Best Car Garbage Can

It’s a dirty topic, an unavoidable one for every driver: trash. Maybe you take your breakfast or lunch on the go; maybe you reach for the occasional mid-rush hour traffic jam snack while you’re not going anywhere.

Do you also find it disgusting to find slips, wrappers, and every possible trash piling up in the bottle holders in your car? Well, a car garbage can is the best thing that you can use in your car if you want to maintain cleanliness. That said, if you are interested in buying a new car garbage can, we have prepared a list that you can check out. However, there are a few important things that you must consider checking before buying

As you go through the list, keeping in mind these few factors will help you pick the right car garbage can pretty easily. However, if you want to go in detail, we have also included a Buying Guide later in this article which you can refer to. Until then, let’s jump to the list and go through the best car garbage cans one by one.

Types of Car Garbage Cans

There are three main types of car trash cans.

1. Hanging Garbage Can

You can place these on the back of a head rest, so they can hang down. Or they can be hooked into the glove box where they’ll hang in front of the passenger seat. They are practical because they don’t move around on the floor once they’re installed, and you can always keep them within reach.

2. Cup Holder Garbage Can

Cup holder trash cans are small and practical. They go into your car’s cup holder and are about the size of a travel mug. They’re perfect for small scraps and they’re very easy to use while driving. Why not get a couple for the front and back of your car?

3. Floor Garbage Can

Lastly, you can find floor trash cans. Usually, these come with a gripped or adhesive bottom so they don’t knock about or slide along the car floor. You might want to get a couple of these. Some for the front and back of the car, since not every passenger will be able to reach these.

Car Garbage Can Key Features

1. Size

Car Garbage Can before after

Every car is different and so are the people that drive them. Some may keep things like food and drinks out while others live in their cars. Depending on how you use your vehicle and how many people occupy it, finding the right size garbage bin is important to meet your specific needs.

2. Waterproofing

There’s dry trash and then there’s wet trash. Dry trash like napkins and receipts are easy enough to collect, but wet trash, like ketchup packets or juice boxes, tend to complicate your sanitation endeavors. Leaks make things wet, sticky, and sometimes smelly, so finding a waterproof solution is a must for anyone who lets liquids into their car.

3. Ruggedness

A tool like a car’s trash can is going to go through its fair share of knocks, so you want something that’ll hold up over time. It’s important not only that it holds up to daily use but that it withstands regular clean-up if it’s the kind that needs to be rinsed out.

Why Use a Car Garbage Can?

Even if you don’t see the benefits of getting a trash can, they’re there! Let’s look at some of them.

Car Garbage Can before after
  • Reducing the Amount of Trash Littered in Your Car: The average American produces roughly 4.4 pounds of trash every day. How much of that is produced while driving? Well, think of all the tissues you’ve used up, the drinks you’ve finished, and the snacks you’ve had behind the wheel. Where does that trash usually go? More often than not, it goes on your car’s floor or, worse, it goes out the window. Getting a car trash can would solve that. You can store the trash in the bin and empty it when you get home. Not only is it an environmentally friendly measure, but it will also make your car look as good as new!
  • Storing Foods and Drinks While on the Road: If you’re going on a road trip or on a picnic, you’ll likely want to keep snacks and drinks around. Instead of having to buy a cooler, you can just store them in your car trash can. Most models even look like picnic fabric baskets.
  • Have Your Children’s Toys at Hand: Besides storing empty food wrappers and bottles, your car trash bin can also store other things. When going on a long trip with kids, it’s good having their toys at hand. Children tend to get a little…fussy…when they’re in one place for too long. Having their favorite toy inside the bin will distract them from the long drive and save you a few headaches.


In order to determine the best trash can for your vehicle, we considered the products most accessible to the widest swath of consumers in the U.S., which also includes performance, price and value. We also considered a broad range of end-user ratings and evaluations by multiple testers.

Car Garbage Can Testing Process

We replicated some of the trash items most likely to accumulate in a car to test these products. This included paper receipts, pens, plastic wrappings, and the remnants of a fast-food combo meal.

We also assessed each product on its capacity, ability to mask smells from garbage, ease of installation, and overall features.

Car Garbage Can Buyers Guide

Car Garbage Can Buying Gide
Car Garbage Can Buying Gide

Cleaning the car after a long trip is definitely a tiring job as you need to take out all the trash stuffed inside the bottle holders, and from every deep corner of the car. However, if you keep car garbage can installed already, cleaning can be done quite quickly.

Although picking the best garbage can from the market is not at all difficult, you might get confused seeing so many good options available to choose from. Hence, if you read this buying guide until the end, it will be a lot easier for you to compare the garbage cans and pick the one best suitable for your car.

When considering the best car trash can options, look for more than a big bag in your favorite color. Below are a few tips from our review team to aid in your shopping experience.

1. Capacity

Depending on the size of your car, you can pick the right size of garbage can accordingly. If you have got a big car and plenty of space is there, you can go with a large-sized garbage can. Otherwise, picking the smaller one will not be a bad choice either. As you look into the market, you will find a variety of garbage cans with different sizes and capacities ranging from 0.2 gallons to 2.5 gallons. Thus, you have a lot of options to choose from, so you can easily find the most suitable one for your car.

2. Material

One of the biggest concerns that every customer should have is the build quality of the garbage can. If you compare the options available in the market, there are garbage bins available made from nylon, polyester, faux leather, and plastic. Usually, the fabric ones are more feasible as they are easy to clean, and generally foldable as well. On the other hand, plastic garbage bins offer better waterproofing, but take up more space in the car.

3. Waterproof

There can be situations when you might need to throw away a glass of drink in the garbage can, so it should not leak through the bin. Thus, you have to make sure that the car garbage can that you pick comes with waterproof protection. You will need to use trash bags in the garbage bins made from fabric for sure. However, there might still be some risk of leakage in such types of bins. But, in the case of plastic bins, you must also use trash bags, but there will not be any risk of leakage anyway.

4. Portable

The portability of the garbage bin is yet another factor that you must consider while choosing one for your car. If the bin is portable enough, you will easily be able to throw away the trash and clean your car quite conveniently. Moreover, portable trash cans can also be used outside of the car when you are out camping.

5. Warranty

Along with the specifications and factors like size and build quality, the reputation of the brand also matters. You must consider buying from the top brands so that you can be sure about the quality of the product. Along with that, brands having a good reputation in the market generally offer warranty for their products as well. In the case of car garbage cans, you will find most of the popular car garbage can options come with a 1 year long warranty.

6. Size Matters

We found that the standard fast-food combo quickly filled most of the car trash cans we tested. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a larger can since most are foldable and can easily be stored in a trunk or storage bin.

And since most bags have a capacity of 2.0 to 3.0 gallons, you’ll probably end up cleaning your car trash can out regularly if you put items other than small trash in it.

7. Location, Location, Location

Since most car trash cans are collapsible, you don’t have to attach all of them in the same place. The seat headrest is an obvious choice, but you can easily swing around to a front seat. You can even attach some smaller cans to the center console, gear shift, or car floor.

Some car trash cans fit in a cup holder, but it’s hard to justify giving up other interior accessories to make room for a trash can.

8. Expect To Buy Bags

Of the car trash cans we tested, only one came with bags. Some brands include trash bags for an extra charge or provide washable liners you can remove for cleaning purposes.

If you don’t feel like paying for garbage bags, a plastic bag or a grocery bag often works as a replacement. However, plastic grocery bags are prone to getting holes and may not be the right size for your car.

Where Should I Place My Car Trash Can?

Car Garbage Can Placing
Car Garbage Can Placing

This is a consideration that deserves your attention. Many of the options we recommend have straps that let you hang them from a front-seat headrest, the glove box, or off the back of a center console. But what if none of those places is actually convenient for you and how you use your car?

That’s why one of our recommendations is the Carbage Can. Because it clips to a floor mat, it’s really only designed to rest on your car’s floor, but we think that’s actually a clever solution, especially in a small car, where a hanging trash can may take up a lot of otherwise useful cabin space.

One final note is that in the case of many of the hanging trash cans on our list, their manufacturers suggest looping the strap over your vehicle’s shift lever so that the garbage bin rests in the front passenger footwell. We don’t think that’s a good idea as it can interfere with your operation of the transmission and distract your attention from the road.

The Car Garbage Can Advice and Tips

  1. Always look for a car garbage can with sturdy construction and design elements. You’ll want a car garbage can that’s built to last.
  2. While disposable trash bag liners are handy, you may want to go with a reusable model to cut costs. If you do, you’ll need to remove the liner once a week or so and wash it. You can do this with warm water and liquid dish soap, but you’ll also want to disinfect the liner every once in a while. Vinegar is an excellent option, or you can go with the handy cleaning wipes that kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
  3. Sprinkling a little baking soda at the bottom of your car garbage bin is another way to help keep odors to a minimum in between emptying.
  4. Proper placement of your car’s trash can is important. You don’t want to open your car door only to have the trash fall out and roll away on a windy day. Use the provided straps and make sure they are snug, so the bin can’t move around.
  5. Vehicle garbage cans don’t have to be used just for garbage. Instead, you could place them next to your children to hold a few toys, coloring books or gaming devices. This will keep them occupied during the ride. Some cans are even insulated, which means you can use them as a cooler when traveling to visit family. You can fill them with water bottles and juice boxes and use the side pockets for snacks and utensils.
  6. Consider signing your family up to participate in a community cleanup day. This is a great way to educate children on the importance of proper trash disposal, and it’s also a wonderful way for the entire family to keep the environment healthy.
  7. The best way to compare car garbage bin prices is to look at how many gallons of trash the model can hold. Affordable bins hold around 1.5 gallons of trash. Other models, however, command a higher price, as they can hold a total of 2.5 gallons of trash before needing to be emptied.

Tidy Car, Tidy Mind

Don’t let the messes of your car ruin your trips! Get one of the best car trash cans available and declutter your car. Most of our recommendations can handle any kind of trash from paper wrappers to empty juice cartons.

Our top recommendation, which is ideal for parents, is the QUARKACE Car Trash Can. But the High Road Trash Stash is great if you want a stylish option. Lastly, we recommend the EPAuto Waterproof Car Trash Can if you want something you can hang inside your car.


So far, as you might have already seen, we have covered some of the best car garbage cans that you can use in your car to maintain cleanliness. As we have thoroughly explained about each garbage can in the descriptions, you can simply compare the specifications and choose the right one for yourself. On the other hand, if you have any sort of confusion, you can either take help from the buying guide or simply pick one from our personal recommendations:

First of all, the EPAuto Waterproof Car Trash Can is one of our personal favorites as it comes with an elastic opening, and offers a capacity of 2 gallons. In addition, it comes with additional pockets and has a pretty attractive price tag as well. On top of it, the manufacturer even offers a 1-year long warranty for it.

On the other hand, you can also go with the HOTOR Car Trash Can if you want something affordable. This trash bin features a rubber lid opening and is made from high-quality nylon material. Moreover, it has a leak-proof inner lining and a collapsible design that helps in easy storage. Apart from that, it comes with a 1-year long warranty too.

In case you want an easy-to-use garbage bin, and nothing fancy, the Drive Auto Car Trash Can is made from high-quality polyester and comes with an open-lid design. The bin offers a 2-gallon capacity, and along with the bin, you will also get 20 trash bags as well. Speaking of warranty, it also comes with a 1-year long warranty.

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