How Does the Trash Can Foot Pedal Mechanism Work?

August 23, 2023
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Easy Access Without Having to Bend Over

The foot pedal mechanism on a trash can has been around for many years and is a very convenient way to open the lid on trash bins without having to actually touch the trash container. It helps to keep the lid clean and prevents your hands from getting dirty.

The step pedal is common with both plastic trash cans and stainless steel trash bins. The pedal itself is usually made of metal or plastic and sits on the side or front of the kitchen trash can.

To use it, simply step on the pedal, and the lid will open. Drop trash inside the trash bag liner, take your foot off the pedal and you’re done.

Some trash cans also have a second pedal to close the lid. The pedal works by using a hinge and pressure to open the lid. This article will further discuss how the pedal works and its alternatives.

How Does The Trash Can Foot Pedal Mechanism Work?

The pedal on a garbage bin connects to the lid with a hinge. The hinge permits the lid to open and close smoothly. Some of the most popular brands of step trash cans are the Rubbermaid Step-On and the Simplehuman Step Can.

Note that some of these also come with a lock - essentially making them dog proof trash cans. Even if your canine is smarter than the average dog and knocks the trash can over to get at the delicious contents (from your dog’s perspective), the lock will keep the trash can lid firmly in place.

A dog curiously next to a trash can, wondering about the foot pedal mechanism.

Avoid Situations Like this by Making Sure Your Trash Can Has a Lock

When you step on the pedal, the lid opens a few inches. Step all the way down on the pedal, and the top will open completely. It allows you to drop your garbage into the can without having to touch the lid.

The pedal on a trash can is a great way to keep the lid clean. It also prevents your hands from getting dirty when dumping the garbage. If children are in the home, teaching them to use the garbage bin further protects them from germs that could make them sick.

Problems With The Foot Pedal Mechanism on Step Trash Cans

Over time, the hinge can become loose and need tightening. If the pedal feels loose or wobbles, it is probably due to a flexible hinge.

The pedal also connects to a spring that helps to close the lid. The spring is under tension, and when the pedal is released, it pulls the lid closed.

The spring can also become loose over time and need replacement. Other problems with the pedal can include a broken hinge or a bent pedal.

Here's how to fix it.

Check The Hinge

If the pedal on your trash receptacle is not working properly, there are a few things you can do to fix it. First, check to see if the hinge is loose. If it is, try tightening it with a screwdriver.

The spring may be broken or damaged if the pedal is still not working. In this case, you will need to replace it.

Use Pliers

If the pedal is bent, try straightening it with pliers. If the pedal is severely damaged, you may need to replace it. You can usually find replacement pedals at your local hardware store.

Try Lubricating the Hinges

You may be able to fix it by simply opening up the bottom of the can and lubricating the parts. Most trash cans have a simple design, with just a few moving parts.

The foot pedal is usually attached to a spring-loaded lever. When you press down on the pedal, it pushes the lever up, which opens the lid.

Simply squirt a little oil or WD-40 onto the moving parts to lubricate the pedal mechanism. Work the pedal to work the lubricant into the mechanism.

Use Zip Ties on Warped Hinges

If the hinges on your trash can warp, the lid won't open, creating a hassle if your trash compactor doesn't have a motion sensor. You can try using zip ties to hold them in place.

First, open up the top of the trash can. Attach zip ties through hinges that connect the top to the trash can.

Attaching Zip Ties to Shore Up Loose Hinges

Alternatives To Foot Operated Trash Can

As you know, a foot pedal trash bin operates by stepping on a pedal to open the lid. However, there are other ways to open a trash can without using your hands.

Some trash cans come with a motion sensor that opens the top when it detects movement.

Motion-sensor trash cans work by using infrared technology to detect when something is close to the lid. It's a better option if you have children or pets in the house because it prevents them from getting into the trash.

Motion-Sensor Garbage Bin

Motion-sensor trash cans are the most sanitary option because you don't have to touch the lid to open it. Nor use the foot pedal, which can also carry germs from shoes and bare feet.

It prevents the spread of germs. If you are looking for a trash can that is easy to use and doesn't require your hands, a motion sensor trash can is a good option.

Touchless kitchen trash cans are also a good option if you have children or pets in the house. If you have a touchless trash can, you don't have to worry about them getting into the trash. Not to mention, you don't have to use your feet to operate it either.

Motion Sensor Trash Can With Foot Pedal

There are also trash cans that come with a foot pedal and a motion sensor. These cans have both a pedal and a sensor, so you can choose which one you want to use.

This is the most incredible option if you want the foot pedal's convenience but also the safety of a motion sensor. The trash bin gives you the best of both worlds.

Think about it, if your hands are full, you won't be able to wave them to open the trash can. However, you can still use your feet.

These are the things no one thinks about until they happen. A trash bin with both features is a dream for one who spends lots of time in the kitchen.

Consider your needs and choose the best option for the household.

Odor Protection

No matter which waste bin you use, you're going to want one that has odor protection. It will help to keep your trash can smelling fresh and clean. Having a trash can with a lid that seals tight is also a good idea. It prevents air and odors from seeping through the cracks.

Glad features a 20-gallon stainless steel trash bag with Clorox odor protection, which is perfect to keep trash odor in check for any sized kitchen. Clorox also offers other products to keep down odors in trash cans, such as aerosol spray and trash bags.

Which Is The Best Option For You?

If you have children or pets, a motion sensor trash can may be the best option. If you don't want to use your hands to open the lid, a touchless trash can may be the best option.

If you want the convenience of a foot pedal but also want the safety of a motion sensor, a trash can with both a pedal and a sensor may be the best option.

No matter which option you choose, a trash can with a foot pedal mechanism is a convenient way to avert the spread of germs and prevent your trash top can from getting dirty.

Soft Close Lid - Quiet Waste Disposal

Many trash cans come with a soft close lid - also called a “quiet closing lid”. You can view some of these trash cans on Target’s website.

A soft close lid trash can is a type of waste container with a lid designed to close slowly and quietly. Soft close trash cans are a perfect fit for environments where keeping things quiet - like office settings.

They’re also great for home use, especially for children - who don’t always have an appreciation for how loud noises can annoy others in the household.

Let’s Wrap it Up and Take Out the Trash

A trash can with a foot pedal is a convenient way to streamline trash can use. It lowers the spread of household germs by keeping your hands clean and preventing your trash can from getting dirty.

For those who have children or pets, a motion sensor trash can may be the best option. They won't have to come in contact with a trash bin that contains dirt, grime, decaying food, and even cat litter. The best option for your family is the one they can enjoy without having to see or smell the garbage.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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