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Nail Polish Remover for remote controls


ohdearme
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Hello all

 

Probably the wrong type of thread, sorry did not know where to put it.

 

I wanted to know if I could clean my remotes safely with Nail polish remover and whether it conducted electricity or not.

 

Being a bit sad, I connected a battery and bulb with a small amount of nail polish remover in the circuit, yet it would not conduct electricity.

 

Does this mean that if some got into the remote, it could ruin it?

 

It is Ethyl Acetate, although it says that Aqua is in it as well.

 

Alan

 

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Before cleaning electronic devices, you should remove the batteries or other power source. Then you don't need to worry about whether the cleaner is conductive or not.

 

Things I would be worried about:

  • The solvent may attack some plastic parts in the remote control (after all, if it can dissolve nail varnish ...)
  • My understanding is that most nail-varnish removers also contain oils to try and restore those to the nail. These could interfere with the operation of the switches (by putting a non-conducting layer between the contacts)

Back when I used to work in electronic maintenance, we used to use isopropyl alcohol. You used to be able to buy it over the counter. I don't know if you still can (depends where you are, I guess). That is good for oil/grease type contamination.

 

Other things (we used to get large amounts of milk, orange juice, jam, tea, beer, etc spilled on the equipment) might just need water (distilled / deionized) with perhaps a small amount of detergent. Then make sure the device is completely dry before reinserting batteries; leave it somewhere warm (not hot) for several hours and/or use a cool hairdryer.

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I'd avoid nail varnish remover. Strange raises good points about additives, pure acetone I would also avoid though in a first instance because it can be pretty harsh on plastics. IPA should be better but can still dissolve some plastics.

 

Start with deionised water and allow it to dry very very well before reattaching batteries.

 

You need to be careful that you don't just push contaminates into places where they'll do not damage. That's a buffer risk than the solvent being conductive.

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I would rotate remote controller up-side-down, so buttons points down, and use normal tap water with used slightly humid toothbrush.

After cleaning it up, put in on towel (without rotating), until drying.

Water can't go inside against gravity.

 

Remote controllers rubber buttons are often single piece of rubber, like this:

post-100882-0-79382400-1450099393.jpg

Chance for getting water inside (especially if it's up-side-down) is pretty low.

 

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To clean remote controllers, the best is to dismantle and wash with soapy water, brush and rinse. 'Rubbing' alcohol works too. Acetone can damage plastics. Dry in front of a fan thoroughly.

To clean button contacts, the best tool is a pencil. The eraser gently cleans the contacts on a printed board, and the lead tip can reapply some conductive carbon on the elastomeric buttons back.

If the remote insists to command poorly, a last resource is to cut tiny disks of aluminium foil and glue them well to the back of the buttons as to replace the faded carbon coat with a true metallic conductor.

 

All my remote controllers live and work inside the narrow plastic bag that they come packed from factory, closed with clear tape.

Edited by Externet
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I have had to take a remote apart and clean underneath the rubber sheet of buttons. I just used soap and water (very carefully, using a small brush or Q-tips) then dried it with kitchen paper, left it open for a while and reassembled it. It all worked (and better than before).


'Rubbing' alcohol works too.

 

If that is what we call "surgical spirit" then this too can leave an oily residue.

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Before cleaning electronic devices, you should remove the batteries or other power source. Then you don't need to worry about whether the cleaner is conductive or not.

 

A remote control will not have enough electricity running through it to hurt you.You should worry about your electricity frying it though so make sure to ground your hand.

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Before cleaning electronic devices, you should remove the batteries or other power source. Then you don't need to worry about whether the cleaner is conductive or not.

 

A remote control will not have enough electricity running through it to hurt you.You should worry about your electricity frying it though so make sure to ground your hand.

 

I was more concerned with accidentally shorting a circuit and damaging components. A small risk but a real one.

 

And even if a 1.5V battery can't hurt you, it is very good practice to get into the habit of always removing power beforehand.

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This cab be said for wide areas.

 

Yes indeed, but the OP lives in London.

 

Somerset water, on the other hand is soft enough to put straight in car batteries and does not need softeners in the dishwasher.

 

For the actual cleaning, foaming cleaner of the type sold for cleaning hard plastic surfaces in cars is ideal.

Do not use the cream cleaner which is not residue free.

Edited by studiot
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Yes indeed, but the OP lives in London.

 

Somerset water, on the other hand is soft enough to put straight in car batteries and does not need softeners in the dishwasher.

 

In my experience Taunton water seemed rather hard. It's only a very small and anecdotal sample though.

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