This $65 Kitchen Trash Can Has Thousands of 5-Star Reviews — And It’s Been My Smartest Splurge

published Sep 19, 2023
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Kitchen with plants on windowsill, wood cabinets, island with leather barstools
Credit: Erin Derby

When my husband and I bought our first house in 2015, we didn’t have a ton of expendable income to spend on high-quality furniture and decor. Instead, we made use of what we had and accumulated pieces we loved over the years. For some reason though, at the time, I found it absolutely necessary to splurge on the NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can. Now, more than eight years later, it might have been one of the best decisions I ever made. 

Quick Overview

A look at the Ninestars Automatic Touchless Trash Can

Credit: Alicia Betz

What Is the NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can? 

The NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can is the trash can you never knew you needed. It operates via motion sensor, so the lid pops open when you reach over the sensor to throw something away. You can also use the various functions on the lid to manually open or close the lid, keep the lid open, and turn off the automatic feature. The stainless steel trash can uses three D batteries, and it’s available in either a 21- or 13-gallon capacity; I have the 21-gallon size, which is ideal for my family of five.

What’s So Great About The NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can? 

An automatic trash can seems like such an unnecessary splurge, even in a day and age when almost everything is automated. However, the NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can makes my life easier, and helps me keep my kitchen cleaner, too. 

When I’m cooking or baking and need to throw things away, all I do is walk near the trash can, and it opens right up as soon as my arm begins to hover over the lid. Then the lid softly closes a few seconds after I’m done with it — easy peasy. I appreciate this the most when I’m working with raw meat, eggs, or drippy and sticky food. Translation: often. 

Could I get a similar effect from a foot pedal trash can? Sure. Would it be as seamless and fun? Absolutely not. I find I can move in the kitchen so much faster when I turn toward the trash can and it just opens for me.

I’ve had the trash can for close to 10 years, and it hasn’t failed me yet. If you want, you can purchase trash bags made specifically for this trash can. They wrap nicely around the rim and fit perfectly within the trash can, but you’ll also be fine with any trash bag with a 21-gallon capacity. 

In my experience, I don’t need to replace the batteries very often. While it’s not something I actively keep track of, we’ve only replaced them a handful of times in the eight years we’ve had the can. I always know the batteries are wearing out because the lid becomes slow when opening.  

The can is fingerprint-resistant — another plus for my family. It definitely gets dirty with three kids and a dog, but it doesn’t really collect fingerprints the way some other surfaces in my house do. It also has a non-skid bottom, which helps it stay in place when little humans and pets run around it. 

Credit: Alicia Betz

Is the NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can Worth It?

This is a purchase that I don’t regret at all, though it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies. After buying the can, I quickly learned that my German shepherd could open the lid by hovering his snout over the top. If you have a large dog like I do, he or she may be able to open the trash can by simply putting their snout above the sensor — which sounds cute, but is less than ideal if you have a dog that likes to get into the trash. 

I also ran into a snag with the trash can when my one-year-old twin toddlers started learning about throwing things away. An automatic trash can is very exciting for young kids, but until they learn that we only throw away trash and not toys, books, or half-eaten snacks, I keep a child lock on the lid. 

Compared to similar trash cans on the market, this one is a steal, and it has stood up to almost a decade of heavy use very well. I never thought I’d write about how much I love our trash can, but if there was ever a trash can deserving of my love, it’s this one. 

Buy: NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Infrared Motion Sensor Trash Can, 21 Gallon, $64.98