Pros & Cons Of Pull-Out Trash Cans In Kitchen Cabinets (Read First!)

*My posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link! Thank you for supporting my website!*

Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 06:51 pm

Are Pull-Out Trash Can Cabinets Worth It?

Wondering if pull-out trash can cabinets are worth it? Well, look no further because I have your answer!

Pull-out trash can cabinets are nice because they can keep the trash hidden from view, hold more than one trash can which holds more trash, and keep the trash cans centrally located to the kitchen. Though, trash can collect on the bottom of the cabinet and spill down the face of the cabinet leaving behind a mess.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s break into the details further so you can decide whether to install pull-out trash can cabinets or not in your kitchen.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Pull-Out Trash Can Pros & Cons

  1. Benefit One: The Trash Cans Are Hidden
  2. Benefit Two: The Trash Cans Are Conveniently Located In The Center Of The Kitchen
  3. Benefit Three: The Cabinets Can Hold Two Trash Cans (More Space)
  4. Drawback One: Garbage Can Fall Inside The Cabinet
  5. Drawback Two: The Trash Cans Have To Be Pulled Open (No Foot Step To Open)
  6. Drawback Three: The Cabinet Gets Food Residue Spilled On It
  7. Other FAQs About Pull-Out Trash Can Cabinets
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. Related Kitchen Cabinet Articles

Benefit One: The Trash Cans Are Hidden

The first benefit of pull-out trash cans is they keep the trash cans hidden from view.

If you don’t want to set a trash can out on display in your kitchen (or if you don’t have the room for one), then adding a pull-out trash can cabinet into your kitchen is a great way to optimize your space.

Our kitchen is open concept, so there wasn’t a great spot to put a trash can. It would have either been in the way or been an eyesore.

So when we were planning out our kitchen cabinet and island configuration, we decided the best way to add a trash can was to add a pull-out trash can cabinet.

Now we easily fit two 13-gallon trash cans in our kitchen AND they look decorative bc they look like a normal cabinet in our kitchen. Win-win!


Related Kitchen Cabinet Articles


Benefit Two: The Trash Cans Are Conveniently Located In The Center Of The Kitchen

The next benefit of pull-out trash can cabinets is that they keep the trash can conveniently located in the center of the kitchen.

Whether you add a pull-out trash can cabinet to your island or you add an after-market pull-out trash can underneath your sink cabinet, you’ll be able to keep your trash can near where you use it most.

Oftentimes, we need to access the trash cans while using the sink, stove, and refrigerator. So I recommend installing a pull-out trash can cabinet right in the center of all of these items for the most convenience.

Regular trash cans often have to be set to the side of the kitchen since there is not much room for them. Because of this, you’ll have to carry trash farther (and potentially drip unwanted food residue on the way if you aren’t careful).

Having the trash can centrally located in a cabinet is much more friendly to use.

There wasn’t anywhere else we could store a trash can in our open-concept kitchen. Having the trash cans be a part of the island is clutch!

Benefit Three: The Cabinets Can Hold Two Trash Cans (More Space)

The final benefit of pull-out trash cans is that you can hold more trash than a regular trash can.

Trash can cabinets typically come in two sizes:

  • 15-inch wide cabinet with one 13-gallon trash can or
  • 18-inch wide cabinet with two 13-gallon trash cans

This second trash can is awesome because a single 13-gallon trash can just doesn’t hold much trash. The second can let’s you make it a full week without needing to take the trash out all while not taking up extra space.

You could set out two regular trash cans to get the same benefit, but they are going to take up more space in your kitchen.

If you can, then I would opt for the pull-out trash can with two cans to maximize your space.

While there are mostly benefits to pull-out trash can cabinets, there are a few minor drawbacks that we need to discuss below.

Drawback One: Garbage Can Fall Inside The Cabinet

The first drawback of pull-out trash can cabinets is that trash can fall inside the cabinet.

Now, trash is not supposed to fall to the bottom of the cabinet. However, if you load up your trash cans beyond their max capacity and try to shut the cabinet drawer, sometimes when you open the drawer back up, it can knock some trash down behind the cans.

The cabinets don’t normally have an odor when the drawer is shut, but if food residue that’s been knocked behind the cans is left at the bottom of the cabinet long enough, it could cause some major funk to occur.

To avoid this potential drawback, all you have to do is simply take the trash out before it gets too full and occasionally check the bottom of the cabinets to make sure nothing got knocked back there (and clean it up if it did).

If you are aware of this potential problem, then you’ll likely take steps to avoid it.

Drawback Two: The Trash Cans Have To Be Pulled Open (No Foot Step To Open)

The next drawback of pull-out trash can cabinets is that the trash can has to be pulled open in order to use.

Pull-out trash can cabinets don’t come with the ability to use your foot to open the lid. This can be annoying while cooking if you have messy hands and need to open the cabinet to throw away some trash.

I occasionally run into this problem, but over the years, I’ve learned to simply open the trash can before I get my hands messy (for example, while cracking eggs) so I can just toss the trash in and push the drawer closed with my leg when I’m done.

Again, this is a minor drawback, but one that you could find annoying if you aren’t used to it.

Drawback Three: The Cabinet Gets Food Residue Spilled On It

The final drawback of pull-out trash can cabinets is that food residue gets spilled down the face of the cabinet.

No matter how careful or clean you think you are, somehow little bits of food residue are going to get on the face of the cabinet.

It’s a similar problem you would face with the lid of a regular trash can. Though, regular trash cans are made of metal or plastic that are easier to wipe down and avoid damage.

Pull-out trash can cabinets are also easy to avoid damage and wipe down if you wipe away the residue regularly. If you let some food gunk sit for a few weeks though, you’ll have to take care that the color on the face of your cabinet doesn’t start to fade while you scrub pretty hard to clean it.

We haven’t really had a problem with fading, but our dark cabinets do showcase spilled food residue rather easily (which is kind of annoying).

For the most part though, pull-out trash can cabinets will give you greater benefits that will make the few minor drawbacks worth it.

I recommend installing one in your kitchen island if you can!

You can see the little bit of food residue that gets on the cabinet face through regular use.

Other FAQs About Pull-Out Trash Can Cabinets

Here are some other frequently asked questions about pull-out trash cans to help you decide if they are worth it or not.

Can You Install A Pull-Out Trash Can In Any Cabinet?

Pull-out trash cans come pre-installed in new cabinets or an after-market product can be installed in any cabinet that does not have drawers, shelves, or plumbing that it will hit as it slides in an out. These products are typically best used under kitchen sink cabinets.

What Sizes Do Cabinets With Pull-Out Trash Cans Come In?

Pull-out trash cans typically come in two sizes: a 15-inch wide cabinet with one trash can or an 18-inch wide cabinet with two trash cans.

Where Is The Best Place To Install A Pull-Out Trash Can?

Kitchen islands are often the best place to install a pull-out trash can cabinet because they are centrally located to the room and appliances. This makes throwing trash away convenient while cooking, washing dishes, and using the refrigerator.

Final Thoughts On Pull-Out Trash Can Cabinets

There you have it!

In general, pull-out trash can cabinets are a great way to save space in your kitchen, hide your trash from view, and make the trash can more centrally located to the sides of the kitchen where it will be used most frequently.

Hopefully, this guide helped you decide whether you should install a pull-out trash can cabinet in your kitchen or not.

Catch you in my next post!

The Best Kitchen Tools & Products I’ve Used

Ravinte Cabinet Handle Installation Template (For Doors & Drawers)

This is my all-time favorite handle installation template because it has two templates (one for drawers and one for doors) with multiple pull sizes & knob placements! These templates make installing cabinet handles a breeze because you always know your handles will be installed in the same spot on all of your drawers and doors. The kit also comes with a drill bit so you can guarantee you’re using the correct size. I used this template on my entire kitchen and both bathrooms to cut the installation time in half. You can find this hardware template here on Amazon.

Franklin Brass 5-1/16 Inch (128mm) Center Bar Pull (Stainless Steel)

If you want to immediately modernize your kitchen island, then these cabinet pulls are a must. They are heavy-duty feeling, durable, easy to install, and are a large size for a great price. We put these pulls on all of our kitchen and island doors and drawers along with our bathroom doors and drawers. You can find these gorgeous cabinet pulls here on Amazon.

P.S. Use the hardware installation template I mentioned above to install these new pulls in record time!

Love this post? Share it with others so they can decide if a pull-out trash can would be worth it in their kitchen!



Pros & Cons Of Pull-Out Trash Cans In Kitchen Cabinets (Read First!)

DIY With Christine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.