Why It's Important to Clean and Disinfect Your Game Controllers

Clean and disinfect your game controllers

We’re not here to ruin your fun, promise.

A game controller harbors more bacteria than your toilet seat. It's true

  • Dust
  • Sweat 
  • Food particles and oils
  • That unidentifiable sticky stuff that's on your child's hands

All of this collects and become one giant, happy, breeding ground for bacteria. Hand-held controllers contain on average 7,863 germs per 100 square centimeters. Gross. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. The average toilet seat has 1,600 germs per 100 square centimeters, making game controllers about 5x dirtier than a toilet seat. Every time you share a game controller, you're sharing the germs too. 

Don’t think you’re exempt if you find yourself saying, “Well, I play Pokémon Go on my phone, so I don’t need to worry about that.” Because you’d be wrong. Cell phones have been proven to be 18x germier than a toilet seat.

We’re going to continue, but hopefully you’re already sold on the importance of making sure your controllers (and phones) are clean and disinfected. One, it’s just good practice. Two, it will likely keep you healthier. So unlike all your sick friends, you’ll be the last one standing (much like your character in Fortnight).

 

The experts weigh in

Senior Editor Luke Plunkett over at Kotaku agrees with us:

“Control pads are the things we rest our hands on for hours at a time, sometimes every day, sometimes every day for weeks. So they’re picking up all the crap that was on our hands. And what’s worse, that crap is being ground into the controller’s surface as we hold them. What’s worse than that is that we’re usually also a little damp in the hands, turning that crap over time [into a] grimy brown sludge.”

The NPD Group is a market research company. According to them, a core gamer is anyone who plays video games using a home console (PlayStation, Xbox, Windows PC or a Mac) and spends more than five hours a week playing,  which means that as of 2014, there were over 34 million “core gamers” in just the United States alone. That’s a lot of time spent with your hands on a keyboard or holding a controller, both proven to be seasoned bacteria hosts.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • HomeSoap

You’ll want to start by getting rid of all the dirt and grime. Using a paper towel or disinfecting wipe will be easier on the handles, but you’ll likely need the cotton swap for those hard-to-reach cracks and crevices. If it’s still too hard to reach, try an old credit card. For the over-achievers, you can take the controller apart with a small screwdriver if you want to be thorough.

Now, it may appear clean once you’ve wiped it down with alcohol or a disinfecting wipe, but those aren’t as effective as you think, so your last step is actually the most important: throw those controllers in a HomeSoap UV-C disinfection device and take a 15-minute screen break. Your controllers will come out free from 99.99% of bacteria and viruses.*

Don’t wait, either. You’re going to want to be ready when Fallout 76 finally drops.

*HomeSoap has been tested by an independent, third-party laboratory to be 99.9% effective against Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, Staphylococcus, Coronavirus 229Ein. It has been tested on headphones, jewelry and baby bottles. HomeSoap has also been tested to be 99.9% effective against salmonella using ASTM 3535 for efficacy of UV light on hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, metals, and plastics.

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