When was the last time you checked the back of your Xbox Series X? Last month? Never? Well, it might be worth taking a look to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Like Reddit (opens in a new tab) u/Tea-Mental user shared in r/XboxSeriesX, you might want to check the back of your Xbox from time to time. Their photo showed a very dusty Xbox Series X, with many of the console’s air vents blocked as a result. This can, of course, cause the console to overheat and therefore negatively impact performance. In the worst case scenario, a buildup of dust could cause your Xbox Series X to malfunction. And nobody wants that.
The dust-laden image led to a wider discussion about the best console cleaning techniques on Reddit. Some responses suggest investing in an air purifier to combat dust buildup, making sure to change filters every month. Others have advised regularly dusting your larger home, especially if you have pets. Some product recommendations (opens in a new tab) have also been suggested but whatever you do, please do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean your console.
Dust buildup is an incredibly common problem, both with consoles, computer hardware, and other electronics, but sticking a strong vacuum nozzle on a vent will likely cause internal damage. It’s best to use compressed air if you really want to clean every nook and cranny.
So, want to clean up your Xbox? If you don’t know where to start, Microsoft has already released official guidelines (opens in a new tab) for cleaning the console and controller.
For general maintenance, Microsoft recommends using pre-moistened disinfectant wipes or a microfiber cloth, a cloth “soaked in a little mild soap and water” every three to six months. We hope this goes without saying, but make sure your console is disconnected from the power source before doing any cleaning.
When it comes to your console and headset specifically, Microsoft advises using an “isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution”. For your controllers, an IPA solution, disinfectant wipes, or general all-purpose cleaners are suggested and the full list (opens in a new tab) can be found here. Be warned, though: this cleaning tip is universal for Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles, but differs between headsets and official controllers.
If you have an Xbox Wireless Controller or Adaptive Controller, Microsoft suggests using disinfectant wipes or a soft cloth with a 70% IPA solution. For an Elite wireless controller, he suggests avoiding disinfectant wipes altogether, but suggests a variety of cleaning solutions. Finally, if you have an Xbox Wireless/Stereo Headset, Microsoft recommends a soft cloth with a 70% IPA solution.
So that’s a lot to keep in mind, but keeping your hardware clean will ultimately increase its longevity and save you having to shell out for a replacement. We are all guilty of sometimes neglecting to clean our equipment. Life is busy, other matters take precedence, and once you’ve organized your home entertainment setup, tearing it down can be annoying. Still, a quick spring cleaning can make all the difference to the life of your console.