Best Types of Trash Cans for the Kitchen

best smart kitchen trash can

There are so many types of trash cans available these days that it can be difficult to choose which one is best. You can spend hours on Amazon scrolling through reviews, going deeper and deeper into the trash can rabbit hole, until finally something snaps and you just click the order button on the trash can on the top line. Don’t fall into the rabbit hole! Let us do the hard work for you. This guide will help you pick the perfect can for your home.

The kitchen trash can is one of the hardest working trash can in the home, next to perhaps the outdoor bin. Holding everything from the food scraps from preparing today’s meal to food packaging, the kitchen trash can gets a lot of use. So here is a handy guide to help you figure out which trash can is right for your kitchen!

What size of trash can is best for the kitchen?

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and for many of us that means the kitchen trash can is the one that is the closest to us at any given time. For many families, that means the can in the kitchen needs to be fairly large. The kitchen trash can tends to be used a lot, and a larger can means you don’t have to take the trash out as frequently, and that the trash won’t accumulate and overflow because no one wants to take it out. It’s a win for everyone!

When considering size, another thing to think about is the availability of trash can bags in the size of your selected can. Can you a) easily find bags in the size to fit your trash can and b) can you find them relatively inexpensively, or are they higher in cost because they are an uncommon size? 

The most common type of trash bag for the home kitchen is the “Tall Kitchen” size bags. You can find these on Amazon and most likely your favorite grocery store carries at least one or two brands in this size. 

So, in short, the best trash can size is one that is large enough for your family and has bags you can find easily. We recommend a trash can sized between 10 and 13 gallons for these reasons.

What type of trash can is best for the kitchen?

It’s all the rage in kitchen design to provide an area for a trash can tucked into the cabinet. While it is aesthetically pleasing, it can be frustrating when you’ve just finished deboning a chicken, your hands are covered in grease, and all you want to do is throw away what’s left of the skin and bones but you can’t easily get to the trash can without touching your cabinet door with grimy, greasy hands. Never happened to me, of course, but I could see how it could be frustrating.

Throwing away trash shouldn’t be something that is frustrating or difficult. It shouldn’t hinder your progress while you’re making dinner, or cause any more anxiety on top of the stress of normal life. With this in mind, we have a few thoughts on which type of trash cans are the most convenient and easiest to use.

The kitchen trash can should have a lid. There, I’ve said it. There’s just no getting around it. Whether you’re throwing away last week’s meatloaf that sat in the fridge a bit too long or onions from making your tacos tonight, you don’t want those smells permeating the rest of your home. A lid helps keep odors controlled, and keeps the unsightly items in the bin hidden from view. Lids have the added benefit of discouraging your dog from casually grabbing whatever is on top of the pile of trash and taking it into your carpeted living room to munch on.

Now I know you’re thinking that throwing greasy chicken into a trash can with a lid sounds at least as difficult as throwing it into a trash can inside a cabinet, but there’s one more feature we recommend in trash cans – a foot pedal! If your hands are full, or covered in muck, simply press the foot pedal and the lid lifts up allowing you to easily toss your trash right in. This feature also reduces the spread of germs and, if your hands are already clean, keeps them that way!

So we’ve established that your trash can should be about 10-13 gallons, have a lid, and have a foot pedal; now we need to decide which materials are best for the kitchen trash can.

Which material is best for a kitchen trash can?

Kitchen trash cans get dirty. No matter how careful you are when throwing things away, food tends to get splattered down the sides, dust from emptying the vacuum cleaner gets into every nook and cranny, and generally the kitchen trash can needs a good wipe-down on a regular basis to keep it looking nice. Cleaning the trash can is never fun, but the right material can make it easier!

As previously mentioned, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Guests will be in the kitchen and you and your family will spend a lot of time there as well. You’re going to want a trash can that is not only functional and easy to use, but aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Trash Can

Stainless steel is beautiful to look at, easy to clean, and all in all just a great material for your kitchen trash can. Most stainless steel trash cans have a plastic liner in the inside, which you can remove and take to the sink or even outside to clean on those sad occasions that your trash bag breaks and the contents leak into the can. The plastic liner protects the foot pedal mechanism, ensuring that it always stays free of debris and remains in good working order. The outside of the can is smooth and easy to clean, and keeps on looking fantastic even after the dried spaghetti sauce you accidentally spilled has to be scrubbed off of it.

Final thoughts

One last consideration is the shape of your trash can. If you have a certain nook in your kitchen where you’d like to put the trash can, be sure that the can you select has the appropriate dimensions and shape to fit easily and that the foot pedal is easy to access. If you don’t have an exact location in mind for your trash can, try to match your trash can with your personal decorating style. Perhaps a rectangular trash can for a more modern look, or a semi-round trash can may match your style more closely.

Stainless steel trash cans also come in other colors besides the typical silver. This beautiful trash can is available in black, white, and silver, giving you even more choices to ensure that your trash can looks fantastic in your kitchen. 

Whichever trash can you choose, we hope that this guide has been helpful to you in selecting a trash can for your kitchen that is beautiful, functional, and easy to use and clean. Keeping these goals in mind will help you on your search for the perfect trash can for your kitchen.

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