SURPRISING: The best way to clean a DIRECTV remote

Found image of a really dirty remote.

You’ll get no judgment from me. If you’ve been with DIRECTV for a while you probably have some pretty old and grimy remotes. After all, when you upgrade receivers, you’re not asked to return them, and the old ones work with the new systems. So why not keep them especially if you’re comfortable with how they work?

What is that grime on remotes?

Well, I hate to tell you: it’s you. When you handle a remote for a long period of time, oils from your skin stick to it. Then, any dirt you may have on your hands transfers to it, plus dead skin cells and even mite carcassses (ew.) Over time this builds up to the point where it creates black marks on your remotes, and they begin to look unsightly.

What can you do?

For routine cleaning, start with some canned air to blow dust out. This is a harmless procedure that you can do with pretty much all of your home electronics. Canned air is available at office stores and large online shops, you can find it when you need it.

You can wipe down the outside with rubbing alcohol. Take the batteries out just to be safe. Pour the alcohol on a towel not on the remote. Rub gently and then give the remote a few hours to completely dry.

But let’s be honest, at some point that won’t do it.

There’s going to come a point where you just need to go further. You’ll want to subject that remote to a really thorough cleaning. You’ll want to take the remote apart to get at the edges and plastic bits. And here, you might have to deal with some bad news.

If you have the remote you see above, it’s practically impossible to take apart. There are some screws inside the battery compartment, but taking them out won’t let you disassemble the remote. The whole thing is put together with plastic clips that will 100% guaranteed break if you try to pry it apart.

On the other hand, if you still have the remote above, you can disassemble it to clean it. I did a tutorial a few years ago on how to make your own team-colored remote, and it includes disassembly tips. With this remote, you can literally take the thing apart and put everything but the circuit board and the screws in the dishwasher if you want.

But, there’s really a better way.

If you read this blog a lot, you know I’m a fan of getting as much use out of your stuff as possible. I’m also a fan of responsible recycling. But sometimes, it’s just time to get something new.

Rather than clean a seriously grimy remote, just get a new one from Solid Signal. We have the older white remotes as well as the black-and-white Genie remotes at the best price on the internet. Solid Signal’s price for these remotes is less than what you’ll pay for an off-brand version at the drug store, if you can even still find one. These are genuine, brand-new DIRECTV remotes just like the ones that new customers get.

So, treat yourself to a new remote, and all the other accessories you’ll need for your digital life, by shopping at Solid Signal.

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.