Is Dust Bad for Game Consoles? (Can They Be Vacuumed?)


No one likes the horror of opening up their console and seeing dust everywhere; worse still is seeing dust on the console from the outside. Dust isn’t just for video game consoles. It isn’t good for electronics in general, stick around, and I’ll explain why and how to clean your consoles.

Over time, dirt, gunk, and other contaminants and dust can accumulate. Dust can damage consoles by getting inside the console housing, choking the fans with dust making them malfunction which can cause the console to overheat.

I’ll explain everything you need to know about dust damaging your console, how to clean your console from dust if it’s safe to vacuum and can you leave your console on the floor.

The best way to clean your console is to use a can of compressed air, a can or an electronic duster will do just fine consider picking one up for a bargain on Amazon.

Can Dust Damage Consoles?

Dust is bad for consoles. Electronics are designed to dissipate internal heat caused by electronic components, dust inside consoles can lead to heat damage resulting in console crashes, data loss and service outages. The dust coats the components and solder preventing heat from escaping.

Not only will your console suffer but so will your health if you leave dust and other contaminants accumulate on your game console. In worse cases, dust particles can cause respiratory issues as well as cardiovascular health problems. Although, most of the time, the symptoms that you’ll feel are just irritation in the throat, skin, and eyes, which are nothing to scoff at.

Dust build-up is definitely bad for game consoles and for your health. The more time is left in between cleaning your console, the worse it becomes for your console and your well-being. Ideally, you’ll want to know how hot is too hot, depending on whether you have the Xbox One S or the PlayStation 4, or whatever console you may have. 

For a guide on how to clean your PS4 which can be applied to every electronic please see my guide.

How To Get Dust Out Of Consoles

  1. Unplug any console before you clean them
  2. Spray alcohol solution onto a microfibre cloth and wipe down the surface of the console, controller, and cables, use a slim brush or toothpick to nudge hurt from around the buttons
  3. Open up your console and point a can of compressed air and shoot upwards cleaning the dirt from the inside of the console repeat this for USB ports and any place with dust build-up wait 5 minutes for the console to dry
  4. Dust the area where the console will be placed before putting it back, and reassemble the console.

You can buy a micro fibre cloth(Amazon Link) and Screwdriver kit on Amazon.

Try and keep your entire room clean and free of dust as well. Vacuuming your floors and using your duster to reach high ceilings can all keep dust inside at a minimum. 

This is pretty much all you can do to keep dust out of your consoles. Unless you plan on investing in a hermetically sealed clean room, dust and other contaminants will always be present. As we’ve mentioned earlier, hair, pollen, dead skin, and dust, among others, are always around us. You might not see them all the time, but they’re there. 

If you wait until dust becomes visible on your console, then that’s probably already too late, and some of it might have already gotten inside, we recommend that you dust and clean your console, as well as your gaming room, regularly. You may also check out my article if your PS4 starts sounding like a jet. 

The PS5 is a lot easier to clean and maintain than the PS; the PS5 has removable faceplates with little dust catchers and removable vents, which means that keeping the PS5 dust-free is easier than the PS4. 

To see other reasons why you might want to sell your PS4 for a PS5 check the link to my article.

Is It Safe To Vacuum Consoles? (H2)

As a general rule you should not clean a console with a vacuum cleaner because vacuuming creates a large static build up that could and likely will discharge into the sensitive electronics inside your console case.

There are two main concerns why many say that it is not safe to vacuum consoles: static and unnecessary wear on the fan bearings.

Sony does state in the PS4 manual the following “When dust accumulates in the system vents, remove the dust with a low-powered vacuum cleaner” but I believe Sony is talking about a low-powered electric duster like these from Amazon not your powerful all-purpose vacuum cleaning at home.

This doesn’t mean you CAN’T use a vacuum to clean your PS4 but just be wary, see this Reddit users comment.

I’ve cleaned my PS3/360 and PS4 with a vacuum, and they are all still working, but of course, your mileage may vary, that said it’s not that effective in my experience if your fan is getting loud, but will help remove dust from the vents. The most effective way is to open the PS4 to be sure you’re removing all of the dust. I do that once a year, and my launch PS4 is pretty darn quiet almost sounds like new still

I know you are a console gamer but have you ever considering building a gaming PC? PC always provides the best gaming experience possible and they aren’t expensive or hard to make! Learn how to build one in my article.

Is It Okay To Leave Consoles On The Floor?

As a general rule, do not leave your console on the floor because more dust is lying on the floor, especially if the flooring is carpeted. Most older consoles take air in the bottom; if your console is on the floor, there won’t be cool air coming from the bottom, which leads to overheating.

The best place to store your console is in an elevated and open-air area that promotes proper airflow can help keep your console at room temperature so you can extend its lifespan. I sit my PS5 backward so the hot air can flow from the back straight into the room rather than bounce off the wall causing heat.

Now, whether or not you want to keep it flat is up to you. Most prefer to position their consoles vertically because it saves space. However, in the case of the PS4, the original design was to keep it flat for optimal airflow.

You can tell how the console was designed sit based on the location of the logo, the PS5 should be vertical same with the Xbox Series X whilst the Series S should be horizontal.

If you ever wondered if cooling fans are worth it for the PS4 and consoles in general please see my article.

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