By their very nature, trash cans tend to be unpleasant. They can be smelly and dirty and not something anyone wants to touch. In fact, manually opening a trash can lid can be a bit of a feat if one’s hands are full of items destined for the can.
Fortunately, the best touchless trash cans open with the wave of a hand or the push of a pedal, eliminating the need to touch the lid and expose oneself to grime. Explore this guide to understand essential elements to consider while shopping for the best touchless trash can for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: iTouchless 13 Gallon SensorCan Touchless Trash Can
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: simplehuman 50 Liter / 13 Gallon Semi-Round
- BEST DOUBLE TRASH CAN: NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Infrared Motion Sensor
- BEST FOR BATHROOM: iTouchless 2.5 Gallon Bathroom Touchless Trash Can
- BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: EKO Mirage X 80 Liter / 21.1 Gallons Motion Sensor
- BEST COMBO SET: NINESTARS CB-DZT-50-13/12-13 Automatic Touchless
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Touchless Trash Can
The following particulars will ensure you find the best touchless trash can for your home. Features like material, size and shape, motion sensors, power source, manual operation, ease of cleaning, and other aspects will play a role in finding the trash can that best suits your specific needs.
Touchless trash cans are available in two materials: stainless steel and plastic. Stainless steel is a durable, easy-to-clean, and aesthetically pleasing choice. The majority of options will be stainless steel with a plastic base or other plastic parts around the lid.
Trash cans that are made entirely of plastic will be more affordable; they are, however, more likely to break down over time or crack with rough use. Plastic options are also more likely to be available in multiple colors.
Size and Shape
The best touchless trash cans are measured by the number of gallons they can hold. Standard sizes are between 13 and 21 gallons, and you use this number to select the correctly sized trash bag. While it’s important to note how much the can will hold, it’s also vital to ensure it can fit into the space you have available. Check the trash can’s dimensions, and measure the area in which you’d like to put the can. Most cans are somewhere around 25 to 26 inches tall, 16 to 18 inches wide, and 11 or 12 inches deep.
The shape of the can will also factor in to how well it fits into the corner or wherever else you might need it. Many cans are oval shaped and fit nicely in a corner or beside a refrigerator, but some are available in square shapes that look more modern and fit snugly into corners.
When opening a motion sensor trash can, the last thing you want to deal with is waving your hand around for an extended period, waiting for it to open. That’s why it’s essential to note how sensitive the sensor is. Infrared technology makes sensors easy to use, and they are nearly indestructible. Remember that spills often happen around trash cans; consider investing in a waterproof sensor to save the hassle and expense of finding a new one when the kids spill their juice box all over the front of the can.
Sensors don’t distinguish between a hand or a paper plate; they will open the lid if any object comes within 6 inches. However the lid opens, consider finding a can with a sensor that detects items or hands lingering close to the can. Having the lid close on you while scraping a plate won’t be a fun experience.
Most touchless trash cans come with two power options. Most are powered by batteries, typically D-size batteries, but some can also be powered by a plug-in adapter. The majority of touchless cans can operate for up to a year on four D batteries, but if there is a plug nearby, you’ll never have to worry about changing batteries if you use the power cord. Just remember that if you move the can outside for parties or barbecues you might want to have batteries for backup power.
Although operating the trash can with your foot isn’t technically touchless, it does eliminate the need for hands to touch the dirty and germ-filled lid to throw something away. Whether it’s in the bathroom, the kitchen, or the office, a manually levered trash can is a great way to keep hands clean. Even motion-sensing cans can be switched to manual operation—via buttons—if curious kids have a little too much fun with the auto-open functionality.
Ease of Cleaning
The worst part of any trash can is cleaning it. As you search for your perfect touchless trash can, consider that dried pasta sauce and that stain of unknown origin on the bottom of the kitchen trash can are much easier to clean when the inside of the trash can is smooth. Avoid cans with notches, grooves, or screws where trash and dirt can get hung up. These features will make it harder to wipe off and clean the can.
Even before cleaning day arrives, trash cans quickly start smelling bad after even a day’s worth of use. Many cans now have deodorizers and air freshening features. If the receptacle is used in a home where pungent food or dirty diapers are thrown away regularly, it might be a good idea to find an option with one of these features.
If your home is filled with smart devices or automated systems, finding a touchless trash can with smart technology might be for you. These units can be opened with voice activation or via apps on your phone.
Other trash can options have two receptacles, one for trash and one for recycling. This makes separating soda bottles, paper, and cans from stinky garbage a breeze and makes trash day less of a headache.
To avoid a loud bang every time the can’s lid is open and closed, look for options with soft-close features. These slow the lid and allow it to close gently, reducing the amount of noise it makes.
With almost any item in your home, finding a choice that suits your stylistic choices is often just as important as its functionality. As discussed above, stainless steel is the most popular material used to make trash cans, and while these trash cans tend to offer a contemporary look, they don’t come in any varying colors. Plastic cans have more color options but might not look as high-end as stainless steel.
The shape of the can is also a critical aesthetic feature that can give the trash can a modern or traditional look. Squared options lend themselves to contemporary designs, while oval or circular trash cans might suit a more traditional-style home.
Our Top Picks
It’s important to find a trash can that reduces odors, hides the trash, and holds up over time. In line with the considerations above, this list of the best touchless trash cans covers many waste management needs within the home.
This touchless trash can by iTouchless holds 13 gallons of trash. Its oval, fingerprint-resistant brushed stainless steel structure is 25.5 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 11.75 inches deep. Included is an AbsorbX Natural Activated Carbon Odor Filter designed to neutralize smells.
The motion sensor can sense objects within 6 inches and will remain open as long as something is detected. There is also a manual setting where users can press a button to open the lid.
To power this trash can, use four D batteries or an AC adapter (both sold separately). When using batteries, the trash can will function for up to 1.5 years before needing fresh ones.
This trash can will open its lid and stay open as long as users keep their foot on the pedal. The hard plastic comes in five colors, including black, gray, mocha, stone, and white. Simplehuman has crafted an affordable touchless trash can that holds 13 gallons of waste and stands 26.2 inches tall by 18.7 inches wide and 14.4 inches deep.
This can’s semicircle shape allows it to be pushed against a cabinet or wall and stay out of the way. The smooth plastic interior makes cleaning the can manageable.
The lock on the lid will deter pets and children.
This double trash can by NINESTARS holds trash and recyclable materials in separate receptacles. The can is made with high-quality and durable stainless steel that is fingerprint resistant, and the lid opens when an object gets near it. The lid is quiet when it opens and softly closes to keep the noise down and avoid disrupting sleeping family members.
The sensor is water resistant, and the tight-fitting lid helps prevent odors and bacteria from getting out. It also has a removable ring to hold a trash bag in place, hiding it for a cleaner look and helping ensure the can remains clean.
It holds 18 gallons of waste and measures 26.2 inches tall, 21.3 inches wide, and 13 inches deep. It requires four D batteries to operate, but they are not included with the purchase.
At only 11.65 inches tall, 10.3 inches wide and 6.95 inches deep, this smaller touchless trash can by iTouchless is ideal for bathroom use. It holds 2.5 gallons of waste and keeps unpleasant odors away with a filter. The rectangular shape and stainless steel material give it the flexibility to fit almost any decor. Liners can be conveniently stored in a compartment within the can.
The sensor sees trash coming and opens the lid without users needing to touch it. Alternatively, users can turn off the automatic function and instead use buttons to open and close the can’s lid.
This touchless trash can by EKO makes it easy to switch between touchless and manual with a flip of a switch. The touchless mode opens and closes the lid with a hand wave, and the manual mode requires users to push a button to open and close the lid.
This unit holds a larger amount of waste than most trash cans, up to 21.1 gallons. Its dimensions are 27.1 inches tall, 18.5 inches wide, and 11 inches deep, and it’s constructed with durable and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. A removable liner ring holds the trash bag in place, and there’s also a built-in deodorizer compartment.
It needs six AA batteries, which are not included, and it’s recommended not to use rechargeable batteries.
Bring the ease of NINESTAR’s touchless technology to two areas of the home with this kitchen and bathroom trash can combo set. The larger trash can holds 13 gallons of waste and measures 26.6 inches tall, 16.6 inches wide, and 11.5 inches deep, while the smaller one holds 3 gallons and is 14.1 inches tall,12 inches wide, and 8.5 inches deep.
Both cans are made with durable and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. The bases are nonskid so that they won’t slide around on hard floors. The larger of the two is powered with three C batteries, and the smaller needs two C batteries.
The lids open and close noiselessly when a hand or object comes close. There’s also an option to manually open the cover with buttons to keep out kids and pets. The removable ring locks in trash bags and keeps the cans looking clean by protecting them from waste stains.
FAQs About Touchless Trash Cans
When it comes to your home’s cleanliness and safety, a lot of questions come up. Finding the best touchless trash can is no exception, and here are some of the most frequently asked questions about touchless trash cans and their corresponding answers.
Q. Can I put a lock on my trash can?
Yes, you can put a lock on a touchless trash can, but keep in mind that this will make it impossible to use the trash can without touching it.
Q. How often should you clean your trash can?
Clean your trash can at least twice a year.
Q. How do I get rid of the smell in my trash can?
Many touchless trash cans include odor control pouches or filters, but when the stench isn’t going away, it might be time to do a deep clean with baking soda.
Q. How do I fix my touchless trash can?
Before doing anything else, check the batteries and replace them if they are dead. Then, check the hinges. Sometimes food and other trash get stuck in the hinges and prevents them from working properly. If these steps fail to solve the problem, call the service number for the company from which you purchased the trash can.