Gamers who own Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles all have one problem in common: Their video game controllers are probably filthy. Like any device that frequently comes into contact with your hands, game controllers collect sweat, bacteria, and other nasty residues you can’t always see. Luckily, you don’t have to cut back your gaming time to keep these devices sanitary: All you need are a few minutes and the right tools.
Video game controllers are sensitive electronic devices, which means they need to be handled delicately. According to Mashable, some major gaming companies warn against exposing them to liquids or chemicals. But if you’ve owned your controller for a while, it will likely need a deeper clean than what a dry wipe can provide. When using liquids like water, dish soap, or rubbing alcohol at your own risk, just be sure to take extra care.
Before you do anything, power down your controller and unplug any cords or accessories. How-to Geek recommends focusing on problem areas where your device may have the most dirt buildup. These include the seams, grips, joysticks, and any tight angles.
To remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach areas like the buttons and joysticks, scrub them with a Q-tip. Dipping the Q-tip in a solution of water and alcohol or water and dish soap will make this part easier. To clear out the controller’s seams and tight crevices, grab a toothpick. This will dig out any debris lodged in the cracks, and the tip is soft enough that it won’t scratch the casing. You can also do this with the edge of a folded piece of paper.
After detailing your controller, give it one good wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel. Wipe it again with a dry towel and make sure it’s completely dry before putting it away.
Regularly cleaning your video game controller helps to keep the device and yourself healthy. To keep the rest of your possessions looking like new, follow these guidelines on how often you should clean everything in your home.
Source: Windows Central
We live in strange times, with many of us spending more time at home indoors than we might like. Either way, we’re all adapting to new habits, which include cleaning and sanitizing stuff more than we may do usually. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is known to pass on through hand contact and is capable of remaining alive on surfaces, such as video game controllers, for at least a few hours. If you’re sharing controllers a lot, it might be worth looking into cleaning them a bit more often than usual. Cleaning controllers is relatively straight forward, but there are some pitfalls to avoid worth knowing for Xbox controllers (and others) before giving it a go. We spoke with some sources at Microsoft for advice.
Products used in this guide
- Cleaning wipes: Isopropyl/70 percent Alcohol wipes
- Cleaning spray: VEO Active-Priobiotics Spray
What you’ll need
Again, cleaning tech and making it free of bacteria is easy and straight forward. All you need is regular isopropyl or 70 percent alcohol cleaning wipes, such as Clorox and Lysol. There are also plenty of other similar options if these aren’t in stock, such as the VEO Active spray we’ve linked up here. If you can’t find the pre-moistened wipes due to stock shortages, grabbing some rubbing alcohol or solution and dabbing it into a cloth is another option, just ensure to keep the chemicals away from younglings. It can smell quite strong too in some cases, so if you’re not used to using those types of solutions, be sure to make sure you’re in a well-ventilated space, with a window open for example.
What to avoid
We spoke to a few people at Microsoft to get some information on how best, and how best NOT to clean your controllers. The standard, basic Xbox controllers have no coating on them whatsoever, but some of the limited edition ones have intricate painted designs. The Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and some other similar controllers have a soft coating on them too, and you can feel it to the touch if you do a side-by-side with a standard, non-coated controller.
If you have a painted or coated Elite controller, do not scrub the controllers and risk damaging the outer layer. There’s no need to scrub the standard ones either, simple swipes and dabs with appropriately moistened cloths and wipes should be more than enough.
Xbox controller cleaning tips
Source: Windows Central
These are some best practices for controller cleansing, from Microsoft and the folks at Windows Central.
- Wash your hands before getting started.
- Alcohol type mists dry relatively quickly, so you’ll want to pay attention to where you’ve cleaned to ensure you get it thoroughly sanitized.
- Be sure to clean all over, paying attention to the seams between the different plastic covers.
- If you’re using an Elite Controller Series 2, you may want to detach the joysticks, d-pad, and paddles before cleaning, as to not knock them off and lose them accidentally.
- If you go as far as cleaning under the battery door, be sure to let it dry fully before putting the batteries back in.
- Again, avoid scrubbing too hard. Limited Edition controllers and Elite controllers have coatings on them that can be damaged if going at the finish too hard.
- When you’re done, let the controllers dry completely before use.
It can be tough to find cleaning products that are actually in stock right now, and you may have more luck grabbing some Clorox or Lysol wipes from a local grocery store during your regular food supply run (while observing social distancing rules and being generally careful, of course.)
Clean ’em up
Alcohol is one of my favorite chemicals, and it turns out it’s pretty great at killing coronavirus hiding on surfaces, without damaging your products.
VEO Active-Probiotics All Purpose Cleaner Spray
Spray this VEO mist into a cloth and gently dab your Xbox to cleanliness.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
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Looking for the quickest, easiest way to clean your Xbox video game controller, Wii remove, or PlayStation controller? Well, we can help!
In this episode of Electronics Cleaning Essentials, we learn how to clean and even disinfect a video game controller.
We’ve looked at the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the safest and most effective way to clean a remote control and this is how it’s done.
Think about how many times that game controller has been used and not cleaned. Things you’ve done while using (or in-between using) your game controller: eaten, sneezed, scratched your body, gone to the bathroom, coughed, sweat, ad infinitum. Yep, it gets pretty gross!
Items you’ll need:
- Rubbing alcohol and water (50/50 mix)
- Cotton swabs
- Cleaning toothbrush
- Microfiber cloth.
Start by removing the batteries and placing them aside.
- Take the cleaning toothbrush (dry) to brush out any debris stuck between the buttons, sticks, pads and triggers. Start at the top and work your way down.
- Then, lightly mist one quarter of the cloth with water/rubbing alcohol mix and tap the wet side on the back of your hand to remove any excess moisture.
- Wipe the wet side along the top of the game controller and work your way down, using a little more pressure to get the tougher debris out. Remove any hardened on spots by gently working in a circular motion. You won’t need to dry it since rubbing alcohol dries very quickly and you won’t be using much moisture anyway. However, always keep in mind that you don’t want any liquid seeping in to the electronic.
- Use a cotton swab lightly misted with the 50/50 mix to get in between any crevices and buttons you were not able to reach with the cloth and gently wipe away any grime.
If your game controller hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you’ll notice a continuous line of grime in the seam of the remote.
- Take a small piece of paper and fold it in quarters.
- Using the pointed edge, stick it in the seam and slide it inside the seam, pushing gently. You’ll see all that grime pop out (it is pretty gross).
- Give the game controller one more quick wipe for good measure and you are all done.
Let that grime be a lesson to you.
Replace the batteries and you’re good to go! Now your game controller is clean 🙂
As part of our Electronics Cleaning Essentials, we’ll show you the proper, basic way to clean and maintain a game controller.
Please note: this video does not go in to complex cleaning issues – if you have a specific question that was not answered in the video, please leave us a comment and we’ll provide you with a more specific answer.
Whether your Xbox One controller has collected dust from weeks in a cabinet or is covered in fingerprints from frequent use, it’s easy to clean it using a dry cloth.
To clean the outside of your Xbox One controller, use a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints, dirt, and other smudges. This should also remove much of the dust that often collects atop electronic devices, especially those stored on shelves or under TV stands for long periods of time.
Microsoft does not recommend attempting to open your gaming controller, and urges you to seek professional assistance for any internal repairs. Additionally, Microsoft warns against using any type of liquid cleaner, as even careful use can result in moisture collecting inside your controller.
Here’s how to quickly clean your Xbox One controller, and the materials you’ll need to do so.
Check out the products mentioned in this article:
Xbox One X (From $499.99 at Best Buy)
How to clean your Xbox One controller
1. Start by removing any grips on your controller. Make sure you’ve unplugged your device if it’s charging before cleaning at this time.
2. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the entire exterior. These are often the same as lens cloths used for eye glasses. Other versions for cleaning are called dust cloths.
3. Use the cloth to clean the entire controller. Use circular motions to rub off fingerprints or smudges.
4. If you notice dust in the buttons or ports of your controller you can also carefully use a can of compressed air to remove any additional build-up. These cans can be purchased in both cheaper or more expensive varieties. Regardless of which type you use, use short bursts to remove any dust from the charging ports.
Now’s a great time to learn how to keep your keyboards, controllers, and other tech devices clean.
on September 4, 2020 at 2:41PM PDT
The COVID-19 pandemic (aka coronavirus) has caused some people to want to take better care of their phone and devices, and thankfully, we know exactly how to clean your phone, keyboard, and other tech gadgets. You don’t need much: a microfiber cloth and a disinfectant wipe can clean most of your devices. However, you do need to practice diligence as you’re exposing your devices to liquid, isopropyl alcohol, and other substances that can damage the components inside your phone and other devices–that means taking extra care to clean them properly.
To demystify the process, we’ve put together this quick-and-easy guide on how to sanitize your phone, keyboard, and other common tech, including the best cleaning products we’ve tried and can recommend.
How to clean your VR headset
With the release of great VR games like Beat Saber and Half-Life: Alyx, people have put a lot of use into their VR headsets. Of course, you’ll want to share the experience with the friends and family you live with, so you may need to clean your VR headset from time to time. Firstly, there’s no getting around it: you’re putting this on your face and then on someone else’s. There’s no way to prevent 100% of your sweat, DNA, or bacteria getting on them or vice-versa.
However, there are some easy ways to clean your headset’s displays and chassis, so you can get a good portion of the bacteria off of your headset–and have a crystal-clear view of the game you want to play. It’s just like cleaning glasses: use a disinfectant wipe, such as Whoosh wipes, and rub down the lenses, then dry off with a microfiber cloth. The same can be done for the rest of the headset, but be careful around buttons and openings–you don’t want to get any liquid inside the headset itself.
How to clean your cell phone
In the age of smartphones basically just being big screens, it’s easier than ever to keep your iPhone or Android device clean. However, it’s also very easy to damage your phone if you don’t choose the right products or methods to clean it with. And since it’s likely the device that comes with you everywhere you go, it’s important to sanitize your phone regularly.
First off, don’t submerge your smartphone in any cleaning product. The best way to sanitize your iPhone is to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe–Apple suggests a Clorox disinfectant wipe. Do not pour isopropyl alcohol on a cloth and then use that, as it’s very important to not get liquids into any of the crevices of your phone. Once you’ve found the right product, wipe down your phone thoroughly and then dry it off with a microfiber cloth.
How to clean your keyboard and mouse
Keyboards and mice are a little trickier than phones because it’s much easier for liquids to get into their electronics and destroy them. However, it’s not difficult to keep them clean. You’ll want to use the same 70% isopropyl alcohol disinfectant wipe you would for your phone, but before wiping down your devices, you should squeeze out some of the excess liquid. At that point, you’ll be safe to wipe down your keyboard and mouse–be sure to only wipe down the tops and sides of the actual keys, don’t wipe underneath unless you plan on removing each key to do so. After wiping your entire keyboard down, you’ll want to use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dry them–this is worth doing even if there isn’t any visible liquid on your keyboard just to be safe.
Thankfully, your mouse is a lot smaller than your keyboard, so wiping it down won’t be as difficult–though you should still practice the same diligence. Get rid of the excess liquid from the disinfectant wipe, wipe down your mouse, and then wipe it off with a microfiber, lint-free cloth. This method is also effective at cleaning entire laptops, though you need to practice extreme caution when wiping down areas with open slots. You really don’t want any liquid seeping into any of your devices.
How to clean your controllers
Cleaning video game controllers is fairly simple, but because each button is an opening to the inner electronics, you need to practice caution. Wipe down the controller with a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, then dry it off with a microfiber cloth immediately. If you’re comfortable taking the controller apart and cleaning it that way, then you can try that as well–this will make it easier to clean each individual button, though it’s not necessary unless the controller is really gunked up.
A better way to keep your controller intact and clean inside the buttons’ crevices is to use an eraser or piece of silicone to pull up any gunk. The best option for this is OXO’s cleaning brush that features bristles on one side for dust and dirt cleaning and a piece of silicone on the other that’s perfect for getting into those tight nooks and cleaning them out.
Nintendo customer support recently asked users to avoid using alcohol to clean Joy-Cons, as this could cause the plastic to “fade or deform.” Unfortunately, Nintendo suggested using a “soft dry cloth”–I’m sorry to say that this definitely won’t disinfect your console. This isn’t the first time Joy-Cons have had issues due to build quality. At the Switch’s launch, Nintendo advised against using controller skins as removing the skins could destroy the controller’s finish. Last year, the company was met with much criticism when users started to notice that their Joy-Con’s analog sticks started to drift.
How to clean screens
Screens are perhaps the easiest thing to clean. As long as you have the right products, it’s hard to mess up. The product I use is Whoosh screen cleaner kit, which comes with three microfiber cloths and two bottles of the cleaning solution. All you do is spray the solution on a cloth, then wipe down your dirty screen and then dry it off with the other side. It’s great for PC monitors, laptop displays, tablet screens, and even the Nintendo Switch–it also works well for eyeglasses, which is great for me as I’m a four-eyed nerd with very dirty lenses.
Of course, there are plenty of other high-quality screen cleaners. Just make sure you spray the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth before wiping it down–and if you’re cleaning a Nintendo Switch, remove the Joy-Cons. Spraying the cleaner onto the screen directly can cause some splatter to get into the device itself, causing easy-to-avoid damage. You can also use alcohol wipes to clean screens, though if you sneeze or cough onto a screen, I’ve found that a dedicated cleaner can more effectively pull that grime off of the screen.
VR headsets have always been a brilliant way to pick up diseases, especially ones meant for communal use. I’ve seen multiple events have outbreaks of skin and eye infections due to hundreds of people sharing headsets each day, and controllers are horrifically disgusting at the best of times.
You don’t even need a large number of people to cause problems. VR equipment is placed right up against your biggest portals of infection – the eyes, the nose and the mouth. It’s also in constant, close contact with your skin, which can cause infections and, in extreme cases, open sores.
With much of the world self-isolating and working from home at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s tempting to chuck on that VR headset and while away the hours in literally anywhere but here. Before that, though, you may want to learn how to clean your headset and its controllers.
Don’t be like me. Clean your darn headset.
For the majority of the headset, and its controllers, alcohol-free antibacterial wipes will do the job. Just wipe down all of the hard surfaces, with particular focus on the areas you’re likely to touch the most. Key areas include the top and bottom of the eyepiece, which you grab when putting on and taking off the headset and, on the Oculus headsets, the halo adjustment ring on the back.
For the lenses, avoid using anything abrasive and just use a simple glasses cleaning wipe. And whatever you do, do not put your headset in direct sunlight to dry. It’s tempting, as UV rays are great at disinfecting things, but it will cause irreparable damage to your headset’s lenses.
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The biggest harborer of infections is the soft areas, such as the headband and the foam interfacing found inside. These are ideal environments for everything from viruses to fungi to grow if not maintained properly, and it’s even worse if you play high-intensity games. Sweat makes things warm and moist… and smelly.
If you just want a cheap, easy clean, the same wipes you used on the hard surfaces will be enough if done regularly. Make sure the whole thing gets nice and damp from the wipes, then leave them to air dry. Don’t use your headset until everything is completely dry, or else you’re just introducing more microorganisms to an already wet environment.
Use an antibacterial wipe on your facial interface.
A better option is to invest in some replaceable pads. Oculus offers replacement faceplates and headbands, although these more delay the problem rather than fixing it, as eventually, you’ll just have to buy another new one. Instead, third-party options like VR Cover and WidmoVR offer machine-washable covers that either replace your manufacturer’s faceplate entirely (in the case of HTC Vive and Index) or provide padded sleeves that slide over the usual interfacing (for Oculus).
While cleaning your facial interfaces, don’t forget to wipe down the nose area. Take it from personal experience – skin infections on your nose are sore. Some people recommend removing the nose guard in Oculus headsets entirely, although it does help block out more light and is simple enough to clean.
The nose guard is small and easily forgotten, but not cleaning it can cause nasty nose infections.
It’s not difficult keeping your VR equipment hygienic, although for beginners it can be a bit overwhelming. Removing faceplates, putting harsh chemicals where your eyes will soon go and avoiding ripping fabrics are all excuses sometimes made to just never clean them. But with a pandemic facing the entire world, it’s worthwhile getting over your anxieties and just giving your kit a good scrub.
Keeping pets away from your gear is a very, very good start.
Digital DJ Tips reader Tim Cancio writes with a query that we actually receive surprisingly often. (You’re obviously a tidy bunch!) He writes: “Do you have any tips about safely cleaning your DJ controller? Obviously a quick wipe will work superficially, but what about the faders, knobs and so on?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Dust is unavoidable. Fabric fibres, pollen, animal dander, even you, all contribute to the diverse materials forming the substance. We know it as unpleasant particles tormenting our DJ gear. With enough build-up, alongside its loyal friend dirt, dust starts to affect the functionality of different components, leading to rigid faders and a host of other problems, not to mention a reduction in aesthetics.
Prevention is your best bet: use a Decksaver or dust cover when not practising, travel with cases or bags to gigs, elevate equipment while playing, wash your hands, be diligent about liquids.
Regular maintenance, such as using compressed air and a microfibre cloth, helps immensely. When operating compressed air, make sure to get each side of the fader slot, directing it away from the fader carriage, as this will allow dust to escape.
The manufacturer-set lubrication for equipment is a delicate balance; dust sticks to oily surfaces but falls away from dry ones, so limiting usage to only what the gear requires will serve you well.
If you still have issues, a fader replacement or rebuild might improve things. Keep in mind that performing more in-depth controller maintenance will likely void any remaining warranty. Overall, prevention and regular upkeep will ensure your gear stays in the best shape possible.
How do you maintain your controller? What tactics do you use for dirt prevention? Any cleaning tips we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Ever find one of your old systems and controllers buried in your garage, covered in years of dust and funk? Have you bought a used controller and realized how unbelievably gross it is? Well, don’t worry, I have the perfect solution for you that can make almost any old system or controller look new again.
(for the record, this will not fix SNES systems that are discolored and yellow)
You’ll need a few basic things, but there’s one main thing that makes this possible: GooGone. I discovered the stuff over 10 years ago and it’s amazing. I’ve cleaned everything with GooGone and it always makes things look brand new again! Okay, I’ll stop before I sound like an infomercial. Anyway, here’s what you need:
– Tools to open your console (most of the time you just need basic screwdrivers, but SNES and N64 require this tool).
– GooGone spray gel.
– Kitchen brush with plastic bristles, not metal!
– Any dish detergent
– A sink
– Compressed air (I highly recommend a “computer cleaner” or compressed air)
– A video game console or controller that’s had all of the metal and electronics removed.
- First, make sure your console or controller has had every bit of metal or electronics removed. Seriously, unbolt and remove everything.
- Spray all of the electronic components with compressed air. This is one of the few chances you’ll probably have to get the electronics clean and the less dust that’s covering them, the cooler the components will run.
- Also, an important tip: Make sure your sink drain is closed when working on controllers…you wouldn’t want to lose any small controller parts down the drain!
- Spray some GooGone directly on the dirtiest areas, especially the controllers (ewww):
- Splash a little bit of water around the GooGone.
- Use the plastic bristled brush and thoroughly scrub the entire console or controller for as long as it takes to get clean.
– Clean all individual pieces as well, such as controller buttons, expansion doors, etc.
– Do not scrub over any labels, just around them.
– Add water and more GooGone as needed.
– If needed, spray some GooGone on a Q-tip to get in tight areas, like the holes in the controller where the buttons sit.
- Wash off as much as the GooGone as you can.
– Try your best not to soak the labels, but they will get wet.
- Squirt some dish detergent and scrub once again, making sure to get a good lather and scrub every bit of your system or controller (that’s not a label).
– The purpose of the dish detergent is to clean off the slippery residue that the GooGone leaves behind, as well as clean any remaining dirt out.
- Once again, wash off the console and make sure you get all of the soap out.
- Shake off the excess water.
- Dab (not rub) the labels with a towel.
– You should dry the labels as quickly as possible, so they don’t get discolored.
- Use compressed air to get the water out of hard to reach spots.
- Leave everything to dry for at least a few hours.
– I usually repeat the last few steps every hour or so to speed things along: shake excess water, spray with compressed air, dry labels with towel.
- The controller cords and connector at the end usually get really dirty as well.
– Spray a little bit of GooGone on a paper towel to clean the cord and connector.
– Repeat the process with a bit of water (or maybe Windex or something) on the towel to get the GooGone off.
– Make sure to scrub extra good on the connector at the end of the controller…you’d be surprised how dirty those get too!:
- Seriously, cords get dirty. I’d consider this one “very clean” and look how gross it left the paper towel:
- After everything is completely dry, re-assemble it and enjoy your “brand new” console or controller!
I posted a video of the whole process if anyone wants to see it for themselves.
Here’s some before and after examples (click on each one for full-size…but I’ll warn you, they’re really gross):
Since you have the console apart, why not take this opportunity to clean the cartridge inputs? I strongly recommend that everyone follw this guide with all their old systems!!
Следует бережно обращаться с продуктами Oculus и регулярно их чистить. Гарантия не распространяется на износ и механические повреждения.
Чистка контроллеров Oculus Touch:
- Для удаления загрязнений с внешних поверхностей используйте чистую сухую ткань.
- Для очистки поверхностей и кнопок применяйте неабразивные антибактериальные салфетки. Не используйте спиртосодержащие или абразивные чистящие средства.
Чистка наушников Oculus:
- Используйте сухую ткань или неабразивные антибактериальные салфетки.
Чистка гарнитуры Oculus Rift:
- Протрите внешнюю поверхность гарнитуры сухой тканью.
- Для очистки ремешков и накладки лицевого интерфейса из вспененного материала используйте неабразивные антибактериальные салфетки. Не используйте спиртосодержащие или абразивные чистящие средства.
Чистка линз гарнитуры Rift:
- Для чистки линз гарнитуры используйте сухую салфетку из микрофибры, предназначенную специально для оптики. Не применяйте жидкие или химически активные чистящие средства.
- Аккуратно протрите линзы круговыми движениями по направлению от центра к краям.
Чистка линзы датчика Rift:
- Для чистки линзы датчика используйте сухую салфетку из микрофибры, предназначенную специально для оптики. Не используйте жидкие или химически активные чистящие средства.
- Аккуратно протрите линзы круговыми движениями по направлению от центра к краям.
Чистка подставки датчика Rift:
- Используйте сухую ткань или неабразивные антибактериальные салфетки.
Чистка пульта Rift:
- Используйте сухую ткань или неабразивные антибактериальные салфетки. Не используйте спиртосодержащие или абразивные чистящие средства.