Does Compost Tumbler Smell? (with Control Odor Guide)

compost tumbler

Compost tumblers can be a worthwhile and practical investment for anyone looking to participate in the composting process at home. It offers a new way to add compost to your yard. This can be a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill.

But how does it smell? Does your compost tumbler smell? 

This blog will tell you the answer and give you some tips and advice on how to control the smell of your compost.

What is a Compost Tumbler?

Compost tumblers are a great way to compost in small spaces. They look like drums that spin and can be used in your backyard or even indoors.

They are designed to manage the heat and moisture that come with composting. This process helps break down food scraps and other organic materials into nutrient-rich soil for plants and flowers.

Compost Tumblers work by spinning, which helps aerate the mix of organic material inside the drum. The spinning also helps blend in air, water, and bacteria that help break down the materials faster than they would.

The main difference between compost tumblers and compost bins is that the former has an enclosed container that rotates while the latter does not have an enclosure or lid.

And when you are still asking if a compost tumbler does smell?

I’ll tell you directly – No! It is NOT! Because a compost tumbler has a closed design that can prevent smells from escaping.

However, it will depend if you don’t do the composting way properly using the compost tumbler because, generally, compost stinks!

Thanks to the compost tumbler, you will get some benefits from composting. 

Now, if you’re still wondering about the smell of compost tumblers, start wondering if your compost smells bad or not; this is where you should go.

The Smell of Compost

Composting is the process of breaking down organic matter, such as food and yard waste. 

In addition, composting is a great way to save money and be a greener approach to disposing of organic materials.

When composting, most people think that a bad smell means that your bin is doing its job. It is not always the case. 

Sometimes compost smells terrible because it is not heating up. The organic material inside should feel warm to the touch, and if it does not, something is wrong. 

On the other hand, you might have heard that composting manure is an excellent way to dispose of it. It turns out you’re right! 

Composting manure can improve the soil, and it will also decrease your household waste. 

However, if you are not composting your manure correctly, it will spoil. If you plan to compost waste, make sure you do it right.

If your compost smells bad, that’s usually an indicator that it’s off-balance or not hot enough, as I said a while ago.

Composting should break down organic material at a reasonable speed and stop producing odors as a side process.

One of the things that cause a compost pile to start smelling is that it contains too many nitrogen-rich materials. It also needs to have enough aeration and not be too moist. If the pile isn’t mixed often enough, it will smell over time.

With this, if you are already disgusted with the foul smell coming from your compost pile, it is now your calling to try a compost tumbler.

And since compost tumbler is more expensive than the compost bins (and you don’t have enough budget to buy it), you will need to record some tips in trusted sources on adequately controlling your compost pile’s odor.

Fortunately, this blog will give you some essential tips to control your odor from your compost bins or pile. Find out more by scrolling down!

Tips to Control Odor From Your Compost

If your compost has too much moisture, it is time that you fix it as soon as possible.

You can fix a very wet compost pile by simply turning it over. When you turn a compost pile, you’re mixing it up so that all the material gets air on all sides of it. 

Then, some of the wet material will get dry, and the rest will be exposed to air. 

Another way to fix a very wet compost pile is to add dry, brown material, which will soak up some of the water.

Next, if your compost pile is very compacted, you must fix it. Here’s how you do it.

A compost pile needs oxygen to decompose organic materials. If the pile starts to get compacted, it will begin to smell.

If your compost pile has not had enough aeration, it can emit foul or rotting egg-like smells. 

Turning the pile will allow some air to circulate and stop the bad smell. You might also want to put some extra materials like dried leaves or dry grass to assist with aeration.

If your compost has too much green material, it could smell like sewage or ammonia because you are not appropriately managing the compost.

To fix this, add more brown material such as leaves, newspaper, and straw to help balance out the ratio of green matter in your compost pile.

Lastly, if the layering of your compost is not well fixed, this can also result in a foul smell from your compost.

Occasionally the ingredients in a compost pile can be a good mix of materials, but when they are dumped on top of one another, it reduces the effectiveness.

If you see a green material that has been isolated from brown materials in your compost pile, you should be alerted to a potential problem. 

If this occurs, the green materials will decompose incorrectly and give off a bad smell. The compost pile will then start to produce a sewage-like smell. 

We recommend mixing your materials before adding them to the bin.

Fixing this is as easy as mixing the pile up again to mix the brown and green materials properly.

Closing Note

Using a compost tumbler is an excellent way to avoid having bad smells coming from your compost pile. 

It can be an excellent addition to your composting system. They are easy to use, efficient, and won’t produce an unpleasant odor if adequately cared.

There are many great benefits to be had by appropriately maintaining your compost pile. By turning it regularly and ensuring that the ratio of greens to browns is in balance, you can keep it odorless.

Otherwise, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a composting tumbler and you’re skeptical if you should, why not give one a try?


Image from