With 3 Kids Under 4, I Couldn’t Keep My Car Clean Until I Bought This $19 Product on Amazon

published Oct 26, 2022
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Graphic showing side by side photos of a patterned car trash bag open and ready to use and closed and flattened for storage
Credit: Amazon

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Before I had kids, I kept the inside of my car near spotless. I like things to be neat and orderly, and living in a clean space helps me keep my head clear. Of course, young kids are the opposite of neat and orderly. They’re wild and free and fun… and messy

Now that I have three kids under 4, I consider it a good day if I can see the floor of the backseat of my car. With a fast-paced life and kids that need to eat, we frequent fast food drive-thrus more than I would like to admit. In the past, this often meant fries, used napkins, and discarded Happy Meal toys littered the back seat of my car. Without a designated place for garbage, everyone just kind of put their trash where they saw fit. 

When we decided to upgrade to a minivan, we also decided that we needed some systems in place to keep the inside of our car from becoming a disaster. 

Why I Love Our Car Trash Can

The first item we bought to help keep our car more tidy was this trash can that I’m now convinced everyone needs to have in their car. Could you shove your trash in the door compartments (guilty!) or stuff it in an old fast food bag? Sure. But I’ve found that as a mom of three little kids, if I really want to keep my car clean, I need to have a permanent designated spot for trash. 

I like that this trash can has structured sides, unlike fast food bags or makeshift trash containers. It also has side mesh compartments and a front pocket to hold tissues or wipes. Having a designated spot for wipes in itself can save our car from messes because something always seems to be spilling. We keep hand sanitizer and trash bag refills in our side pockets, but you could fill those with anything you like to have on hand in the car: toys, napkins, plastic cutlery, etc.

We upgraded to the van because we needed more space, but the trash can is also a great space saver for smaller vehicles. You can hang it on the back of a seat, saving floor space. In any size vehicle, it also just looks neat and tidy. It’s easy to keep the trash can itself clean, too, because it has removable leak-proof liners. You won’t find unknown substances that your kids throw away dripping from the bottom of the bag. We also add a plastic bag inside the liner so we never need to worry about cleaning the liners. 

It may seem simple, but this trash can has made our lives in the car better and more organized. Everyone knows where to put their trash, and emptying the bag takes only a few seconds. We often empty ours when we stop at a gas station or when we first pull into the garage. 

I’m happy I spent that $19 on a car trash can, and given the choice, I’d do it again. The fabric design doesn’t scream “there’s a trash can in here!” when someone gets in the car, and it serves its purpose perfectly of helping us keep our vehicle tidy and organized. 

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