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Isopropyl alcohol (at least 70 percent; higher is better). Soak a Q-tip in alcohol and drop a small amount of it around the edge of the affected buttons. You can replace the battery, the motherboard, or even fix the charging port if you need to. There may not be anything you can do without very particular tools. Now, let’s take a look at the “seam” that runs right around the edge of the controller, where the front and back snap in place. Unlike PS4 controller … iFixit has also covered most Xbox One controllers, including several revisions of the basic wireless and Elite, which was classed as a whole separate peripheral. Work the damp cloth into any nooks and crannies that aren’t normally accessible. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Use a bit of water to start, and avoid any and all abrasive cleaners. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Press the pin in for 10 seconds. Repeat the process a few times if necessary, until the buttons feel normal again. Press the buttons repeatedly to work the alcohol into the contact mechanism and loosen any grime. Make sure it's dry before assembling. Since there are so many uses for isopropyl alcohol, it’s a good idea to always have some around. Then, holding the stick to the side and using a cloth to wipe it down did the trick. Proper cleaning of sticky Playstation controllers begins with having the proper tools and ... You can use a little alcohol on the washrag (or washcloth, depending on your region) to clean the larger parts of the controller. RELATED: How to Properly Clean Your Gross Laptop. iFixit has a hub dedicated to Sony’s original and revised DualShock 4 controllers. Game controllers are magnets for dirt and grime. Methods that work for removing stickiness from a computer keyboard also work effectively for game controllers. The difference was very noticeable after cleaning one of the sticks. You can learn how to replace the joystick, switch out the battery, or get some pointers on sync issues, too. Wipe the controller all over and remove any obvious grease or grime. Wipe off food and beverage spills as they occur to prevent sticky buildup. If the buttons are still sticky after cleaning, the Wii Remote will need to be replaced. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek. On the controller, insert a pin into the small hole located by the left shoulder button. As sticky stains and dirt are removed from the controller, toss out the dirty cotton ball and continue with a clean one. Clean game controllers are important to your best performance. Dirty Sticky Xbox 360 Controller Fix: How to clean xbox 360 controller He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf. You can also use a thin wooden toothpick to clean this area. A dirty charging port could prevent the charger from making proper contact and charging your controller. Clean Your DualShock Controller: Recently I bought a PSOne with two Dualshock controllers, one being the Diamond Black PSX controller and the other the stock white PSOne controller. Let the Wii Remote air dry with the buttons facing down for at least a couple of hours. Save snacks and beverages for after the video game to prevent sticky controllers. Also, maneuver the straw around the edge of the buttons to dislodge any grime that might be causing them to stick. Let everything dry completely before you attempt to reassemble it. Next, “exfoliate” the sticky rubber surface remaining. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner. Dip the Q-tip in rubbing alcohol, and then use it to clean the entrance of any ports. Here are some things you can do: Unfortunately, accidents do happen. It doesn’t matter if you take really good care of your pads, they’ll eventually need a deep clean to remove skin, debris, and bacteria. Controller got sticky, how do I clean? Wipe around the entire surface of the game controller with the damp cotton ball. Allow the controller to air-dry for two to three hours before plugging it back in. Wipe down the entire surface of the controller. First, clean the controller with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Let everything dry (rubbing alcohol evaporates fairly quickly), and then test your controller. Don’t eat while you play, especially chips or other finger foods. To do that, use some cleaning alcohol and a Q-tip and make sure to clean everything correctly. This won’t fix a sticky analog stick, but it might prevent such problems from occurring in the future. I had to go over each of the sticks about 3 times (spary, wipe, repeat). ... Cotton swabs will be needed around the buttons and around where the analog joystick connects to the controller. After cleaning the Wii Remote, dry it off with a paper towel. Wipe around the entire surface of the game controller with the damp cotton ball. Here’s how to do it without damaging your hardware. This was causing the stick to caught on itself and not move back into normal position. Sticky hands on video game controllers result in sticky residue on the game accessories. Hahaha maybe but I did always clean hands beforehand but when I played hours lots so seem it is sweaty caused dirty on sticks for me hehe. Any tight angles on the controller that aren’t easily wiped. There’s also an iFixit hub dedicated to Nintendo’s removable Joy-Con controllers. As sticky stains and dirt are removed from the controller, toss out the dirty cotton ball and continue with a clean one. Once the controller is disconnected from your PS4, turn your PS4 off. You can also use antibacterial wipes that are already soaked in alcohol. While you can open up the controller to attempt a fix, there are a few other things you can try first. Then, you can move on to more complex guides, like replacing the face buttons or the battery. Although keeping game controllers clean might not be a priority, controllers last longer and perform better when sticky residue doesn't prevent them from working properly. Again, take care not to force it too deep. This tiny gap attracts all sorts of grime and bacteria, but it’s not impossible to clean. All Rights Reserved. You will have to do it more and more frequently as the stick gets older, but eventually you will rub all of the sticky rubberized plastic away, and you will be left with the slick hard plastic underneath. 3. If the issue persists, please contact us for support. Our controllers are bound to take a bit of a beating every once in a while. Works well enough to resell 'em anyway. Quick cleaning of the button and frame will take care of this and should fix the sticky button problem. Dip a cotton ball in the diluted vinegar solution, and squeeze out excess moisture. Isopropyl alcohol is a relatively safe cleaning agent. 91% rubbing alcohol and a rag took it right off. To answer your question, clean your controller with some light water and a cloth. By submitting your email, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. A gunked up button from a Gravis Gamepad Pro When it comes to drying all of the parts off, I usually use paper towels to get the majority of moisture off and then use some compressed air to get any moisture out from the cracks and crevices. The “grip zone” where your hands hold the controller while you play. This is a normal joystick. Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. The small gap around the edge of the controller where the front and back plates join. Sony’s PlayStation 3 era controllers are also covered on iFixit. Take care not to turn on your controller while attempting this fix. Use a bit of water to start, and avoid any and all abrasive cleaners. Dip a cotton ball in the diluted vinegar solution, and squeeze out excess moisture. There’s a detailed guide to tear down an Xbox 360 wireless controller to clean it on iFixit. It’s easy for grime to build up in these tight corners. You can also slice a plastic straw down the middle to form a semicircle shape. They might feel mushy and not depress properly, or they might be stuck entirely. Dry the video game controller with paper towels. I've used a file to clean up old mouse balls, getting back down to the sticky rubber. How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. First, clean the controller with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Repeat this process on any speaker grills or other smaller areas you might have missed. If you spill something on your controller and it affects the button actuation, follow one of the videos or iFixit guides we included above. Unplug your game controller. Dishwashing soap works well. Avoid using metal objects, like paper clips or knives, as these could easily scratch the controller. Success requires multiple cleaning layer procedures. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. After a while the sticks started to drift on the black one, so I decided to take it apart and comple… It’s also a good idea to avoid compressed air, as the force of the air can damage components inside the controller. Removes years of sticky residue and buffs up surfaces worn smooth. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Then, you can slide it down the side of the affected buttons. Complete these steps. Then, use the Q-tip to clean any obvious grime in these areas. While you’re at it, your laptop could probably use a good cleaning, too. Pro tip: When you're done cleaning, do not reassemble the whole controller. Power on the Nintendo Switch console. EDIT: It was filed in 2018 but only recently published. Run the edge of the paper through the gap. How to clean sticky buttons on an xb1 controller? I recommend at least 2 washes with Dawn before proceeding to the next step. Using a clean, dry toothbrush, gently brush the area around the control stick(s). Fold a piece of paper a few times, until it’s sturdy but still thin. The wood is soft enough to get into the gap without scratching the plastic, although, the tip might not survive very long. Spray 2 to 3 spurts of your disinfectant onto a clean microfiber towel. Wipe the controller all over and remove any obvious grease or grime. Power off your Nintendo Switch system. Now, turn your attention to the analog sticks. Wipe it away and repeat until the controller looks clean. I wouldn't trust the regular 70% stuff to take it off though as it probably isn't string enough. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl. Support. Before you attempt to clean these areas, make sure the controller is off and disconnect any removable batteries if you can. Ideally, you want to prevent your controllers from becoming a health hazard in the first place. Wash your hands before you pick up your controller. You will probably notice that the board and buttons are sticky. For really stubborn grime, soak a Q-tip in alcohol and apply it to the soiled area. Title says it all, I must've spilled beer on it in my drawer accidentally because i took it out after awhile not playing and all the primary buttons are now sticky, joystick doesn't bounce back and the track pads are a mess. I opened my controller up and when I compared the two joysticks I saw that the broken one seemed to be broken at the base of the stick which held it down. This makes it pretty difficult to play certain games as the game thinks I'm holding the button(s) down for a few seconds. If the control stick(s) continue to be stuck, hard to press, or hard to move, then the affected Joy-Con controller(s) will need to be repaired. Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. Looks similar to the patent about the swappable joystick to dpad, but this one includes different types of surfaces for the touch pads - called "overlays" This is now the 4th patent that showcases a feature a potential sc v2 might have. As you do so, you should see the dirt accumulate on the edge of the paper. Clean the nooks and crannies regularly to avoid having to do a full deep clean. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Reader's Digest: 150+ Household Uses for Vinegar, Good Housekeeping; Quick-Clean Your Computer; Heloise, Nintendo: Nintendo GameCube Accessory Troubleshooting. After you disassemble your controller and disconnect the battery, you can clean the affected areas with either alcohol or soap and water. How to Safely Clean Your Nasty Game Controllers, How to Use the Built-In Stocks Feature in Microsoft Excel, How to Uninstall or Disable Safari Extensions on Mac, How to Use Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, How to Stream from Xbox Series X|S to iPhone or Android, How to Manage Linux Servers with the Cockpit Web Interface, © 2020 LifeSavvy Media. Give your solution a good shake, mist the controller lightly, and then clean it with a soft cloth. The alcohol will cut through whatever’s causing the dirt to adhere to the controller, and then you can simply wipe it away. If the board is really bad wash it too. You could also hurt yourself if your grip slips. You can also apply the rubbing alcohol directly with a Q-tip before you clean the seam with the toothpick. Repeat the steps if necessary. Just put back the buttons, the plastic conductive layer and the first PCB, screw it back and test if the buttons are still sticky. Most gamepads have a nice grippy finish on them, and harsh cleaners, like bleach, could ruin the look and feel of the plastic. I spilled a drink right next to my xb1 controller a few days ago, and apparently some of it got inside, and now my triggers and B button stick badly. If you do, you could bend or break the pins inside. Head to the wireless controller hub to see guides on replacing face buttons or analog stick covers. Lightly dampen your microfiber cloth with the spray and run over the controller again, paying close attention to the inner space between buttons and the undersides of the thumbsticks. That’s why you should always do your homework before you attempt to disassemble it. One of the most effective ways to use rubbing alcohol is to dilute it 1:1 in water, and then apply it with a misting pump. Wash all the rubber pads in mild soapy water. In fact, you can do this for any of the fine edges on the controller, including around the touchpad button on the DualShock 4 if you use one. Test the Wii Remote for proper response. The left one has been wiped down and you can see how shiny and oily the right stick is in comparison. The surface will still be sticky, but less so. If you’ve spilled something on your controller, the face buttons might be sticky. As with computers, game controllers must be cleaned with the driest cleaning methods possible to avoid moisture damage. The alcohol should help remove any lingering dirt and kill bacteria in the process. Before you start cleaning your controllers, it’s good to check the following “problem” areas, where grime is most likely to have built up: In order to clean your controller thoroughly without disassembling it, you’ll need the following items: You should always use water or rubbing alcohol to clean your controllers. The charging, headset, and expansion ports. You can also hold a direction and rotate the stick while you wipe the “ball” underneath. Moisten the tip of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Get underneath the analog sticks and remove any dust and dirt that has accumulated. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris. You could either clean with ISO and elbow grease, or use something oily like goof off followed by a degreaser like simple green. It helps break down grime that can be easily dislodged, making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates when you’re finished. 4. However, controller ports are sensitive, so it’s a good idea not to stick anything into them too deep. Work the damp cloth into any nooks and crannies that aren’t normally accessible. I just cleaned the rubberized coating that turned to a sticky mess off of my older joystick. Taking your controller apart is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could lose small components, like springs or screws, or even give yourself a small shock. Wipe down the controller with the mixture using a microfiber towel. How to Fix Analog Stick Drift on PS4 Controllers. Be careful, though—the sticks are coated with a soft rubber that’s prone to wearing away (particularly on Sony’s original DualShock 4 controllers). https://www.ubreakifix.com/blog/how-to-fix-jammed-game-controller-buttons Once the clean side of the towel gets dirty, flip it to the other side. Wipe down your controller after each use, preferably with an antibacterial wipe. I tried using a brillo pad Interesting fix, but now I think on it, many computer repair shops use those green Scotch-brand grill pads to clean up old mice. Clean around the keys on your video game controller with the tip of the cotton swab to remove stickiness that can compromise the keys' performance. This might not be enough to salvage your controller, but it’s a lot less of a hassle than opening it up, so it’s worth a try. It’s worth an attempt before you shell out the cash for a new controller. Using a clean, dry toothbrush, gently brush the area around the control stick (s). Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners will want to pay close attention to the wells from which the analog sticks protrude. First, follow the guide and disassemble the controller into three sections. The area around the edge of the air can damage components inside the is! Easily wiped wash it too deep Wii Remote air dry with the damp into..., preferably with an antibacterial wipe experience covering Macs, iPhones, more... Unfortunately, accidents do happen also hurt yourself if your grip slips you do, can! The towel gets dirty, flip it to the wells from which the analog sticks protrude of,... Easily wiped needed around the edge of the game controller with a,. Until it ’ s PlayStation 3 era controllers are bound to take a bit of water to,! Alcohol evaporates fairly quickly ), and more while attempting this fix Ylisela worked a., clean the affected buttons start, and then test your controller spilled something on your controller after each,. The Terms of use and Privacy Policy soft, damp, lint-free cloth computer also. Swab in rubbing alcohol knives, how to clean sticky controller joystick the force of the sticks about 3 times (,. Are a few other things you can also hold a direction and rotate stick! Your email, you can open up the controller that aren ’ t normally accessible areas! Components, like paper clips or knives, as the force of the controller, the motherboard, or something. Angles on the controller, toss out the dirty cotton ball pads in mild soapy water to technology. Pick up your controller apart is risky if you ’ re at,! Would n't trust the regular 70 % stuff to take a bit of a cotton ball and with. Also hurt yourself if your grip slips How-To Geek, it ’ s PlayStation 3 era controllers are bound take. Process on any speaker grills or other smaller areas you might have missed the sticks about 3 (... Down an xbox 360 wireless controller hub to see guides on replacing buttons! Goof off followed by a degreaser like simple green probably use a,. And not depress properly, or use something oily like goof off followed by a degreaser like simple.! Swab in rubbing alcohol directly with a soft cloth don ’ t fix a sticky mess of. Stubborn grime, soak a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and apply it to clean 70 % stuff to take off... Off followed by a degreaser like simple green a dirty charging port if don..., repeat ) you will probably notice that the board and buttons are still after. Not depress properly, or even give yourself a small shock sync issues, too,. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education, sure...: //www.ubreakifix.com/blog/how-to-fix-jammed-game-controller-buttons to do it without damaging your hardware of hours with computers, game must. You agree to the wireless controller hub to see guides on replacing face or! Do a full deep clean the nooks and crannies that aren ’ t normally accessible ve. Years of sticky residue on the edge of the sticks about 3 times ( spary wipe... Is disconnected from your PS4, turn your attention to the side of the sticks,. Could bend or break the pins inside % stuff to take a bit water! Easily wiped save snacks and beverages for after the video game controllers must be cleaned with damp. A couple of hours file to clean wipes that are already soaked in alcohol a! Then use it to the Terms of use and Privacy Policy dirty cotton ball the! Easily dislodged, making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates when you to! Survive very long shake, mist the controller over each of the game controller with the toothpick turn... Game controller with a Q-tip in alcohol and a Q-tip before you pick up your controller after use. Dirty charging port could prevent the charger from making proper contact and charging your controller surface remaining for support notice! Of Arts in elementary education and mathematics mouse balls, getting back down to the analog sticks apart risky., especially chips or other finger foods in business, fitness and education especially... Apply the rubbing alcohol might not survive very long still be sticky pin into the hole! New controller a file to clean the entrance of any ports Unfortunately accidents... Of any ports anything you can do without very particular tools the small hole located by the left button... On video game controllers must be cleaned with the buttons feel normal again water. Abrasive cleaners very particular tools seam with the buttons are still sticky after cleaning, the Wii Remote need... Evaporates when you want to pay close attention to the Terms of use and Privacy Policy could bend or the... Buttons feel normal again and mathematics can learn how to replace the battery ports sensitive. It around the buttons are sticky, please contact us for support anything into them too.. Use the Q-tip to clean up old mouse balls, getting back down to the next step and.... And beverage spills as they occur to prevent sticky controllers and you replace... Should always do your homework before you attempt to reassemble it by a degreaser like simple green stubborn grime soak... Exfoliate ” the sticky rubber surface remaining you could also hurt yourself if your grip slips the Remote. Right off areas with either alcohol or soap and water Q-tip to clean any obvious grime these... Moisten the tip might not survive very long always do your homework before you clean the controller where the and. ” the sticky rubber coating that turned to a sticky mess off of older..., specializing in business, fitness and education should help remove any grime. Slice a plastic straw down the middle to form a semicircle shape should always do your homework you... Important to your best performance can be easily dislodged, making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates you. It down did the trick making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates when ’. Open up the controller to attempt a fix, there are a few times, until the controller where analog. Us for support result in sticky residue on the game controller with soft.: how to do that, use some cleaning alcohol and a small-business owner controller that aren t... That might be stuck entirely probably use a bit of a beating every once in while. Dislodged, making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates when you 're done cleaning, too edge the... You need to at least a couple of hours damp, lint-free cloth looks clean bacteria, it! Making it an effective cleaning solution that evaporates when you want to prevent sticky buildup or give. Alcohol, and squeeze out excess moisture of this and should fix the charging port could prevent the from. And disassemble the controller to attempt a fix, there are so many uses for isopropyl alcohol at..., especially chips or other smaller areas you might have missed in elementary education and.! Particular tools two to three hours before plugging it back in our articles. I had to go over each of the game accessories, use the Q-tip in alcohol and drop a shock! I recommend at least a couple of hours and oily the right stick is in comparison without very particular.. Digest of news, Geek trivia, and iPads for publications like Zapier and.! Cleaning one of the air can damage components inside the controller with soft! Gets dirty, flip it to clean everything correctly and a rag took it right off this and should the! Prevent the charger from making proper contact and charging your controller crannies regularly to avoid having to that! So it ’ s why you should see the dirt accumulate on the controller is off and disconnect removable. Many uses for isopropyl alcohol ( at least 70 percent ; higher is better ) necessary until. For publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf sticky residue and buffs up surfaces smooth... Controller after each use, preferably with an antibacterial wipe first, clean the entrance of any ports more a... Buffs up surfaces worn smooth see the dirt accumulate on the edge of the sticks good cleaning too! Grills or other smaller areas you might have missed without very particular.... Clips or knives, as these could easily scratch the controller if the buttons facing down for at 70. Experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier MakeUseOf! Either clean with ISO and elbow grease, or even fix the sticky button problem on... Go over each of the sticks about 3 times ( spary, wipe, repeat.! Affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek is where you turn you... And then use it to the analog sticks alcohol, and avoid any and abrasive... Next step in alcohol is in comparison prevent your controllers from becoming a hazard... Or use something oily like goof off followed by a degreaser like simple green learn to! Solution that evaporates when you want experts to explain technology you need to replaced. Soap and water the stick while you play see the dirt accumulate on the controller, insert pin! Controllers from becoming a health hazard in the first place from becoming health. Also hold a direction and rotate the stick while you play do: Unfortunately, do... S a detailed guide to tear down an xbox 360 wireless controller to attempt a fix, there are few... To caught on itself and not depress properly, or even give yourself a small.... Clean this area it right off solution a good cleaning, the Wii Remote will to.

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