How to Clean a Remote Control With 5 Easy Methods

Published September 29, 2020
woman cleaning a remote control with a pad

There's no doubt that remote controls make life pretty convenient. Many people use remote controls every day, whether they're for a TV, stereo system, air conditioner, or even more than one device. Understandably, these high-touch objects can get grimy and collect bacteria over time. If you think your remotes could use a good cleaning, learn how to do it with these easy methods.

What You'll Need to Clean Your Remote

With all of their tiny buttons, remotes inherently have tough-to-get-to nooks and crannies that will require some special (but affordable) tools. You'll also want to make sure to use products and techniques that are safe for the controller. The following supplies will make this task easier:

Supply List

How to Easily Clean Any Remote Control

When it comes to general cleaning of any remote control, you'll want to look at your user guide if it's available. However, this method works for most types of remotes.

woman wearing rubber gloves cleaning remote
  1. Remove the batteries from the remote control.

  2. Use the toothbrush to brush away all debris from in and around the buttons. Work your way from the top to the bottom.

  3. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts water and rubbing alcohol.

  4. Spray it on the microfiber cloth.

  5. Tap out any excess moisture.

  6. Give the remote several vigorous swipes with the cloth.

  7. For tight spaces, spray the mixture on the cotton swabs and work the areas to remove grime and buildup.

  8. Flip the remote over and use the toothbrush to remove any loose crumbs or debris from the battery compartment.

  9. Make sure the remote is dry before you replace the batteries and test the remote.

How Do You Disinfect a Remote Control?

To disinfect a remote, wet a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe down the entire remote. If you don't have rubbing alcohol on hand, put a bit of hand sanitizer on your cloth and use that to sanitize your remote. Another method for sanitizing your remote is to use a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a washcloth and wipe down the entire surface.

Can You Spray Lysol on a Remote Control?

Never spray Lysol directly onto the controller. Spray the disinfectant onto a cloth first and use that to wipe down the remote control.

How to Clean TV Remote With Lysol Wipes

When it comes to cleaning a TV remote, you have several rubber buttons that can hide grime and germs. To clean a TV remote, simply follow these instructions.

woman cleaning and disinfecting TV remote control
  1. Remove the batteries.

  2. Use the toothbrush to brush away any loose debris and grime.

  3. Wring out a Lysol wipe to remove excess moisture.

  4. Wipe down the entire TV remote from top to bottom.

  5. Use your finger to scrub and remove any buildup.

  6. Use the toothpick to get the grime out around the buttons and off plastic.

  7. Wipe down the back of the remote.

  8. Let the surfaces dry before you replace the batteries and cover.

How to Clean a Sticky Plastic Remote Control

Nobody enjoys a sticky plastic remote control. To get rid of that deeply unpleasant gunky feeling, try wiping down the remote with rubbing alcohol and see if that gets rid of the stickiness. However, for those harder to remove sticky messes, baking soda can work wonders.

  1. Make sure to remove the batteries.

  2. Create a thick paste using baking soda and water.

  3. Use your finger or a cotton swab to apply the baking soda to the sticky area.

  4. With the toothbrush, work the mixture around.

  5. Wipe and repeat as needed.

  6. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe out the battery compartment.

  7. Make sure all surfaces are dry before you replace the batteries and test.

How to Clean Remote Control After Battery Leak

What if you open up your remote control's battery compartment only to find it full of chalky white stuff? That white stuff is from a battery leak in the remote, but it can be fixed. Make sure you put on your gloves before you begin cleaning the battery corrosion away!

old battery leak corroded in remote control
  1. Remove the batteries and discard them.

  2. Create a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar.

  3. Dip a cotton swab in the mixture.

  4. Use your fingers to wring it out.

  5. Take the cotton swab and scrub away all the white residue.

  6. Make sure to pay special attention to the coils.

  7. Check the battery cover and remove residue from there as well.

  8. Use a dry cotton swab to dry everything off.

  9. Allow the compartment to dry before adding new batteries.

Cleaning Your Remote

When it comes to cleaning your remote, rubbing alcohol is a solid go-to. However, you can clean a remote with Lysol wipes to disinfect, or baking soda for sticky messes. Now that you have the know-how, go give your remotes the love they deserve!

How to Clean a Remote Control With 5 Easy Methods