How to Get Soda Out of an Xbox 360 Controller
1. Spill soda on your Xbox 360 controller. Panic. Desperately swab the liquid off with a paper towel, or the loose end of your T-shirt, or your tongue. Peer into the crevices around the controller's buttons and shrug. Seems like you got it all. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the rest of your soft drink while viewing a favorite television program -- you've earned it. Hey, "Deal or No Deal" is on. You thought that show had been canceled by now.
2. The next morning, try to play Pac-Man Championship Edition. Your buttons and analog sticks are all gummed-up. That's why you keep losing. It's certainly not because you stink at Pac-Man Championship Edition. Time to void your warranty.
3. Work on a flat, dry surface, because wetness is what got you into this mess in the first place, you cola-swilling slob. The two halves of the controller's plastic shell are held together by seven screws on the back. These screws require a Torx T-8 "security" bit, which can be acquired on the Internet (ask a librarian or a trusted adult to help you find the Internet). Microsoft used this bit because it doesn't want you mucking around in its wireless masterpiece. On the other hand, if you have a wired controller, all you need is a small Phillips-head screwdriver, as Microsoft doesn't care if you break that piece of crap.
4. You're looking for the seventh screw, aren't you? It's hidden under the sticker on the battery compartment -- you have to poke through the label to find it. Sorry; I should have mentioned this in Step 3, but I thought it was funny to picture you fumbling around with the thing, maybe screaming a few obscenities or even crying a little. Oh, mercy! It's good to laugh.
5. This is where I ought to cover my ass by warning you to be very careful, keep track of all the parts, etc. I mean, sure, don't sneeze on the circuit board or anything, but the truth is, if you can't handle this surgery, you're either a dullard or an amputee. This is not a complicated piece of machinery.
6. Set aside the bottom half of the controller shell with the circuit board and the vibration motors. Take the top half with the analog sticks, the buttons and the rubbery contact layers, and separate the parts. Wash each one with your hands under warm water to get the gunk off, and let everything dry overnight.
7. Reassemble the controller. You can't put the buttons back in the wrong place, because they're keyed to their particular slot. Microsoft engineers are smarter than us. That's why they're Microsoft engineers and we're a couple of schmoes who spill Mr. Pibb on our delicate electronic devices.
8. A new day. Get your game on. You've got no excuses now.
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