I found this old controller in a bargain bin at my local thrift store. The sticks and case are in excellent condition albeit dirty. The left stick feels a little off and the potentiometer probably needs some love.
Let’s clean this puppy right up. Flip it over and undo the Phillips head screws. Disassemble the two plastic parts of the casing. There’s an additional screw holding the PCB to the top of the case. This specific controller was not just dirty but apparently it was used to store a large quantity of a sugary drink.
The plastic is supposed to be white and from what I can see the membrane is not supposed to be glued to the plastic. The other side seemed clean at first, but after removing the rubber pads you se the horror that is dry sugary substance.
The PCB was also touched by the liquid, but luckily there was no noticable corrosion. Using a cloth and some isopropyl alcohol I managed to clean the membrane and plastic parts quite easily. After a quick rub:
The plastic parts were quite dirty and isopropyl is not the right tool for the job here. Instead I took all the non-PCB parts and put them in a watertight plastic box. I filled the box with water and some flower-scented universal detergent.
I went to bed and let it soak. The next day I cleaned the plastic with a cheap toothbrush and a sponge. Then I let it dry on a dish towel.
A quick assembly and voila! The controller is as clean as the day it was shipped from the factory (and it smells like flowers):
Now all that is left is to play some PS2 games.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.