Cars can get messy quickly, but the best car trash cans help to keep them tidy and clean. When shopping for a trash can for your car, look for one that's made of durable, high-quality materials that resist stains, prevent spillage, and are easy to clean. Also consider the most convenient place to stash it: many car trash cans feature adjustable straps that securely fasten the garbage can to a headrest, console, or gear shift, while others are designed for specific spots in your car, such as cup holders. Features like leakproof linings, storage pockets, and collapsible designs can also come in handy.
Trash can get messy and stinky, so it's important to choose a garbage can that is easy to care for and sanitize, either by wiping it clean (the most common) or throwing in the washing machine. Durable exterior materials such as nylon, thick polyester, Oxford fabric, or plastic can all keep up with the wear and tear of frequent use, while products equipped with waterproof and leakproof linings help to prevent liquids from leaking out and making a mess. Additionally, lids with flap, elastic, or Velcro closures can also cut down on unpleasant odors while also keeping trash out of sight. Some lids are fully closable; others lids have convenient cutouts you can insert trash through without opening up the trash can.
If you’re prone to clutter, you might benefit from a trash can with mesh pockets that can help organize and store your essential items. Finally, if you don’t have a ton of space, consider buying a miniature or collapsible trash can that can be easily tucked away when not in use.
The best car trash cans are designed to keep your ride clean, clear, and clutter-free, and they’re some of the most useful car accessories on the market. Plus, they’re all designed to fit a variety of car models, from sedans to trucks to SUVs.
1. This Leakproof Trash Can With A Collapsible Design
This durable, leakproof nylon car trash can features an adjustable strap that slides around any headrest, handle, or console. The lid's opening has a convenient rubber flap closure, the exterior is made of nylon, and the leakproof interior has a waterproof lining that protects against any accidental spillage and is easy to wipe clean. This trash can holds about 2 gallons of trash — and its collapsible shape means you can store it out of sight under your seat or in the trunk when it's not in use. Plus, the front and side mesh pockets can hold additional items you want to keep close at hand.
Promising Amazon review: “I do a lot of road trips and this bag is very handy for my garbage storage. The storage capacity is greater than many of the others I've seen and that it is leak proof is a plus. The material seems to be of good quality which will make it more durable. Overall, I am quite satisfied.”
2. A Larger-Capacity Style With A Lid That Fully Closes
Featuring heavy-duty, 600-denier polyester that holds up well and is suitable for long-term use, this 3-gallon leakproof trash can has everything you need to keep your car tidy. Other features include a waterproof lining, mesh pockets, and an adjustable strap that can be looped around a headrest or gear shift. It doesn't have a cutout opening in the lid — instead it fastens closed with a hook-and-loop closure to keep trash contained. One reviewer described that it "folds up nice for storage," too. When it comes time for a cleaning, just wipe it down with a cloth.
Promising Amazon review: “Surprisingly nice quality and the perfect size. I got a new car and am determined to keep it clean despite having a kid in and out of it. This does the job! I hooked it up in front of her car seat so trash doesn't make it to the floor anymore. The side pockets are perfect for wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, sunglasses, and snacks. Pockets are a good size and easy to access. Easy to just unclip and empty when getting gas. I like that it's thick and insulated if we ever want to use it for drinks on the go, too. This was a good purchase.”
3. A Fan-Favorite Trash Can With Over 18,000 Reviews
EpAuto's Waterproof Trash Can has more than 18,000 Amazon ratings, and it's easy to see why. It holds up to 2 gallons of garbage — and that doesn't include the roomy mesh pockets. The elastic opening and secure lid both allow for easy emptying and cleaning, while the buckle strap can be adjusted to fit almost anywhere in your vehicle. The manufacturer doesn't list the exterior fabric type, but the inside has a waterproof vinyl lining that users claim is easy to wipe clean, and it doesn't leak either. One reviewer wrote that it "doesn't leak all over your car if liquid spills in it." Choose from three colors: black, charcoal, light gray (pictured), and a fun shade of baby pink. This trash can doesn't fold down neatly, according to reviewers, so consider a collapsible option on this list if you're looking for a trash can that's easy to store.
Promising Amazon review: “I can't believe I'm writing a review of a trash can, but this works really well! for years I've used the pop up, cylinder shaped trash cans that never stay in place no matter how I try to secure them to the floor board, spilling trash everywhere. This trash can has an adjustable strap that I loop through my center console so it hangs between the two front seats (facing the back). This makes it easily accessible to both the front and back seat and keeps it from tipping over. It's larger than any other car trash can I've seen in stores, so holds plenty (I line it with a grocery store plastic bag, which fits perfectly).”
4. This Compact Trash Can That’s Machine-Washable
With an elastic opening, adjustable strap, and slim design, this low-maintenance trash can makes a practical addition to any headrest or gear shift. The manufacturer doesn't list the capacity of this trash can, but it's safe to assume that it's ideal for collecting small waste items — one reviewer estimated that it would only be able to hold two water bottles at once. The bottom of the trash can features a Velcro closure that makes it incredibly easy to empty out, but that also means it isn't waterproof or leakproof. However, the wrinkle-resistant Oxford fabric is both tough and machine-washable, making it one of the easiest trash cans to clean. You can also snag this trash can as a two-pack.
Promising Amazon review: “We highly recommend this for it's ease of cleaning (washable), easy to empty (unzip the Velcro bottom), and within reach for the driver when attached to the headrest of the front passenger seat.”
5. This Mini Trash Can That Fits In A Cup Holder
This unexpectedly cute miniature trash can is compact enough to fit in a cup holder (or in many door consoles). Use the push-down flap lid to insert wrappers, papers, tissues, and other small pieces of trash. According to one reviewer, it's "about the size of a large coffee cup," and the hard plastic design means it won't leak. The diamond-shaped silhouette adds a fashionable touch, too. To clean, wash it with water and soap or your preferred disinfectant. Opt for the two-pack if you could use more than one of these mini trash cans.
Promising Amazon review: “This tiny trash can is perfect! It is the size of a coffee mug and it fits in my cup holders. It is easy to empty and clean. I really like the 'push' factor because it is easy to put trash in it while on the move (I don't have to worry about opening a lid). The design is pretty cool, too! I got it to match my cars' color scheme. Buy it!”