How to clean your remote control easily

What do the laptop keyboard, the cell phone, a dish towel and the remote control have in common? At first glance, nothing. But they are all among the germiest places in the home. Why? Because they are so rarely cleaned.

Do you clean your smartphone regularly? Or change your dish towel every day? Have you ever cleaned your remote control? These are all items that tend to be forgotten during weekly apartment cleaning. But the germs lurking there can be triggers of infections that can be avoided. Particularly with the remote control, which is in daily use, special attention should be paid to cleanliness. Who would have thought that a clean remote control can be an infection prevention. atechbook shows you how to clean your remote control easily.

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Cleaning the remote regularly not only prevents the spread of germs, but also ensures a longer life. Crumbs, dust and other dirt can get into the remote over time and affect its functionality. You can counteract this with just a few steps.

Cleaning the remote control

When cleaning, we distinguish whether you want to clean the remote control from the outside or from the inside. It is very important in advance that you never simply hold the remote control under the water tap to clean it. It is a technical device – you don’t put your smartphone under the shower when the display is dirty. You also need to remove the batteries before cleaning to avoid damage. This won’t cause an electric shock or a short circuit, but if the battery comes into contact with other liquids, it can leak and damage the remote control.

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Cleaning from the outside

To clean the outside of the remote control, a dust-free, alcohol- and oil-free damp cloth is usually sufficient. It is important that the cloth is not too damp. Just test it: if you can wring out the cloth or rag, it is too damp. Otherwise, proceed as follows:


  1. Remove the batteries from the remote control.
  2. Take the wet wipe and gently wipe along between the buttons to remove dirt and sticky residue.
  3. Make sure that you do not push any crumbs or dust into the remote control when cleaning it.

If you are technically skilled, you can also completely disassemble the remote control and clean the housing with water and some dishwashing liquid. But be careful: make sure that the remote control is really completely dry, so that any remaining moisture does not cause any damage.

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Cleaning the inside

If you weren’t quick enough and the iced tea or fine chip crumbs did manage to get into the remote control through the fine gaps of the buttons, you need to clean it from the inside immediately to avoid irreparable damage. However, cleaning from the inside differs somewhat from cleaning the case.


  1. Remove the batteries and disassemble the remote control housing.
  2. For cleaning the circuit boards do not use water, but pure alcohol or acetone (both contained in nail polish remover). If none of these is available in the household, vinegar can also be used.
  3. Take a cotton swab and dip it into the liquid.
  4. Carefully remove any dirt from the circuit boards and/or the battery compartment.
  5. Reassemble the remote control and put the batteries back in.

If the remote still doesn’t work, you can repeat the steps again.

How often should you clean the remote control?

You don’t need to clean your remote every day – unless it’s gummed up or obviously dirty. If you’re doing your weekly housecleaning and you’re dusting, there’s no harm in cleaning the remote right along with it. Or you watch the news in the evening and notice that the remote control is greasy, so you simply take a damp cloth and wipe it.

The battery has leaked – what now?

If the battery runs out, you do not have to dispose of the remote control immediately. However, battery acid is a chemical. Therefore, put on gloves before removing the batteries.

You can now clean the battery housing with a damp cloth. If this does not remove the residue, try alcohol, acetone or vinegar. If the battery acid has contaminated and blocked the contact points, you can remove the crust with your finger or a pointed object.

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What to do if the remote control no longer works?

If you notice that the remote control doesn’t work at all, you don’t have to buy a new one right away. First, check if it is because of the batteries. Sometimes the battery contacts of the remote control are dirty. To do this, open the battery compartment and turn the batteries in the remote control with your thumb to loosen the dirt. If that doesn’t help, replace the batteries.

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If the remote control doesn’t work even after a battery change, it couldn’t hurt to take a look inside. Unscrew the case and see if any dust or dirt has gotten in. Clean the remote and check again if it still doesn’t work.

If only certain keys do not function any more, one can exchange these usually simply. For this purpose, there are proper repair kits with contact plates and silicone glue, which simplify the repair for everyone.