Simplehuman 40L Trash Can Review – Let’s Talk Trash!

Simplehuman 40L Trash Can for RVing
Unfortunately, this meant I could no longer build my tower of trash. As disappointing as this was, so was trying to pull out the trash can to toss garbage in it.

Today we are talking trash, more precisely about trash cans.  I have never given my trash can much thought until recently, and do not believe most people have.  My blue Rubbermaid trash can has been a stable member of the household since 1997. The ‘can’ has been with me only 2-years longer than my husband, Don.  What a relationship we have had in that time; it has traveled somewhere around 2,000 miles, through several states, and has somehow survived unscathed with only a missing lid.

No task is too big or too small for our blue trash can that lost its ill-fitting lid a decade ago.  I have built many towers of trash in it, while I waited out Don, who would inevitably take the trash for a walk, only moments before it’s collapsing fate.  It has also held the mop water without issue, as well as being stuffed full of cleaning supplies on moving days.

Why Part With Rubbermaid?

So why would we want to trade our faithful family trash can in for something else?  Well, when we moved into our 5th wheel to live full-time, the tall trash can barely fit in the kitchen island.  Unfortunately, this meant I could no longer build my tower of trash. As disappointing as this was, so was trying to pull out the trash can to toss garbage in it.

1990s Blue Rubbermaid Trash Can

I still did not cave to the idea of a new trash can. This one had been working flawlessly for all these years.  The only issue was trying to pull it out from under the island. So we looked into the possibility of installing a sliding tray in the rolling kitchen island. The only problem with that was we did not have enough height between the tall trash can and space needed for the shelf. Then there was the fact that I had to open the cabinet door, grab the trash can, slide it out, to toss something away.

The Smell … The Smell …

Then one warm day the kitchen island started to smell a little ‘off.’   The smell continued to be an issue, despite any amount of air freshener strips. It was clear and stinky noticeable that we needed to put a lid on the trash can.

The smell may not be so apparent in a house, our 5th wheel is a modest 200 square feet.  Then toss in a hot Summer day, sun beating through the single pane windows, and you have yourself a nice brewing mess of smells.

Perfect Trash Can Criteria

Our search began for the ‘perfect’ trash can.  We needed one with a lid and have the correct height to still go in our kitchen island.  After a lot of searching, it was obvious a new trash can would not fit in the kitchen island. All the new ones were way too tall or too small.

The second criteria of having a lid became another matter.  Some companies cut a hole in the top of the trash can with a lid that swings.  My issue with this type of system is the smell will still creep out and if you are not careful you will end up getting ‘yuck’ on the swinging lid.  I needed a lid that would actually wrap around the top of the trash can. Oddly, the hunt for this type of style grew increasingly harder, with only a handful of companies actually doing this.

Next was to tackle my dilemma of having the trash can residing on the kitchen floor.  Since we live in a 5th wheel, when it is moving day, I would need to remember to put the trash can in a location that it would not tip over.  Typically you would dispose of the trash before heading out to your next destination. But in the event, we are unable to, I did not want to walk into a garbage landfill disaster.  

Simplehuman, Has A Good Feature

After more looking online I found a brand called Simplehuman that claimed to have a locking lid.  Their ad was aimed at keeping dogs out of the trash but would aid us if the can fell over. Of course, that is if I remembered to lock the lid before moving day!  

The Simplehuman seemed ideal in that it also had a foot pedal so I did not have to lift the cover with dirty hands.  This is a feature you do not think much about until you have too much trash in your hands. Then attempt to open it without dropping stuff on the floor.

Trash Can Concerns

Simplehuman was not simple in price!  I wasn’t sure if the price tag for the 40 Liter Slim trash can would be worth the cost.  I kept looking around but did not see anything that had great reviews like this brand. Very few had a lid that wrapped around the sides of the can. A locking lid was even more of a unicorn. My other concern with the Simplehuman was it had it’s own special trash bags. But a few people mentioned the Costco brand would work.

Another concern for the cost was if the foot pedal would act like a trebuchet. Or if it would slowly lift the lid, unlike the cheap cans. The thought of flinging produce with the trash can lid was appealing. But one I probably should refrain from acting on.

Simplehuman Testing

Despite my concerns, I purchased the Simplehuman 40 Liter Slim trash can and immediately tried our Costco (white) trash bag, it fit.  If it had not worked, I was considering returning the can because we would be in different areas of the US, so trying to get those expensive specialty bags delivered could be a nightmare.  

40 Liter Slim by Simplehuman

Next, I went to work on trying to tip the can over with the lid locked.  To my surprise, it held! Even better, none of the parts broke.

Now the true test, to see if the smell would waif out of the can. We are pleased to announce that over the 9-months we have had it, there were only a couple times when you could get a hint of a garbage whiff.  When the smell started to linger out of the can, it was typically on days we had some very stinky trash inside, plus the inside of the 5th wheel was around 80*F. Come winter our trash can is located right next to a heater vent, not an ideal location, but so far it has done well. We are pleasantly happy with our newest member of our family, and at this point, it has been well worth the cost.

Simplehuman Issue

The only issue I have with the Simplehuman (40 Liter Slim) so far is that when you press down on the foot pedal, the trash can likes to scoot on the tile floor.  Since the wheels do not lock, I put a couple small pieces of rubber-grip shelf liner under them and that has helped. Also when pressing down on the foot pedal you do have to go a little easy on the pressure or it does fly open, sending a not so nice bouquet of garbage smell your way.  

Would We Recommend the Simplehuman Trash Can

So, what happened to our old faithful blue trash can?  Rest assured, we still have it. Currently, it houses the recyclable items like boxes and plastics. But will later be used to store outdoor items like hoses and continue to be my tall mop bucket.  When you have a 20-year old item that still functions and serves a purpose, for me it is hard to part with it.

I thought that spending almost $50 on a trash can was absurd. Some were priced at $200, and no person to take the trash out for you. I had high expectations for the ‘perfect’ RV trash can.

The Simplehuman has a lid that 95% of the time keeps the odor in. My Costco trash bags fit a little tight but do work. The locking lid does what it is supposed to do.  After having the Simplehuman (40 Liter Slim) through the hot Summer and cold Winter next to a heater, I am sure I made the right choice for our family. Now the true test, will it out ‘live’ our 20-yr old faithful blue trash can.

NOT SO FINE PRINT: We have provided you with a secure link to the product discussed in this blog post. Your Amazon shopping experience is exactly the same, including prices, and we do not see what you have ordered. BUT by clicking on the link, we will get a small kick-back from your Amazon shopping (that day). This 1-click simple act of kindness helps us keep our Adventures In RV Life going …Thank you!

Melissa McElfresh

Melissa McElfresh

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which made me realize life is too short and not to take simple things for granted. As an avid indoor-girl with allergies, I did not go on hikes of any sort. But, one day my Marine husband, Don, asked if I would go on a 'nature walk' with him. It was on the paved Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I went and was hooked, eager for our next adventure! The desire to see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, has aided me to share with you my new adventure.

2 Responses

  1. Seriously why do trash cans with lids have to cost do much? They are plastic after all, but they know we need them so….

    1. Michelle, my thoughts exactly! I tried to hold out as long as I could, after seeing the prices, but the overwhelming smell was enough for me to break out my wallet. Thankfully this one has been great 😉 ~Melissa

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