How to Clean Your Wheelie Bin: A Step-by-Step Guide

Every Australian household has the classic green and yellow wheelie bins tucked away somewhere in the yard. Depending on where you live, you’ll have one for recycling, one for general waste and maybe even a third bin for green waste. 

While our rubbish is collected and removed from them weekly, most homeowners don’t remember to clean their wheelie bins on a regular schedule. Washing a wheelie bin can be a smelly and dirty job, but it is important to get it done correctly. Neglecting to clean your outdoor bins can mean dealing with flies and even maggots further down the line. 

Let this article guide you through the dos and don’ts of cleaning your wheelie bin!


What Is the Best Way to Clean a Wheelie Bin?


Before you get started, be sure to ‘suit up’ in some appropriate cleaning gear. You’ll want to wear gloves and boots to deal with grimy water and cleaning products.

Next, choose a spacious spot outside where you will have room to lay down your wheelie bin. Don’t clean out your wheelie bin in a spot where wastewater or chemicals are likely to find their way into the waterways via street gutters, stormwater drains, or groundwater! If you can’t safely dispose of your wastewater, it might be best to call in the professionals.


The first step in washing your wheelie bin is to tackle any easy-to-remove debris. You can use a shovel (if there’s a lot of junk or build-up to remove) or a broom. A cobweb broom is helpful, but whatever you choose, dedicate that broom exclusively for bin cleaning.


Once any debris is dislodged, you can start to hose out your bin. If you have access to a pressure washer, this will help blast off any stubborn grime.  Otherwise, a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle will also do the job. Make sure you pick up and dispose of any large chunks before they’re washed down the drain. 

Next, clean your bin with soap and water. Fill the bin with water and a cleaning product of your choice – this could be antibacterial dishwashing liquid, sugar soap or a professional strength outdoor cleaner. Some fill the bin only a quarter of the way, but others choose to go higher, depending on how high up the dirt in your bin reaches. If your wheelie bin is really filthy, use hot water so that the steam can help loosen the grime. Once you’ve filled it, just close the lid and leave the solution to soak for at least 30 minutes. 

Once your dirty bin has soaked, you have the option to scrub the inside with a mop or outdoor broom. If your bin needs an extra deep clean, this might be an essential step. Otherwise, you can move on to cleaning the outside of the bin with a washcloth or sponge. Make sure you keep these exclusively for washing bins in future!


With all visible grime removed, rinse the outside, then the inside of your bin. Then dry your wheelie bin by turning it upside down to air or use a towel to speed up the process.


Now that your wheelie bin is clean, you can start disinfecting. Bleach is the classic choice for disinfecting a wheelie bin, but many prefer to avoid such a strong chemical, especially when it needs to be rinsed away. Using a disinfectant spray for this step can be a viable and planet-friendly alternative. If you use bleach or another chemical disinfectant, be extra careful to dispose of the wastewater safely.


Leave the bin to dry completely before closing it up again, since moisture creates a breeding ground for germs. Don’t forget to clean and disinfect all your cleaning tools afterwards!

If you want to keep your bin from smelling, you can add some baking soda to the bottom or apply an anti-bacterial spray to help keep the flies at bay.


How Do You Clean a Wheelie Bin Without a Hose?


If you don’t have a hose, you can still clean your wheelie bin using a mop or broom and a few buckets of water. You’ll want at least two buckets: one with soapy water and a clean one for rinsing. You can also use a sponge (preferably a textured one) instead of a mop, but it may be tricky to reach the bottom of your wheelie bin, and you’re likely to get a bit grimy in the process.


How Often Should You Clean Your Wheelie Bin?


In general, cleaning your wheelie bins every month (if not fortnightly) is the best way to keep your bins fresh.


In most areas of Australia, general waste bins are emptied weekly, while recycling and green waste are picked up fortnightly. Once you’ve restored your wheelie bin to pristine condition, you may want to give it a quick clean every time it’s emptied, preventing it from getting smelly in the first place. 

It’s best to clean your bins more regularly if you often put wet waste (like food) in them. Even if you use bin liners to contain any liquids and juices, you’ll benefit the most from regular cleaning. The longer you put off cleaning your bins, the more time there is for maggots and other bugs to settle in.


How to Get Rid Of Maggots in Your Wheelie Bin


If food waste sits in your bin for too long and it begins to smell, the bin will attract flies, and before long, you can have a maggot infestation on your hands. Of course, prevention is always better than a cure, but if you’ve found maggots in your wheelie bin, there are ways to get rid of them quickly. 


The best way to kill maggots is with boiling water. First, empty the bin completely to remove any possible food source. Next, carefully pour the hot water over the maggots to kill them instantly. Once that’s done, remember to clean out and disinfect your bin properly. 


Applying bleach to your wheelie bin will kill any remaining maggot eggs. It might discolour your bin, but it will ensure that the pest problem won’t return in a few days’ time.


To prevent maggots from setting up camp in your garbage, try to prevent moisture from developing in your bin. Here are some of the best ways to do so:


  • Use bin liners (like newspapers) at the bottom of your bin to soak up the liquid
  • Double bag any food waste or wet garbage to prevent leakage
  • Put food scraps in the compost instead of the trash 
  • Rinse containers and dry them thoroughly before throwing them out
  • Clean and disinfect your bin regularly


Professional Wheelie Bin Cleaning 


Cleaning your wheelie bin is a tedious and smelly task, but unfortunately, it’s also a necessary one. If you don’t have time or want to feel confident that your bins are as clean as possible, a professional wheelie bin cleaning service is your best option!


With Jim’s Bin Cleaning, your dirty and smelly wheelie bins will soon be clean, safe and sanitary. Not only that, but you’ll also be protecting Australia’s precious waterways – Jim’s always disposes of wastewater safely, meeting all local council requirements. 


Jim’s Bin Cleaning is a trusted provider under the Jim’s Group umbrella. When you choose Australia’s largest franchising family, you’re sure to get quality service each and every time.