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Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

What is that sticky goo that builds up on the rubber keys within a standard TV remote control?

It gets on the PCB and causes conductive switch contact failure.

Does anybody know of a remote control that uses standard metal dome switches so I don't have to replace my remote controls every 5 years.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

The sticky goo is probably a build up of sweat and grease from your fingers and hands.  Remove the plastic covers and touch buttons, if possible, and wash them in warm soapy water or rub with a soft cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol.  Make sure they are properly dry before you reassemble the remote control.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

I mean the sticky goo that forms between the PCB and the bottom of the rubber switch membrane.. which has conductive pads that contact the PCB SMT patterns...... not the top of the rubber switch which contacts the finger tips.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

Oh.  Thanks for clarifying this.  I would still strip the remote down, remove the switch membrane and clean it as I said before.  Remember to take the batteries out first.  Give the PCB a wipe over with IPA too.  You have nothing to lose if you intend to buy another remote control.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

Does anyone know of a rubber engineering forum that has engineers capable of understanding where this sticky substance originates and how it magically appears on all remote control units which have rubber keypads?

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo


Short of actually chemically analysing the goo to try and determine where it was coming from, there is actually very little any rubber chemist/engineer/technician can offer by way of enlightening you as to its source.

Keep the remote control manufacturers in business by buying new ones all of the time - or clean the thing out yourself as I suggested above and save some money.  Don't forget, remote controls only have a 1yr guarantee so 5 years is going some.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

I've just had a thought (and no it didn't hurt lol).  How often do you change the batteries in the remote?  Have you found they've leaked?  Even leak-proof batteries should be changed annually.

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

The solution is to never eat while watching TV, and to always wash your hands after eating.  I belive the technical name is either gunk (or funk (TM) :) ).

RE: Remote Control Rubber Switch Sticky Goo

The goo could be either some chemical or plasticizer coming out (exuding, leaching, bleeding) from the rubber compound or it could be degradation of the rubber compound itself. Different types of rubber have different degrees of resistance to aging, and there are additives that help minimize the effects of aging (antioxidants and antiozonants, for example). It's possible that higher priced/higher quality remotes use a better, longer lasting, rubber compound.
This doesn't help solve your problem, unfortunately, but may be an explanation of what's happening.

Tom Jablonowski, TSE Industries, Inc.

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