How to Clean and Maintain Your Nintendo Switch

Wikimedia Commons / Elvis untot

The Nintendo Switch is already Nintendo's fastest selling console, which demonstrates how excited about the home/mobile hybrid game machine. The Joy Cons are like Wii Remotes on steroids with the ability to give precise haptic feedback, and the ability to move from the TV to the touchscreen display with only the briefest interruption in your gaming is a definite plus. But the mere existence of that touchscreen means you will need to take extra care in cleaning and maintaining the Nintendo Switch.

How to Clean Your Nintendo Switch's Screen

Perhaps the most important part of cleaning your Nintendo Switch is what not to do. You should not use any type of cleaning product on the Switch's screen, especially window cleaner or cleaning solutions that contain ammonia. These solutions can cause irreparable harm to the Nintendo Switch's display. You should also avoid paper towels or any type of abrasive cloth.

  • It's best to use a microfiber cloth similar to those used to clean glasses. Otherwise, use a soft cotton cloth.
  • Avoid using any water if you can. First try cleaning the display without water, and if that doesn't do the trip, lightly dampen the cloth so that it is wet but won't leave water on the Switch's display.
  • Lightly clean the Switch's screen from top to bottom in one fluid motion. Avoid moving the cloth back-and-forth or using a circular motion. Instead, lift the cloth when it is at the bottom of the screen and bring it back to the top without touching the display.
  • Avoid pressing against the screen. If a spot needs a little extra cleaning, rub the cloth back in forth in short motions rather than pressing down on the display.

Don't Forget the Joy Cons

There's little need to take so many precautions with the Joy Cons, but you should still avoid using any type of cleaning products.

Water and cloth should be enough to clean both controllers. Also, do not forget to clean the sides of the Switch where the main unit connects to the controllers. A buildup of dirt or dust in this area could cause problems with the connection.

Be Careful to Avoid Scratching the Screen When Docking and Undocking

The "switch" part of the Nintendo Switch can cause its own problems. It is important to take care when lifting the Nintendo Switch from the dock or putting it back into the dock. If you don't use a perfectly vertical motion, you could risk rubbing the display against the edge of the dock, which could cause you to scratch the display.

While most of us should be able to handle this by simply keeping it in mind, those with small children who may often use the Switch might need to take extra precautions. One handy workaround is to buy some adhesive furniture pads (Buy on Amazon.com) generally used to keep the bottom of furniture from scratching hardwood floors. These are generally available in hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the thinnest pads possible, preferably in a long strip. You can cut the pad and affix them inside the dock on the display's side. This will keep the hard edges from possibly scraping the Switch's screen.

 Read more about this DIY Fix.

Use a Carrying Case With Pockets for Cartridges

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of the Nintendo Switch is the size of the game cartridges. They are tiny. This can be a good thing. After all, how many consoles allow you to carry around a half dozen games in your pocket? But they can also be very easy to lose.  

If you are going to use your Nintendo Switch as a full-time portable console, it will be important to protect it with a carrying case. Look for cases that have built in pockets for the game cartridges. It is worth paying a little extra money for a case that includes game storage.

The last thing you want to do is carry the cartridges around in your pocket.

Don't Forget to Wear Straps When Playing

Many of the games for the Nintendo Switch are designed for a pro-style controller, so you won't always need to wear the straps that go with the controllers. But when playing games like 1-2 Switch, it is important to remember those straps. Years with the Nintendo Wii provide plenty of examples that controllers won't always stick to your hand like glue. And it is far better to take the extra time of strapping them to your wrist than to deal with throwing a fastball straight into your widescreen TV.