full trash can spilling over on dirty kitchen floor

By The Cleaning Lady


Wastebaskets are an essential part of keeping any space clean and organized. They come in various types, such as kitchen, office and bathroom. When choosing a wastebasket, factors such as size, material, style, ease of use, durability, should be considered.


Wastebaskets, also known as trash cans, trash bins or garbage bins, (and many other names depending on what part of the world you live in) are an essential part of keeping any home, office or outdoor space clean, sanitary and organized.

The lonely wastebasket in the corner may never cross your mind, but the right wastebasket can make a big difference in the look and feel of any room or outdoor space as well the ability to keep your space clean. In this post, I will lay out everything you need to know about wastebaskets, including the different types available, the key factors to consider when choosing one, and tips for maintaining and cleaning your wastebasket.

Why do you need a wastebasket

With the rise of consumerism and single use plastics, wastebaskets are more important than ever. Simply put, a wastebasket allows you to quickly and easily dispose of waste materials, rubbish and trash. You should have at least one in your home. Cities and counties usually provide a large outside bin. Having a wastebasket in every room of your home or office is more efficient and helps keep your house cleaner.

Wastebaskets also play an important role in protecting the environment. They help reduce the amount of litter on the streets that can fall into our streams, rivers and oceans. Recycle bins, which are another form of wastebasket, help to separate recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials, which can help to reduce the overall environmental impact of waste disposal.

Another benefit of having a wastebasket is that it can help to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. When waste materials are properly disposed of, it minimizes the risk of cross-contamination and helps to keep your space clean and hygienic.

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Types of wastebaskets

There are many different types of wastebaskets, trash cans and garbage bins. Here are the most used kinds for your home or office. I’ve also done a round up of the best wastebaskets and trash bins here.

Kitchen Trash Can

Kitchen trash cans are essential to any kitchen, and they are usual the largest you will have in your house. They allow for easy and convenient disposal of food scraps and other waste materials and helps keep your kitchen sanitary.

Be sure to choose a kitchen trash can that is the right size for your kitchen and your needs. They come in various sizes, styles and materials like plastic, metal and stainless steel. You’ll want a material that doesn’t leak if the trash bag does. A pull-out kitchen trash can, like one under the sink, is a great option for smaller kitchens as it can be conveniently tucked away.

A step-on kitchen trash can (one with a food lever) is a great option for busy kitchens, as it allows you to open the lid hands-free, which is more hygienic. Consider a trash can with a lid that seals tightly, to help contain any unpleasant odors. If you have a large family with lots of children, a bigger option might be for you. Additionally, choosing a kitchen trash can with a removable liner makes it easy to clean and replace.

Bathroom wastebasket

Bathroom wastebaskets are a must for keeping your bathroom clean and sanitary. Hygiene and feminine products are usually disposed of in the bathroom wastebasket so finding one right for your needs is important. This wastebasket is usually smaller than the kitchen bin. And like the kitchen trash can, you’ll want to choose the right material, like plastic or stainless steel, that will not leak. A lid is usually preferred for the bathroom can as well as it gives more privacy to the contents like feminine hygiene products.

Bathroom wastebasket on black and white tiled floor of bathroom

Bathroom wastebaskets are usually more stylish and fun than others in the home. Some are available in a variety of designs and colors, making it easy to find one that complements the aesthetic of your bathroom.

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Home office wastebasket

Home office wastebaskets are usually a little larger than kitchen bins and smaller than bathroom bins. You may be familiar with the metal wire mesh baskets of your work office space. To pick the right one, consider how much you will use it and what contents will be thrown in. If you work from home you will use an office bin more than if your home office is just for personal use. If you are just throwing paper materials in it, you can get away with have the mesh without a bag or a cute rattan wastebasket. But if you are throwing your lunch in, you’ll want a material that does not leak.

Trash Bag Size Calculator: Find out what size trash bag you need for your wastebasket?

Use this handy garbage bag size calculator to determine the size of the trash bag you need for your wastebasket or trash can:

How to properly clean and maintain your wastebasket

Properly cleaning and maintaining your wastebasket is important to ensure that it stays hygienic and continues to function well. Here are a few tips for cleaning and maintaining your wastebasket:

  • Empty the wastebasket regularly. Empty when it gets full but before it is overflowing and be sure to properly dispose of it in the outside bin if you have one.
  • Keep your wastebasket clean. Clean the inside and outside of the wastebasket with warm soapy water and a sponge or cloth. This doesn’t have to be done every time you empty it, but it should be done at least once a week and immediately if there are spills and leaks. Be sure to rinse it well and let it dry completely before using it again. PRO TIP: You may want to do this outside with a hose depending on how large and dirty your bin is. Here are step-by-step instructions on cleaning a trash can.
  • Use a disinfectant after washing. This is especially important if you are using the wastebasket in a bathroom or kitchen as wastebaskets can spread germs. A spray with Lysol usually does the trick.
Woman taking out bag of trash in room with trash can


Wastebaskets are an essential part of a functioning household and help keep your house and the environment clean. With so many different wastebaskets on the market, it’s hard to choose the right one. Follow these tips to find the perfect wastebasket for you, and remember to have fun with it! They can really help accent a room.