How to Keep Your Controllers Clean

Game controllers attract a lot of dirt and grime

What to Know

  • Keep disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizing wipes near. Every once in a while, give your controllers a little scrub.
  • You can clean the crease on the side of your controller with a small screwdriver or something similar.
  • For PS2 and Xbox owners, consider using GlovesPlay Controller Covers. Also, wash your hands and ask your friends to wash theirs when playing.

This article offers tips on cleaning your video game controllers, which tend to attract unsightly patches of grime and dirt.

What Causes the Dirt?

We like to think that we are clean people, but no matter what we do, after a week of heavy use there is dirt on our controllers. It seems like it is caused by sweaty palms combining with the dust and dirt in the air (unless you have a HEPA air filter, you have dirt in your house) which forms some nasty looking gunk. It is usually located in a line around where we grip the controllers as well as on the triggers and shoulder buttons. Grime also collects in the crease where the two halves of the controller meet.

What Do You Do About It?

  • Have disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizing wipes around. You don't have to clean your controllers every day, but every once in a while give them a little scrub.
  • You can clean the crease on the side of your controller with a small screwdriver or anything else that can get in there. You'll be surprised how much junk will come out.
  • For PS2 and Xbox owners, we suggest using GlovesPlay Controller Covers, but they are very hard to find now. You can still get them for PS2 at or eBay, but the Xbox version seems completely out of stock. The company that made them, TruGamerz, also seems to be out of business as their website hasn't been updated since September 2005. The GlovesPlay covers can absorb sweat and dirt and can be washed in a washing machine. If you can find them, get them.

In 2015 these are basically impossible to find. There are vinyl covers you can put on your controllers, but they don't really do the same thing. A shame, too, because we really liked them (and still use them on our PS2 and OG Xbox).

  • You could also ask your friends to wash their grubby mitts before they play with your controllers, but that would be rude. At the very least, follow step 1 after your gaming session is over, just to make sure.

Bottom Line

These tips aren't really anything new or different, but if you haven't cleaned your controllers in a while you will be very surprised by how dirty they can get.

Did you know that you can use your PS4 Controller to play PC games? You can.

Was this page helpful?