In this article, I’ll show you three simple ways to clean and sanitize remote controls – universal or not.

The first two methods are performed using common household appliances that you already have at hand. The third method is a bit more complicated, but it is the easiest and my favorite method to clean regularly.

My three simple methods for cleaning and disinfecting remote controls:

  • Method 1: Disinfectant wipes.
  • Method 2: Drink and a mop.
  • Method 3: Ultraviolet (UV) light.

And if you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of remotes to control different systems. If you want to combine them, read on to the end.

Do you Pass the Remote Control?

But then I thought the remote controls were probably dirtier than your Echo machines. But, of course, my remote control gets dirtier and dirtier with all the drinks and nibbles I take simultaneously.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I accidentally take remotes to the bathroom.

However, I regularly clean my basic remote control as it has an LCD screen, probably more than most.

With the whole world striving to avoid germs these days, like the plague, I thought it was time to share some good methods for cleaning and sanitizing your remote controls.

I hope you will find these methods of cleaning and disinfecting remote controls useful and quite easy to use.

Table of Contents

Here is a quick comparison table showing the three methods side by side. I will also give you detailed instructions on how to clean and disinfect the remote controls for each method and the corresponding video below.

  Level of difficulty Equipment Kills Video
Method 1: Disinfectant wipes Simply Lysol wipes
Cotton or microfiber cloth
Toothbrush and/or toothpick
Up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses Watch the video
Method 2: Drink and a mop. Simply Cotton or microfibre fabric
Toothbrush and/or toothpick
Up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses Watch the video
Method 3: Ultraviolet light Simply UV disinfection device Up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses Watch the video

Do’s and Donts

  • Disinfect remote controls as often as possible. The CDC recommended cleaning very sensitive surfaces daily, but I think I may have done too much with the remote control.
  • First clean, then sterilize.
  • Remove the batteries before cleaning/sterilizing.
  • Replace the battery cover after removing the batteries.
  • Please refer to the owner’s manual, as some brands have specific requirements.
  • Consumption of 70% alcohol instead of 90% because, according to experts, it is more effective to destroy germ cells. For more information, see below.
  • Use a cotton swab to clean dirty buttons.


  • Don’t spray; just wipe.
  • Do not use a towel or cloth that may scratch the remote control.
  • Note the LCD displays on some remotes, such as B. Logitech Harmony Universal Remote Controls with the display.
  • Do not use bleach or exaggerate it with bleach wipes, as bleach may discolor the keys over time.
  • Do not use aerosols such as Lysol spray cans.
  • Do not use paper towels; the residue may get stuck between the keys and cause a malfunction.

3 easy and safe ways to disinfect the remote controls on your coffee table Disinfecting wipes, rubbing alcohol, and ultraviolet sterilization.

Method 1: Disinfectant wipes

Use alcohol-based wipes.

In a webcast of March 2020, presented by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a senior civil servant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stressed the need to sterilize remote controls (and other devices) with cleaning wipes based on bleach or alcohol.

This article on the SHRM website states that J.K. Butler, M.D., and Associate Director of Infectious Diseases at the CDC: reiterated the need for routine cleaning of the environment, including wiping surfaces that require special attention, such as door handles, remote controls, and elevator buttons, with cleaning wipes based on bleach or alcohol.

I usually try not to use bleach-based wipes for fear of whitening the remote control, but I have been using alcohol-based wipes to clean remote controls for years.

I think I’m in good company here, and I was happy to get confirmation that alcohol wipes are an effective way to disinfect your remotes.


Although I have not found a video that specifically shows how to clean the remote control with a cloth, I will explain the procedure below. Super easy. The procedure for cleaning the remote control has not been substantially changed.

Pro Council: Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, no bleach.


  1. Take a disinfectant wipe with 70% isopropyl alcohol (e.g., Clorox or Lysol wipes work well).
  2. Excess moisture can be carefully removed above the dustbin. The fabric should be moist but not wet.
  3. Gently swipe the remote control from top to bottom on the front, making sure you are between the buttons on the remote control.
  4. Wipe the back of the remote control, including the battery cover.

Sources of consumer products

Because disinfectant wipes are hard to find these days, Tom’s Guide recently compiled a list of stores that might have them in stock.

Method 2: Scrubbing with alcohol

The following method for cleaning and disinfecting remote controls is a little more complicated. Still, I think it is necessary to include an alternative solution for the household – because disinfection wipes are very difficult to find these days.

But you can still get clean remote controls with this method. We also use products that you probably already have in your closet or medicine cabinet. In principle, 70% alcohol is sprayed onto a microfibre or cotton cloth to replace a cleaning cloth.

It is interesting to note that leading microbiologists say that 70% disinfect alcohol better than 91%. I would have thought otherwise, but you can read the reasoning here if you’re interested.

I will also give you some extra tips for cleaning the areas around and near the removed buttons.


  1. Remove the batteries from the remote control.
  2. Replace the battery cover
  3. Spray 70% alcohol onto a microfibre or cotton cloth.
  4. Swipe and clean the remote control from top to bottom. Don’t forget to clean the back of the remote control.
  5. Use a toothpick to clean around or between the buttons.
  6. Remove the cover, replace the batteries and replace the cover.

Pro Council: If there is a lot of dirt between the keys, spray alcohol on the cotton swab and gently wipe it around the keys.

That’s it! Have fun with your disinfected remote control!

Sources of consumer products

Although alcohol is hard to find these days, you might find some on Amazon. You can trade a 12-pack here on Amazon.

Method 3: Irradiation with ultraviolet light

clean disinfection of the remote controls

Although the following procedure sounds a little Buck Rogers, it has been proven that ultraviolet light kills up to 99.9% of the germs found on your electronic devices.

He disinfects it as long as he doesn’t contaminate the remote control. When you have removed contaminants, first clean them using the above methods and then blow them out using the UV product recommended below or another UV disinfectant. There are many options to choose from, including these holsters and sticks.

It’s like a little tanning bed for remote controls! A warning: It is important to note that Phonesoap only sterilizes what fits in the case. It was originally designed for mobile phones and will certainly work with smaller remote controls, but check the size of your remote control before buying a particular UV cleaner.


  1. Make sure the Phonesoap device is connected.
  2. Open the lid of the phone cover.
  3. Put your remote inside.
  4. Close the lid. The device starts working automatically. There is no power button. Instead, the blue light indicates that the system is working.
  5. Wait until the blue light goes out after 10 minutes.

Last Thoughts

Like most people, you’re probably dealing with a remote to watch TV and control your home theater.

You can have a separate remote control:

  • Your television
  • Your cable or satellite service
  • DVD, DVR player, or both!
  • Your soundbar, AV receiver, or surround sound system
  • Media streaming devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, etc., can be used to stream media.
  • Intelligent devices such as blinds, ceiling fans, etc., can also be used in the home.

Besides cleaning and disinfecting the remote controls with the boat, it is a nightmare to use. So why not combine it with a high-quality universal remote control?

Now you don’t have to worry about all those remotes. Universal remote access technology is so advanced that you can easily combine all these remote controls.

For cleaning and disinfecting remote controls: What do you think?

So, what do you think of my three methods of cleaning and disinfecting remote controls?

Do you like my lazy approach to using disinfectant wipes? Or do you go to Buck Rogers and investigate the use of a UV sterilizer?

Remember that the UV sterilization method does not clean your phone, but it is an easy and effective way to disinfect it.

Do you think combining several remote controls in one is a good idea? You will certainly have to clean less often!

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