Cleaning an Arcade Stick

I recently purchased a Madcatz TE, it’s the first stick I’ve ever spent so much money on. Because of that, I do my very best to keep it clean and shiny and perfect. Every now and then the buttons get sticky from sweat from fingers or whatever, especially after I’ve had friends over to play on it. What is the best way to keep an arcade stick clean? At the moment I’ve been using a combination of Simple Green, Windex, and a toothbrush over all of the buttons (Basically what I use to clean game controllers). Is there any worry of damaging the buttons or anything like that if I’m using a liquid to clean them?

For the record, I did do a search, but I apologize if this thread is redundant or useless.


I use electronic wipes or the LCD tv cleaners with a soft cloth.

your doing more than enough trust that beyond the call to cleaning duty right there

I don’t know if there are any repercusions, but I’ve been using a lightly soaked cloth, windex, and sometimes alchohol and it doesn’t affect the art or deteriorate the buttons. I’m sure alcohol isn’t the best choice so water is always good, and maybe a baby wipe. IMO there isn’t any real problems with using cleaning solvents, just remember to use them in moderation. And I kind of think a toothbrush sounds too abrasive. I guess keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on hand if you’re paranoid about your friends.

-Good Luck!

Be sure not to spend too much time/money on keeping them uber clean. They are only about $2 a piece after all.

It’s less about worrying about bacteria and getting sick and stuff, but more about sweaty hands and dry skin causing the skin to flake and stick to the buttons, making them feel gritty and not too pleasant to touch.

Sorry for the detailed description…I feel a sudden need to go clean it again now, haha.

Dishwasher FTW.

I would just use a soft cloth slightly damp with warm water, and a small amount of soap. I wouldn’t use alcohol too much because it can dry up chemicals/oils in the plastic over time and make it brittle.

I used an LCD/Camera lens cleaning cloth and it cleared up the oil from my fingers very well.

Tell your gf/wife to do it.

microfibre cloth should be more than enough, i expect panels in arcades dont get as much TLC as we give our stick boxes

When my mom owned an arcade in the 90’s the repair man always told me to use windex on the buttons if they stick. He said just spray the buttons so there is a lot of liquid and then press the button repeatedly. This was on full on arcade machines and Happ buttons, so it’s a bit different than the Madcatz controller, but it seems to be the same in principle. I’ll leave that judgement to the individual. As far as how I clean my own sticks, I just wipe them down with a dry cloth. They haven’t gotten dirty enough to need anything else. I wash my hands a lot though and don’t really touch any of the gaming gear if I’m eating chips.

Dust is the big worry for me because as soon as i get my stick out it seems to be covered in the stuff. All i use is a eye glass cloth to keep the dust of, never really gets dirty so i dont have to clean it. I would be careful goin to overboard like using a liquid and toothbush to clean the buttons as the liquid could sheap through the gaps and damage the electronics.

how do i take apart a sanwa osbn to clean, the GUIDE: Sanwa button mod - how to mix and match your sanwa button colors lost all the pictures and im confused.

This shows half of what you want.

Then you look at bottom of Button.
You see the Microswitch have two small tabs holding it to the Body.
With fingers, squeeze those tabs while pushing the Microswitch out of Body.

You can go further into cleaning if you do this.

Thanks i tried it but it took surprisingly long just to pop out one, do you recommend doing this only once a year?

I can disassemble everything in less than fifteen seconds. :shake:
How did you get problem removing Microswitch?

So you got your Buttons clean now?

well after pushing on the black microswitch up, i have trouble pushing those two tabs to make the cap fall off, takes me about a minute… Once a year sounds good to me.

I use isopropyl alcohol and a paper towel. Every now and again I pull everything apart and give it a thorough clean.

Exactly. Windex and Simple Green are alcohol-based products as well and the reason why some arcade operators recommend it. However, IMO, Windex and products like it, could potentially leave behind residues as the liquids evaporate - which I imagine you really do not want gumming up your stick. So my preference is also straight alcohol as well. Though I use to utilize this almost 23 plus years ago with Happ-based controllers which did not have art under-laid with a plexi. As far as the Madcatz TE’s are concerned, I probably would be better off deferring to a professional for a definitive answer/suggestion.