Can a Touchless Trash Can Make Your Home a Safer, More Pleasant Place?
The Benefits of a Touchless Trash Can
If you like to keep your hands clean and reduce the risk of transmitting germs and bacteria around the house from your garbage container, then a touchless trash can might be right for you. They are economical to operate, have a handsome exterior, last for many years, and keep both debris and odors sealed away, leaving your room clean and fresh smelling.
On this page you'll learn more about these touchless trash cans and how to care for them.
Like anything, there is always some type of drawback. With a touchless trash can it is possible to block the sensor. Trash can pile up or a bag can be such a poor fit that it covers the sensor. In addition, at some point you will have to reach in and take the trash out. At that point however, you probably will not be involved in preparing food.
While it's not a drawback specific to this type of receptacle, it is important to note that to be truly hygenic, it is equally important to clean these cans regularly just as you should do with any garbage container.
Reducing the Odors and Health Risks Associated with Trash Cans
Because we keep debris in our trash can, it does pose certain health risks. This is particularly true when we throw organic matter that will deteriorate/decompose into it. Of course, any moisture will add to the chances that mold and bacteria will grow within it's confines. This can also increase unwanted odors and attract insects and other pests.
Some of the most germ infested areas of our kitchen are the sink and our trash can. Of course cutting boards, can openers, dish towels, and so forth can also harbor organisms that can result in food poisoning. E.coli, Listeria, and Salmonella are just a few of the common problems found there.
Certainly a touchless trash can will help reduce the transmission of these organisms since our hands won't contact any of the potentially contaminated surfaces around the rim and lid as we work in the kitchen. However, keeping any trash can clean can help reduce the risk as well. Here are a few tips to consider for any type of trash can:
1. Avoid throwing any organic (food) matter into the trash can. Most food waste can either go down the garbage disposal or be placed in a sealed bag or container to be thrown away.
2. Avoid placing any liquid in the trash can. Liquids can leak, run all over the can, and it promotes growth. Again, if liquid goes into the trash, try to seal it up first. This will discourage bacterial growth and help reduce odors.
3. Empty indoor trash cans frequently. Don't allow your trash to pile up to the point of spilling over. Spillage can contaminate the outside of the can and the surrounding area. It also allows odors to escape into the room and attracts pests. You don't want the trash to interfere with the opening and closing of the can, particularly on a touchless trash can.
4. Always use a trash bag so that the inside of the can doesn't become overly soiled. The trash bag should be the same size as the container so that the entire interior is covered. Use any rings or hooks provided to assure the bag stays in place. Most touchless models have a ring to perform this function.
5. Wash your trash can out each time it is emptied if possible. Hot water and soap is often sufficient. Most touchless models will have an inner container that can be removed and easily cleaned.
6. If odors become a problem, try placing baking powder in the bottom of the trash bag when it's first inserted. If the trash can itself becomes too dirty, you can try water and bleach for disinfecting. Then allow it to dry outdoors for a few hours. If you have a touchless modle be sure to read the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.
7. On touchless trash cans, you need to be sure the sensor doesn't get blocked or obscured with grime. Wiping it with a clean cloth should be sufficient. Avoid overfilling and assure bags are properly fitted so that the sensor does not get blocked.