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TV Remote Got Wet (What To Do? How To Fix?)

I recently had a frustrating experience when my TV remote got wet. It took some trial and error, but I was eventually able to get it working again. In this blog post, I’m going to share what I learned, as well as provide tips for other owners who find themselves in the same situation. Whether your remote has been submerged in water or just got a bit damp, I’ll share some of the most effective ways to fix it and get you back to watching your favorite shows.

To fix a wet TV remote, wipe the liquid off with a dry cloth, remove the batteries and allow it to dry in a warm place. To remove water residue, open the remote control, remove the batteries, circuit board, and keypad, wash thoroughly in isopropyl alcohol, allow to dry, and reassemble.


  • Wipe off any excess water with a dry cloth, then remove the batteries and leave the remote to dry in a warm, dry place.
  • If the liquid has gotten inside the remote or onto the circuit board, you can try cleaning it with isopropyl alcohol.
  • If the methods above do not work, you may need to replace the TV remote with a new one.

How To Clean And Dry A Wet TV Remote

The first few minutes after a TV remote gets wet can be critical in whether the remote will be permanently damaged or not. Act as quickly as possible to dry the remote to avoid as much damage as possible.

Here is what you should do as soon as your TV remote gets wet:

Step 1: Wipe Off Excess Water

Using a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel, swab and dry the remote to suck up excess water. Try not to push buttons down as, at this point, the water may not have reached under the rubber keypad yet.

Pushing the buttons down may push the water inside the remote. Gently soak up as much water as possible, using fresh paper towels or dry parts of the cloth as you go.

Step 2: Remove The Batteries From The Remote

Remove the batteries. This will stop any electric current from going through the circuit board of the TV remote.

Take them out and dry them separately. You do not need to replace the batteries if they get wet, but you can do so if you wish.

Step 3: Place The Remote In A Warm, Dry Place To Dry

If the water didn’t get inside the remote, leaving it to dry in a warm, dry spot for 24-36 hours will most likely do the trick to get it functioning again. After you have let it dry, replace the batteries and test the remote.

If you know the liquid got into the inside of the remote, or it was washed or submerged in liquid, you can try cleaning all the parts of the remote with rubbing alcohol. 

Please note, however, that in some cases, the remote will be beyond repair. It doesn’t hurt to try, so give the rubbing alcohol a go before ordering a new TV remote.

How To Fix A TV Remote With Rubbing Alcohol

Follow these six steps to thoroughly clean a TV remote with rubbing alcohol:

Step 1: Open The TV Remote With A Screwdriver

Remove the batteries from the remote. Unscrew any screws that are holding the remote together. Make a note of where each one goes, and take a photo of the remote to use when you reassemble it.

Using a small flat head screwdriver, pull apart the top and bottom remote casings, working around the remote.

Step 2: Take The Remote Apart

Gently unclip the top and bottom of the remote from each other. Remove the keypad from the front of the remote, and take out the circuit board. Some remotes will also have a keypad plate. Remove this too.

Step 3: Wash Each Part With Rubbing Alcohol

Gently scrub the remote’s circuit board, keypad, and keypad plate with rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.

A toothbrush or small scrubbing brush works best for this. Pay attention to any areas of the circuit board with visible watermarks or other stains. Once finished, place in a cool and ventilated place to dry.

Step 4: Reassemble The Remote

Once all parts are completely dry, reassemble the TV remote in the opposite order to what you took it apart. Use the pictures of the remote to ensure it is put together correctly. Screw in any screws and replace the batteries.

Test the remote to see that it works. Note, however, that this method may not always work. In some cases, the remote is damaged beyond repair, and no amount of washing with isopropyl alcohol will fix it.

What Damage Can Water Do To A Remote?

Water doesn’t just wet the inside of a remote; if a TV remote gets wet, it can cause serious damage:

  • Malfunctioning/unresponsive buttons
  • Damaged infrared emitter
  • Short circuit on the circuit board due to water residue
  • Damage or corrosion on the circuit board
  • Corrosion on the battery terminals

Should You Put A Wet TV Remote In Rice?

Uncooked rice is said to absorb water and other liquid from electrical devices. Once a device gets wet, 24-36 hours submerged in rice will have it working again. There is no hard evidence to guarantee uncooked rice will save your remote, only first-hand accounts where some people say it saved their device and others have less satisfactory results. 

Completely drying the wet remote is the first step to getting it working again. If water has reached the circuit board, the chance of water residue causing a short circuit or other damage is still high. 

The decision is yours, and if you put your wet TV remote in rice, completely submerge the remote in dry, uncooked rice for 24-36 hours. Drying the TV remote in rice may not be enough, though.

A Wet TV Remote May Need To Be Replaced

If the methods above do not work, you may need to replace the TV remote with a new one. Sometimes a universal remote may be your best and cheapest option.

In other cases, you will need to contact the TV manufacturer and buy a new remote for your model TV.


TV remotes are not meant to get wet, so if the unthinkable happens and you accidentally drop the remote in liquid or spill something on it, you will need to act quickly to save the remote. Follow the steps above to dry the remote.

You may also need to take it further and wash the circuit board in isopropyl alcohol to remove water residue. Whatever the case, take every step to get your remote working again!

Read more: What is the refresh rate on an OLED TV?