How to Clean Your PS3

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Published by Shawn Sines 9 years ago , last updated 1 year ago

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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