What is this stuff?

Someone on Freecycle gave me a nice tv, pretty old, but comelete with owners manual and remote control.

The remote works fine except for the buttons used the most, volume up and down, channel up and down, power, and muting.

I took it apart and expected to find oxidized contact points, but no. Instead those buttons, on the circuit board and on the buttons, are shiny and a little bit sticky. I forced myself to taste it, but I don't taste anything.

3 other buttons have a little of those, but no more than 4% of any button.

What is this, how does it get in there, and [what do I do about it}?

I have DeoxitIT, what I've read is the best, but I guess I've never used it before, and it didn't remove the stickiness. Not only that, these contacts aren't copper-colored, and as the name impplied, it's really to remove and prevent oxidization, so I switched to isopropyl alcohol and that did a good job.

So I know what to do about it, but what is that stuff? Finger oil?

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I don't think I'm capable of feeling enough curiosity to taste a substance I found inside someone else's remote control.

I'd bet on something like a spilled drink of some kind, KFC/pizza grease, or some other such residue from someone's movie-night snacks.

Reply to
Rayner Lucas

The liquid (I think) is a plastic component intended to keep it flexible; a 'plasticizer'. Lots of plastic formulations 'sweat' this stuff, and isopropyl is a good solvent for it. Glycerine, too, should work.

DeOxit formulations DO enhance contact, it's worth applying after cleaning.

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micky wrote

That's pretty common with older remotes.

They are normally gold plated so don't oxidise.

Likely someone managed to spill something on the remote.

Likely because it has been there a while.

Likely someone spilt something on the remote.

Wash it off.

Not surprising that it didn't.

More likely spilled drink. Finger oil isnt sticky.

Reply to
Rod Speed

They weren't that either. Everything was black, but not solid black. Lines in some pattern that filled the cirular area that matched the button.

I didn't like tasting it, expecially since I was sick two nights ago but I figured a little bit couldn't kill me. The guy who gave it to me seems like a very clean guy!

I went back and put that in brackets after I figrued out what to do. ;-0

Before I took it apart, I figured DeoxitIT was what it needed, and I was a slow to change plans.

But as to something spilled on it, I don't see how that could be since the buttons affected were at 4 corners of the remote with lots of buttons in between, unblemished rows and columns in between.

Only the controls people use a lot, plus Mute, were dirty. It must have to do with normal use.

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I've always assumed so, combined with whatever gets spilled on remotes, I'd never taste my own remote juice, let alone someone else's, yesh alcohol usually works (vodka if necessary and doing it for a favour when away from home)

Reply to
Andy Burns

Correct. Some silicone-rubber contact pads seem to contain a silicone oil as a plasticizer... I'm not sure what the non-silicone rubbers use. Isopropyl on a Q-tip has always gotten it off the board and buttons.

I've had some success in rejuvinating flaky contact pads by cleaning the rubber with isopropyl, and then applying a thin coating of Neolube No. 2 (sold by Micro-Mark). It's a graphite and collodion solution in alcohol, and dries to form a somewhat-conductive film.

Reply to
Dave Platt

It's silicon grease, exudated by the silicone keys due to a bad fabrication process. Pressure on the keys make this grease flow, then the contact begins to fail needing more pressure, more grease flows... That's why the keys used more often fail more than those seldom used.

You can clean it with ethanol, it will work for some months before needing another cleaning.

Reply to
Miguel Giménez


Exactly. I've services quite few of these and used 80% isopropal or ethel alcohol. Just wash the entire silicon keypad in the solvent. I've found it usually last about a year before it needs to be done again. I had a small panasonic TV that sat on our kitchen table that had its remot e control sit next to it. Had to wash the key pad about every 9 months...i t was usually in the sunlight from the skylight which I think the UV light accelerated the release of the grease. Good luck J

Reply to
Three Jeeps

The technical name is "Grot" also not recommended for consumption.

Reply to
Rheilly Phoull

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