Bleach is a tough disinfectant that can make almost any smelly, trash bacteria disappear. To disinfect your trash can with bleach, first make sure you are in a well-ventilated area — if you can work outdoors, we recommend you do so. Second, mix about a quarter cup of bleach with two gallons of warm water. Why the water? Straight bleach might leave an overpowering smell in your trash can and also has the potential to ruin the finish on the can itself. Remember, bleach is not a cleaner, so if you want to make sure your trash can is spotless, give it a wash afterwards. Bleach is merely used to kill unwanted germs.