How to clean a trash compactor


Trash compactors are a true marvel of modern engineering. Instead of having to take out the trash once or twice a day, this appliance can save you time and energy by crushing your trash into compact cubes. Even a trash compactor needs routine cleaning and maintenance every so often, however. While your appliance may look a little intimidating at first glance, a quick read through of these tips and you'll be a pro in no time. 

Step 1: Unplug the trash compactor
Unplugging your appliance is a crucial, but commonly overlooked, step in cleaning your trash compactor. Many of these appliances are self-activating, and while most have safety devices in place to prevent any harm from coming to you, there is no reason to take unnecessary risks.

Step 2: Remove the trash bag
When you take out the trash bag, make sure that there are no pieces of trash left behind. Anything that can get stuck in the lid or block the "eye," which scans the unit to determine when it should be working, should be carefully removed. If the eye is covered, it is possible for some units to work continuously when they are plugged in, which can cause your unit to overheat and wear out.

Step 3: Clean and dry
Either using a commercial disinfectant or a mixture of water and dish detergent, spray down the inside of the walls. Do It Yourself recommends that you let the mixture sit on the walls for at least a few minutes before wiping it off in order to really let the grease dissolve. When you wipe off the mixture, make sure that you completely dry all of the internal surfaces. Wet or damp walls could lead to mold or bacteria growth, which will be harder to clean up next time.

Step 4: Check the air filter
Many trash compactors use an air filter to keep odors from getting into the rest of your kitchen and to prevent the growth of mold. Read your manufacturer's guidelines in order to find out how often you should be replacing your air filter and mark it down on your schedule.

Step 5: Replace the bag
Once your trash compactor is clean, replace the trash bag and lock it into place. Wipe down the exterior and, again, sprinkle some baking soda or give the appliance a few sprays of a germ-killing deodorant.



The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.