How to clean your game controllers

Ever wondered how many germs and grime reside on your gaming console? Every time you sneeze, cough, sweat, or have a snack while playing; you’re transferring them to the controller. Yup, it’s gross. The following four methods explain how to clean your game controller and specific “grimy” areas to look out for.

See also: How to play Google Stadia on PC

What to look out for?

  • The handle area is where you grip your controller to play games. This area is probably the dirtiest since it’s directly exposed to your hands every time you touch it.
  • Any nooks or crevices on your controller that do not usually meet the eye.
  • A small outline along the middle half of the controller where the back and the front part join. This is also a place easily missed if you don’t specifically clean this. Thus, it’s usually caked with dirt.
  • The analog sticks (especially for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game controllers).

Things you’ll need

To clean your game controller, the following are the things that you will need:

  1. A clean, smooth cloth
  2. A spare toothbrush
  3. A small piece of paper or a toothpick
  4. Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol diluted in water
  5. Some Q-tips

Cleaning the controller

Before you start, remove the controller from its charging port and remove its batteries. Ensure the console is not close to any electronic source as we will use alcohol and water to disinfect it. To clean your controller thoroughly, remove the grime and dirt from the nooks and seams before moving on to the overall console. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. First, take a spare toothbrush and brush it in between the gaps in buttons, pads, and handles. This will clean out dust lodged in some of the very few crevices in your console.
  2. The next step is to clean the gap along the center of the controller that joins the front and the back parts. You can do this by folding a small piece of paper into a sharp square and dragging it along the gap. You’ll notice that it will come out dirty as you do it. Keep repeating this step until you have cleaned the gap. Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush. Drag it along the seam just as you would with the paper.
  3. Now, use a lint-free cloth and spray it with water and rubbing alcohol. Use this to carefully rub the body of the controller, increasing pressure in any area where there might be stubborn grime caked or stuck to it. Make sure to reach small areas and nooks—anywhere your cloth can reach.
  4. The previous step will not be 100% efficient in cleaning sticky debris. If you’ve spilled something on the controller or still see stubborn grime on it, use a Q-tip. Dip the Q-tip into some isopropyl alcohol and rub it carefully between buttons, the analog sticks, and any area that needs cleaning. Be careful as you do this; you don’t want the alcohol seeping into any exposed electric regions (such as the charging ports and speaker grills).
  5. Leave the controller to air dry, and don’t expose it to electricity until it has dried.

And you are done! The biggest tip is to keep cleaning your controller; clean immediately if you spill something on it. It can be pretty nasty (as you can tell from the steps) cleaning the console after it’s been caked and clogged with dirt for a long time.

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