We spend a ton of time at our gaming desk. After all, ranking, upskilling, and getting good at games take a lot of time and effort. But if we’re not careful, our gaming station could turn into a dust and dirt collection hub or a breeding ground for different species of bacteria.
Most of us don’t usually wash our hands before handling our prized equipment. Because our hands touch many different surfaces, it isn’t surprising that dirt and bacteria can transfer from them onto our gaming gear. Plus, matches can get intense, so sweaty palms may pose another problem. And for some of us, snacking while gaming is our guilty pleasure, which leads to crumbs get lost in the abyss between the keycaps.
Whichever case it is, it’s important to keep your gaming station and gear clean, especially if you want your equipment to last. We’ll explore the ins and outs of cleaning your gaming desk and gear. Let’s start off with some simple hacks and tricks to keeping your equipment dirt and grime-free.
Simple Hacks to Tone Down the Mess
Throughout decades of gaming and thousands of titles passed through my desk, I managed to destroy just a handful of them, and today I’m sharing some tips and tricks on how to minimize the amount of dirt and nasties that get onto your gaming gear.
- Get some chopsticks. If you’re like me, and love to snack between rounds, there’s nothing worse than using your “snack hand” on your keyboard or mouse, that’s a perfect recipe for a slippery experience. It may take some practice to master, but chopsticks are a well worth investment. You can get dishwasher safe models starting from $6.
- Cleaning blob joins the team. Who has the time to disassemble the whole keyboard every few weeks, right? This is where blobs come in to action, you can simply remove dirt and oils from your WASD. Our favorite one is here.
- Get rollin’ rollin’ rollin’. Limp Bizkit missed the opportunity to get in to the lint rolling business, but you’re smarter than that. Having a lint roller for cloth surface mousepads changed our game, and it will change yours. Basic ones start at $4.
- Get to cover. Having a mouse or keyboard cover, be it a specific one or just a piece of black cloth, can wastly reduce the amount of dust accumulating on your setup, so think about it. If you’re a purist then finding a proper keyboard cover will be easy, just head over to this section and pick your poison, and if you’re on the creative side there’s nothing more badass then having a piece of customized cloth covering your gear, maybe one with your favorite esports team on it? Doesn’t matter, as long as it’s covered.
- Mini Fans. Get a mini fan or ventilator blowing at your hands during summer to combat sweating, our pick her are the USB powered ones, you can have one blowing to your face, one on your WASD section. They start at $12.
#1 Keeping your HD Monitor HD
Keeping your monitor dust and smudge-free doesn’t require expensive products or tools, just a trusty microfiber cloth like this one, and some gentle love.
When cleaning screens, it’s best to avoid abrasive and harsh types of cleaning liquids such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide to preserve the integrity of your screen. If you’re sure your screen is glass-coated, you can opt for a 70% isopropyl alcohol spray. But if not, stick to pure distilled water or a 50:50 distilled water and vinegar mixture for cleaning to err on the side of caution.
Before you get down to business, remember to turn your laptop or monitor off. Let it dry fully before turning your device back on.
#2 Cleaning your Mechanical Keyboard
Your mechanical keyboard collects dust, dirt, bacteria, and crumbs. But some simple maintenance can keep it clean, functioning optimally, and looking as good as new.
As with every other gadget, unplug or switch off your keyboard before getting to work. If you want something quick and easy, use a can of compressed air (which costs around $8) to blast air between the keys while it’s flipped over.
Alternatively, a handheld vacuum cleaner with a brush head can also remove the dirt and dust caught between keys. You can swipe a decent keyboard vacuum cleaner off Amazon for around $20-40.
If you want to return your keyboard to its new and pristine state, here’s how to give it a deep clean:
- Switch your keyboard off.
- Snap a photo of your keyboard layout before taking the keys off. You can purchase a decent keycap puller for just $5.
- Once the keys are off, blast compressed air while the keyboard is upside down to remove dirt.
- Dip a Q-tip or cotton swab into isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the areas between the switches.
- Allow the keyboard to dry completely before reassembling and switching it back on.
#3 Getting the Grime off your Gaming Mouse
Your gaming mouse has been through a lot. Sweaty palms, grimy fingers, and dust buildup—it deserves a good clean here and there.
First off, unplug your mouse or remove any batteries. You can use a damp cotton bud and a lint-free microfibre cloth. Dip both into alcohol (it should be slightly damp) before wiping down your mouse and using the Q-tip to reach the nooks and crannies. An alternative would be alcohol wipes, which kill bacteria as well. Let your mouse dry completely before hooking it back on.
#4 Giving your Mouse Pad a Spin in the Bath
Your mousepad does a lot of work behind the scenes. So you can return the favor by keeping it clean and dust-free.
Certain mouse pads can get a thorough clean in the washing machine. But if you aren’t sure the stitching or fabric will survive the spin cycle, here’s an alternative:
- Fill a basin or tub with warm water.
- Dunk your mousepad in.
- Use a gentle body soap to clean the surface. You can also make use of a sponge or soft-bristle brush to carefully scrub your mousepad clean.
- Rinse it with water, and let it dry completely before setting it back at your gaming station.
#5 Keeping your Gaming Area Clutter and Dust-Free
Decluttering the area works wonders for keeping your gaming station clean and tidy. Miscellaneous objects, food wrappers, and loose items lying around can harbor dust and dirt. So clearing the area is a good step in the right direction.
Wipe down surfaces from time to time, including your gaming chair, desk, computer chassis (the case that houses the motherboard and other electronic components), extension plugs, and surrounding wires. An alternative would be a handheld vacuum cleaner. This is the costlier option, but very effective for dust-busting.
What you use to clean your gaming chair will depend on its material. The manufacturer’s instructions and manual should state what cleaning solvent (if any) is suitable and safe.
Note: While we don’t recommend them, if you do choose to use sprays or any other cleaning and disinfecting products on your equipment, please carefully read all labels to ensure safe and correct use for both your belongings and your own health.
And there you have it—a complete guide to keeping your gaming setup fresh and clean. Daily maintenance and cleaning ensure you don’t uncover a nasty mess three months down the road.
And of course, your gaming equipment will thank you for that extra precaution and care. Keep them happy, and they’ll work well and last longer for you.