How to Clean an Xbox 360

How to Clean an Xbox 360

Game consoles are notorious for their hardware failures. They are computer devices and like PCs they need a lot of air to keep them running cool. Over time the Xbox 360 not only draws in a lot of cooler air, but also accumulates the dust and dirt from the air on its internal fans and optical drive. This dirt accumulation leads to overheating and disk read errors if you’re not vigilant. This how to will show you how to clean an Xbox 360 in a way that won’t violate your warranty

Difficulty: Basic

Tools:

  • Xbox 360
  • Microfiber cloth (found in camera care kits)
  • Vacuum Cleaner w/ small hose attachment for detail work

Time to Execute: 15-30 minutes

Table of Contents

Official Disclaimer:

Step 1: Preparations
Many gamers report the Xbox 360 progressively becoming unable to read DVD disks. No matter how tempted you might be, don’t use canned air or a DVD cleaner on the inside of your Xbox 360. These products can actually make flakey drives even worse or damage the delicate optics of the unit. If you are having disk problems, first inspect the DVDs and make sure they are not the issue, then consider calling or paying Microsoft for a repair. If you are out of warranty there are lots of online resources where you can buy replacement DVD drives.

Step 2: Cleaning the Xbox 360 Exterior
Surprisingly keeping the Xbox 360 running is as simple as making sure it is well maintained. Hardware failures aside, properly removing dust or animal hair for the unit intakes is as simple as:

  • Unplugging the Xbox 360
  • Wipe down the exterior of the unit using the microfiber cloth
  • Inspect the area you store the unit and endure it is clear of dust and debris
  • Attach a fine nozzle or hose end to your vacuum
  • Carefully run the small hose end over the vents on the unit back and sides to remove dirt
  • Vacuum or dust the area where your console usually rests
  • Reconnect power and test the Xbox 360

Step 3: Vacuuming the Xbox 360
A more thorough cleaning of the Xbox 360 requires a vacuum cleaner and some careful work. We do not advocate opening up your console because of potential damage you could cause. Also sticking Q-Tips into the venthilation holes is a bad practice since those products tend to leave small fibers behind that can actually make the problem worse. Vacuuming your Xbox 360 can help to remove free particles around the vents and fans, but it will not completely clean the unit.
To vacuum clean the unit:

  • Unplug the Xbox 360
  • Attach a fine nozzle or hose end to your vacuum
  • Carefully run the small hose end over the vents on the unit back and sides to remove dirt
  • Vacuum or dust the area where your console usually rests
  • Reconnect power and test the Xbox 360

Closing
Electronics will always get dirty, but there are some steps you can take to prolong their working life. Aside from these cleaning tips, remember that the Xbox 360 breathes and it needs a good source of new air. Avoid storing the console in the middle of a non-ventilated media cabinet or on top of other heat and dust producing electronics (like your home stereo system or set-top box).

A good regular wipe down will not only make your 360 run more efficiently, but will impress all your house guests and show them just how much you care for your most important things. The importance of dusting and general housekeeping can’t be oversold unless you like replacing game systems or are happy living alone and friendless.

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3 Comments on How to Clean an Xbox 360

LightAce

On October 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

Hope your writing up a how to clean your PS3 article, cause thats what I really need

Shawn Sines

On October 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

Suggestion taken.. look for it next week.

jacob gus

On February 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

Thanx this article is very helpful