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How to safely use a household trash compactor

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The first trash compactor created in 1941 was used for crushing tin cans. It has come a long way since then. In 1991 a new design was added with separate compartments for recyclable and non-recyclable waste. Nowadays, trash compactors are equipped with features such as odor control, dry and wet food management, filters, and bigger storage space.

How Do Home Trash Compactors work?

A trash compactor is usually installed in your kitchen. It looks like a regular trash can, but it is equipped with a hydraulic-powered metal ram capable of compressing waste into a small dense pack. Once the garbage is compacted, it can be easier to dispose of. Although trash compactors are powerful, they are made of simple components: a metal ram, a waste bin, and an electrical switch. Their functioning is also simple. Once your garbage bin is full, you must close the trash compactor top and turn it on. Modern trash compactors count on safety features like an alarm informing you of any malfunction or incorrect garbage loading.

Pros and Cons of Trash Compactors

Throughout the years, trash compactors had fallen out of fashion, dropping significantly in sales numbers. However, some advocate for its use while others see them as not too convenient kitchen appliances. Let's see some of the pros and cons of having a trash compactor nowadays:

Advantages of Trash Compactors

Some of the pros of having a trash compactor in your home are:

Trash Compactors Drawbacks

Although they are many advantages linked to the use of trash compactors, there are some cons to them, too, such as:

Types of Trash Compactors

To get the most benefit out of your trash compactor, you need to pick the one that best fits your specific needs. Thus, you should know the various trash compactors you can choose from. Here they are:

Under-counter trash compactor

In most kitchens, an integrated trash compactor is usually installed between two low cabinets, much like a dishwasher. They come in a standard cabinet size, allowing you to replace any cabinet with your trash compactor. Note that they have unfinished tops, which require professional installation. Some compactors can be customized to blend in with your kitchen by adding your own panel.

Portable (Convertible) Trash Compactor

Convertible or portable trash compactors can be used as freestanding or installed underneath your kitchen counter. Portable trash compactors can be adapted into built-in appliances, such as in a kitchen renovation project.

Freestanding Trash Compactors

If the thought of adding a trash compactor came to you after your kitchen layout was set and done, a freestanding trash compactor is your ideal solution. Freestanding trash compactors can be installed anywhere you have space in your kitchen. You only need a plug socket nearby. Furthermore, you can use the top of your freestanding trash compactor as an extra working surface.

How to Properly Use a Trash Compactor?

Using your trash compactor adequately will help extend its useful life and prevent safety hazards. Although trash compactors are strong enough to crush glass, you should think twice before introducing glass materials. Glass fragments inside the compactor bag can cause cuts and injuries to those handling your garbage.

Your trash compactor can manage to reduce a variety of waste materials, such as:

However, if you want to avoid costly repairs due to a jammed motor, fire, leaks, or any other issue, you must prevent putting the following into your trash compactor

Additionally, you should be careful not to throw any candles, cigarette butts, or incense sticks that have not completely burned off and cooled down.

Trash Compactor Cleaning and Maintenance

Like any other appliance in your home, your trash compactor should be cleaned and maintained regularly to perform its duties optimally. Hence, you should clean your trash compactor by following these steps: