How To Choose The Best Modern Trash Can 

 January 19, 2022

By  Jonathan Maxwell

Trash cans are containers designed to hold household recyclables and trash. Having a trash can in the kitchen is important to dispose of food wastes, tissues papers and what not. However, since you’ll be prepping meals and packing lunches, it is far more hygienic to opt for a kitchen trash can that won’t require you to use your hands. To help you learn about the different trash cans, we have compiled this detailed guide.

5 Best Modern Trash Can On The Market

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When opting for a kitchen trash can, folks can choose from a variety of different mechanisms. Would you rather want to save money on a regular, manual trash can model or would like something more sophisticated for your kitchen space? In this section, we will discuss all the different types of trash can mechanisms including:

As the name indicates, this type trash can features a lid that you need to lit by hand, which is among the simplest designs, though it certainly isn’t the most hygienic. Constantly having to lift the lid can be inconvenient for folks working in the kitchen, especially since you’d have to wash your hands after each use. However, there are a few advanced manual lid models that include a touch bar. These bins can be opened using your elbow or leg.

  • Much cheaper compared to other models
  • Simple design
  • Easier to clean
  • Inconvenient to use

Since you can open the lid manually, it is not dog-proof,

This model is perhaps the most basic type of trash can and does not include a lid, which means the top is open. While an open lid trash allows folks get quickly get rid of trash, it is not the safest option if you have pets around the house. Cats and dogs can easily topple the trash can or worse, try eating the contents inside. Open top trash cans can also invite creepy crawlies inside your spotless kitchen. While this type of trash can might not be suitable for your kitchen but it’s great for office use. Restaurant workers can also benefit from this type of model since they won’t have to worry about constantly opening up the lid.

  • Throw trash without touching the bin
  • More convenient and easier to toss away trash
  • Easier to know when it’s time to take out the trash
  • Leads to odor problems
  • Invites creepy crawlies and pets inside your kitchen
  • Not recommended for throwing away organic waste
  • Can lead to a huge mess if toppled over
  • Swing Lid Trash Can

A swing lid trash can features a top lid that you need to push by hand, also making it a type of manual trash can. Some trash cans include a spring so that the lid automatically closes once you remove your hand. Other models have lids that rotate freely meaning you don’t have to apply pressure when using it.

  • Convenient to use as the lid closes automatically
  • Ideal for ‘clean trash,’ making it suitable for office use
  • Slightly better option than open-lid trash cans
  • The swing lid needs to be cleaned from time to time
  • Not very hygienic
  • Lid may get stuck when the trash is full
  • You may have to lift the lid since the opening is quite small
  • May be inconvenient to with full hands
  • Not recommended kitchen use
  • Step-On Trash Can

A step-on trash can is a relatively better option compared to Swing Lid Trash Cans since you can open the lid without using your hands. All you have to do is press the pedals on foot, and you’re good to go, making it great for kitchen use. You can also purchase bins with multi-compartments for recycling purposes. This type of trash can works best if the pedal is sturdy and durable. For kitchen use, we recommend you use a trash cash featuring a steel pedal. While this might be an expensive option, it will last longer and won’t feel flimsy. It’s also worth noting that you have to stand in front of the bin to open up the lid.

  • Complete hygienic and hand-free to use
  • No need to worry about getting smudges on the trash can
  • Not an eyesore
  • Pet safe
  • No odor problems
  • Lid can fall off if you’re not careful
  • You need to be careful when using the pedal as it can break

Automatic trash can

Automatic is perhaps the most advanced type of trash can available today because of its hands-free, touch less design. Thanks to the trash can’s motion sensors; you don’t have to worry about using your hands or feet to open the lid. Simply activate the sensor by waving your hand in front of the sensor, and the motor will automatically open the lid. Don’t worry; touchless kitchen trash cans are suitable not to activate when you’re only walking by the trash can.

  • Highly convenient
  • Hygienic
  • You don’t have to wash your hands or feet
  • Your dog may figure out how to get to the trash
  • You need to replace batteries
  • Lid motor can malfunction
  • Expensive

Types of Materials

When investing in a trash can, you can choose from a variety different materials. The most common being stainless steel and plastic. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages while some trash cans use both materials. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of both materials so that you can make a suitable choice according to your personal preference:

Plastic Trash Cans

Plastic trash cans are a cheaper alternative compared to stainless steel options. The most notable advantage of plastic is that it is a lightweight material which is fairly easy to clean and use. Unfortunately, it is not very sturdy so it may suffer from a couple of dents and cracks from time to time. Pay attention to the quality of the hinge and ensure the material is strong enough not to topple over easily. While a plastic trash can may be the best option for bathroom and home office use, we suggest you opt for something more heavy-duty for kitchen use. Another minor disadvantage of plastic trash cans is that its outer exterior’s color may fade with excessive sunlight exposure, which can become a problem if you’ll be placing the trash near your kitchen window.

Stainless Steel Trash Can

A stainless steel trash can is not only sturdy, but it also looks great, especially you have plenty of other stainless steel items in the kitchen. This sturdy material is an excellent choice if you want to create a more sophisticated look for your kitchen. Since stainless steel is a durable material, it can be used for years to come without breakage. However, each metal trash can is different because of the change in quality, the composition of metal, and brand.

A stainless steel trash can is an excellent option for kitchen use since the material is resistant to water damage and can withstand humid rooms. Additionally, stainless steel trash cans are also great for restrooms. Opting for this trash can is also a great option if you are in search of a sturdy, heavy-duty step-on trash can featuring a foot pedal. Ensure the foot pedal constructed using solid steel so that it can withstand heavy use without breaking.

The only notable disadvantage of stainless steel is that it is comparatively more expensive than plastic models. Besides that, you’re likely to be happy with your trash can.

Wood Trash Cans

Wood trash cans are becoming relatively popular because of its beautiful design, which is an excellent option if you want the trash can to blend in with your overall décor. However, despite its tough material, wood may not be a good option for everybody since excess moisture in the air can damage the bin’s outer material. Cleaning the trash can also become a problem, not to mention, transporting the can would be incredibly difficult because of its heavy weight.

Shape of the Trash Can

Are you finicky when it comes to decorating your kitchen? Well, we’ve got some great news for you. Thanks to the plethora of trash cans available in the market, you can choose from many shapes and sizes. Some of the most popular trash can designs include:

  • Circular shaped
  • Rectangular shaped
  • Oval shaped
  • Half rounded shaped
  • Square shaped

Select the right trash can shape according to your overall décor. For instance, a rounded shape bin might look great for restrooms and office use while a square-shaped bin might be a good option if you have space constraints. Opting for smaller, square shaped trash can is a good idea if you want to squeeze the trash can inside the cabinet or wall. Aside from a round or square-shaped trash can, you can also opt for other shapes and sizes according to your personal preference and convince.

Best Manufacturers for Trash Cans

Want to invest in the best trash cans, here are some of the best names in the industry:

Simplehuman Step Recycler Trash Can - best garbage can

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Simplehuman offers many different trash cans in various shapes and sizes. Whether you are in search of a motion sensor trash can or something simple for your kitchen, you won’t be disappointed by the brand’s extensive selection. Another reason customers like the brand is because it offers an amazing warranty. Most Simplehuman trash cans come with an impressive 5 to 10-year warranty. Read our Simplehuman trash can review.

Ninestars Trash Can - best touchless garbage can

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Are you a busy mom who’s always keen about keeping the house clean? Well, then you’ll be pleased to know that Ninestars is the first company to combine motion sensor technology with trash cans. This feature means you can multitask while throwing trash. Using a hands-free trash can will make your life much simpler. You can also check out other Ninestar models for more convenience. Read our Ninestars trash can review.

BestOffice Touch-Free Trash Can - best motion sensor trash can

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BestOffice is a reputable brand that has been around for years. The company is known for manufacturing high-quality office supplies such as trash cans, chairs, projectors, shelves – you name it. BestOffice trash cans are known for its durability and attractive design. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed after making a purchase. Read our BestOffice trash can review.

Rubbermaid Spring-Top Lid Trash Can for Home

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Rubbermaid has been around for almost 80 years and is known for manufacturing high-quality and innovative products that are sure to impact your life positively. While the brand started off small, it has since then expanded its presence in the market. Aside from trash cans, the brand also manufactures high-end commercial and seasonal products that you are sure to love.

Tramontina Trash Can - best trash can

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Tramontina is one of the top brands when it comes to manufacturing excellent quality houseware items. Many professional chefs and novice cooks put their trust on Tramontina’s extensive range of products. Each product is designed to offer exceptional quality. Above all, the brand offers plenty of trash can designs, making it easier for users to select a particular design according to their needs. Read our Tramontina trash can review.

Best Place for Trash Can In the Kitchen

Most people prefer storing the trash can underneath the sink or tucked away inside a cabinet. While this is completely alright, not all users may space underneath the sink. The trash can must be placed in an easy to access spot so that you can conveniently toss away garbage while you are working in the sink. Well, rest assured, we have plenty of cool ideas in store for you. Here are some cool spots for you to set up a trash can in the kitchen:

Consider Installing a Pull-out Drawer

Installing a pull-out drawer is practically one of the simplest ways to keep trash out of sight. Not only will it keep trash hidden behind the cabinet but you will also have easy access to the trash bin. We suggest you install a pull-out drawer underneath the sink so that you can conveniently throw away scraps of food while you are washing the dishes.

Try a Tilt

So, maybe you don’t have room for a huge upgrade or the budget to install new cabinetry. To solve this problem, consider hiding the trash can in a tilt. Follow this simple tutorial to ensure if you want to go the DIY route.

Ensure the Trash Can is Safe from Pets

Cats and dogs take pleasure in toppling over trash cans and scavenging for leftovers inside. To prevent this from happening, ensure the can is secured inside a cabinet or simply invest in a dog-proof trash can that your pet won’t able to enter. Keeping the trash can away from pets is important as they can get sick from eating old food scraps.

How To Clean the Kitchen Trash Can

Keeping your kitchen trash can clean is important if you want to minimize odors and prevent creepy crawlies from finding a new home. Clean the trash can after every few days depending on usage. Kitchen trash cans need frequent cleaning because you will be throwing vegetable peels and another organic inside the can.

List of Items You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • A large plastic tub
  • A hose
  • Old towel

A bristle scrub brush or a new toilet brush that you designate for cleaning the trash can

Instructions to Follow

First thing’s first, put on your gloves. You’re probably not too thrilled about cleaning the trash can so make sure you use your rubber gloves for the process.

Empty the contents of the trash can and remove any food particle that may be trapped inside. You’re likely to find a large piece of food or bones inside the bottom of the trash can so make sure the trash can is empty.

If you have a backyard hose, then use it to hose off the trash can. If you don’t, you can use a plastic tub or your bath tub to clean the trash can. Dose it with water so that water has completely covered the entire body of the can. Pat dry it using an old towel afterward.

Liberally spray disinfectant over the trash can, ensuring you have also covered the outside and inside of the can. Don’t forget to clean the lid!

Once you have sprayed disinfectant all over the can, it’s time you use a clean toilet brush or any other kind of brush to clean the trash can thoroughly. Once you finish scrubbing, allow the trash can to sit for about 5 minutes.

Finally, use a hose to rinse the trash can thoroughly. You can use a towel to pat dry the trash can or leave it out in the sun to dry. Remember to wait till the trash can is completely dry because putting it back in the kitchen. Doing this will prevent it from developing a bad odor.

Tips for Keeping the Trash Can Clean

Most home cooks are proud of their spotless kitchens. Unfortunately, a trash can filled to the brim can make your tidiest kitchen look messy. Follow these simple tips in mind for a spotless trash can:

Start Building up a Compost Pile

Rotten food and vegetable peels can resort to the messiest trash cans. Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of food waste by building up your compost pile in the garden. To do this, start separating your trash and keep a separate pile of items for composting. Separating the trash will minimize odors in the kitchen and will also help in keeping the trash can clean.

Take out the Trash Everyday

Watching the garbage truck go by can be devastating if you several bags of trash that has been piling up. Remember to take the trash out every day. Consider setting a reminder on your phone a few minutes before the truck arrives so that you don’t forget. You can also stick a note on your fridge so that you are always on your toes. If you have multiple bags of trash in your house because of a dinner party, consider driving up to the city dump to get rid of it by yourself. This activity will offer you peace of mind and will also teach your kids the importance of tidying up.

Recycle More!

Are you worried about the environment and want to set a positive example for your kids? Well then, it’s time you start recycling. Recycling will also keep the trash cans in your house from piling up, plus it will be a fun project for the entire family. Start by allotting cardboard boxes for different items such as plastic, cans, glass bottles, etc. Once the boxes are full, you can drop them off to the recycling center. This process will not only keep the trash can clean, but you’ll also be doing something great for the environment at the same time.

Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Odor

If you’re worried about odor problems, consider using a sprinkling some baking soda over the trash can. Baking soda is hassle-free way prevent trash can odors since it does a fantastic job in absorbing weird smells. On the other hand, you can also use dryer sheets or kitty litter to achieve the same results.


Hopefully, this detailed guide has provided you all the information you need regarding buying and cleaning trash cans. For more details, don’t forget to check out our handy buyer’s guide. You won’t be disappointed.

Jonathan Maxwell

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