5 Ways To Fix Smelly Compost

Ashley Beckman

Eww, it’s like something out of a science fiction movie! You check your compost only to discover it is giving off some really putrid odors– no thanks! But before you panic over what is in your compost heap and stress over why it smells so bad, let me give you the good news: All hope is not lost! In this article, I will take you through all the possible causes of that foul-smelling compost and show you how easy it can be to get your little garden friend back into shape. Keep reading to get the low down on why your compost can give off such unbearable aromas, and learn about my top tried-and-true tricks for setting things right!

Oh no! Here’s Why Your Compost is Off-puttingly Aromatic — And How to Fix it!

Compost is a fantastic tool for a gardener, but it can get a bit smelly if it’s not set up correctly. Have you ever wondered why your compost stinks like rotten eggs? Well, lucky for you, I have the answer! Let’s look at why compost can go wrong and how to avoid bad smells in the future.

Why Does my Compost Smell?

There are a few common causes for bad-smelling compost. The most likely of all is over-wetting or lack of aeration in a pile, which can cause anaerobic bacterial growth, leading to that tell-tale odor of rotten eggs. If this is the problem with your compost, it should start to clear up on its own once it dries out and is getting enough aeration again.

Another common cause of the foul smell is the wrong ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the compost. Carbon is provided by ingredients like paper towels and cardboard, while nitrogen is supplied by fresh greens like vegetable scraps. Suppose there is too much nitrogen relative to carbon in your pile. In that case, it will begin to put off a bad smell as the hapless bacteria try to break down all that green material but can’t get through it at once.

These bacteria aren’t all bad- some of them can create extra-foul odors like ammonia or putrescent fumes when they break down the material in an unbalanced ratio of carbon to nitrogen. But don’t worry – with a bit of help from you, it can get back on track!

How Do I Get my Compost Back on Track?

Chances are good that if your compost smells like death, there are flaws in its set-up or ingredients list that need to be addressed before it decomposes usefully for your garden again.

The good news is that fixing up a malodorous pile is relatively easy! All you have to do is check for over-wet patches in a pile and maybe add holes for better drainage and aeration if needed, then check on the balance of greens to browns (pieces of dried-out paper are ideal) to restore a reasonable balance between nitrogen and carbon in your composting materials. Once everything has been implemented, give it about three days before checking on it again. After these few steps have been taken, your compost should start separating out into the soil in no time!


So don’t let off-puttingly compelling aromas take away from all of your hard work! Keep in mind these two problems that can cause your compost to start smelling bad – over-wetness or unbrowned material – and stop any issues before they begin by using specific techniques I’ve just outlined for keeping them under control before it all goes awry! With good care for your composter, you’ll have no problem creating nutritious soil for all sorts of plants!

All the Answers to Keep Your Compost Free of Bad Odors!

Composting is one of the best ways to take care of your garden and keep it healthy, but it can also be a source of foul odors if it’s not set up correctly. Suppose you want your compost to keep producing good-smelling and nutrient-rich soil for gardening. In that case, it is vital to give it the suitable materials and keep it balanced. Here is an easy-to-follow checklist for keeping your compost free of foul odors!

Adding the Right Materials

If you want to eliminate foul odors in your compost pile, start by adding materials that help break down all of the organic matter in the compost faster. This can include shredded newspaper or cardboard as a base material and high-nitrogen things like grass clippings or food scraps like fruit and vegetable scraps. Make sure the mix is about 3 parts carbon-heavy to 1 part nitrogen-rich material for optimal decomposition.

When adding non-organic materials like sawdust, poultry litter, or peat moss, make sure they have already been through a composting process before they get into your bin or pile. Otherwise, they may contain harmful bacteria and unpleasant odors once mixed into your raw compost.

Filling Everything Out with Paragraphs.

It is also essential to keep in mind that your compost needs oxygen for all its good microbes to break down all organic materials. To ensure this is happening in your pile or bin, mix it up at least once every couple of weeks to let oxygen into all parts by turning over some of the material on top and gently stirring up what is at the bottom. If you want to eliminate any smell that may have started from a lack of oxygen, try sprinkling some lime over the entire surface to help absorb foul odors quickly!

You also need to track how much moisture is in your compost bin. Too little can prevent good bacteria from having their time at work. Still, too much can create slimy patches where nasty bugs live, thus leading to overwhelming bad smells! Keep everything at ⅓ – ½ full on water content but no more than that. For best results, check on it at least once or twice a week for proper air and water balancing; use cup trowels for help!


These tips will help keep foul odors out of your compost bin! Remember that balance is critical when it comes to good decomposition; add all kinds of organic materials together but not too much at once, and make sure all non-organic materials have already gone through some sort of offsite composting before introducing them into our system! Also, consider that once there are a smell unbalancing air and water levels, I will play essential parts in getting rid of those unpleasing smells quickly!

Keep Your Compost Free of Stinky Odors!

Are you sick of dealing with stinky compost in your garden? I have a simple trick to get it to smell no worse than dirt! All it takes is to ensure the proper elements are mixed in the correct ratio, and you can eliminate those foul odors! But let’s get into it in more detail.

Creating the Correct Ratios

When it comes down to it, your compost is all about ratios. You want to get the right balance of brown and green materials for it to break down right and avoid foul odors. Brown materials like old leaves, small pieces of wood, or even paper can help with odor control by providing good structure in your compost pile. On the other hand, green materials like fruit and vegetable scraps provide the nitrogen your pile needs for good decomposition.

My tip is to try to have about 3-4 parts brown for every aspect of green material in my compost pile. This can help keep my smelly compost at bay by balancing the different ingredients I put in for good decomposition! If I have too much of either one, things start to go wrong, and I end up with a pile full of bad odors that no one wants!

Common Mistakes

One of my biggest mistakes is using too much green matter in my compost piles! All it takes is just a few over-ripe banana peels or some egg shells that haven’t been broken down properly before adding them into my compost. Suddenly, my whole yard is filled up with foul smells! Not only does it stink, but it also won’t break down properly, which is really frustrating!

I also put all my usual greens in without thinking about it but didn’t add enough brown material– this also gave me an overwhelmingly strong scent from my compost pile! So don’t forget to keep at least a 3:1 ratio between green and brown materials in your compost! It may seem like small details, but they can help ensure your good-smelling garden stays free of bad smells!


So if you want to keep away foul odors from your garden (who doesn’t, right?), try this easy trick with ratios! Having around 3-4 times as much brown material like old leaves, small pieces of wood, etc… compared to 1 part green materials like over-ripe fruit or vegetables can help keep any foul odors away from your garden! With a good mix like that, all that will come out of your compost is something sweet-smelling out instead of smelly!

Check out this simple but life-changing trick for aerating it!

Are you experiencing a stinky compost pile in need of aeration? It can be challenging to get rid of a foul odor in your compost, but it can be done! All you need is to give it a good aeration by breaking up all of the clumps and adding in some fresh air. Keep reading to get all the dirty details about getting that bad smell out of your compost for good!

What is Aerating Compost?

Aerating your compost is just like it sounds: incorporating air into it! It helps to break down all of the materials in a pile into small pieces, so it can start to break down into a usable end product. Doing this also reduces bad smells by distributing oxygen through the whole pile.

The Science of Composting

Decomposing organic material involves four components: oxygen, moisture, carbon-rich materials, and nitrogen-rich materials. All of these need to work together for compost to decompose correctly and produce a useable end-product at the end of it. But sometimes, people make mistakes when setting up their compost piles by using too much of one component over the other. The result is often a bad-smelling mixture that needs help from good old-fashioned aeration!

The Process of Aerating

A good way of doing this is to get a pitchfork or garden fork and break up all the clumps in your composter. This will help mix up all the components and let in more oxygen which is vital for reducing bad odors. You can also try adding in some small sticks or twigs, as they can help keep pockets of air down into the bottom layers of waste. Think like it’s all going into one big pizza pan!

It is important to note that if you have not set up your composter correctly with all non-woody material like leaves, grass clippings, fruit, and vegetable scraps, etc., then give it at least two months before aerating because once non-woody material is added, it can start off-putting aromas right away as soon as it is put in freshly unaerated comprised compost. So think before adding non-woody materials or any meat/fish/egg products – wait at least two months before aerating for improved results!

You may also want to look into turning over layers on top when aeration—by bringing up old material down below for enhanced nutrient exchange within your mound!


So there you have it: all about fixing up bad-smelling compost with some good old-fashioned aeration! Give it at least two months before starting if you want improved results. Make sure everything below is breezy with air pockets by stirring it up with sticks or twigs. Get ready to take on bad-smellin’ moans like nobody’s business now!

Here’s How Homemade Compost Can Help Get Rid of That Nasty Smell for Good!

Composting is a great way to eliminate your kitchen waste or yard clippings and simultaneously get some all-important nutrients out of it. But sometimes, it can all go wrong and leave you with a nasty-smelling compost pile!

No need to worry, though! Plenty of steps can be taken to help stop this terrible smell before it starts!

Human Mistakes to Avoid

The first step in not having to deal with a smelly compost pile is avoiding common human mistakes that can lead to it in the first place! For example, over-watering, lack of oxygen, and allowing for too much vegetable matter can all cause a less-than-pleasant odor in no time.

So, read up on good composting practices before making your own! There shouldn’t be surprises once you have it all set up correctly.

Benefits of Homemade Compost

And the benefits of homemade compost are worth it in the end, anyway! It helps break down organic materials into valuable nutrients like calcium and phosphates, giving your plants exactly what they need to keep growing in good health. Plus, it keeps all those scraps out of landfills, where they’ll take up space and add to pollution over time. All around, it’s well worth the effort!

Using homemade compost also helps fight bad smells since it ensures oxygen is always present in a pile. Nasty stuff like hydrogen sulfide is produced by a lack of oxygen, but having an open-air composting system can help avoid that issue altogether! This is especially useful for sites where odor is a big concern, like residential or commercial buildings.


So no need to let bad smells stop you from using all those scraps in your kitchen or yard! With just a few simple steps, you can have high-quality homemade compost free from rancid odors in no time at all, thanks to some good old-fashioned black gold!

Final Thoughts

When I first started my compost pile, I was overwhelmed by the smell of it all! I felt like I had no idea what to do or where to begin to get rid of it. But through a lot of trial and error, I can confidently say that I have found my way out of a bad-smelling compost!

The trick is simple but makes all the difference in dealing with off-puttingly aromatic compost. And by following the checklist I’ve laid out for you in this article, you can avoid any further issues down the line! If your compost is putrid smelling no more – go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back!

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