Living in a cramped Japanese home means living close to your trash, but there’s an easy way to make the situation easier on your nose.

Apartments in Japan are small, and for young adults starting their first job or expats who’ve just arrived in the country, oftentimes your first place is going to be a studio apartment. But while there’s a certain twisted convenience to having all your worldly possessions in roughly arm’s reach, there’s no way to put a positive spin on the close proximity to your trash.

Trash compactors and in-sink garbage disposals are more or less unheard of in Japanese homes, so you’re pretty much stuck with a bucket full of garbage until trash collection day rolls around. Sure, you might be able to temporarily stash a bag of meat trimmings or fruit cores in the freezer or refrigerator, but having a small apartment also means having a small fridge, so you’re going to run out of space there long before you solve your trash problem.

Things can get especially bad in the summer, when Japan’s mix of heat and humidity can come together to birth some funky odors in your in-home trash container. In extreme cases, you might even call the stank criminally bad, but luckily the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, which previously taught us how to make lanterns out of water bottles, open our potato chip bags with ease, and craft a draft beer dispenser is back again with another cool household life hack.

First, before you start putting any trash into the container, place two paper towels, one on top of the other, at the bottom of it.

Next, pour some vinegar into a cup, and then an equal measure of water (we used about three tablespoons of each). Give the cup a few quick swirls to mix everything together, and then pour the mixture onto the paper towels.

After that…oh, wait, that’s all there is to it. Well, unless you count “Live your life, and put any trash into the container” as a step.

Of course, we wanted to test the results, and the only way to do that was to take a big old sniff of a bag of trash. So naturally, we volunteered our coworker Seiji for the job, since he knows a thing or two about living in squalor.

So, Seiji, how’s it smell?

“All you can smell is the vinegar!”

Yep, it turns out that the vinegar completely masks any other odors, and while vinegar may not be your absolute favorite scent, you have to agree it’s a major step up from “straight-up trash.”

Oh, and as for Seiji, don’t feel too bad for the guy. His life is going pretty well these days.

Source: Twitter/@MPD_bousai
Photos ©SoraNews24
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