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How to clean your nintendo switch

By Marc Deschamps – November 29, 2020 07:13 pm EST

The Nintendo Switch’s portability makes it the perfect console to take on trips, but that also leaves it more susceptible to dirt and germs than other systems. Fortunately, Nintendo has updated its official website with some handy tricks that players should keep in mind the next time their console needs to get wiped down. For regular cleanings, Nintendo advises users to apply water to a cloth, wring it out, and then use it to gently wipe down the system. For those looking to disinfect the system, Nintendo recommends applying a disinfectant that is around 70% alcohol to a cloth before using it on the system itself.

In addition to these tips, Nintendo also released a handful of other nuggets of wisdom, which can be found below:

  • Before cleaning or disinfecting, verify that the console is powered off and that all accessories are unplugged.
  • Please do not pour liquids directly on the product. Do not submerge the product in water or other liquids.
  • After cleaning or disinfecting, please ensure the product is completely dry before using.

Some of these tips might seem like common sense, but the alcohol percentage for disinfectant should be of note for Switch owners. Presumably, this advice would also work for Nintendo’s recently released Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. device, as well as other Nintendo handhelds like the 3DS. However, Nintendo’s official website says that this advice applies to the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, so fans might want to hold off on following those instructions for other devices until Nintendo reveals otherwise.

With the holiday season just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time for Nintendo to release this type of information. A lot of people will be getting a Nintendo Switch for Christmas this year, and the coronavirus pandemic has made a lot of people more conscientious about the need to clean and disinfect items that are taken out in public frequently. With people opting to travel less this holiday season, it’s hard to say how many people will be taking the console out over the next few months, but this advice should be helpful in the future, as well!

For those looking for other tips related to the Nintendo Switch, ComicBook.com’s Holiday Gift Guide for the console can be found right here.

Do you plan on getting a Nintendo Switch this year? Have you been concerned with how to best clean the console? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

How to clean your nintendo switch

Your Nintendo Switch is probably filthy. Since the Switch pulls double duty as a shared family console and a handheld gaming console, it has extra opportunity to get dirty fingers all over it. Here’s how to clean all the parts of your Switch without getting it wet or ruining it.

According to Nintendo’s official support page, you should avoid submerging your Switch in water (duh), using any cleaning solvents, or putting water directly on the screen. Instead, to clean your Switch, you’ll need a few non-destructive materials:

  • A microfiber screen cleaning cloth. This comes up every time we talk about cleaning gadgets, and with good reason. A microfiber cloth can clean your screen without leaving scratches or lint.
  • Cotton swabs or pads. We’ll use a few cotton swabs to clean some of the harder to reach crevices.
  • A small cup of water. While you don’t want to pour water directly on your switch, you may need to lightly dampen a cotton swab. Get a small glass of water that you can dip into.

If you don’t have a microfiber cleaning cloth, you can substitute with a soft t-shirt or other piece of fine threaded fabric. Just be sure not to use a bigger fluffy towel that can leave more lint than you clean off.

Wipe Down Your Main Console and Screen With a Microfiber Cloth

How to clean your nintendo switch

The touch screen on your Switch can end up just as smeared with fingerprints as your phone. Having a microfiber cloth can come in handy for this. Microfiber cloths are designed to avoid scratching screens and leave no extra lint. To clean your screen, simply wipe the cloth across the surface of the screen in long strokes. Don’t use circular motions, as this can catch dirt particles and rub them over the screen. Never use cleaning products on the Switch screen. If you have any caked on gunk, very lightly dampen the cloth with water when you wipe it off. Be sure to squeeze out any water so it doesn’t leave drops that can find their way into cracks between the screen and the case.

If you don’t already have one, it may be a good idea to get a screen protector—you can usually get one for less than $10. In addition to the normal wear and tear that screens normally go through, the Switch also gets placed into an HDMI dock. This shouldn’t be a problem if you place it in gently, but if you’re too rough with it (or if a child uses the dock) you can end up scratching the screen on the dock itself. A screen protector should solve this problem, as well as keep your device looking good through normal use.

Scrub the Joy-Con Controllers With a Damp Cloth

How to clean your nintendo switch

The Joy-Con controllers on your Switch will get a ton of gross gunk all over them as your kids play in the back seat while sloppily eating chips and spilling Coke on their fingers. At least they’re quiet, though. To clean the controllers, you can whip out that handy microfiber cloth again. This time, though, get it a little damp. Squeeze out any excess water until it’s not dripping any more, and then squeeze it a little bit more. Then, scrub the plastic of your controller with the cloth.

Use a Cotton Swab to Reach the Hard-to-Clean Spots

How to clean your nintendo switch

Some spots on the Switch may be a little too difficult to reach with your microfiber cloth. In those cases, some cotton swabs can come in handy. The metal sides of the Switch where the controllers latch in, or the USB-C port on the bottom are nesting grounds for dust and dirt that can jam up the parts of your console. Rub the swab along the inside, or in between the small crevices. If there is gunk built up, you may need to dip the cotton in water, but remember to make sure you squeeze any excess out before you put the cotton into any ports or cracks. Even a small drop of water could enter the console and cause a short, so don’t use water unless you absolutely have to and, even then, use it very sparingly. Give your whole console another once over to wipe down all the parts you may have missed, like the speaker grill or underneath the kickstand on the back.

If you wipe off the parts of your Switch that see the most use regularly, then you shouldn’t need to do too much hardcore cleaning. There’s a lot of opportunity to get dirt and grease all over your Switch, but it only takes a few seconds to wipe the whole thing down and keep it looking shiny and new.

With the current on-going COVID-19 pandemic, every one of us is being extra careful even when it comes to our favorite tech products. If you own a Nintendo Switch console, then you also might be wondering about cleaning or disinfecting it from time to time. Back when everyone was using different Alchohol-based products on their handheld console, Nintendo swooped in to warn the users of the consequences. The Japan division of Nintendo recommended Switch users to not use alcohol-based as it can affect the plastic portion of the console.

Nintendo recommends how to clean your Switch and Joy-Con

How to clean your nintendo switch

Nintendo has now shared few tips that Switch users can follow to disinfect their handheld consoles along with Joy-Con controllers. The company has posted it on its official English support page. According to the post, the users should lightly apply the consumer-grade alcohol with 70% content to a soft cloth. You can then gently wipe the cloth on your Switch console and Joy-Con controller. Of course, you can not just go ahead and follow the process easily. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind to make sure the disinfection process doesn’t harm your product.

  • Only use disinfecting alcohol, not the other ones such as fuel.
  • Don’t apply the disinfectant directly to the surface of the Switch console and Joy-Con controller. Furthermore, avoid immersing your device in the disinfectant because moisture content can break down your product.
  • Nintendo also recommends using Switch only after completely drying it after disinfection.

It is worth noting that Nintendo is not responsible for any damage to Switch while disinfecting it. It’s interesting how Nintendo has switched its tune since the last time.

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Care and Maintenance of Portable Systems

While portable systems are designed for durability, they still remain complex electronic devices. As such, care needs to be taken with how they are handled. The following are tips to care for your system:

Cleaning a dirty screen
If the screen on your portable system (including either screen of a Nintendo DS system) has visible smudges, fingerprints, or other foreign material, you can clean it by using a soft clean cloth such as a lens or eyeglass cleaning cloth.

(If you have noticed that the lower screen on your Nintendo DS has pieces of foreign material, such as crumbs, wedged between the housing and the screen, click on the system you have for specific troubleshooting steps. Note that this does not apply to Nintendo DS Lite,Nintendo DSi, or Nintendo DSi XL.)

    To clean a dirty screen:
    (If you are using a Game Boy micro, and the screen below the faceplate needs to be cleaned, you will need to remove the faceplate first. Click here for directions.)

  • Slightly dampen a corner of the cloth with water and wipe off the screens to loosen any dirt or foreign material.
  • Using a dry portion of the same cloth, wipe the screens to dry them and finish the cleaning process.
  • If needed repeat the process more than once.
  • Please note: Protective screen covers can lower the sensitivity of the Nintendo DS touch screen. They may also damage screens as they can leave behind a residue that may be difficult to clean.

    Minimize direct impact to the system
    Your portable system should never be left anywhere where it could get hit, dropped, or banged around (e.g., in a backpack). While well protected, the sophisticated screens and internal components can be damaged by direct physical impact. An extra protective carrying case can often help prevent problems related to impact damage. Many times the initial damage is not noticeable to the naked eye, but over time (like a small chip in a windshield), a crack, line, or more damage can appear.

    Avoid exposing the battery to liquids
    The rechargeable lithium ion batteries featured in most newer portable devices are very sensitive to moisture. If the battery is exposed to liquids, it will be permanently damaged.

    If your rechargeable Nintendo handheld product has been exposed to liquids, use the links below for troubleshooting and repair information:

    Yo u might have heard there’s currently a global pandemic going on. As a result you might be using th ings like alcohol and disinfect wipes to clean off your stuff, including your Switch. Nintendo says don’t, at least if your priority is not damaging the system’s finish. For many, it probably isn’t.

    “Recently, customers have been asking whether they can disinfect their Nintendo Switch consoles and Joy-Cons with alcohol,” Nintendo Customer Service wrote on Twitter yesterday based on a translation by Kotaku. “We’re very sorry to say please avoid using alcohol as it may cause the plastic parts to fade in color or deform.”

    But not just alcohol. The company went on to say that other cleaners were potentially risky as well. “We also cannot recommend using non-alcoholic disinfecting sheets, as depending on the ingredients, they may damage the plastic parts,” wrote Nintendo.

    How To Clean And Sanitize Your Gaming Gear

    As concerns about covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, reach a fever pitch, it’s…

    This isn’t necessarily surprising news to anyone who’s tried to mod their Joy-Con or use weird chemicals to clean them in the past. The finish is extremely fickle and easy to rub off. The spread of covid-19 is serious, though , and wanting to keep your electronics from potentially being carriers for the virus is smart , especially for anyone frequently sharing their Switch with roommates or loved ones.

    “Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily,” the CDC says. “This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.” To this end, Apple updated its support page for the iPhone last month to tell users that, contrary to its previous recommendations, it was okay to “gently” wipe-down their devices with certain alcohol and Clorox-based wipes.

    So what can you use to wipe down your Joy-Con? “For cleaning purposes, please use a soft dry cloth,” the company wrote, advice which you should definitely ignore if you’re worried that your Switch might be contaminated. No one’s going to be winning awards for the most pristine looking special edition Joy-Con when this whole thing is over.

    Nintendo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    This guide will show you how to use Haku33 by Kronos2308 to delete custom firmware files and logs from your Switch console. This is useful if you wish to “clean” your system, return to the stock firmware and play online without being banned. This method will completely erase the information on your Nintendo Switch’s SysNAND (Internal Storage). Backup your saves with EdiZon. SD files or games installed to your SD (on EmuNAND) will not be touched.

    If you plan on running SysNAND and EmuNAND concurrently, it is advised to create your EmuNAND partition prior to cleaning your SysNAND. You will require hekate to boot into stock firmware on the SysNAND, this comes with the added benefit of not burning fuses as long as Auto-RCM is enabled. hekate is safe to use with stock firmware, as it is a bootloader and does not store files on your NAND.

    If you do not plan to use EmuNAND and wish to use only the stock Nintendo Switch official firmware, disable Auto-RCM in hekate and allow your Switch to boot as normal.

    Like with all homebrew that make large changes to your Switch’s internal storage; it is advised to create a backup of your NAND before running Haku33, just to be on the safe side.

    Nintendo Switch with Custom Firmware

    • The Haku33 requires a hacked switch with CFW such as Atmosphere
    • You cannot run homebrew applications with unhacked or stock Switch consoles
    • This guide assumes you have all the basic requirements to enter RCM and boot into CFW

    Switch Payload Injector (Recommended)

    • USB Dongle that can be used to boot your Switch into Atmosphere without a PC or USB cable
    • RCM Jig Included
    • Compatible with emuMMC / Stock OS Dual Boot for safer online play
    • Add or Update payloads (.bin files) via USB
    • Enter coupon code NOTEGRA for a $5 discount

    Installing Haku33

    You will be running Haku33 on your SysNAND so temporarily disable any EmuNAND setups if you are using one. This can easily be achieved by temporarily renaming the /emuMMC/ folder on the root of your SD.How to clean your nintendo switch

    1. Copy Haku33.nro to the /switch/ folder on your SD card
    2. Insert your SD card into your Switch and push your preferred payload to boot into CFW
    3. From the Home screen, launch the Album to access the Homebrew MenuHow to clean your nintendo switch

    Cleaning NAND

    1. Launch Haku33 from the Homebrew MenuHow to clean your nintendo switch
    2. Press the [ZL] + [ZR] + [+] + [-] buttons together to beginHow to clean your nintendo switch
    3. Wait for your Nintendo Switch to reset (or enter RCM)

    Your NAND has now been cleaned. If Auto-RCM was enabled, your Switch will enter RCM and you will require hekate to boot into stock official firmware. If not, you Switch will boot into the initial setup screenHow to clean your nintendo switch

    Your previous /Nintendo/ folder will be backed up as /Hamburgesa_Nintendo/ on the root of your SDHow to clean your nintendo switch

    Now is the best time to create a clean Switch NAND backup with hekate if you do not have one.

    Booting into Stock Official Firmware from RCM with hekate

    1. Insert your SD card into your PC
    2. Copy the /bootloader/ folder from the hekate .zip file to the root of your SD cardHow to clean your nintendo switch
    3. Extract the Atmosphere .zip file and copy fusee-secondary.bin to the /bootloader/payloads/ folder on your SD cardHow to clean your nintendo switch
    4. Go to the /bootloader/ folder on your SD cardHow to clean your nintendo switch
    5. Open hekate_ipl.ini in Notepad and add the following lines to the file and save

    How to clean your nintendo switch

  • Insert your SD card into your Switch and push the hekate_ctcaer.bin payloadHow to clean your nintendo switch
  • Select [Launch]How to clean your nintendo switch
  • Select [Stock (SYSNAND)] to boot into stock official firmwareHow to clean your nintendo switch
  • Your Switch will boot and load into the initial setup screenHow to clean your nintendo switch
  • You can now sign in to your Nintendo Account or create a new one to access the eShop.How to clean your nintendo switch

    You can also update your SysNAND firmware via Nintendo servers, EmuNAND firmware will be unaffected.

    Congratulations on successfully cleaning your Switch NAND and restoring the official firmware. You can now enjoy the online services while still having access to custom firmware via the EmuNAND if you wish to do so. Ensure that you keep the SysNAND environment clean and create a fresh NAND backup now if you haven’t already.

    Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Switch

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    3. Look at the back of your Switch – fingerprint stains?

    User Info: SheerHeartAttac

    Anyone here – take your Switch and look at it in the light or even with a flashlight if you’re in a dark room; is is covered in fingerprints/oils that won’t come off?

    I remember this happening on Day 1 – saw one fingerprint and went to wipe it off but it only smeared and left a shiny stain in its wake. And nothing will take it off.

    The finish gets damaged by any bit of finger oils, very easily. It’s a bit annoying cosmetically.

    User Info: Joshjosh022

    User Info: QualmanIsBack

    User Info: SheerHeartAttac

    This does not happen to most people.

    Do you know most people?

    I would venture that since human fingers all have oils on them at all times, that this has happened to most Switch owners.

    User Info: Rolfin

    It has to do with whatever material the switch is made of. Some people will also notice grease/oil circles around the face buttons of their grey joycons as well.

    The DSI had a similar “soft matte” finish and suffered from the same issue.

    User Info: Garethc78

    Anyone here – take your Switch and look at it in the light or even with a flashlight if you’re in a dark room; is is covered in fingerprints/oils that won’t come off?

    I remember this happening on Day 1 – saw one fingerprint and went to wipe it off but it only smeared and left a shiny stain in its wake. And nothing will take it off.

    The finish gets damaged by any bit of finger oils, very easily. It’s a bit annoying cosmetically.

    This x100 it doesn’t matter how clean you are human skin secretes oils end of.

    Yes TC it’s annoying as hell and I for one have tried numerous things to remove with no success.

    User Info: SheerHeartAttac

    Anyone here – take your Switch and look at it in the light or even with a flashlight if you’re in a dark room; is is covered in fingerprints/oils that won’t come off?

    I remember this happening on Day 1 – saw one fingerprint and went to wipe it off but it only smeared and left a shiny stain in its wake. And nothing will take it off.

    The finish gets damaged by any bit of finger oils, very easily. It’s a bit annoying cosmetically.

    This x100 it doesn’t matter how clean you are human skin secretes oils end of.

    Yes TC it’s annoying as hell and I for one have tried numerous things to remove with no success.

    Leave your Switch at home next time you go on a grocery run.

    How to clean your nintendo switch

    Whelp, it seems that even if you managed to snag a Nintendo Switch before the pandemic panic buying set in, you really shouldn’t be using it if you plan on taking it outside of your home. See, according to Nintendo, you shouldn’t be using alcohol-based disinfecting sheets, or any other disinfectant wipes for that matter, to clear potential coronaviruses off your devices.

    While the CDC and other health authorities have said you should be wiping down anything you take out of the home, disinfecting your Nintendo Switch is potentially deadly to your treasured console. In a series of tweets from the customer service account of Nintendo Japan, they outlined that alcohol may fade or even deform the Joy-Con’s plastic. They went on to also say that other disinfectants may do similar effects.

    While no direct mention of UV lights were made, those can fade plastics as well, meaning that any basically attempt at cleaning your Nintendo Switch could cause damage.

    Translation follows via Twitter’s translate tool:

    We’re very sorry to say please avoid using alcohol as it may cause the plastic parts to fade in color or deform. We also cannot recommend using non-alcoholic disinfecting sheets, as depending on the ingredients, they may damage the plastic parts

    There are still a few things you can do though. Don’t take your Nintendo Switch out of your house. Even better, don’t go outside yourself. Really. Just don’t do it.

    What do you think? Surprised that your Nintendo Switch is so susceptible to cleaners? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

    Nintendo has stated that alcohol-based products are a no-no when it comes to cleaning your Switch. so what should you be using?

    • 12:40, 20 APR 2020

    Though many people are turning to alcohol to disinfect their screens and phones as we’ve been trying to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control, that probably isn’t a good idea for the Nintendo Switch.

    As per official instructions from the manufacturer, Nintendo Switch owners have been advised not to use alcohol-related products to disinfect their consoles.

    Nintendo has issued instructions that plainly state that alcohol should not be used on the company’s handheld/home console or its Joy-Cons controllers.

    “Recently, customers have been asking whether they can disinfect their Nintendo Switch consoles and Joy-Cons with alcohol,” Japan’s Nintendo Customer Service account on Twitter posted, ( translation via Kotaku).

    “We’re very sorry to say please avoid using alcohol as it may cause the plastic parts to fade in color or deform.”

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    So if you want your Switch to be box-fresh and look as good as it can for as long as you can, stay away from alcohol-related cleaning products and disinfectants.

    You may also want to play it safe and stay away from disinfectant wipes, too: apparently, according to the manufacturer, these products may also damage the plastic used in the design of the console.

    “We also cannot recommend using non-alcoholic disinfecting sheets, as depending on the ingredients, they may damage the plastic parts,” Nintendo explains.

    So what can you use?

    How to clean your nintendo switch

    “For cleaning purposes, please use a soft dry cloth,” Nintendo advises when players have asked about how to best clean their devices.,

    Bear in mind, this will absolutely not kill any germs on the hardware, and actually risks spreading anything on a contaminated device further.

    If you’re concerned, you may want to dampen a cloth with soap and water and very gently and carefully use the to wipe down the console screen – avoid anything ‘wet’, just a little damp will be good enough, and that should help clean the screen.

    Be mindful that this is an electronic device, so take care not to get water anywhere near seals that keep the internal parts, well, internal.

    I personally use a can of compressed air to clean the Joy-Con (great for getting dust out of the analogue joints and preventing drift!) but avoid damp cloths and anything wet with the Joy-Con as this can ruin them for good.