Gamers who own Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles all have one problem in common: Their video game controllers are probably filthy. Like any device that frequently comes into contact with your hands, game controllers collect sweat, bacteria, and other nasty residues you can't always see. Luckily, you don't have to cut back your gaming time to keep these devices sanitary: All you need are a few minutes and the right tools.

Video game controllers are sensitive electronic devices, which means they need to be handled delicately. According to Mashable, some major gaming companies warn against exposing them to liquids or chemicals. But if you've owned your controller for a while, it will likely need a deeper clean than what a dry wipe can provide. When using liquids like water, dish soap, or rubbing alcohol at your own risk, just be sure to take extra care.

Before you do anything, power down your controller and unplug any cords or accessories. How-to Geek recommends focusing on problem areas where your device may have the most dirt buildup. These include the seams, grips, joysticks, and any tight angles.

To remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach areas like the buttons and joysticks, scrub them with a Q-tip. Dipping the Q-tip in a solution of water and alcohol or water and dish soap will make this part easier. To clear out the controller's seams and tight crevices, grab a toothpick. This will dig out any debris lodged in the cracks, and the tip is soft enough that it won't scratch the casing. You can also do this with the edge of a folded piece of paper.

After detailing your controller, give it one good wipe with a damp cloth or paper towel. Wipe it again with a dry towel and make sure it's completely dry before putting it away.

Regularly cleaning your video game controller helps to keep the device and yourself healthy. To keep the rest of your possessions looking like new, follow these guidelines on how often you should clean everything in your home.

[h/t Mashable]