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Talking Trash: DIY Deodorizing Disks For Trash Cans

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 12 comments

Talking Trash: DIY Deodorizing Disks For Trash Cans

Every home has a trash can with the potential to offend the olfactory of everyone in the room when the lid opens. The worst part is that the smell can linger long after the lid is closed.

Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to neutralize the odors emanating from your trash can or, if you have a baby, your diaper pail. A simple mix of baking soda, water and essential oils makes effective deodorizing disks. The idea isn’t new, I came across some posts about this on Pinterest, but today I’m going to add to the information that I’ve seen out there by defining exact measurements and sharing an idea for affixing the disk to the trash can.

The recipe below uses three parts baking soda to one part distilled water to make three disks. The recommendation is to use distilled water because it mixes better with essential oils since it’s free of impurities that could spoil the oils. The essential oils are optional and you can use as much or as little as you want. For my first batch, I used a mix of lemon and eucalyptus for a fresh, citrus scent.

I also recommend using a silicone muffin pans. The disks will slide out easily and while they’re not terribly delicate they do seem like they might break if they had to be knocked out of a metal pan.

To attach the disk to the lid of the trash can, I cut slits in a plastic herb container from the grocery store (the kind that fresh herbs are sold in in the produce section) and used double-sided tape to affix the container to the lid. I meant for that solution to be a proof of concept that I would replace with something else, but it works and I’ve yet to devise a better solution. (A photo of the container is below.) If you have another idea, please share it in the comments below.

trash can lid


Deodorizing Disks
Neutralize odors from your trash can or diaper pail with these homemade deodorizing disks.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
48 hr
Total Time
48 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
48 hr
Total Time
48 hr
  1. 3/4 cup baking soda
  2. 1/4 cup distilled water
  3. 20 drops essential oil (optional)
  1. Mix the baking soda and distilled water to create a thick paste. Add more water if needed.
  2. Mix in essential oils.
  3. Pour the mixture into a silicone muffin pan, filling the muffin cup about half way.
  4. Let the mixture dry for 24-48 hours.
  5. Store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag if you're not using them immediately.
  1. Yields 3 disks.
A Green Routine

Kim is an eco enthusiast who tries to make small changes that will add up and make a difference.

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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Helene Colaizzi

    Hey Kim!! I look forward to the posts from you and Nicole. I just wanted to let you know that I made these with Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Lavendar to use as ” shower bombs” during cold and flu season. If you put them in the shower, away from the stream of water, they will dissove and the essential oils help clear your sinuses. I did not exactly measure my water ( I used tap) and baking soda amounts but the next time I do this, I will use a bit less water. My muffin liners ended up staying damp longer than I cared. Here is the recipe I used from Pinterest:

    Thanks again Kim and Nicole!

    • Kim

      Hi Helene, Glad your enjoying the blog and thanks for sharing. Nice to know there’s another great way to use baking soda and essential oils!

  2. mrsgrote

    you could use small clear Velcro stickies to keep the container attached

  3. Karen Mary

    I tried making these several times. (This same recipe is on many sites.) No matter how thick I make the paste and how long I leave it to dry, the disks crumble. Very disappointing.

  4. Laura K.

    I just made this now. It smells great, of course, so I’m deodorizing two rooms while they dry! I used a mix of half eucalyptus and half tea tree essential oils because those are what I have on hand. I don’t have a silicone muffin pan, so I reused a couple of large yogurt containers. They’ll end up larger than yours, so I expect they might be a bit more likely to crumble. Looking forward to seeing how this experiment works out! I’ll post again with results.

    Thanks so much for sharing! With two little boys and another baby on the way, I’m all about DIY natural cleaners, etc.

  5. Maggie A.

    How often should you change out the tablets? Every 30 days?

  6. Claire Reid

    That’s a lovely idea! The recipe I use at home is more complicated. Yours is simple, but efficient though. I’m definitely recommending it to my friends and some clients. Thank you for sharing it! Claire, from 🙂

  7. Terry Walker

    I am so excited, I just made my first batch, lemon and peppermint. I used the baking method as I’m not patient. My hubby and I worked together to design a great method to hold it in the garbage can. My lid is wood and we found a small tin that was just slightly bigger than a disk on all sides. He screwed it to the underside of garbage can lid and then drilled scattered small holes to let the scent out. Perfect! I have a cool photo that I’d love to share, but I don’t see how to attach it.

  8. MikeA

    Based on the recipe, it looks like they would be too dry and brittle to remain solid and would easily crumble back into backing soda. In which case, is it worth the trouble. You need a binding agent in that recipe.

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