How to get rid of Dropped Items in Minecraft


With all of the bits and bobs in Minecraft, you’re sure to accumulate some trash over time. Having too much junk to keep track of is a big deal in this game. As you build bigger bases and gather more loot, sometimes that old stuff has no use anymore. There are a few methods you can use to get rid of the old items you have accrued over time.

Server admins have a lot more options, as there are plenty of backend options to handle the load caused by drop items. Lag can be a huge problem on servers with lots of players, so trimming the number of items in the world can help a lot. There are various plugins available online that help you with clearing dropped items, or limit the number of items spawned in a chunk. These are great to help with reducing the lag on your server. The type of plugins you have available will depend on your server architecture. A Bukkit server will use a different set of plugins to a server running a vanilla setup. But for the purposes of this guide, we’re mostly going to cover how single-player instances can handle dropped items.

First, though, let’s cover the basics of inventory management. When you want to drop an item, it’s just a matter of selecting it in  your inventory and pushing the correct button. You will then dump it out of your inventory and onto the ground. When you walk back over it, you will pick it up if you have room. If not, it will remain on the ground. After a certain amount of time passes, it’s deleted. Dropped items in the game will disappear after a short time anyway, as the game is set up to help manage lag by deleting dropped piles every few minutes.

  • For Java Edition (PC/Mac), press the Q key.
  • For Pocket Edition (PE), tap and hold the item in the hotbar that you wish to drop.
  • For PS3 and PS4, press the circle button 0 or Circle button on the PlayStation controller.
  • For Xbox 360 and Xbox One, press the B button on the Xbox controller.
  • For Windows 10 Edition, press the Q key.
  • For Education Edition, press the Q key.

How to get rid of Dropped Items in Minecraft

The other methods you have at your disposal will vary depending on what you have gathered. Look below for more methods to use to get rid of your trash.


Any item thrown into a cactus is deleted. This is due to the damage-dealing property of the plan in the vanilla game. You can usually find cacti in desert biomes, but also in certain villages and dungeon chests. Placing it down will be a handy way to both damage mobs that get too close, and delete unneeded junk. So go exploring and see what you can find.

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Lava and Fire

Burning Dropped Items in Minecraft is the most common method players will use in the mid-game.  A lava pit is the most well-known method of doing this. Simply dropping items into lava pools will incinerate them right away. Campfires and Netherack fires work in the same way. Any items burned in these ways will be counted as destroyed by the game client. There’s no way to get them back. Just make sure not to fall in and burn alive when you have lava nearby.

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You can also aim a flint and steel at a pile of items, right-clicking will delete the pile with fire. This is a quick way to help with smaller bundles. But if you have a full inventory of junk to delete, this is pretty inefficient.


Blowing things up is not only fun, but very helpful in reducing lag. TNT is the most effective and destructive method for getting rid of dropped items and old construction. TNT triggers via Redstone signal, so you can build elaborate detonators to make sure the area is clear before blowing things up. You could even get creative and build complex Redstone machines that take in your trash, and automatically blow them up.

Be careful of the blasts though, they tend to damage nearby structures. Be careful not to blow down that new house when demolishing the old one. They tend to be a bit imprecise, so be very mindful of the surroundings when using TNT.

Console Commands

There are a few console commands you may also use to get rid of Dropped Items in Minecraft. One trick to remember is that you need Operator status to use these commands. So make sure to enable that on your account if you’re on a server before using these commands.

If you want to erase items in a certain radius, then type “/kill @e[type=item,distance=N]” where N is the range in blocks you want to clear. This is useful if you have a big pile of a singular material from a build lying around your map, and want to be rid of it. For example, if you want to clear all dropped items within a 15-block radius, just type “/kill @e[type=item,distance=15]”

You can also leave off the distance part of the command to remove all dropped items in one fell swoop. “/kill @e[type=item” will delete all dropped items in the entire loaded world, although beware of some lag when you trigger this.

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