Can you use Lysol wipes on a remote?

About a month ago, I told you about a surprising strategy for keeping your DIRECTV remote clean. I won’t ruin the surprise. You’ll just have to read the article for yourself. But let’s say you don’t want to follow my suggestions in that article. So that leads to a new question.

Since remotes are really grimy and disgusting, can you use Lysol wipes on them?

We all know it. Back in the past you’d see all sorts of exposés on hotel remote controls. They were uniformly disgusting. But don’t think your remote at home is any better. I guarantee, every germ that’s ever entered your house is on your remote somewhere.

So naturally you’re going to want to disinfect them. Of course you are. Because today we’re all germophobes that put Monk to shame. What’s the best thing to use?

First you have to find some disinfectant.

Whether it’s Clorox, Lysol, Microban, or even a store brand, it still can be hard to find disinfectant sprays and wipes in many parts of the country. But let’s say you have your choice of the many options out there.

You’re going to want to use a wipe, not a spray. Sprays will penetrate further into the remote and potentially gum it up. While a spray, used properly, is more effective for that reason, it will shorten the life of the remote.

Wiping down the remote

So wipes are definitely the way to go. Pick a wipe out of the tub and make sure it’s not dripping wet. Again you don’t want to get liquid in the insides of the remote.

Take the batteries out of the remote and close the battery hatch back up. Then wipe the outside of the remote but make sure that there’s no chance you’re getting liquid inside.

Place the remote in a sunny place, outside if possible, for several hours to let it dry. Not only will this help the remote dry properly before you put the batteries in, the UV radiation in sunlight will also help disinfect it.

Finally, after several hours, put the batteries back in and test. If you’ve done these steps carefully, there’s no reason to think the remote will have problems.

But if you do…

If you find that the remote is sticky or doesn’t work right after you clean it, it’s ok. You’ve done your best. The next thing to do is shop for a new remote by looking through the great selection at Solid Signal. You’ll find universal remotes for virtually any device, and they’ll come to you clean, safe, and ready to use.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.