Do Trash Compactors Need Special Bags? [And How To Measure For Them]

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Are you a homeowner with a trash compactor and find yourself wondering if you need to purchase trash bags specifically designed for trash compactor usage? Is it possible to use regular trash bags instead? What will happen if you use kitchen trash bags? Perhaps you are wondering how to find the correct size bag for your trash compactor We've researched these questions and have found useful answers for you.

Yes, using bags designed for your trash compactor's size is paramount for successful ownership and usage. Also, trash compactor bags were engineered to withstand the pressures of the compactor. Conventional trash bags are not and will easily break if used for this purpose.

To determine the correct size trash compactor bag, simply measure the trash compactor's width (from side to side).

If you still have some additional questions about trash compactor bags, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in greater detail. We'll also talk about whether or not you have to use trash compactor bags and much more. Without further ado, let's get into it!

A woman throwing away sliced peppers in to the trash compactor, Do Trash Compactors Need Special Bags? [And How To Measure For Them]

How to measure for trash compactor bags

Firstly, open the trash compactor and measure the width from side to side with a measuring tape. Jot the measurements down so you don't forget the dimensions. Then, visit Amazon or your local hardware store to purchase the 18-gallon standard bags for a 25-gallon capacity compactor or the larger size for a compactor in the 30-50 gallon range.

Do I have to use trash compactor bags?

According to AAA Polymer, using bags specially manufactured for trash compactors is required to withstand the immense force the compactor uses to compact the garbage. Regular trash bags were not designed for the amount of force trash compactors use. The conventional kitchen trash bags will break from the force, which will result in a huge mess, and your trash will not be compacted properly.

Also, every time the trash compactor is half full, it will automatically compress the garbage. This process could occur several times before the bag needs to be changed. Failure to use the trash compactor bag could cause the machine to malfunction from having a broken trash bag caught inside.

Click here to see these universal-sized trash compactor bags on Amazon.

Trash compactors are highly functional appliances that help keep your household or workplace running a bit smoother. But do they need regular lubrication for maintenance? Check out our guide to find out.

What size are trash compactor bags?

The average gallon capacity of a trash compactor bag is 18 gallons, and these are designed to fit most 25-gallon capacity trash compactors. 18-gallon bags are deemed the universal standard for trash compactor bags. Carefully read the product descriptions to verify the bags will fit your trash compactor properly.

Also, there are many brands that manufacture 20-gallon bags and off-brand varieties that are 13 to 25 gallons. Some bags are designed to be fastened shut with zip ties included in the box, while others are complete with handles for easy removal. Other brands offer bags that are designed to be tied at the opening with a drawstring instead of a zip tie.

Choosing the right bag for your trash compactor is one of the most important tasks associated with owning a trash compactor. Failure to use quality bags correctly will diminish the overall effectiveness of the appliance and could result in needing a replacement trash compactor sooner than later.

Click here to see Kirkland's Compactor Kitchen Trash Bag on Amazon.

What bags do you use in a trash compactor?

For best results, only use bags designed for trash compactors; several brands offer standard-sized compactor bags. Generally, your owner's manual will detail the dimensions for the correct size of the bag and suggest a brand as well. Most compactor trash bags are fitted for compactors that are 15 or 18 inches wide. Moreover, trash compactor bags are three-ply plastic with reinforced strength to withstand the brute force of trash compression and removing the bag from the compactor.

In comparison, kitchen trash bags are not nearly are strong and are not designed for the massive forces of trash compression. They will rip and shred inside the trash compactor. This could cause the compactor to stop working, in which case you may have to remove the clogged debris by hand. If removing the debris does not remedy the issue, you should contact the manufacturer's customer service center for further instructions.

Also, Glad does manufacturer 18-gallon bags that are considered universal for most models of trash compactors including leading rectangular and round compactors, manufactured by Whirlpool, Sears, Frigidaire, General Electric, Amana, Tappan, and Hotpoint. If you are unsure if these bags will fit inside your compactor, visit the manufacturer's website or reference the owner's manual for guidance.

Click here to view Glad's trash compactor bags on Amazon.

Click here to view the Ultrasac trash compactor bags on Amazon.

How many gallons is a trash compactor?

Trash compactors for home use are generally 25 gallons. However, several smaller or larger models were designed to accommodate smaller living spaces and tiny offices. There are stand-alone trash compactor models that hold as little as five gallons and larger models that will accommodate 30 to 50 gallons.

Spend time researching the available option in your ideal price range while monitoring the waste output of your house or office to determine the perfect trash compactor for your needs. Word of advice — the average 25-gallon capacity is a solid choice for households with four people or fewer. Determining the ideal sized trash compactor for your household is dependent upon a few variables:

  1. How much waste do you regularly create, and how much of it is non-recyclable waste?
  2. What are the measurements for the space where you plan to store the trash compactor?
  3. How much are you willing to invest?
  4. Freestanding or installed models?
  5. Do you plan to use it solely for trash or recyclables as well?

Click here to view a small five-gallon trash compactor on Amazon.

Click here to view this Household Essentials trash compactor on Amazon.

Additional thoughts

Trash compactors are a great way to minimize the amount of waste in your home or workplace. Often, the sheer volume of trash can be reduced by 75%. Moreover, these brilliant appliances do not replace the need to recycle glasses, plastics, papers, and other recyclable materials. Rather, the compactor will reduce the volume of unrecyclable waste and minimize the bulk of the waste before it is sent to the landfill.

Another option for utilizing trash compactors is the possibility to crush aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, and recyclable plastics to prepare the materials for the recycling center. Reducing trash volumes and preparing your recyclables will dramatically reduce your home or office's carbon footprint.

Safety considerations for trash compactor ownership and usage

  • Never place your hand inside the compactor when it is jammed.
  • Do not allow children or pets access to the interior of the trash compactor.
  • Wear gloves when changing the bags.
  • Unplug the compactor when changing the bags or performing any maintenance tasks.
  • Keep hair tied back or under a cap to prevent it from getting caught in the compactor.
  • Follow the manufacturer's suggested maintenance routine.
  • Keep the trash compactor clean to prevent the growth of harmful bacterias and mildew.
  • Only use bags designed for trash compactors.
  • Do not leave the trash compactor open when it is not in use.

Keeping your trash compactor clean is paramount for keeping it in the best working condition possible. Click here to read our article that details the necessary steps for cleaning your trash compactor.

In closing

Trash compactors are excellent for reducing the amount of trash your household generates and lessening the strain on your local landfills. Remember, investing in the correct type of bag will save you money in the long run by reducing wear to the machine and will make your life much easier when it is time to remove the full trash bag.

We sincerely hope this article has helped you gain useful knowledge regarding trash compactor bags and successful ownership. And before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts that might be of interest:

How To Remove A Built-In Trash Compactor In 4 Easy Steps

What is the Standard Size of a Pantry? [By Pantry Type]

How To Fill Empty Floor Space In The Kitchen

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