Clean A Game Controller

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!

Here are some more articles on cleaning electronics and gadgets!

Items you’ll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol and water (50/50 mix)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cleaning toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth.

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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 đŸ™‚

As part of our Electronics Cleaning Essentials, we’ll show you the proper, basic way to clean and maintain a game controller.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I’ve noticed a series of spots appearing on the surface of my game controller. I’ve tried wiping, scratching, and even bleaching but nothing removes them. Any suggestions?


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