Why is My Touchless Garbage Can not Working? How do I fix it?

why is my touchless garbage can not working

Last Updated on October 2, 2023

One of the great conveniences of modern life is the touchless garbage can. No more having to put your hand in a smelly can to find the perfect position to deposit your garbage; simply wave your hand, and the lid opens automatically. But what happens when your touchless garbage can stop working? 

It’s frustrating when you think, why is my touchless garbage can not working? How do I fix it?

In this article, we will explore some common reasons why your touchless garbage can not be working, as well as how to fix them.

Common Reasons Why Touchless Garbage Can not be Working

There are a few common reasons why touchless garbage cans might not be working.

Let’s explore each of these reasons in more detail.

The Batteries Might be Dead

In most cases, touchless garbage cans don’t work because the batteries are dead. Most touchless garbage cans use four AA batteries, which will need to be replaced every few months. If your garbage can is not opening when you wave your hand, it is likely that the batteries need to be replaced.

The Sensor Might be Dirty, Damaged, or Blocked

Touchless garbage cans may also malfunction if the sensor is dirty, damaged, or obstructed. The sensor is located on the top of the garbage can and is what detects when your hand is near. Your hand might not be detected accurately if the sensor is dirty.

Build-up dirt, grease, and grime can also damage the sensor over time. If the sensor is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

If there is an object in the way of the sensor, it will prevent the sensor from detecting your hand. This can be something as simple as a piece of garbage or dirt blocking the sensor. You will need to remove the object that is blocking the sensor.

The Lid Might be Jammed

If the lid of your touchless garbage can is not opening or closing properly, it might be jammed. Something might be caught in the mechanism that is preventing the lid from opening or closing properly. Remove the object causing the jam to fix this.

There Might be a Broken Wire

If there’s something wrong with either the power supply or wiring in your touchless garbage can, then it may not be able to send out an accurate signal required for proper operation. You’ll need to check the power supply and wiring to see if there are any loose connections or if any of the wires are frayed.

How to Fix a Touchless Garbage Can That Is Not Working Properly?

See If the Adaptor is Alright

The first thing you’ll want to do is check if the adaptor is right. If it’s not, then this could be what’s causing your touchless garbage can to malfunction. Check if the wires are properly connected and if the adaptor is plugged into a power outlet.

Try Replacing the Batteries

Try Replacing the Batteries
Try Replacing the Batteries

In most cases, simply replacing the batteries will solve the problem. Most of the touchless garbage cans on the market use AA or AAA batteries, so this is usually an easy fix.

Just make sure to use fresh batteries of the same type. If you’re not sure how to replace the batteries, consult your user manual.

If the batteries are not the problem, you can also try other things.

First, check to see if the garbage can is plugged in. You can unplug it and plug it back in if this is the case. Sometimes this will reset the touchless feature and get your garbage can working again.

Clean the Sensor

As anyone who has ever tried to use touchless garbage cans knows, they can be frustratingly finicky. Touchless garbage cans have a sensor that detects motion and opens the lid automatically. Over time, this sensor can become dirty and stop working properly.

One way to fix this problem is to clean the sensor regularly. A buildup of dirt and grime can cause the sensor to malfunction, but a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth can often restore it to working order.

First, remove the lid of the garbage can. Then, locate the sensor on the inside of the lid.

The sensor is usually a small disk or cube. Use a cotton swab or toothpick gently to clean the sensor.

If there is built-up dirt, you may need to use a mild cleaning solution. Be sure to dry the sensor completely before replacing the lid on the garbage can. 

Also, be sure to keep the area around the sensor clear of obstacles. Cloths, tissues, or napkins can also block the sensor.  If the sensor is obstructed, it may not be able to detect motion and trigger the lid properly. 


If your garbage can is still not working after you’ve replaced the batteries and cleaned the sensor, it’s possible that it just needs to be recalibrated. Almost all touchless garbage cans have a calibration tool that you can use to adjust the sensor’s sensitivity.

If the sensor is still not working, you can try recalibration. This will reset the garbage can and allow it to detect motion again.

Remove the lid of the garbage can and locate the two small screws holding it in place. Remove these screws and set them aside.

Now, replace the lid on top of the garbage can. Make sure that it clicks into place properly – if not, reattach the screws and try again.

Once everything has been replaced and installed correctly, turn on your garbage can by plugging it in at the wall outlet or using the power button.

After a few seconds, you should hear the sensor signal and see the lid start to open on its own. If all goes well, your touchless garbage can is now recalibrated and should work as usual. If the problem persists, you may need to take the garbage can apart and replace the sensor.

Detached Wires

There may be a loose connection, or the wires may have come detached. Inspect the unit for any loose wires. If you see any, try to reconnect them. You may need to replace the wire entirely if that doesn’t work.

Check the Motor Function

Check the Motor Function

Occasionally, a lid motor may not work properly; if this is the case, you may need to replace it. The lid motor is responsible for opening and closing the lid.

If it is not working properly, the lid will not open when the sensor is triggered. To replace the lid motor, you will need to disassemble the garbage can.

It is located near the hinge of the lid, so you will need to remove the hinge to access it.

Once you have located the motor, unplug it from the power source and remove it from the garbage can.

Then, simply install a new motor in its place and reassemble the garbage can.

Refer to your user manual for instructions on how to do this. Once you’ve replaced the lid motor, your garbage can should start working again.

The Open Button not Working

In some cases, the open button might simply be worn out and need to be replaced. This is a relatively easy fix and can be done with a screwdriver.

  1. Remove the screws that hold the open button in place.
  2. Disconnect the wires from the open button.
  3. Replace the open button with a new one and screw it back into place.

Once you’ve done this, your touchless garbage can should start working again.

After troubleshooting the cause, reset the device to ensure everything is working correctly. If none of these solutions work, you may need to replace the garbage can entirely.

Touchless garbage cans are generally very durable and should last for many years. However, if your touchless garbage can is not working properly, it may be time for a new one.


What’s the Best Type of Garbage Can for You? 

There are a few factors to consider when picking the right type of garbage can.

The first factor is how many people will be using the garbage can. A traditional bin may be sufficient if only one person will be using it.

But, if the garbage can will be used by multiple people (such as in a home with small children or pets), then a sensor bin may be preferable due to its convenience and lower cost.

Next, consider what you plan on putting in your garbage can. Traditional bins are designed to hold large pieces of trash such as food scraps and bones; however, a sensor bin may not be able to handle these larger items. It is better to buy a trash can with an overflow feature so you can dispose of large items without messing with the sensor.

Another important factor is how often the garbage can will need to be replaced. Choosing a traditional bin may be the better choice if you only use your garbage can occasionally. And, if your garbage can is used more frequently (for example, if you have children who throw things away constantly), then it might be worth investing in a touchless bin so that there are no messy touches required and no mess to clean up afterward.

Finally, consider what type of garbage can you want. There are two main types: open top and closed top. 

An open-top bin allows trash to pile up, which can be hazardous if it falls over; meanwhile, a closed-top bin forces users to lift the lid to dispose of their trash.

What is the Procedure for Opening a Sensor Can’s Battery Compartment?

The best way to open a battery compartment on a sensor can is to use a screwdriver. You will need to remove the screws that are holding it in place. 

The screws might be hidden underneath stickers or other markings, so take your time and look carefully before removing them all. Once all of the screws are removed, lift up both sides of the bin lid and pull. 

The battery compartment is usually located at the bottom of the garbage can. If you still can’t find it, consult the manual that came with your specific model for further guidance. 

After you’ve found the battery compartment, simply pop open the lid and replace the batteries as needed. Screw the lid back on, making sure that all of the screws are tight, and you’re all set!

What is the Best Way to Clean a Sensor Bin?

The best way to clean a sensor bin is to use a soft, damp cloth. Avoid using harsh cleaners or scrubbers, as these can damage the sensor. Instead, just use a mild soap and water solution to wipe down the outside of the bin.

Smart Bins – What are They?

Smart bins are garbage cans that come equipped with a sensor. The sensor allows the bin to open automatically when your hand is near. This is a convenient feature that helps to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

By using sensors and artificial intelligence, smart bins can empty themselves when they get full. They never need to be manually emptied. It saves time and money, as well as reduces the risk of overflow.

Also, some of them can sort waste into recycling, compost, and landfill categories, making it easier for councils to process and recycle waste. As a result, smart bins are a more efficient and environmentally friendly way of managing our waste.

How Does a Sensor Bin Work?

A sensor bin uses an infrared sensor to detect when your hand is near. When the sensor is triggered, the bin will automatically open.

You can then place your waste into the bin. The sensor will automatically close the bin when you move your hand away.

Some sensor bins also come equipped with a trash bag fullness sensor. This sensor will detect when the bin is full and will automatically open the lid. This allows the bin to be emptied without having to manually open the lid.

What are Some of the Benefits of Using a Sensor Bin?

Sensory bins are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s easy to see why. These high-tech devices offer a number of benefits over traditional waste bins.

For one thing, they help to keep your home or office clean and tidy. No more missed bin collections or overflowing bins!

Sensor bins also help to reduce your carbon footprint by automatically sorting your waste into recycling and landfill categories. This means that you can be sure that your recyclable materials are actually being recycled and that your landfill waste is being kept to a minimum.

Also, sensor bins are often fitted with lids that seal automatically, preventing unpleasant odors from escaping. This is perfect for homes with small children or pets.

Finally, sensor bins are simply more convenient than traditional bins. They save you time and effort, and they can even help to keep your hands clean and germ-free.

What are some of the drawbacks of using a sensor bin?

There are a few drawbacks to using a sensor bin.

  • hey can be more expensive than traditional garbage cans.
  • The bin require batteries, which need to be replaced periodically.
  • They may not work as well in cold weather.
  • Sensor bins can be susceptible to false positives, meaning that sometimes they may open when there is no hand nearby.

Finally, they may not be able to hold as much waste as a traditional garbage can.


It is amazing how convenient and hygienic a touchless garbage can is. It is a great way to avoid getting your hands dirty and make waste disposal quick and easy.

If your touchless garbage can is not working properly, don’t worry – there are several things you can do to troubleshoot the problem and get it up and running again.

The tips we shared can help you fix your touchless garbage can if it stops working. By following these tips, you can ensure that your touchless garbage can will work properly for years to come.

And once you do, you’ll be glad you have it – nothing beats the convenience of a touchless garbage can!

Why is My Touchless Garbage Can not Working? How do I fix it?

4 thoughts on “Why is My Touchless Garbage Can not Working? How do I fix it?

  1. Where can I buy a replacement screw for the moving lid mechanism or what type of screw should I be looking for? It came loose a couple of times, but now it’s lost, so it can’t open & close on its own anymore, please help me?

    1. When it comes to replacing missing small parts (like screw) for automatic gadgets and appliances, finding the exact match can be tricky. However, there are several options to try before giving up on a replacement.

      Try out the following tips:
      1) Check with a local repair shop- If you’re having trouble finding the right part, a local repair shop may be able to help. They may even have the part in stock.

      2) You should reach out to the seller who sold you the product. They may have access to the specific part you need or be able to provide additional information on who to contact.

      3) If that doesn’t work, try reaching out directly to the manufacturer via email or phone. Search for contact information on the company website should do the trick.

      4) You can also try searching for the part on Google or another search engine. Just be sure to include the make and model of your product.

      5) And as a last resort, consider purchasing a new product rather than settling for an imperfect replacement piece. It may seem easier in the short term, but using something that isn’t quite right can lead to dissatisfaction and even damage in the long run.

  2. On my touchless trash can I put brand new batteries in and it works great for one week then it dies out. The batteries were working for many months prior to this. Something is killing the batteries. You have any idea?

    1. It seems your touchless trash can is experiencing an issue causing the batteries to drain faster than expected. There could be several potential reasons for this issue:

      1. Heavy usage: If your trash can is being used frequently or has many activation events, it could cause the batteries to deplete more rapidly than normal.

      2. Malfunctioning sensor: The infrared sensor on the trash can be faulty or overly sensitive, causing it to activate unnecessarily and thus drain the batteries faster.

      3. Internal electrical issue: There could be a short circuit or other electrical problem within the trash can’s components, leading to increased power consumption and depleting the batteries more rapidly.

      4. Low-quality batteries: It is possible that the brand-new batteries you have been using are of low quality, causing them not to last as long as expected. You may want to try using a different brand of batteries or switch to high-performance or rechargeable batteries to see if it makes a difference.

      5. Firmware or software issue: Occasionally, the software that controls the trash can’s operation could have a bug that leads to excessive power consumption. In such cases, you may want to check if a firmware update is available from the manufacturer or contact them for further support.

      To identify the root cause of the issue, we recommend trying the following troubleshooting steps:

      1. Monitor the frequency of the operation of your touchless trash can to understand if it is being activated more than necessary.

      2. Inspect the infrared sensor and ensure it is clean and free from obstructions.

      3. Check for any visible signs of damage, wear, or loose connections within the trash can’s internal components.

      4. Test the trash can with high-quality or rechargeable batteries to see any improvement in battery life.

      5. Contact the manufacturer for assistance, as they might provide further guidance or possible firmware updates to address the issue.

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