Hack Your Garbage Can to Use Grocery Store Plastic Bags




Introduction: Hack Your Garbage Can to Use Grocery Store Plastic Bags

About: UX Director, Product Manager, & Metal Sculptor w 3D scanning modeling printing, IoT electronics, SaaS prototyping

tldr; Simply install small 'Command' hooks UPSIDE DOWN to hold the handles of the plastic bags, keeping the bag from falling inside the can!

Step 1: Center Hook Upside-down and Trace Outline With Pencil

  1. Put the hook about 4" from the rim of your can and draw an outline around it.
    (soooo many jokes to be made here...) 4" worked perfectly for mine, but everyone's different. ;)
  2. Use rough sandpaper to scratch up and the area inside the outline you just drew and the underside of the plastic hook.
    This is a technique to ensure the glue has something to 'bite' onto. If you don't have sandpaper, scoring crosshatches with a utility knife also works well.
  3. If you want it to look really pro, I recommend erasing the pencil mark and masking the area with painter's tape.

Why not just use the double-sided mounting tape that comes with 3M Command Hooks?

I did that at first, but then they started falling off after a couple weeks. I recommend a more permanent glue like contact cement, "Shoe Goo", "Goop", or similar. I used contact cement because it dries very quickly.

Step 2: Apply Contact Cement

*** Wear gloves when using contact cement *** The stuff is harder to remove than a tattoo.

  1. Carefully apply contact cement to the outlined area.
  2. Recklessly apply contact cement to the underside of the hook.
  3. Let dry for 10-20 minutes.

Step 3: Press the Two Pieces Together Firmly

When the glue is firm but still 'tacky' - as in, it is still sticky but isn't liquid and doesn't come off onto your finger when touched...

  1. You only get one shot at this, so be careful!
  2. Align the top edge of the hook and the area painted with contact cement and press the two pieces together.

Step 4: Repeat for the Other Side and Test Drive!

  1. Glue a hook to the opposite side and give it a test!
  2. Repeat for any other containers you use (i.e. recyclables, compost, crying babies, etc.)

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    8 Discussions

    We all know which side of the can the hooks go on (OUTSIDE, right) but somewhere, there is a poor pilgrim who will put them on the inside. Which you can totally do, if you install them right side up. Dontcha think?

    If you want it even easier and don't hesitate to cut into your garbage bin: Make a V or U-shaped cut on either side of you bin (instead glueing the hook), press the V or U from inside out and use it as hook.

    1 reply

    Great tip!

    I'd add to make sure you have the location exactly where you need it before cutting. "Measure twice, cut once" as they say :)

    I tend to soak myself when washing out the cans, so you could even tape over the holes on the inside if needed.


    12 days ago



    12 days ago

    We use all out grocery plastic bags as trash can liners for every trash can in the home. The bathrooms and great room get them all the time. And we even take the grocery bags and fold them up into a very small rectangles until we need one. Works great.

    1 reply

    Us too! They fit perfectly in the shorter cans as-is. You can even re-use dry cleaning bags by simply tying a knot in the hanger-end. No reason to ever buy garbage bags (and extra waste plastic) again!

    Brilliant! I tried to do something similar with velcro... but velcro + trash = a mess. Your idea is so very practical and well-thought out. THANKS.