Digital DJ Tips reader Tim Cancio writes with a query that we actually receive surprisingly often. (You’re obviously a tidy bunch!) He writes: “Do you have any tips about safely cleaning your DJ controller? Obviously a quick wipe will work superficially, but what about the faders, knobs and so on?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Dust is unavoidable. Fabric fibres, pollen, animal dander, even you, all contribute to the diverse materials forming the substance. We know it as unpleasant particles tormenting our DJ gear. With enough build-up, alongside its loyal friend dirt, dust starts to affect the functionality of different components, leading to rigid faders and a host of other problems, not to mention a reduction in aesthetics.
Prevention is your best bet: use a Decksaver or dust cover when not practising, travel with cases or bags to gigs, elevate equipment while playing, wash your hands, be diligent about liquids.
Regular maintenance, such as using compressed air and a microfibre cloth, helps immensely. When operating compressed air, make sure to get each side of the fader slot, directing it away from the fader carriage, as this will allow dust to escape.
The manufacturer-set lubrication for equipment is a delicate balance; dust sticks to oily surfaces but falls away from dry ones, so limiting usage to only what the gear requires will serve you well.
If you still have issues, a fader replacement or rebuild might improve things. Keep in mind that performing more in-depth controller maintenance will likely void any remaining warranty. Overall, prevention and regular upkeep will ensure your gear stays in the best shape possible.
How do you maintain your controller? What tactics do you use for dirt prevention? Any cleaning tips we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!