Why It's Important to Clean Your Game Controllers

Sanitize Your Dirty Game Controllers!

We’re not here to ruin your fun, we just want you to hear us out for a second!

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 small 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. Everytime 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 dirtier 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) stay clean. One, it’s just good practice. Two, it’ll 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 5 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 of which have proven to be seasoned bacteria hosts.

What You’ll Need:


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

Now it may LOOK clean once you’ve wiped it down with alcohol or the Clorox wipe, but those aren’t as effective as you think, so your last step is actually the most important – throw those controllers in a  PhoneSoap XL (UV-C disinfection device) and take a 15-minute screen break. Your controllers will come out looking clean and they will actually BE clean. Don’t wait either – you’re going to want to be ready when Fallout 76 finally drops.


One Final Thing

As a reward for reading this whole article, the first person to comment “loot box” on our most recent Instagram photo will win a PhoneSoap 3.0 – and remember, a clean gamer is a happy gamer.

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