Commercial Dumpster Cleaning Guide

Worker cleaning out a commercial dumpster

Updated September 13, 2023

Most experts recommend thoroughly cleaning commercial dumpster bins at least once per month to eliminate odors, pests, fungi growth, viruses, and other potential hazards.

Cleaning a commercial waste container is not just an issue of sanitization; it’s also a regulatory issue in most cities.

In some cities, you may be required by law to keep commercial dumpsters cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.

While this can be a DIY job, it may be best handled by a professional cleaning service.

In this article, we’ll discuss both options.

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DIY Commercial Dumpster Cleaning Guide Infographic

How to Clean a Commercial Dumpster

The dumpster cleaning process is relatively straightforward, although there are some key things to consider before taking on such a project if you choose not to hire a professional to handle it.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Empty the bin of all debris.
  2. Spray down the interior using a pressure washer.
  3. Utilize a biodegradable cleaning solution to deep clean the inside of the container.
  4. Scrub the container clean with a heavy-duty brush or use the pressure washer for the same purpose.
  5. Rinse out the container, and repeat the cleaning if necessary.
  6. Apply a final sanitizing agent and/or a long-lasting deodorizer designed for dumpster usage.

Hiring a professional company that specializes in commercial dumpster cleaning is strongly recommended.

They can efficiently clean the bin while using only cleaning agents that will not harm the environment.

Some use no chemicals at all; instead, super-hot water and steam is used to kill bacteria and clean the bin.

Furthermore, most professional cleaning companies collect the run-off water rather than letting the storm drain catch it, which is an eco-friendly benefit.

An example of how commercial dumpster cleaning companies clean a dumpster within minutes:

Safety Note: Avoid using chemicals that could harm the environment. Do not let the water and cleaning agent run-off empty into the storm drain.

DIY vs Hiring a Professional

While the process of cleaning out a commercial dumpster isn’t complicated, it is best left to the professionals due to the environmental factors described above.

A professional cleaning service will also save you the time and hassle of handling a dirty, or even hazardous, job.

Commercial dumpsters should be cleaned at least once a month to prevent bacterial growth, maggots, and pests.

Most commercial dumpster cleaning companies offer a once-a-month cleaning package, which makes it convenient and hands-off for you.

Should you decide to handle your own commercial dumpster cleaning, do so with caution and respect for the environment. Also be aware of local laws regarding storm drain run-off and the type of chemicals you can and cannot use to clean out a dumpster.

Commercial Dumpster Cleaning Costs

The cost of hiring a professional cleaning company to handle the job is surprisingly affordable.

For a once-a-month cleaning, costs can run anywhere from $15 to $50 per can depending on where you live. Most companies offer discounts for additional cans.

The costs associated with cleaning the dumpsters yourself may actually exceed the cost to hire a professional company to do it.

The amount of water used, as well as the cost of cleaning agents and fuel costs to power the pressure washer, can easily exceed the cost of professional cleaning services.

As with commercial dumpster service and dumpster rentals in general, we suggest shopping around and getting quotes from 2-3 commercial dumpster cleaning services or more before signing up.

Most offer a one-time service option where you can test it out, as well as monthly, quarterly, and annual options.

Where to Find Dumpster Cleaning Services

Commercial dumpster cleaning truck

Many commercial waste management companies will offer cleaning services for an additional fee. (You can check with your current or prospective waste hauler to see if that’s an option.)

It’s also a good idea to do a search online to find local companies that specialize in residential and commercial bin cleaning.

You can oftentimes get a great price and superior service from a company that specializes in dumpster cleaning rather than multiple other services.

A simple Google search like “commercial dumpster cleaning in [your city, state]” will help you get started.

If your current commercial waste hauler does not offer cleaning services, they may refer you to a preferred cleaning service provider. This can be a great way to find a reputable company to handle the job.

Hometown makes it easy for customers to find commercial dumpster providers in their area.

Browse commercial waste hauling companies based on your zip code, read customer reviews for each company, and request quotes from multiple commercial dumpster providers to ensure you pay a fair price.

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Learn more about common commercial dumpster sizes: