Imagine the scene: you’re in the middle of preparing your favourite meal, need to throw something away – maybe with sticky hands, too – and suddenly find yourself facing a whole new dilemma. How to open the bin as easily as possible, ideally without having to wash your hands (or the bin) afterwards?
For one, if you have your hands full of veggie peels or meat cutoffs, opening the bin might not be all that easy.
But touching the lid also means washing your hands again. While that’s not a big deal most times – not to mention good hygiene around food is important – it can be a right bother if you’re working with sticky dough or other harder to wash off things.
Luckily, technology is on our side and has given the humblest part of our kitchen a bit of an update, beyond foot pedals.
Touch-free bins use sensor technology to notice when you approach and automatically open the lid – so there is no need for you to reach out and come into contact with the surface.
Curious? Here are six of the latest designs, ready to help you ramp up the hygiene in your home a little more.
How about having three bins combined into one? This 72-litre bin from Vonhaus combines a touch-free top compartment with a handy drawer, offering two extra bins – ideal for recycling or food waste. They are completely removable, too, for easy disposal. Priced £119.99.
Sort waste as you go with Brabantia’s Bo pedal bin, £226, in the new Mineral Golden Beach colour. Inside, twin 30-litre buckets are ideal for general waste and recycling.
Touch-free bins don’t always have to be big. Eko‘s Morandi design is a smart addition to your kitchen or bathroom. A simple wave of your hand (…or foot, if your hands are full) over the lid will prompt it to open, ready to take care of any waste. A five-second countdown alerts you to the lid closing again, so you won’t be caught out, plus it offers manual opening with a button for longer tasks. A small loop handle also makes it easy to carry the 12-litre bin around, for example if you’re busy decluttering. Available in grey, blue, pink, and white, it is priced £69.99.
Simply hover your hand around 10cm above the lid of Made‘s Sensé sensor bin, £49, and the lid will open – magic. It automatically closes after five seconds of inactivity, plus the non-corrosive iron exterior has a smooth, easy-to-clean finish.
You’ll still need a touch to open Simplehuman’s 48-litre bin, £169.95 – but it’s not your hand. Simply bump the top bar with your hip and it’ll reveal double buckets.
Made from durable stainless steel, fingerprints stand no chance on the Cooke & Lewis Drosera sensor bin – but chances are you wouldn’t leave them in the first place, as it opens all by itself at the wave of a hand in front of the sensor. The extra-wide interior leaves plenty of space for waste, too, plus its shape means it easily fits in between cabinets. Clever. Priced £58 from B&Q.
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Featured image: Morandi touch-free bin, £69.99, Eko.