How to Restore TV Remote Button Contacts

Updated April 17, 2017

With hundreds of television and radio channels to scroll through, most remote control handsets take a battering and, over time, buttons can stick or stop working completely. Spilt drinks and tiny food particles can all get inside your remote control unit, clogging up the rubber keypad's electronic contacts with the interior circuit board, and preventing the buttons from working properly. Buying a replacement remote control handset can be expensive, so fixing the problem yourself will save money. To get your remote control working like new again, thoroughly clean the interior.

Remove the batteries from your remote control handset.

Carefully remove the screws that hold the two parts of the unit together.

Separate the front plastic case from the back plastic case. Ease apart with a flat-bladed screwdriver, if necessary.

Remove all screws so that you can remove the rubber keypad from the casing.

Lay all remote control parts on a flat surface.

Dip your cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.

Use the swab to wipe away the accumulated dirt on the rubber keypad and all plastic parts. Use as many alcohol-dipped swabs as you need.

Reassemble your remote control handset. Insert new batteries.


If cleaning does not restore your remote control unit, consider recoating the electrical conductors on the rubber keypad. You can do this with a window defogger repair kit, available from auto parts stores.


Never use water to clean the interior or exterior of your remote control handset.

Things You'll Need

  • Jeweller's screwdriver set
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • New batteries
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.