I found a really great way to clean and sanitize used Playstation 1 Controllers, and the great part this can be used for other game systems as well! I will be showing ya'll how to clean and sanitize your Playstation controllers by disassembling them and then running parts of them through a dish-washer. Trust me the results are amazing, and it doesn't involve you destroying your elbows to get these controllers clean! A word of caution, I would not recommend doing this to rare/obscure/valuable/proto/etc controllers. Only do this if you feel comfortable with your skills and abilities to disassemble and assemble electronics.
Here are the two Playstation 1 Controllers I cleaned this evening. We have a White Standard Playstation 1 Controller SCPH-1080 on the left and a White Playstation 1 Dual Shock SCPH-110 that came bundled with a PSOne.
I'm doing two controllers in this guide because I want to cover the two most common types of controllers for the Playstation 1. However that being said I have now done this, including this tutorial, to 4 Playstation Controllers and not a single one of them had the same pcb and internal layout, they were are similar but they were all different, even the two White PSOne controllers were different, so you should take you time doing this!
Why would you have to do this you might ask? Here are a couple of photos documentating why one would do this:
As you can see from the above photos this Playstation controller as a bunch of dirt and grim on it and packed into the seams on the controllers. I don't know how it got there, I got this controller used today, but I don't want to use it in this condition. So here we go!
Step 1: Remove all the back screws from the controller. In the pictures below you will see that I have removed all the back screws and have taken the backs off of both controllers. The SCPH-1080 on the top and the SCPH-110 on the bottom:
Step 2: Remove Any Screws holding the internal PCB to the case, this is more common with the Dual Shock than the Standard Controller. Make sure to look carefully for all screws, in the controller below it had 2 screws holding the PCB to the case, all my other Dual Shock Controllers only had 1 screw. Also you will want to remove the two motors for the Dual Shock. Again each of my Dual Shocks were different. One had the motors on plastic mounts, one had the motors taped to the case and one just had them help in place buy surrounding plastic.
Step 3: Remove the silicone pads from the buttons and directional pads. There is an X bracket that goes over the D-pad in these controllers, pay special attention to the direction and orientation that it has to the controller case, if you install this piece back incorrectly, the d-pad will not feel correct. Notice in the image below that I have flip this plastic piece so you can see it. Three of the corners are rounded, the fourth is flat:
Step 4: Remove and gather all the pieces that you want to put in the dishwasher. Here is what I washed for the SCPH-1080 and the SCPH-110. For the Dual Shock, I pulled off the Analog sticks and washed them as well, they slid right off and its safe to wash them:
Step 5: Put in dishwasher and start washing cycle, normal wash with sanitize if the option is available to you. The way I did it is I put the case halves on the bottom shelf and the buttons and little pieces in the following plastic bin. I think my wife bought this bin at K-Mart, they are really cheap and really useful for not losing any pieces because it prevents them from going flying:
Step 6: Drying and Assembly. This is what I consider the most important step. You need to make sure all the pieces are dry, I mean completely dry, water and electronics don't go together . . . ever! What I like to do is take a towel and I get all the little piece, the buttons especially, and tap them against the towel, this will force any water that is in the various pieces to come out.
From there its just reverse the order of disassembly. A helpful tip! Take your time, don't rush, make sure everything goes back together smoothly. Here is a picture of the controllers laid out ready to be dried and then assembled.
In the below photos I took the top three photos and made them as a before and after.
This is not a perfect process, and I still have a little bit of cleaning to do on both controllers. I highly recommend Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, they truly work wonders on any surface. I'm out of them at the moment, but once I get some more I will post more pictures of the controllers.
I hope this proves useful to others! If you have any questions please feel free to ask!