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What Size Trash Can for Kitchen Is Best?

What Size Trash Can for Kitchen Is Best?

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Kitchen trash cans come in many sizes to suit your space, but the standard size is somewhere between 12 and 16 gallons, with the most popular being the 13-gallon.

The kitchen trash can is likely the dirtiest in your home. From leftovers to coffee grounds to eggshells to cleaning supplies, this bin bears the brunt of the grossest messes in the house. And, as we all know, that also means the grossest odors as well. Finding the right size trash can for the kitchen is key to ensuring you keep the nastiness under control without having to constantly take out the trash. Win-win, right? White large trash can

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Size Matters: Standard Kitchen Trash Can Sizes

It’s important to find a trash can that can hold enough waste without taking up too much space in the kitchen because none of us have enough of that in our kitchen! 

Trash cans are measured in two ways: dimensions and volume. Dimensions will help ensure the can will suit your space, while volume will help ensure it suits your lifestyle and needs. 13-Gallon Trash Bags Are Perfect for Kitchen Trash Cans

  • Dimensions — Just like any essential in your home, you need to size your trash can so it fits the environment and doesn’t take up too much space. If it’s confined to a cabinet or pantry, you need to take this into consideration when choosing your size. While the only way to know for sure if the can will fit is to measure it, some standard sizes will help you narrow things down. 
  • Free-Standing — If you’re looking for a great trash can size to tuck into a corner or a nook in the kitchen, consider one that’s between 20 and 30 inches high and 10 to 15 inches wide, as these tend to fit nicely at the end of counters and are sized for easy scooping from countertop to bin.
  • In-Cabinet — If you have a slide-out drawer in the kitchen, you’ll need an in-cabinet trash can that fits the exact measurements of the unit. For the best results, measure the cabinet’s length, width and depth. Standard pull-out cabinets measure between 12 and 24 inches wide and may have room for one or two bins. It’s common to see cabinet trash cans that measure around 15 inches wide and 20 inches tall.
  • Under-Sink — Prefer to conceal your trash beneath the sink? Naturally, you’ll need a trash can that’s a bit smaller to accommodate the basin and piping within the cabinet. Again, you’ll want to measure the cabinet for the best results to determine which size to choose. Depending on your limitations, you’ll probably want to stay under 10 inches high.
  • Volume — Garbage bins are measured by how much they can hold (volume) as well. This is an important metric because it determines how often you’ll have to take out the trash throughout the day or week. Typically, you’ll see trash cans measured by the gallon or liter. Trash cans in the kitchen tend to be between 12 and 16 gallons (45 to 60 liters), with 13-gallon trash bags among the most common. This size is ideal for a family of four people or less, but consider going up to a 20-gallon+ (75-liter+) unit for a bigger group or a commercial kitchen.

Line It Right: Kitchen Garbage Bag Sizes

Choosing the right garbage bag sizes for every bin in your home is an important part of keeping it clean. The wrong size could mean slippage, spills and leaks which is an instant appetite-killer when you’re cooking or enjoying a meal with your family. If possible, purchase bags sized specifically for your trash can. For example, we carry simplehuman® compatible trash bags sized just right for this popular brand’s bins. Shop Our simplehuman® Trash Bags That Fit Just Right

Get Fit: Finding the Right Can

The 13-gallon trash bag is by and large considered the “standard” size for kitchens, and there’s a good chance it’ll suit the bin you have in your home. To be sure, you want to make sure you measure your bin beforehand to ensure you get the right bag. 

While sticking to the 13-16-gallon range is probably a safe bet for you and your family, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sizing trash bins for your home. If you’ve got a tight squeeze, a special drawer or cabinet or generate more trash than most households, you’ll want to take these things into consideration before settling on a size. 

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