Can water damaged remote be repaired?

Having a water damaged remote can be frustrating. If liquid gets inside your remote control, it can short circuit the internal components and prevent it from working properly. However, depending on the extent of the water damage, many remotes can be repaired and restored to full functionality. Here are some quick answers about repairing water damaged remotes:

Can you fix a remote control that got wet?

Yes, it is often possible to fix a remote control that has gotten wet, as long as the water damage is not too extensive. The key is to quickly dry out the remote and clean away any minerals left behind after the water evaporates.

How do you fix a remote control that won’t work?

Here are some steps to try to fix a remote control that won’t work:

  1. Remove the batteries and wipe the battery contacts with a clean cloth.
  2. Disassemble the remote and clean all internal parts with isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Allow the remote to thoroughly air dry for at least 24-48 hours.
  4. Replace any corroded or damaged trace wiring, or contacts on the board.
  5. Reassemble the remote and install new batteries.

Can you put a wet remote in rice?

Yes, placing a wet remote in rice can help extract moisture and dry out the internal components. Make sure to remove the batteries first, then submerge the remote in a bowl or bag of dry, uncooked rice. The rice will absorb the water and humidity inside the remote. Leave it submerged for 24-48 hours until completely dry.

Does rubbing alcohol fix wet remotes?

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent way to clean and dry out a wet remote control. Its evaporative properties allow it to dissolve water and dry out the remote quickly. To use it, dismantle the remote and submerge or wipe down all interior parts with 70%+ isopropyl alcohol. Allow it to air dry fully before reassembling and testing the remote.

Can a remote get water damage by cleaning?

Yes, it’s possible for a remote control to sustain water damage when cleaning if too much liquid gets inside the housing. Spraying down the remote or using wet cloths can allow moisture to seep into tiny cracks and openings. Be very cautious when cleaning remotes to prevent liquid from getting inside.

How do you open a remote control?

To open a remote control:

  1. Remove the batteries.
  2. Carefully pry apart the plastic housing using a small flathead screwdriver. Wedge it into any seam and gently twist to pop open the casing.
  3. Use the screwdriver to unhook the interior clips holding the two sides together.
  4. Once opened, inspect the interior circuit board, contacts, and buttons.

Can you fix a remote control circuit board?

It is possible to fix a damaged remote control circuit board. If there are visible corrosion, burns, or damaged traces, these can be cleaned or repaired. For corrosion, use isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush. For burnt spots or severed traces, conductive ink or specialty coating can patch wires. Soldering skills may be needed for more complex board repairs.

Is it worth fixing a remote control?

For expensive smart TV or stereo remotes, fixing a damaged remote rather than replacing it can definitely be worth it. However, for simpler IR television remotes, the cost of repairs may outweigh replacement cost. Assess the damage level and research replacement costs before deciding if a repair is worthwhile.

Can any remote control be fixed?

Theoretically, any remote control can be fixed given the right skills and resources. However, some extremely old, corroded, or fire/flood damaged remotes may have damage beyond practical repair capabilities. As long as some internal components remain viable, most remote circuit boards can be salvaged, even if repairs are extensive.

What causes most remote control failure?

Most remote control failures are caused by physical damage from drops or spills. Button contacts can also wear out over time. Battery corrosion is another common issue if batteries are left in. Finally, manufacturing defects can sometimes cause premature failure of remotes.

How much does it cost to fix a TV remote?

If you attempt the repair yourself, fixing a TV remote may cost $10-$30 for replacement parts. Professional repair shops often charge $40-$75 for basic TV or stereo remote repairs. Advanced universal remotes or smart learning remotes often cost $100+ to repair due to their complexity.

Can remote controls be repaired after water damage?

Yes, water-damaged remotes can often be repaired if treated properly. The key is to immediately disassemble the remote, dry out all parts with isopropyl alcohol, and allow extended drying time. Damaged or corroded wires and contacts may need cleaning or replacement. With care and cleaning, most wet remotes can work again.

What are some signs of water damage in a remote?

Here are some signs that a remote control has water damage:

  • Not working, unresponsive buttons
  • Visible water droplets, condensation inside
  • Corrosion on the battery terminals or PCB
  • Flimsy, sticky buttons
  • Eroded lettering on buttons
  • Distorted or cracked plastic casing

Can you save a remote that was dropped in water?

It’s often possible to save a waterlogged remote if you act fast. As soon as it is retrieved from the water, remove the batteries and shake out excess liquid from any openings. Then disassemble the remote and clean all parts with 90%+ isopropyl alcohol. Be thorough and patient allowing all components to air dry for 24-48 hours. This can rehabilitate many mildly soaked remotes.

What liquids damage remotes the most?

Water alone can cause remote control damage, but other liquids are even more problematic. Sugary sodas and juices will leave damaging residue as they dry. Oils and solvents can eat through plastic and dissolve materials. Saltwater and chlorinated pool water accelerate corrosion of contacts due to dissolved salts and chemicals.


Water damaged remotes can often be repaired with a few simple steps. Upon getting the remote wet, immediately remove batteries and dry it out. Disassemble the unit and clean all interior components with isopropyl alcohol. Allow extended drying time before reassembly. Replace any corroded wires or contacts as needed. With some effort, you can likely salvage that malfunctioning waterlogged remote and save the cost of replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Repairing Water Damaged Remotes

What are the most common remote control issues?

Button contacts wearing out, battery terminal corrosion, cracked plastic housings, sticky buttons, dead batteries, and failure to sync or connect are among the most common remote control issues.

Can any liquid damage a remote?

Yes, all liquids can potentially damage remotes if enough seeps into the interior. Water, sodas, oils, cleaning solutions, and even excess moisture can impact remote function.

How do you disassemble a remote without breaking it?

Carefully pry apart the plastic housing starting at any seam, using a small flathead screwdriver. Wedge the screwdriver tip in and twist gently to pop it open. Unhook the interior clips to fully open up the remote.

Is it possible to fix a remote control with no soldering?

Yes, many basic remote repairs like cleaning corrosion or fixing stuck buttons can be done without soldering skills. Conductive ink pens or tape allow for simple trace repairs too. But for any complex circuit board fixes, soldering will be required.

Can you replace remote control boards?

For many universal and smart remotes, the internal boards can be ordered online and swapped out. This may be simpler than repairing extensive water damage or burns on an original board. Replacements range from $10-$50 typically.

Do TV remotes have fuses?

No, TV remotes do not contain user-replaceable fuses. However, resistors may be soldered onto the circuit board that serve a similar purpose. If these look burned, they can be replaced.

How do you dry out a wet cell phone to fix water damage?

For wet cell phones, remove any cases, SIM card, and battery immediately. Dry out the phone with compressed air before placing in a ziplock bag filled with dry rice to absorb moisture. Leave it submerged in rice for 24-48 hours.

Can you replace remote control buttons?

Yes, individual remote buttons can be ordered online for most common remotes. Look for a button replacement kit for that remote model. The buttons can be pried off and replaced when they become unresponsive.

What do you clean remote control contacts with?

Rubbing alcohol is ideal for cleaning remote control board contacts. Dip a cotton swab in 70%+ isopropyl alcohol to wipe clean any corrosion on the contact patches or battery terminals.

How do you fix a remote control that turns the TV on but not off?

Try reprogramming the remote, replace the batteries, and verify the power toggle button is clean. Also check for obstructions on the IR sensor on the TV itself. If still problematic, the power button contacts may need cleaning or replacement.

What causes a remote to change channels by itself?

This is often due to button contacts getting stuck down or coating issues causing signal bleed. Clean all button contacts thoroughly with alcohol. If still occurring, replace any defective button pads.

How do you reprogram a remote control without the original?

Look up a programming code online for your device brand and model. Point remotes together, enter in the code, and test functions. Try multiple codes from lists to find the working one.

Can you use a remote as a mouse?

Yes, various apps and IR to USB converters can allow remotes to function as wireless mice for computers. This allows media remote controls to control mouse movement and clicks.

What is the easiest remote control to repair?

Simple infrared TV or DVD player remotes with minimal buttons and functions are often easiest to troubleshoot and repair. Heavily integrated smart remotes or those with more advanced Bluetooth and RF components tend to be more challenging.