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Will A TV Remote Work After Being Washed? (Explained)

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Seeing as there is no redemption for your TV remote, you may want to wash it to eliminate all the stains and dirt.

However, you might have washed it without finding out if the remote affects it. Or you found it in your washing machine after doing laundry. 

Dive into this article to determine if your TV remote will function after washing it. This information also applies to water incidents with the TV remote.

If you properly disengage the electronic part of the TV remote before washing it, the TV remote will work. Before cleaning the TV remote, unscrew the nails of the remote control and open the case. Next, carefully take out the button mat and the remote circuit board. Use clean water with little soap to wash the remote case.

In this article, I will show you what happens after washing your TV remote, how long it takes for your remote to dry out, and what to do if the remote does not respond after washing it.

Will a TV Remote Function After Being Washed?

Will a TV Remote Work After Being Washed

Your TV remote control will function after you wash it. However, this depends on how carefully you handle its components with the water during the wash. 

Washing your remote without removing the circuits and electronic components will likely stop working altogether.

Most times, the TV remote buttons will not work due to water accumulation in the remote circuit board.

When you wash the remote, water seeps through the open spaces of the remote body and its edges into the control unit.

The water from the washing will sleep through button cracks more quickly than through its central line, especially if the TV control seal is strong.

Once the water seeps into the remote body, it will cause the buttons to:

  • Start malfunctioning
  • Cause the buttons to select randomly
  • Completely stop functioning. 

If the amount of water that passes through the remote body is minimal, it will not affect the remote function. The button mat will protect the circuit board from a small amount of water.

However, the high water content can penetrate the button mat and seep into the circuit board, causing issues.

This malfunction could also result from liquid spills from water, tea, coffee, or other liquid substances.

What Happens When You Wash Your TV Remote?

When you wash your TV remote, you will undoubtedly get a cleaner remote after the wash. However, improper cleaning can render the remote useless after washing.

You must disassemble your TV remote and separate its sensitive parts before washing the body of the TV control. This method can prevent any adverse effect or malfunction from water contact. 

If you wash the control unit while it is intact, you might need to dismantle the remote to dry it immediately. 

Dismantling the unit will keep the liquid from eventually coming in contact with the inner part of the remote and prevent further damage.

Below are some damages that could affect your remote after washing it improperly:

#1. Some Buttons Might Not Work

After washing your remote while it is still intact, water might sleep through the button edges into the button mat below.

However, the watt might accumulate in some specific buttons, which will cause it to stop working.

This issue might not affect the functionality of the remote if the specific button does not play any significant role in the operation of your TV. 

Though, if other necessary buttons, like the channel up, channel down, and volume, stop working, you might have to purchase a new TV remote.

#2. Random Buttons Selection

This issue can also arise, especially if the remote control seems fine after a wash. 

While watching a show or turning on the TV, your remote could start randomly selecting different functions.

For instance, after turning on your TV, your remote could increase the volume, or you could press the power button.

This problem can be extremely frustrating, and you might have to replace your TV remote.

#3. Stains on Circuit Board

The liquid from the wash can leave stains and spots on the circuit board of the TV remote, which can cause it to malfunction over time. 

This issue might not reflect as soon as you wash the remote. It dries up on the circuit board and gradually causes the remote to respond slowly or stop working.

#4. Malfunctioning IR Emitter

Apart from the circuit board, and the remote buttons, you could damage other components if you immerse your remote in the water while washing.

One of these internal components is the IR emitter. The emitter receives and transfers signals to the TV from the remote. 

When water comes in contact with the internal system, it damages the signal, thereby causing the remote to stop functioning.

When these issues arise after washing your remote, you can remedy them by trying the simple hacks in the table below.

Random button selectionOpen the remote control body, clean and air dry the interior components for 48 hours.
Button not WorkingDismantle your remote and use a clean cotton cloth to wipe the button mat.
Stains on circuit boardUse a pencil eraser to rub on the surface of the circuit board.
Malfunctioning IR emitterChange the batteries; purchase a new remote control if the problem persists.

How Long Does It Take for a Remote To Dry Out?

It takes about 48 hours for a remote to dry out completely. However, if you plan to deep clean your remote, it might take 72 hours to dry out.

If the inner part of your TV remote gets wet after washing it, you must dry it immediately to avoid spending on another remote control.

Before getting worked up about the state of your TV remote, here are some solutions you could try to get your remote back on track:

#1. Wipe off the Water

Use a clean cloth to dab on any patch of water on the remote control. Ensure you clean up every nook and cranny of the remote.

You can also shake the remote to get water out of the inner system and wipe off any water that drips out of the remote control.

#2. Take Out the Batteries

Batteries do not easily get damaged by water so take out the Batteries in the remote for better cleaning. 

Water can seep into the battery compartment and the circuit board area. Therefore, ensure you properly clean the batteries and their case thoroughly.

#3. Air Dry Remote

Place the remote in a cool and dry area to allow easy and fast drying. You can also use a blow dryer at low temperatures to dry the remote.

How Do I Fix a Remote That Has Been Washed?

To fix the remote, you wash, disassemble it, and separate its component to eliminate any water residue in its interior.

The water might take one to two days to dry off. However, ensure you have the right tools to open the remote body and clean its interior. 

Before separating the components, shake the remote to get excess water out of the remote. Then, use a dry cotton cloth to dry the outer part of the remote. 

Here are a few steps to follow to fix your remote control after washing it:

Step 1: Dry Out the TV Remote

After washing the remote, shake out the water from the remote control to reduce the water content in the control unit.

After you are confident that you have gotten rid of almost all the excess water, use a cotton cloth to clean the gaps and edges around the button, including the crevices of the remote control.

Step 2: Open the Remote Control

For this step, you will require a mini Philips screwdriver to unscrew the nuts holding the remote body together. 

You can purchase a mini Philips screwdriver online or at an offline hardware store.

Before removing the screws, take a clear picture of the remote for later direction when replacing the components.

Next, use a butter knife to pry the remote open to access the internal components. Do not use sharp objects to open the remote.

Step 3: Separate and Dry the Inner Components of the Remote

Once the remote is open, you must carefully separate its components and place them in a mildly hot environment. 

Place the components under a hairdryer on low heat. The hot air from the appliance will also help quickly dry up the components’ moisture content.

If there are liquid stains on your control board, you can use an eraser to wipe off the stains carefully.

However, if you want to be on the safe side, especially if your remote model is no longer in production, you can purchase a remote repair kit to clean your remote control.

Step 4: Reassemble the TV Remote

Arrange the internal components in their correct positions. However, before proceeding to this step, ensure you have dried the parts correctly.

Place the button mat in the button holes and the circuit board above it. Cover the components with the remote cover and seal it firmly. Insert the remote batteries in place and cover the compartment.


Your TV remote can function after washing if you keep its components from excess water. 

Suppose the remote does not respond, you can dry out the remote control by:

  • Opening the remote body,
  • Separating and dry cleaning each inner component, and
  • Reassembling and sealing the remote control.

If this fix doesn’t work, replace the TV remote.

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