Keeping the office kitchen bin clean

When it comes to lunch, most office staff tend to bring in food from home or go out to get food and bring it back to work. Inevitably, that leads to more waste in the office kitchen and then waste bins have the potential to become quite smelly. So how do you keep them clean and stop the smells, not to mention unwelcome vermin and insects?

  • An increase in office attendance means an increase of kitchen waste.
  • Left over food and waste can attract vermin and other pests.
  • How can you minimise unpleasant office kitchen bin smells?

It’s no surprise that during the warmer summer weather, kitchen and outdoor bins tend to smell a bit more. Heat speeds up rotting and provides bacteria with the optimum conditions in which to multiply. As the bacteria grows on the decomposing waste, unpleasant smells can be released by the bacteria themselves or by the decomposing matter.

However, smelly bins can also be a cold weather – which of course can continue well into spring – problem. It can mean windows are opened a bit less often or remain closed altogether so that the usual flow of fresh air isn’t getting in the office to circulate – while at the same time the heating is keeping the office kitchen warm.

One solution could be to opt for a smaller office bin. A large bin means that the waste is sitting around in the office for longer giving it more opportunity to smell. Although there is the inconvenience of having to change a smaller bin more often, the upside is that rotting food and waste is removed quickly, giving it less time to smell and less chance of coming to the attention of unwanted pests.

Another solution is to give the office bin a regular weekly clean using warm water and washing up liquid, paying particular attention to awkward nooks and crannies, edges, and the lid – particularly on the inside and then letting it dry thoroughly before replacing the clean binbag. Finding a member of staff who is willing to take on that responsibility however may be less straightforward.

All staff can be reminded to use a bin bag in the office kitchen bin that can be tied up and placed – sealed – in the outside bin when it’s full. Putting food waste straight into the kitchen bin will make it so much harder (not to mention more unpleasant) to clean and will allow odours to linger. And we all know that one person’s lunchtime heaven might be the last thing another person could bear to eat, not to mention smell.

In between cleans though, one trick is to add a few drops of an essential oil to a sheet of kitchen roll and lay it flat on the bottom of the clean bin bag. And, if the bin is starting to smell every time it’s opened but the bin bag is nowhere near a change, a quick sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda should neutralise any strong aromas.

Sometimes people decide to freeze their food waste and simply transfer it to the outside bin prior to collection as frozen products don’t really smell. However, this solution requires room in the freezer compartment plus a certain time and effort commitment and it’s unlikely to succeed in the office when people are trying to work.

If a toilet freshener can be attached safely and easily it should have the same smell-freshening effect in the bin, as would any old diffuser sticks due for a change. They’ll probably still give the bin a pleasant smell even if they’ve faded.

Following these tips should not only makes the office kitchen itself a bit more agreeable, it might even help with morale as no one wants to work in a smelly environment.

However, an experienced commercial office cleaning company can take care of the office bins as part of their cleaning service which means that concerns regarding hygiene, vermin, and who takes responsibility for the problem, is dealt with by professionals.

ServiceMaster Clean provides exceptional commercial office and industrial cleaning in the North West.

To discuss your cleaning requirements with our experts, please get in touch.