How to clean battery corrosion in remote control quickly and get it working again

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Your  remote corroded? Learn how to clean battery corrosion in remote control and get it working again.

If the small batteries in your remote control leak, you’re likely to notice dry white stuff (potassium carbonate) on the electric contacts (inside the battery chamber).

You need not toss it out into the trash- at least not just yet…

Here is how to clean battery corrosion in remote control and get it working again..

How to clean battery corrosion in remote control and get it working again [Step-by-Step]


Leakage from your remote batteries can issues such as skin irritation so first put on your gloves to keep it away from your skin.

Next, get your work surface ready. You could, for example, spread newspaper out (under the remote)- this helps catch any corrosion.

Supplies needed for the cleanup:

How to clean battery corrosion in remote control

1. Remove the battery door

First, remove the battery door – your remote may either have a locking tab (on the bottom) or a release button (on the back).

If it is a locking tab, simply push the tab’s lock typically to the left then hold it.

Next, while you’re still holding the tab (to the left), pull out the door.

If on the other hand it has a release button, your first step will be inserting the tip of, perhaps, a ball-point pen (in the battery lock’s left side) and pushing to the right.

Now, while holding your pen (to the right), pull out the battery cover.

If not sure how to get the battery door out, refer to your owner’s manual for the appropriate instructions.

2. Remove the batteries

Pull the remote batteries out of your remote and put them in a safe place for disposal.

3.  Spray vinegar/lemon juice on the corrosion

Alkaline batteries- which are the most common- leak base fluids.

The fluids happen to be alkaline and that’s where vinegar/lemon juice comes in- either is acidic meaning it should neutralize the alkaline easily.

So, proceed to squeeze a drop (or two) of vinegar/lemon juice onto all the corroded spots.

4.  Spread the vinegar/lemon juice around

Now pick a cotton swab and use it to disperse the applied liquid around as necessary.

Note that the corrosion will have been neutralized by the time the fizzing stops.

5.  Scrub the corrosion away

To get rid of the corrosion, scrub everything away with a cotton swab.

Remember that you can use an old toothbrush (or a wire brush) too to remove stubborn corrosion in this step.

6. Wiping the corrosion

Take your dry cloth and wipe the removed corrosion off gently in the following order:

First, wipe off any that could be on the remote batteries.

Next, work on your remote’s battery chamber and again wipe off the residue onto the newspaper.

Be sure to check around (including scanning the battery door) and wipe off any other residual you may notice until completely dry.

7. Clean the electrical contacts

Your next step – after the spots have dried – is cleaning the electrical contacts off any remaining dry white residue.

To get started, grab your piece of 150 grit sandpaper and scrub the electrical contacts that still have some corrosion remaining carefully- you don’t want to mess with the clean spots.

While still on the contacts, a metal file can be handy in cleaning areas that are not easy to reach.

8. Install new batteries

You’re now done so install new batteries into the compartment and replace the battery door.

Be sure to test it to see if it’s working like new again.

Alternative methods

· Use Isopropyl alcohol

You can a Q tip – dipped in Isopropyl alcohol to remove the annoying corrosion as a result of leaking batteries.

If you’ll go this route, we again suggest you use a pencil eraser/toothpick to get into the tough-to-reach spots such as the front of the wire spiral.

· Use WD40

Another option would be to first apply a little shot of WD40.

You then clean the springs that help hold the batteries in place using an old toothbrush as well.

· Use Corrosion Gone Battery Spring/Contact Cleaner

The other alternative that you may consider if you’re looking for a super way to clean the battery leakage is the CORROSION GONE! Battery Spring & Contact Cleaner

The Instructions are pretty straightforward:

  • Scrape off the most noticeable chunks of corrosion using a wooden toothpick. You want to target large corrosion buildup because it tends to be easy to remove with a toothpick.
  • Stir the jar contents thoroughly.
  • Now apply it with a cotton swab on the corroded spots and gently polish the areas until they shine.
  • Rinse the cleaned contacts using a cotton swab -soaked in water.
  • Dry the contacts with a clean cotton swab.

Helpful Tips

  • Be sure to replace a cotton swab when it becomes dirty.
  • Be careful when polishing- doing this too aggressively could damage your battery contacts.

How to prevent further corrosion in the battery compartment in a remote control

To keep corrosion at bay, try to put a tiny piece of tin-foil (on both sides of the remote) after the cleanup.

That way, any future rust from your batteries will be collecting on the tin-foil instead of the battery contacts.

This works like a charm!

In addition, observe the following measures as a precaution (to prevent batteries from leaking)

  • Always take the battery out if you’re not going to be using your electronic device for prolonged periods.
  • When installing multiple batteries into your remote, stick to the same type, same brand, and most crucially, the same energy levels- Mixing batteries causes an imbalance leading to the ‘stronger’ battery overcompensating and discharging too quickly potentially resulting it in it leaking.


Wrapping it up

Corrosion is never a good sign and the remote control may stop working if you don’t clean out the powdery substance soon enough.

Luckily, we have taught you how to prevent further corrosion.

Most importantly, we have shown you how to clean battery corrosion in remote control so go ahead and scrub the white stuff off if the battery chamber looks corroded.

Keep in mind that you may need to buy a new remote if it still won’t work.


ALSO READ: How to clean corroded battery terminals in electronics [step-by-step]


1 thought on “How to clean battery corrosion in remote control quickly and get it working again”

  1. Have just followed this advice using WD40 and it worked on my remote immediately! Now frustrated that I didn’t read this before investing in a new non dedicated remote to my ageing Roberts radio/CD system! Looks like my original has a few more years of service after all. Thanks for the tip!


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