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Dumpster Odor Control: How to Eliminate Dumpster Odor

Dumpster Odor Control: How to Eliminate Dumpster Odor

Foul odors from dumpsters or compactors can turn a tenant or guest’s good experience into an unpleasant one. Offensive odors will create the wrong image of your facility, leaving guests with a negative impression of your business’ cleanliness.

Any facility that is discarding waste in a dumpster or compactor is going to experience foul odors at one point or another, but when summer heat comes around it is likely intensifying the problem.

When your dumpster or compactor has an unpleasant odor, it is most likely from organic waste. Garbage smells because things like vegetables, meats, urine, and other organic soils are decaying.

Decaying waste and foul odor attracts pests and insects, and without good sanitation practices, odors and unwanted pests can become a major issue.

In this article, we will go over how to control and remove odors in your commercial dumpster and compactor.

There are two types of products for controlling dumpster and compactor odor:

  1. Spray
  2. Granule

Spray odor control products are typically bio-enzymatic and will remove odors in the long term. Granule odor control products are typically clay-based and will neutralize odors in the short term.


The best way to remove dumpster odor is with the use of a spray bio-enzymatic odor remover.

Diversey Suma® Dumpster Fresh, 32 oz, Green, FloralBio-enzymatic odor removers do not mask odors; they remove them. Applying a commercial air freshener or attempting to cover the odor without removing the source of the odor will not be as long lasting.

Pro Tip: Bio-enzymatic odor removers are commercial cleaning products that contain non-pathogenic (pathogenic are germs that cause disease) bacteria to target soils and odors. The bacteria in bio-enzymatic cleaning products do not pose health risks.

To remove bad smells, the “good” or non-pathogenic bacteria produce enzymes that break down organic waste residue into smaller pieces. These pieces then become “food” for the good bacteria to eat. The bacteria grow in numbers and continue to eat the food source until it can no longer further break down the waste. By breaking down the organic waste that is causing the odors, the enzymes remove the odor.

Spray bio-enzymatic odor remover is a good option when you need to remove odors originating from hard to reach areas.

Full Dumpster

Dumpsters, compactors, and even trash cans have small areas or crevices, which may be harboring soils that are leading to the bad odors in or around your facility.

The bacteria in bio-enzymatic products are able to get into these small cracks and crevices and eliminate soils and malodors which are traditionally hard to remove.

Pro Tip: Bio-enzymatic odor remover can also be used in trash chutes, loading dock areas, and trash bins that are affected by organic soils to fight off malodors.


Granule odor digester products are small pellets which are dumped into the dumpster or compactor.

Solid granules are generally not bio-enzymatic but rather clay-based. Clay-based products absorb the malodors (unpleasant smells) on contact.

Nilodew Dumpster Deodorizing Granules

Granule odor neutralizing products are best when you need immediate odor relief or to absorb liquid-causing odors.

Pro Tip: If you are worried about flies, other insects, or pests, look for granule products that contain citronella. Citronella masks scents that are attractive to pests and will help deter them from your dumpster or compactor.

Unlike bio-enzymatic spray odor remover, granules do not necessarily remove the odor-causing bacteria but act as an odor counteractant.

Solid granule odor neutralizer can be less expensive than spray bio-enzymatic odor remover, but masking the smell of an odor is only a temporary solution and will require you to spend more time and money to cover the smell, rather than eliminating it in the first place.

Granules are good for immediate and short term odor neutralization but for best results, you should use a bio-enzymatic spray odor remover.

How to Use Commercial Dumpster Odor Removal Products

1. Spray

Make sure your spray odor remover is properly diluted before you apply it.

Depending on the odor remover, it will need to be attached to a water hose, pressure sprayer, trigger sprayer, or other appropriate spray system for application. Check with the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper product application. 

Apply the product to the dumpster and surrounding area. For optimal results, the dumpster should be free of garbage before applying the solution.

Spray odor remover should be applied every time the dumpster is emptied.

You do not need to scrub or remove the product after application.

Always follow the product label for proper use.

2. Granules

To eliminate garbage odor, sprinkle the granulated odor neutralizer on, in, and near the dumpster or compactor.

The granules will start to absorb the odors to eliminate malodor problems short term.

In average-sized dumpsters, you will typically need to apply one to two pounds of odor remover.

Prior to adding granules, the dumpster or compactor should be emptied of large debris for best results.

Granules should be applied each time the dumpster is emptied or as needed.

Granulated odor remover does not need to be removed after it has been applied.

Always follow the product label for proper use.

Final Thoughts

Dumpster odor control is critical to maintaining your facility’s image and keeping your tenants and guests happy.

Good sanitation practices will lessen the chance of dumpster and compactor odors negatively affecting your facility and help keep unwanted pests away.

It is important to protect your facility against unpleasant odors before they become a problem.

Are you located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean?  Imperial Dade has a variety of commercial cleaning supplies that can help you fight malodors in your facility’s dumpster or compactor.

If you have a question about the best commercial odor control system for your dumpster, let an Imperial Dade Specialist help.