How to clean your game controllers

Ever thought of how many germs and grime reside on your game 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 will explain to you how to clean your game controller, as well as specific “grimy” areas to look out for.

See also: How to play Google Stadia on PC

What to look out for?

  • The handle area where you grip on your controller to play games. This area is probably the dirtiest since it’s directly being exposed to your hands every time you touch it.
  • Any nooks and crevices of your controller that do not normally meet the eye.
  • The 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

In order 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. Make sure the console is not close to any electronic sources as we will be using alcohol and water to disinfect it. To clean your controller thoroughly, the first step is to get rid of grime and dirt from the nooks and seams before we move on the overall console. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. First of all, take a spare toothbrush and brush it in between the gaps of buttons, pads, and the handles. This will clean out dust lodged in some of the very few crevices of 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. Simple drag it along the seam just as you would do with the paper.
  3. Now, use a lint-free cloth and spray it with some water and rubbing alcohol. Use this to carefully rub the body of the controller, increasing pressure in any areas 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 if you just see stubborn grime on it still, use a Q-tip. Dip the Q-tip into some isopropyl alcohol and rub it carefully in 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 areas (such as the charging ports and speaker grills).
  5. Leave the controller to air dry and don’t expose it to electricity until is properly has.

And you are done! The biggest tip is to keep cleaning your controller, and 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.