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4-gallon trash bags are a must for the studio - IF you can find them

Yeah, I know, this post is going to be a bit on the silly side. But believe me, after you read this you'll be a 4-gallon trash bag user.

(Note to UK readers: Our gallon is smaller compared to yours. Technically, 1 US gallon would measure as a 0.83 UK gallon. Or to be more specific, 1 US gallon is 3.785 liters, 1 UK gallon is 4.404 liters.)

The standard size for most tall kitchen trash bags is 13-gallon, and the small size is 4-gallon.

Most if not all of you out there have a small trash bucket in the bathroom, and the 4-gallon bag is what fits perfectly for that bucket. I use two of these smaller buckets in my place.

What I've discovered over the years is that the small bucket is perfect for when you're doing things like changing guitar strings. You lay the guitar down for wherever you change your strings, pull the bucket over and you toss all the old strings and new string discarded packaging in there; it's really convenient.

Getting the small trash bucket itself isn't the problem. Any general merchandise department store (Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc.) carries them. The problem is getting the bags for the stupid thing.

Here's what one is supposed to look like:


"Ruffies" brand trash are the only kind worth getting, and they're supposed to be under $2 per roll. That's right, these things don't come in a box. Just a simple roll where you tear off a bag whenever you need one. And depending on what you get, it's supposed to be a 48, 60, 90 or 105-count roll. The 60-ct. is usually the best to get. Or if you're the type that wants to buy in such a way where you don't have to buy again for a few years, spend the extra cash and get two 90 or 105-ct. rolls.

Why would I dedicate an entire blog just to 4-gallon trash bags?

Because you would be amazed how difficult it is to find these things.

You have to search far and wide just to find these rolls.

Places I know which sometimes have these rolls are Target and Lowe's. Repeat: Sometimes. Whenever they get in stock, people buy up these things real quick because they never stock enough of them.

"Why don't you just reuse plastic bags from the supermarket?"

That's a good question and I have a good answer.

I could reuse plastic bags from the market from when I go shopping there as they are the proper size for those small trash buckets. However there's a problem - they fall apart easily.

After you toss enough old guitar strings, discarded packaging and so on into one of these bags what you end up with is something with some significant weight to it. Or at least significant for the bag. If you use a reused plastic bag from the market, the bottom will fall right out. Plastic shopping bags from the market are useless as trash bags because of that.

Also remember that the ends of guitar strings poke holes easily in shopping bags, but the plastic used for Ruffies is thicker and is less resistant to holes poked from metal wires.

A tidy studio is a good studio. You can't keep a full-size kitchen trash bucket in there because that just looks stupid, so you opt for the smaller buckets. And you need the trash bags to go along with them. 4-gal is the proper size, Ruffies brand works, and they're far superior compared to flimsy shopping bags.

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