How to clean a PS5 DualSense controller

Dualsense Front Sony Logo
Dualsense Front Sony Logo (Image credit: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

If you use a controller, you're going to have to clean it at some point or another. It's an unfortunate matter of reality.

There's almost no way to avoid it, your PS5 DualSense controller is going to get dirty. It doesn't matter how often you wash your hands; it will get dirty (much less dirty than if you don't, which— gross, but still). The regular DualSense is white (though there are other colors available) and the back is textured in a way that just leaves it attracting grime and other grossness. And when it comes to cleaning it, some methods are definitely more effective than others.

Cleaning the PS5 DualSense grips

While you can use a number of different cleaning solutions to wipe away the grime on your controller, from water to rubbing alcohol, I've found Goo Gone does a fantastic job. It's what we would use to clean used controllers when I worked at GameStop several years ago, and it works magic on all kinds of stains — even permanent marker!

Dip a microfiber cloth in some Goo Gone and get to work and rubbing the grips of your DualSense. Rubbing in small circles helps to loosen any dirt on the surface and helps ensure you aren't just spreading it around even further. Wipe it down with a dry microfiber cloth, and your controller should look brand new. If you still see some dirty areas, try using scotch tape to lift the dirt off of the surface.

And remember to use any liquid solutions sparingly. You don't want to soak it in anything. That could end up breaking your controller altogether.

Cleaning between the DualSense crevices

There are a lot of crevices on the DualSense controller where its outer shell connects to various parts. For these areas, you'll want to use a twist tie to get the grime out. You could technically use something like a knife or needle — as long as they're thin enough to fit between the cracks — but a twist tie guarantees you won't inadvertently damage or scratch your controller.

If you really need something a bit more durable, fold the twist tie over once then flatten it to give or more stability, or you can just use an old debit or credit card.

Cleaning the DualSense thumbsticks

(Image credit: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

To clean around and underneath the thumbsticks, you'll want to use a cotton swab, which is another item you may have lying around your house. It's the perfect size to clean the base of the thumbstick. If you find that any sort of dirt or debris is stuck, you can use a bit of isopropyl alcohol on the cotton swab in order to help clean the thumbsticks. 

Stay clean

Dirt, sweat, and grime happen. It's just a part of life. But if you take a couple of minutes here and there to clean off your PS5 accessories, including your DualSense controllers, you will prevent having to clean even more later on. Plus, your gaming gear will look nicer on display! When you're playing games, the DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive triggers should be your focus, not how dirty it is.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.

With contributions from