ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can a Touchless Trash Can Make Your Home a Safer, More Pleasant Place?

Updated on September 27, 2011

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.

The Disadvantages

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.

iTouchless Stainless

The hands-free trash cans from iTouchless feature an infrared sensor which detects your hand or trash that is within 6" of the lid. It automatically opens to allow you to dispose of trash and then closes within 3 to 5 seconds of your hand moving 6" away. These touchless trash cans can be manually opened and closed if desired by pressing the buttons on the front of them. There is also an on-off switch on the back, in case you wish to disable the automated function.

These trash cans operate on 4 D cell batteries which will provide 10,000 open/closing cycles or approximately one year of operation. They accept regular garbage or grocery bags and have a retainer ring that assures the bags stay in place until you're ready to remove them. They come with a 60 day unconditional money back guarantee and a one year warranty. They have a brushed stainless finish and are a handsome addition to any room.

These cans also offer the advantage of cost efficient use. They won't raise your utility bill and the D cell batteries are long lived and affordable. Because regular trash bags or grocery bags can be used, there are no additional expensive bags to purchase. By allowing you to dispose of trash without touching the opening of the can, you can stay germ free and potentially decrease the incidence of communicable diseases and infections in your household. In addition, they will seal in odors keeping your room smelling fresh.

There are a variety of sizes to choose from, and one should be perfect for your specific needs.

See the Touchless Trash Can in Operation

Nine Stars

Nine Stars provides a number of options for those wanting a touchless trash can. Their hands-free models are made with an anti-finger print commercial grade stainless steel finish so that the can will stay clean and attractive with minimal care. Using water resistant infrared motion sensor, the can will automatically open when your hand, or debris, approaches within 10" of the lid at a 130" angle.

The Nine Stars trash cans also have a garbage bag ring to keep bags in place and out of sight as well. In addition, they feature an inner plastic bucket to make clean-up a breeze. They operate with 4 D cell batteries with an expected battery life of 6 months to a year.

Just as with the other trash cans on this page, the Nine Stars cans will remain open as long as your hand or other object remains within the area of the lid. They also offer the same advantages as other models; reducing transmission/cross contamination due to contact with germs and bacteria, efficient and low cost operation, ease of use, and a good seal which contains odors.


This trash can is an 11.1 gallon can that measures 12" x 12" x 31". It is made of heavy gauge stainless steel and has an inner plastic bucket for easy cleaning. Like the other models, it has an infrared sensor that picks up the presence of your hand or debris within 6" of the lid and will automatically open, and then close within 3 seconds when your hand leaves the vicinity.

This touchless trash can also uses regular garbage bags and has a ring to hold them securely in place. While this can operates on 4D cell batteries, it does have an optional AC adapter plug available at no cost. This allows you to use AC power versus batteries if preferred.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Amy from Roper Washer 5 years ago

      I like this. Safer and suitable in the kitchen. But the price is quite expensive.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Um, I want one. lol I don't think I NEED one but this just sounds like my kitchen could use it. I do hate coming and visiting your hubs because my WANT list just gets longer and longer! lol

    • irenemaria profile image

      irenemaria 7 years ago from Sweden

      Did not know they excisted until I read your hub. You are OFTEN the first to introduce me to the latest purchases!