8

If I use a garlic press, there is a remnant of crushed garlic which needs to be disposed of. However, I usually find that this then makes the whole bin (trash can) smell of garlic until I empty it, which can be several days to a week later. (This isn't an issue with the smell lingering on other items; once the bin bag is gone the smell is gone too.)

Is there anything I can do with the garlic remnant to stop this from happening?

2
  • 4
    Could just eat them. Then maybe folks won't bother you while you're cooking.
    – Reid
    Aug 12 at 19:02
  • 1
    Find a recipe for garlic soup, put them on top of a roast before you roast it in the oven. Add it to your stock, and use it as part of a gravy... Personally, I hate garlic presses, finely sliced garlic is so much nicer in a dish.
    – Adrian Hum
    Aug 12 at 23:38

14 Answers 14

6

Put the remnants in an old jar in the freezer until its time to dispose of it. The reduced "vapour pressure" from freezing the pungent remnants (reducing oil vapour pressure) will reduce smells drastically, as will the sealing action of the jar. You might be able to get away with just using the fridge, or even just the jar...

4
  • 1
    I'm accepting this answer as reusing an airtight jar (which I empty into the bin just before I take out the bag) is going to be my preferred solution for the future.
    – dbmag9
    Aug 11 at 21:49
  • 3
    @dbmag9 Just make sure to not forget about the jar and letting it turn into a science experiment which you refuse to open and clean!
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 12 at 20:06
  • @MonkeyZeus A valid concern, but at least if worst comes to worst I can throw out the whole jar still closed.
    – dbmag9
    Aug 12 at 21:09
  • We bag then freeze all vegetable cooking scraps then dispose of them on garbage night.
    – Tony Ennis
    Aug 13 at 18:52
21

One option is to stop using the garlic press. This is a tool that results in the waste that you describe, plus it takes time to clean after use. Instead, just use a knife. With a chef's knife, for example, you can slice, chop, mince, or crush (more options than a garlic press!). The advantages are many. First, you can prep your garlic in a variety of ways. The flavor and aroma garlic adds to a dish can be greatly controlled by how it is prepared. Then, you only have the peel to dispose of, and the knife can simply be washed off.

8
  • 8
    I do prep my garlic in a variety of ways, but sometimes a garlic press is what suits what I'm making. And as Chris H mentioned in their answer, this isn't an issue unique to garlic (although my question focused on that specific case).
    – dbmag9
    Aug 10 at 18:09
  • 4
    @dbmag9 you can duplicate the effects of a garlic press with a knife by chopping up the garlic, then mashing the pieces between the flat side of the knife and the cutting board.
    – Dan C
    Aug 11 at 12:16
  • 5
    @DanC or just by using the flat side to mash the clove, then chop through.
    – moscafj
    Aug 11 at 17:29
  • 1
    Yes, but sometimes my chopping board is covered in other food or I'm at a stage in the process where I want to obtain minced garlic quickly and comparatively easily. I don't think this is a very helpful frame challenge given we are in a world where garlic presses are sometimes used (although thank you anyway for contributing).
    – dbmag9
    Aug 11 at 21:46
  • 2
    @dbmag9 I use garlic almost every day. ...don't own a garlic press. I don't like the waste, or the hassle it takes to clean...but to each his or her own, I am just presenting a potential solution to the problem. If another solution is better for you, that's great!
    – moscafj
    Aug 11 at 23:34
16

Personally, I use a small extra container with a well-closing lid and a handle for food waste like fruit and vegetable peels, meat chunks I don't want to eat, etc., about 7 litres of volume. Because this small container becomes full quite fast, I have to regularly empty it into the big bin (biological waste goes into a separate container where I live) outside my house. Something like this:

Biological waste container

This reduces the amount of smell that can develop, plus the lid usually stops pests like fruit flies from multiplying (not 100%, but it helps). After emptying this container, I wash it out with hot water and a bit of dish soap to get rid of smells and sticky chunks. This remainder goes down the drain easily. You could also line this bucket with a biodegradable plastic bag if your municipality does not have big bins for biological waste or you get rid of your waste differently.

2
  • 1
    This. Since I got a smaller, covered trash bin in the kitchen, which I have to empty every day or two, many issues such as odor are solved. Also, in this area, attracting cockroaches can be a problem and I have not seen as many.
    – Wastrel
    Aug 11 at 17:38
  • 1
    Bonus is this can be composted, either by you or by your place of residence, if that's a possibility.
    – jackwise
    Aug 11 at 19:30
13

This may not be practical for dishes where the garlic is not cooked (e.g. salad dressings) but at least while cooking I typically just add the remnant to the food along with the pressed garlic, so there is no need to dispose it.

As mentioned in the comments, you can also chop up the remnants with a knife if the parts are too big for your taste

3
  • 2
    Same here. Even with the raw garlic I just add the remnant after breaking it with a fork Aug 11 at 11:39
  • 2
    This is the best answer to the question — the garlic is normally so crushed at this stage that even the 'remnant' is also broken up. If it's a bit more held together because of the inner skin a few quick slashes of the knife breaks it down enough, or it could be added & fished out before serving. Aug 11 at 17:01
  • 3
    I used to watch my parents throw away the remaining garlic so I did that too. Then I found out my wife puts the remnants in the food which makes a lot sense. Why waste perfectly good garlic? Also if you want you can chop up the remnants. Aug 11 at 22:23
7

I've never used one myself (I normally just chop or squash garlic with a knife), but how about a garlic rocker?

You can use all of the garlic without having to spend ages extracting it from the press. Cleanup is easier too.

Basic Garlic Rocker

enter image description here

I guess it's likely that you'll have left-over garlic too. Just stick it in tupperware in the fridge and use it in your next meal.

Or sprinkle it onto your window-frames to ward off 'creatures of the night'!

1
  • I am not sure if the cleaning is easier - you still have 1634 holes to clean.
    – WoJ
    Aug 13 at 8:01
6

This sort of thing was one reason I switched to using a small bin in the kitchen. Not just garlic and onion scraps, but blue cheese packaging, which is probably even worse. Now I have the same issue with the food waste (composting) bin, which fills up more slowly.

You have a few options.

  • The first is to scrape out the garlic press into something other than the kitchen bin, like some non-recyclable packaging from preparing the same meal, and take that promptly directly to the outside bin. That only helps if there is one and it's not too far, not so convenient in many apartments.
  • Similarly, you could just take out the kitchen bin half full, perhaps gathering other rubbish into it first from the rest of the home.
  • The third option is to make good use of any non-recyclable packaging again, ideally a plastic bag without holes, and use that to contain the garlic within the bin, knotting it. Even a plastic bag with holes is of some benefit.
  • Washing the scraped out crushed garlic away down the sink will deal with that, but not any larger trimmings unless you have a waste disposal unit.
  • Even my dishwasher helps with the smell, but it's not good at removing the crushed garlic in the first place (a washing up brush or butter knife is, then put that in the dishwasher too).
  • I usually scrape most of the left-behind crushed garlic into the pan anyway
6

Put the garlic remains, along with onion skins, carrot tops, celery bottoms, broccoli stems, and other vegetable waste in a plastic bag or other container in the freezer. When full, put it in a crock pot, fill with water, and make vegetable stock.

2
  • 3
    +1, but note that it is not an option for everybody - even though I am fine with eating garlic-seasoned dishes, I hate stock made with garlic. So, people should try it once before committing to that course of action.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 12 at 16:33
  • Came here just to say this. The accepted answer is 'freeze it then throw it away', when you're throwing away something you can use! Aug 17 at 16:02
4

Can you install a garbage disposal? This is a mincer/grinder that is inline in the sink's drain. Food remains gets flushed down the sink without clogging.

But you probably do have another device that already can handle large chunks of solid waste and sends them to the sewer. When my in-laws were visiting from China, I saw them empty the spent tea leaves from the teapot into the toilet. The same thing would work for any chopped veggie bits.

update

To clarify, tea leaves and minced garlic are examples which are well minced, not large hard items or unbroken peels that can act like ribbons, etc.

4
  • 6
    Down the toilet? Don't do this
    – mcalex
    Aug 11 at 7:54
  • 1
    @mcalex You realize that all the drains go to the same place, right? The different fixtures join up under the floor and continue as a single pipe. I looked through one of the links you posted and it's not about making sure that food is ground up finely; it seems to think that the sink leads to a sewer that can handle things that the toilet's sewer cannot.
    – JDługosz
    Aug 11 at 15:53
  • @JDługosz taht is not the impression I got from the first link anyway. It's pointing out that food that hasn't gone through a garbage disposal can eventually block your sewer lines. The sink would have the same problem, which is why it has grates to prevent large chunks from entering. (if you don't have a disposal unit)
    – Kirk Woll
    Aug 11 at 17:30
  • 1
    @KirkWoll That's a lot to fear from some little bits of garlic as opposed to...well, you know, the stuff that usually goes down a toilet.
    – gnicko
    Aug 11 at 18:16
4

I have a reused icecream tub in the freezer. Anything potentially stinky goes in there and freezes till bin-day. We just empty that into the organics bin in the morning, and it stays frozen for hours until the truck comes.

Works fine for bones, chicken skin, etc that can't be composted but can be disposed in the organics waste stream (area dependent of course)

2

Some anti-smell cat litter in the bottom of your general 'waste intended for compost' bin..dig down to it when disposing of smelly items and bury it. If you are having to dig too far, empty more frequently.

When it comes time to get it out, just sift like normal cat box disposal after moving the top layers to the compost heap.

I would not suggest 'normal' soil as it can have eggs waiting to hatch.

1

If you have a yard then toss it in the grass.

Assuming you're not throwing away pounds of this stuff then it will be eaten/decomposed within mere days.

I always huck my kids' goldfish (crackers), cookies, and candy into my yard and I'd be hard-pressed to say I see a single trace after 3 days.

4
  • 2
    I can't imagine the goldfish enjoy this much. Aug 12 at 2:03
  • I'm hoping those are goldfish crackers by Pepperidge Farm bing.com/… Aug 12 at 15:51
  • 3
    @DawoodibnKareem Sorry for the confusion; Goldfish crackers.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 12 at 15:57
  • 1
    @JosephDoggie Yes, crackers.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 12 at 15:57
0

Small zip-lock style bags are ideal for this purpose. You can get a box of 90 for roughly $2.00 and they are good for any number of things, (including diapers, if your family is at that stage).

3
  • 6
    That sounds excessively wasteful... Aug 11 at 7:19
  • 1
    yeah its wasteful but works fine. I'm doing it this way too
    – undefined
    Aug 11 at 12:47
  • I know it sounds wasteful, but compare it to running water or putting it in a freezer. Energy expenditure is the best measure of wastefulness. If the bag ends up properly in a landfill the environmental impact is vanishingly small. Besides, how much garlic can one person use? It's a very low-cost solution.
    – JohnHunt
    Aug 12 at 18:33
0

The best thing to do as someone mentioned earlier is to throw it in a stockpot but only if used to cook for self. Otherwise throw it in the compost heap. With regard to the fibrous tissue that remains you can scrape it out with a fork and compost it. If you want to mince then crush to make paste it’s best to sprinkle some coarse salt on it and its much quicker and one less thing to clean up. To clean your hands, wash with soap and water while rubbing your hands on some. It really does work on your hand

0

Where I live rubbish is separated, so plastic bags etc are out of the question.

We have 4 bins in the kitchen; one is for compost and one for other biological waste. To keep down the smell and to discourage the damned fruit flies, we wrap wet or smelly waste in newspaper or similar.

Newspaper composts down nicely in small amounts. If you are a composter you need to be sure that your newspaper is not poisonous.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.