How to clean a kitchen compost bin

As someone who started composting recently, I know all too well the thrill of tossing apple cores, coffee grounds, and other organic scraps into the bin and watching them transform into nutrient-rich soil for our plants. But let’s be real, the excitement can quickly fade when we’re faced with the task of cleaning that bin. I mean, who wants to deal with sticky, smelly messes?

Fear not, my friend! Cleaning a kitchen compost bin doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. In fact, it can be a fun and easy process with the right tools and techniques. In this article, I’m going to guide you through the steps of cleaning your compost bin like a pro, so you can continue to enjoy the joys of composting without any of the gross parts. Let’s get started!

Why Keeping Compost Bins Clean is Important

Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – why bother keeping our compost bins clean in the first place? I mean, it’s just a bin full of food scraps, right?

Wrong! A dirty compost bin can actually cause more harm than good. When food scraps start to rot and decay, they can attract pests and produce unpleasant odors. Plus, a compost bin that’s not cleaned regularly can become clogged with mold, grime, and other ickiness, making it harder for air and moisture to circulate. And you know what that means – a sluggish composting process, which can lead to a bin full of slimy, mushy mess.

But don’t worry, a clean compost bin is a happy compost bin! By keeping it spick and span, we’re ensuring that the composting process runs smoothly and efficiently. The compost will break down faster and produce better results, leading to rich, nutrient-dense soil for our plants. And who doesn’t want that?

So, let’s get ready to say goodbye to messy, smelly compost bins and hello to clean, efficient composting!

How often should an indoor compost bin be emptied

If you’re a frequent composter, you might need to empty your bin every week or two. But if you’re more of an occasional composter, you might be able to go a few weeks without having to empty the bin. The key is to pay attention to the bin and know when it’s getting full.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: when the bin is about two-thirds full, it’s time to start thinking about emptying it. That’s because a full compost bin will compress the material, making it harder for air to circulate and slowing down the composting process.

And remember, it’s all about balance! If you empty the bin too often, you’ll risk removing compost that’s not ready to be harvested. If you wait too long, you’ll risk having a stinky, messy bin on your hands.

How to clean the inside of your compost bin

Cleaning the inside of your compost bin is easy peasy and I’m here to walk you through the steps.

First, let’s gather our tools: a scrub brush, some baking soda, vinegar, water, and rubber gloves. Then, find a suitable workspace, like your sink or a basin, and get ready to get a little messy.

  • Step 1: Remove the compost. Scoop out any compost that’s ready to be harvested and transfer it to a separate container or trash bag. Then, dispose of the compost in an appropriate manner.
  • Step 2: Rinse the bin. Use water to rinse out any remaining bits of compost.
  • Step 3: Get scrubby. Mix some baking soda and vinegar together to create a cleaning solution. Spray the solution inside the bin and use the scrub brush to scrub away any grime and mold.
  • Step 4: Rinse again. Use water to rinse the bin and make sure all the baking soda and vinegar have been removed.
  • Step 5: Let it dry. Leave the bin open to air dry, or wipe it down with a clean cloth.

Can compost bin filters be washed? Yes, definitely!

Yes, compost bin filters can be washed! In fact, it’s recommended to wash them regularly to maintain their effectiveness. The frequency of washing will depend on how often you use your compost bin and how much moisture is generated during the composting process.

To wash a compost bin filter, simply remove it from the bin, rinse it with water, and allow it to air dry completely before replacing it. Some filters can also be washed in a dishwasher or with a mild detergent. Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific washing instructions or recommendations.

By keeping your compost bin filter clean, you’ll help maintain proper ventilation and prevent unpleasant odors from escaping the bin. 


In conclusion, composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste and create a valuable soil amendment for your garden. By keeping your compost bin clean and well-maintained, you’ll help ensure that the composting process is efficient and odor-free.