Last Updated on November 23rd, 2022 - By Steve
If you have kids around in your home, then you’ve probably had one of them wash something they shouldn’t. Although you wouldn’t blame them, it’s usually out of love.
It may have happened that your kid took the TV remote and washed it clean with detergent.
Yet, you can’t punish the poor kid for having good intentions toward the remote. So after commending the kid, you ponder saving your TV remote’s life.
It’s not the end of the line for your TV remote after it ends up in a wash. You have nothing to worry about if your device is waterproof, but there’s work to do otherwise. You can get your remote working by drying out all the water. You’ll also need to conduct a thorough cleaning using specific tools.
It’s possible to salvage a TV remote after a wash. It doesn’t matter if the remote went through a complete wash cycle or a quick wash.
You can get your remote back working even if it’s not waterproof; this article will show you how.
Will a TV Remote Still Function After Being Washed?
Yes, a TV remote can still function after being washed. But, most times, washing the remote happens accidentally, so you’d surely scurry for a way to undo the damage.
The good news is that initial contact with moisture doesn’t spoil the TV remote outrightly. But the telling factor is how long the remote stays in the water after that.
Your TV remote can stay intact if you quickly remove it from the water and dry it. As said earlier, that’s not even an issue if the remote is waterproof.
However, even for TV remotes that aren’t waterproof, they can still function after a wash.
That’s because the manufacturers considered exposure to moisture during production.
There’s usually moisture in the atmosphere, and it settles on TV remotes in cycles. So your TV remote already faces a fight to stay dry even before it drops in water.
Moisture in itself doesn’t affect the function of TV remotes. There’s only a problem when the moisture tangles with the electrical part of the remote.
That’s why it’s vital to immediately remove batteries from a remote after it gets in the water. Then after that, proceed to dry the remote.
The remote will be fine if there’s no electrical signal to short-circuit vital parts. As such, the remote will retain its functions even after a wash cycle.
What Happens When You Wash Your TV Remote?
You expose your TV remote to the risk of liquid damage when you wash it. Besides the risk of short circuits, water can also make some parts of the remote stop working.
What follows is that some buttons on the remote will lose their function. Buttons may keep adding up, and the entire TV remote stops working.
Buttons on the remote can lose their function due to weak carbon contacts on the button pad. The carbon contacts are the link between the buttons and the circuit board.
The printed circuit board sends an electrical signal for a button to perform its function. But that only happens when there’s a battery in the mix.
So, when water enters the remote, it forms a layer between the carbon contacts and the printed circuit board. That weakens the function of the remote button.
The button will malfunction and eventually stop working due to poor contact. It’s also the same case when there are poor signals from the circuit board.
Significant damage to the remote control comes from electrical damage after it gets in the water. So your first action should be to take the batteries out of the remote control.
That’s to prevent the trigger of an electrical signal when you press any button. Thus, the buttons draw charges from batteries to execute functions via the circuit board.
So with water in the remote, parts that shouldn’t get electrical signals will suffer when you press any button. But that’s only when you don’t empty the battery compartment.
There’ll be no source of electrical charges when you take out the batteries from the remote. So you’ll rest assured that the no electrical part in the remote will short-circuit.
After taking out the batteries, your focus will then turn to drying the water that got into the TV remote.
How Do I Fix a Remote that Was Washed?
Drying out all the water from the TV remote after it’s washed is the ultimate fix. But that’s tricky since there won’t be direct sunlight inside the remote.
The process is even more complicated since most water evaporates and condenses inside the remote. So then the water will affect the parts of the TV remote longer.
So, the best way to get rid of the water efficiently is to open the TV remote. Once you do that, you can quickly air parts of the remote and drain all the water out.
Opening your TV remote can be tricky because you have to consider the setup. It would help if you kept the buttons’ placement consistent after opening the remote.
Also, it would be best to be careful with the remote because the parts are fragile. You will have your remote in pieces if you use too much force.
We’ll now show how to fix a TV remote that found its way to a washing cycle.
Below is a table showing some items you’ll need to fix the remote.
|Gloves||To protect your skin from any reaction to isopropyl alcohol.|
|Isopropyl Alcohol (99%)||The chemical absorbs water from the TV remote.|
|Medium-Sized Bowl||To collect runoffs of Isopropyl alcohol when you pour.|
|Small Brush||For applying the isopropyl alcohol and cleaning off dirt particles.|
|Small Screwdriver (s)||To loose screws on the remote or pry and lift the sides.|
|Tissue or Wipes||Wipe off the isopropyl alcohol after cleaning the remote.|
- Before opening the TV remote, the first thing is to keep track of the button positions. So, you can take a photo of the remote with your smartphone.
- It would be best to take out the batteries from your remote if they’re still in place.
- Next, you’ll check to see if there are screws on the body of the remote. Some remotes have four – six screws and open up once you lose them.
- Other TV remotes don’t have screws on the outside, and their parts fit together. For this kind, you have to use a small flat screwdriver to pry and lift the sides.
- You can start at one point on the remote and repeat the action all the way around. Please, pry and lift the sides gently to avoid breaking any part of your TV remote.
- Once the remote is open, carefully detach the parts. For example, detach the circuit board, the keypad, the buttons, and the plastic frame of the remote.
- Grab each part of the remote and clean them one by one with isopropyl alcohol using the brush. It’s best to use a 99% variant as it absorbs all the water.
- Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable, so avoid fire or extreme heat.
- Use the brush to scrub the parts and remove dirt particles.
- Wipe the parts of the remote with a tissue after cleaning them with isopropyl alcohol and leave them to dry.
- Next, if you had faulty buttons before the wash, there’s also a trick to fixing that.
- First, find the contact for the button on the printed circuit board. Then use a Lead pencil to apply graphite to the tracts. That will increase the conductivity.
- Applying graphite is a temporary solution but can help fix faulty contact.
- The next step is to put the parts back together after they dry. Place them in order and return any screws.
- After that, you can put new batteries into the remote. It’s terrible to use the old batteries since they fell in the water.
- Finally, try using your TV remote. Test all the buttons to ensure everything is working fine.
You’ve fixed your remote if all is in place. But you’ll have to order a replacement if you notice any faults.
How Long Does It Take for a TV Remote To Dry Out?
It takes 30 minutes to dry out a remote after a wash under the right conditions. That means placing the remote in a location with shade and good ventilation.
Otherwise, the water can take up to 72 hours to dry completely. Avoid the urge to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer. The heat might damage the remote.
So, feel free to leave your TV remote to dry until you don’t notice any signs of water. Also, that works faster when you open the remote.