How to Clean Sticky Game Controllers

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar

  • Bowl

  • Cotton balls

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Cotton swabs

  • Paper towels


Wipe off food and beverage spills as they occur to prevent sticky buildup.

Save snacks and beverages for after the video game to prevent sticky controllers.

Clean game controllers are important to your best performance.
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Sticky hands on video game controllers result in sticky residue on the game accessories. 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. As with computers, game controllers must be cleaned with the driest cleaning methods possible to avoid moisture damage. Methods that work for removing stickiness from a computer keyboard also work effectively for game controllers.


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Step 1

Unplug your game controller. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl.

Step 2

Dip a cotton ball in the diluted vinegar solution, and squeeze out excess moisture. Wipe around the entire surface of the game controller with the damp cotton ball. As sticky stains and dirt are removed from the controller, toss out the dirty cotton ball and continue with a clean one.


Step 3

Moisten the tip of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. 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.

Step 4

Dry the video game controller with paper towels. Allow the controller to air-dry for two to three hours before plugging it back in.