A wooden trashcan might look better than plastic varieties, especially in a rustic kitchen, but they are more likely to absorb and retain foul odors. Bags can leak and end up out of place, and traces of food and beverages will inevitably end up inside the can instead of in the bag where they belong. It is not necessary to replace it with a plastic or stainless steel receptacle. Use these easy ways to get rid of a bad smell in a wooden trashcan, and clean and deodorize the wood on a regular basis. Bad odors will no longer be a regular problem.
Begin by Wiping Out the Can and Cleaning the Wood
Do not bother spraying disinfectant or air freshener into a dirty wooden trashcan. Instead of smelling fresh and clean, it will smell like whatever it is that stinks and the fragrance that was supposed to cover it up. Cover ups do not work. Use lemon air freshener in a stinky garbage can, and it will smell like rotting lemons. Start with a clean can when trying to get rid of a bad smell. Begin by wiping it out with damp paper towels or rags. Damp cloths will pick up more than dry ones. Next, clean the wooden interior with a mixture of ¼ cup of baking soda and a gallon of warm water. Allow the wood to dry completely before continuing. If possible, place it outside in the sun.
Line the Bottom of the Can with Newsprint
Newsprint will serve double duty when trying to get rid of a bad smell in a wooden trashcan. Line the bottom of the can with several layers of black and white newspaper. Not only will it soak up any spills, but it will also absorb bad odors. Change it as it becomes soiled and it will help to prevent unpleasant odors from forming in the first place.
Use Freshly Ground Coffee to Absorb the Bad Smell
After lining your wooden trashcan with newspaper, use freshly ground coffee to absorb any remaining odors. Pour freshly ground coffee into the foot of an old nylon and securely tie the top. One-half cup is all that is necessary. Keep the lid in place for 24 hours before using the trashcan. You should smell nothing more than freshly ground coffee the following day. Leave the hosiery in the bottom, and add a durable plastic liner. Replace the coffee pack with another one when it becomes wet or no longer smells good. It will work much better than stick-on air fresheners or any other odor removal products that are available in stores.
Source: Green Cleaning and Deodorizing Practices