Playing Nintendo Switch

You've been playing Minecraft for 56 hour straight. Your sweaty palms have smudged your screen and your dirty skin has rubbed off all over your Joy-Cons. What do you do?

At this point, a lucky few have been playing games on your Nintendo Switch daily since it was delivered to your doorstep and it's probably starting to look a little funky. It's OK. you're not alone. We'v all been playing for hours at at time and managed to get food, sweat, and all manner of things stuck to our Switch and it really needs a good scrubbing (not literally).

It's fairly easy to clean the Nintendo Switch, but there are a few things you should be careful with, like the screen. It's not like any other mobile console gaming screen. It's more like a smart phone or tablet. You can't use chemicals and you should always use a microfiber cloth when possible. Here's how to clean your Nintendo Switch

What you will need

Things you need: Cloth, toothbrush, toothpick, cotton ball

You will need a soft, cotton cloth, preferably a microfiber cloth, but if you don't have one handy, just make sure the cloth is made of soft material, like an old t-shirt.

You should also have on-hand a dry toothbrush (one that has never been used, and will never be used, to brush one's teeth).

For a really dirty charging port get a few toothpicks and some cotton balls or cotton pads so you can dislodge the gunk inside.

What to do before you start

Power off your Switch, remove the card and cartridge, disconnect the Joy-Cons

Power off your Switch. Don't just put it in sleep mode. Turn it off completely.

Remove the Joy-Con controller from the sides of the Switch so all parts are separate.

Remove any game cards and micro SD cards from their slots.

How to clean the Nintendo Switch screen

wipe the screen with a soft cloth

Just like with a smartphone or tablet screen, you should never clean the Switch's screen with any chemical, not even dish soap. The screen has a special coating that will deteriorate over time if cleaned with chemicals.

To clean fingerprint smudges, simply wipe the screen with the dry cloth until the smudges disappear. You might have to do this a few times to remove fingerprint oil.

To clean stuck on grime, like a particle of food or something your baby had managed to wipe onto the screen (hey, it happens), use a damp cloth. Don't over-wet the cloth — you shouldn't even be able to squeeze any water from it. Wipe the screen in an up-and-down or side-to-side motion, focusing on the areas where grime has stuck. Wipe the screen again with a dry cloth and repeat the process until the particles have come off.

How to clean the Nintendo Switch case and controllers

Wipe the controller with a soft, damp cloth

One of the biggest problems with the casing and controllers is oil residue. The matte surface makes your Switch look extra dirty and also makes it difficult to wipe off.

Use a damp cloth. Don't over-wet the cloth — you shouldn't even be able to squeeze any water from it. It's important that you don't allow water to drip into any crevices around the buttons.

Wipe down all surfaces of the controllers and case with the damp cloth. Then, wipe it down again with a dry cloth. You may have to repeat this process a few times to get rid of all of the oil residue from your skin. I was able to successfully clean the case and controllers after three damp/dry wipes.

If any of the buttons feel sticky and hard to press, you may have some gunk lodged in the cervices. Take a dry tooth brush and scrub those areas around stiff or sticky buttons. Wipe any particles that come out with a dry cloth.

How to clean the Nintendo Switch cartridge slot and charging port

Clean the charging port with a toothpick that has a bit of cotton on it

Let me start off by saying that I do not recommend using compressed air to clean the charging port or cartridge slot on your Switch. Though there is no official support document from Nintendo stating this, canned compressed air (also known as spray duster or gas duster) is made from chemicals, which act like pressurized air when expelled from a spray can. Nintendo does specifically state that you should never use chemicals to clean your Switch.

The game cartridge slot is covered and won't likely need to be cleaned, but there is always a chance that some lint or fuzz will get lodged in the slot, compromising the cartridge's connection.

The charging port is much more likely to get gunked up because it is not protected when not in use, which makes it very susceptible to lint and dirt, which can get lodged in the port and compromise the charging cable's connection.

To clean the cartridge slot or charging port, first, twist a toothpick around a cotton ball or pad until the cotton catches and starts to wrap up around the toothpick. Don't get it too thick or it will be difficult to squeeze into the port or slot, and might come off inside.

Twisting cotton onto a toothpick

Then, put the cotton-covered toothpick into the port or slot and scrape against the back wall and sides. Be careful to avoid the metal pins. You don't want to accidentally scrape those pins. If you damage them, they may not work anymore.

You may have to blow into the port between scrapings to get out the loose lint or dirt.

Repeat this process until you no longer see any dirt or lint coming out of the port or slot.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to clean your Nintendo Switch? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.