Your Gaming Setup Is Likely Disgusting – Here’s How To Clean It

It may be an unfortunate stereotype, but us gamers can sometimes get a bit grubby. Handing the same controllers every day and sitting in the same spot, it’s inevitable that our gaming equipment will attract a bit of grime over time.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of professional gamers with setups that are just plain disgusting. We recently caught a glimpse behind the scenes of top streamer Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel’s setup, and it was pretty grim. Food and drink cartons were everywhere, his mouse and keyboard were gross, and the side panel to his PC wasn’t even on properly. Asmongold is also renowned for lacking cleaning skills as demonstrated when the mess of his room was recreated within Final Fantasy 14.

To keep our prized possessions in top notch condition, it can be important to make sure that we’re on top of their hygiene. Here’s a few tips on how you can keep your gaming setups clean and healthy.

Wipe down your desk

By far the biggest obstacle that gamers face is the accumulation of dust. When we sit in the same spot for hours at a time, dust will quickly start to build up on every nearby surface. You’ll more than likely notice it start to build up on a desk or media unit – thankfully, that’s fairly easy to clean up.

To do a proper clean, you should clear the surface of any decoration and wipe it over with a dusting cloth. Then, you’ll want to give it a wipe over with a damp cloth and antibacterial cleaner. This will ensure that the surface stays cleaner for longer and might also freshen up the smell a bit.

Credit: Caspar Camille Rubin – Unsplash

Ideally, you’ll want to be doing this practice at least once a week. This will help to avoid dust from building up. Keeping up with a routine should mean that you’ll spend less time cleaning overall with there being less to tidy each time. Try earmarking a day of the week to crack out all of the duties at once. I find that Saturday mornings work best for me – that way my setup is sparklingly clean for the weekend of gaming ahead.

Clean out your PC or Console

While dust on flat surfaces will be the most obvious, it’s the dust inside your console and PC that can be the real kicker. Fans constantly work to keep the components cool, but this in turn introduces large amounts of dust into the system. Filters can work to keep much of the debris at bay, but it’s never enough to keep the internals completely clean.

Obviously, you want to be careful when freeing electrical components of dust. It’s not recommended to use anything damp to clean a console, or else you’ll risk shorting out a circuit. Instead, it’s wise to invest in a can of compressed air. You can pick these up for relatively cheap either online or in a local DIY store. Alternatively, you can spend a little more to obtain an electrical air compressor which won’t run out. These will shoot concentrated blasts of air that unsettles dust residing in tight spots.

new ps5 model
Credit: Sony/Austin Evans

It’s important to focus particularly on clearing out the heat sinks attached to components that get especially hot. That includes both the CPU and GPU of your PC or console. Also take care to clear the fan intakes of any lingering dust bunnies. Doing all of this will ensure that your unit’s fans stay quiet and your components cool. Neglecting to keep your console cool can drastically reduce its lifespan.

Cleanse your mouse

It might surprise you to learn that your mouse and keyboard are probably the filthiest items on your desk right now. According to a report from The Guardian, your mouse and keyboard can contain up to 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. This is because we spend all day fondling them with our grubby mitts, and also likely eat food while we work or play.

As such, it’s imperative that you give your mouse and keyboard a deep clean on a semi-regular basis. You’ll want to make sure that you do it properly, though. The switches inside mice and keyboards can be incredibly sensitive, and you don’t want to risk breaking your prized RGB peripherals.

Credit: Muktasim Azlan – Unsplash

Mice are fairly simple to clean. Heavily wring out a damp cloth and take it to the surface of the mouse. It’s possible that patches of grime will be imbued into the side of the mouse, so don’t be afraid to put some force into the scrubbing. Just be careful not to let too much moisture slip between the panels of the bodywork – it’s possible that moisture could disrupt the switches that let the mouse click. Trust me, I’ve recently killed a Logitech G Pro mouse in this way.

Deep clean your keyboard

Keyboards are a much more laborious task to get clean, but worth the effort. Before you start to remove the keys, take a photo of the keyboard layout. This will ensure that you’re able to put all of the keys back in the right place later. Then use a key puller tool to remove all the keys from the keyboard. Place these into a mixing bowl with warm soapy water and knead them around to remove the dirt. Drain all of the water and lay them on a towel to try for a good 30-45 minutes.

While those are drying, it’s time to get all of the debris out from your keyboard chassis. Brace yourself, this part can be disgusting. It’s best to start with some of that compressed air that we used earlier. This will unsettle most of the loose debris and free it from the keyboard. Then, take a couple of dry cotton buds and run them between the key switches. You’re looking to remove as much of the remaining dust and debris as possible.

Credit: Martin Kníže – Unsplash

Once the keyboard looks visibly cleaner, you’re ready to replace all of the keys back to the board. Just be sure that all of the keys are genuinely dry, or else you could risk damaging the peripheral, just like the mouse.

To help keep both your mouse and keyboard in tip-top shape, you can practice a couple of lifestyle changes. Make sure that you’re washing your hands at regular intervals throughout the day. This will help to prevent oil and dirt from building up on your peripherals. You can also avoid eating at your desk to prevent crumbs from falling beneath the keys.

A secret weapon…

One simple way to help avoid grime from building up is to simply keep your gaming space clean and tidy. You don’t have to take a minimalist approach to owning items, but keeping things in a proper storage space instead of strewn around the place certainly makes it easier to clean up. However, It’s also important to remember that it’s easy for life to get on top of us. When it does, muck and clutter builds up quicker than ever. 

As such, making tasks like cleaning as easy as possible can do wonders for our mental health. A secret weapon that I like to use is baby wipes. These pre-dampened wipes are fantastic at giving everything from peripherals to surfaces a quick wipe down. They pick up dust super well, and also clean up small mess like spills or drink stains. They’re not a one-fix solution to all of your cleaning needs, but they’re super handy for keeping on top of cleaning when time is short or it’s the last thing you want to do.

Do you have any gaming specific cleaning tips that you’d like to share? Let us know across our social channels.

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Featured Image Credit: Caspar Camille Rubin