How to Clean Your PS3

How to Clean Your PS3.

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Dust, dirt and grime are the enemies of all electronics. Whether you keep your Sony PS3 out in the clear like a shining black example of elegant design or tucked deep in the recess of your entertainment cabinet – you need to take steps to protect your investment and clean your PS3 from time to time.

Difficulty: Basic

  • Microfiber Cloth
  • LCD Cleaning Solution or non-alcohol based cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle attachment

Time to Install: 15-30 minutes

Table of Contents

Official Disclaimer:
Do not use CD/DVD drive cleaning tools on your PS3 optical drive. If your PS3 is no longer reading disks you should contact Sony for support. Use of the over-the-counter disk drive cleaners will damage the optical components of the PS3 Blu-Ray drive and make things worse, not better.

Your choice of cleaning solution is also a concern. Alcohol based cleaners, like ethyl, can actually cause damage to the plastics of your PS3. Do not use these solvents to wipe down or clean your PS3 or controllers. The best mix is to dilute isopropyl (Rubbing Alcohol) with an equal part of water and use that solution to wipe off your console.

Step 1: Preparations
Cleaning your PS3 is a pretty simple process but there are a few things you probably don’t need to be reminded to do. Well this is the section of the how to where we remind you anyway.

  • Unplug your PS3 – You will need to plug it in later but when wiping off the outside, well, not so much.
  • Make sure any cleaning solvent is closed when setting it next to electronics – a spill will not clean up your PS3
  • Use a cloth, not a paper towel or other fragile cleaning tool. – You don’t want to leave the cleaning tool on or in your PS3.
  • Work in a well-lit area – Cleaning in the dark is a sure way to do a bad job.

Step 2: Clean the Outside

Since you’ve already unplugged your PS3 and moved it to a well-lit area, you’re ready to put on your cleaning gloves and get down to work. Well, not hard work. Cleaning the exterior of the PS3 is as simple as taking the microfiber cloth, applying some of your solvent to it (not to the PS3 directly – electronics + liquid = bad) and wiping down the console.

Regardless of your PS3 model, the shiny exterior will show signs of dust and grime just through normal operation so gently rub it down and remove any streaks or smudges. Pay attention to the front or control surfaces where oil builds up from your fingertips.

You should also lightly dust out the USB ports on your console. If you choose to use a q-Tip or other cleaning probe, you should be careful to ensure none of the cotton gets left behind in the port when you’re done.

Step 3: Activating the “Self-Cleaning” Feature
You may not realize this, but Sony wants to help you clean your PS3 too (well anything built later than the 40GB model). To facilitate this, the company built in a neat power on function that is meant to dust out the interior of the console. Sure you can risk everything and take apart the PS3 to clean the inside but after running this trick you probably won’t need to.

Here’s how you activate the console’s in-built cleaning functionality:

  1. Plug in your cleaned PS3 from Step 2 – You need to power up the unit to make this work, so return it to its normal home or bring the plug over to your cleaning space.
  2. Make sure the power switch on the PS3 is off – The unit needs to be fully powered down, not just in standby.
  3. Turn on the power switch while holding down the Eject button – the system should fire up and you should hear all the system fans come on at once.
  4. Wait for the system to return to “Standby” mode – If you did this correctly the unit will blow out all the fans for about 10 seconds before going into standby mode.

Once you’ve done this process your PS3 should be fairly dust free on the inside. You can repeat the steps a few times just to be extra sure.

Step 4: Cleaning the PS3 Controllers
While the PS3 Controllers are not as shiny or likely to gather dust the oils and muck of player fingers will eventually make a lasting impression. Remember those classic PS1 controllers that turned black with use? Well, Sony addressed the unsightly coloration over time by making all the controls on the controller black already! Win!

Repeat the same basic steps as outlined in cleaning the outside of your PS3 above. Use the microfiber cloth, apply solvent to the cloth, then wipe down the controller buttons, sticks, d-pad and surface.

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15 Comments on How to Clean Your PS3


On October 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

wow never knew about the fan cleaning feature


On October 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm

thats not a cleaning feature, that’s just a fan test. It’s even been proven to weaken your ps3 to subject-able damage


On October 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm


On October 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm

hmm yea thanks SoSai, i probably woulda went and did that fan test on my ps3 ><

Shawn Sines

On October 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm

The Fan test will not harm the PS3 unless you do it repeatedly over and over untilt he hardware fails. This is a secondary bonus to activating the fan test – it blows out the loose particles.

As to the link.. if you read the complete thread you see there is no logic behind the myth that it causes overheating. That makes absoolutely no sense… powering up the fans for 30 seconds will not cause the GPU or CPU to fry.


On October 23, 2010 at 12:43 am

I just dip mine in a tub of water for about 20 minutes then I pop it in the microwave for about 18 seconds. After that I take an industrial magnet and I massage the hard drive with it. Sometimes I put sugar inside the vents to attract ants but the tub of water seems to do a better job.


On October 23, 2010 at 12:45 am

sw no way someone said half of what i said on the N4g site already


On October 23, 2010 at 1:49 am

If the fan test damages the PS3, then how do they test the fans without damaging the PS3?


On October 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

yeah right, i tested powering off my ps3 and power on from main power switch in the back of ps3 while holding eject button like he said fans did not come on. until i press on switch in front. only time i hear fans is when i press front power switch. soooo this is fake.

S Master

On October 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm

wow, the industrial magnetic over the hard drive increases load speeds by about 10 percent, good thinking just make sure you save everything twice, lol. but don’t do both, microwave and magnetic; i had the fire dept visit for a few hours today. and i can’t seem to get rid of the burnt plastic smell! it gives me flashs backs when i stuck my mom’s black dildo in the toast, and the rubber smell stayed for weeks until i threw out the toast.

honestly, none of this is going to increase the life. yes a can of blow off will do the same effect, just don’t spray liquid in to the heatsink or fans, then turn the the ps3.. well without a warranty it will cost you $160.

re :yeah,right

On June 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Not fake yours was probably an older model
by the way for those who can’t find the switch it works when you first plug it in also


On July 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

anyways you have too hold the eject button before turning on the back switch and i have the old model and it works and anyways whoo would put a dil** in a toaster :?


On February 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

The fan test worked fine. Seemed to blow out some dust. Great lil trick IMO. I use a clean paint brush to get into the cracks and crevices works better than a Q-Tip and does not leave any lint/cotton fibers


On October 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

There is nothing wrong with running THIS particular fan test. The one that damages units is the one that morons turn their ps3 upside down, and this allows the ps3 to overheat and run the fans full speed. Of course overheating will cause the PS3 to die, maybe not the first time, but WILL, if it doesn’t die after the first time, you just considerably reduced the lifetime of it.


Fan test built into ps3 = OK
Fan test created by total idiots to overheat the PS3 = VERY VERY BAD

mat keenan

On April 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Dont use the fantest to clean ur ps3 …it does-not work .if anything it pulls more dust through the ps3 and circulates round the insides…gets on ur motherboard hdd blueray reader n lense . U also run the risk of the fan burning out by using this regular. DONT BE LAZY!!!! THE BEST AND ONLY!!!!…WAY TO CLEAN THE CONSOLE IS WITH A HOOVER ..switch off the console. Remove all plugs and set aside in a well lit place. On its edge standing up run the hoover slowly over the vents on both sides several times each. Turn console flat and now hoover the rear vents taking care to STOP the FAN from turning with a hair clip or matchstick…anything really just aslong as U STOP THE FAN SPINNING WHEN U PUT HOOVER DT OVER IT.if u dont u can overspin the motor and cause a blade or 2 to shatter off .and a broken fan although does still turn is unatable and sucks less air .this will make the ps3 build up more heat than it can handle making the console shut down.burn out its chipsets and even burn the heatsink paste cauusing a fire! ….ONLay USE A HOOVER!! when u send your unit for a service after warrenty the service provider will open the console and clean the whole unit from boards lwnses to plastics n components.this should make the ps3 loke new again for another year . Most service shops also give u a 3-6month extra warrenty.ull knlw this with a sticker they place under the unit ;) ……….REMEMBER !!! THE FANTEST (SELFCLEAN) CRAP PEOPLE SAY WPRKS ONLY HARMS IN THE LONGRUN.ITS MEANT TO BE USED ONLY BY SONY AND ITS AGENTS AND WITH VERY FEW TESTS DONE (NO MORE THAN 10 IN ITS ENTIRE LIFE -1 @ FACTORY SO U AV 9 THEN UR FAN IS BROKEN/WORN) …….HOOVER ONLY!!