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A Beginner’s Guide To Proper Gaming Hardware Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of being a gamer is the proper maintenance of your gaming systems. Whether it’s a console or a PC, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your hardware, because if you don’t, you can run into serious problems down the line. At best, dust build-up can increase the volume of your fans or make your equipment look unsightly. At worst, you may seriously damage important components to the point that they don’t work anymore. Never fear, though – cleaning your hardware is easy. Just take a look at our beginner’s guide to proper gaming hardware maintenance if you want to know more.

Be thorough

The first and most important thing to remember about cleaning your PC or consoles is to be as thorough as possible. It’s no good simply running a cloth half-heartedly over the surface of your PC or your console and calling it a day. You need to set aside time to properly take your machine apart (to the extent the warranty allows, of course) and get in between cracks and crevices to make sure it’s fully clean.

A Beginner’s Guide To Proper Gaming Hardware Maintenance 1
Did you now…

If you need a visual representation of just how dirty your consoles and peripherals can get, this cool infographic from the good people at Betway should go some way towards informing you.

Don’t use microfiber cloths

While microfiber cloths can be a great way to clean many surfaces, you shouldn’t use them on your gaming consoles or your PC. This is because microfiber cloths can generate static, which is potentially devastating for the sensitive electronic components inside your PC. You should be OK using a cloth to clean the outside of the case, but just make sure you’re not using one for the graphics card, the motherboard, or any other interior component of your computer. You can use a cloth on a console, too, as long as you’re not using it on the parts inside.

Always use compressed air

Compressed air is a godsend for any gamer looking to clear gunk out of their machine. You can buy cans of compressed air for surprisingly little, and they’ll serve you for a long time, so it’s a necessary expenditure if you want to prolong the lifespan of your hardware. When you’re cleaning your PC or console, use a compressed air can to blow dust away from surfaces and gaps. Be sure to protect your face while you’re doing this, because you don’t want to be sneezing and coughing for the rest of the day.

Pay particular attention to the fans

The fans are some of the most important parts of your console or PC, because they’re how the machine regulates air and ensures that heat escapes. If you’ve got a liquid cooling system, you can rest assured that your processor is being cooled directly as well, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the fans; they’re responsible for keeping your graphics card and other components cool too. Again, just use a can of compressed air to blow the dust away from the fan blades. A good few blasts should dislodge most of the dust, so you don’t need to worry too much about wiping them down.

Don’t open up consoles if it voids your warranty

It’s not worth opening up consoles if it’s going to void the warranty you have with the manufacturer or the store you purchased it from. Especially if it’s a new console within warranty, such as the PS5 or XBOX Series X. Should you need to return the console due to a serious fault, you won’t be able to do that if you have voided the warranty. If you think you really need to open up the console, just be aware that you’re probably damaging your chances of getting it repaired at no cost. Of course, opening up your console is also the only way to make sure you get rid of dust from some of the more hard-to-reach areas, so the choice is up to you.

Clean controllers and peripherals too

Believe us when we say that some of the most disgusting things we’ve seen in the world of gaming have taken the form of some people’s controllers, keyboards, or mice. These peripherals can hold an absolute world’s worth of dirt, grime, and bacteria, so in rare cases, just holding them could actually be making you ill. That’s why it’s even more important to clean them than it is to clean the machine itself. After all, these are the parts you’re interacting with most frequently, so it stands to reason that they’re also going to be the parts most in need of a clean.

Set up a regular schedule

When you’re cleaning a PC, you probably don’t need to perform the procedure more than once every three to six months. However, it is important to make sure you clean the PC regularly, and the same is true of consoles. Set up a calendar event to remind you to clean your PC when it’s been a while, and don’t forget to clean the desk on which it’s situated as well. This goes for keyboards, mice, controllers, headsets, and other peripherals as well. Using clean gaming apparatus just feels nice, and it’s important for making sure your equipment lasts.

These have been some of our beginner’s tips on how you can keep your gaming hardware clean. Just remember to take care of your machine and your peripherals, and hopefully you’ll be gaming for a long, long time to come!

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Avatar for Annabel Johnson

Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

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