Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Let me know what you think about my reviews.
User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11122
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 18th, 2014, 7:18 pm

I'm trying to spruce up some of my "extra features" pages, some of which have drifted into obscurity over the years.  Hope you like my newly updated Guide To Cleaning Video Games.

There's a heck of a lot of knowledge and experience in this one.

Comments are welcome, and let me know about any typos.

VGC

scotland171
Posts: 816
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby scotland171 » February 18th, 2014, 7:42 pm

What?  You don't recommend just blowing on the cartridge to clean it?

Any opinion on using windex or that really strong 91% alcohol?  (I use the cheap 70% myself)
Anything about those old NES warnings on the back of the cartridge about cleaning with alcohol?
Anything about using an eraser to clean the contacts?
Anything about getting the bits and physically opening up the cartridges? 
Anything about cleaning Atari 2600 cartridges with their dust blockers?

Rev1
Posts: 1777
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby Rev1 » February 18th, 2014, 9:04 pm

Great article. I actually used the original one several times when I was getting the steps down to cleaning games. I might have to try the sandpaper trick on a couple of old NES titles since they refused to work anyway but 95% of the time, alcohol does the trick. I must admit, before I started collecting games I used to do the blowing method and I probably damaged quite a few carts in the process. I cringe whenever my friends resort to that method...

snakeboy1
Posts: 1446
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby snakeboy1 » February 18th, 2014, 11:04 pm

[QUOTE=scotland17]
Any opinion on using windex or that really strong 91% alcohol?  (I use the cheap 70% myself)
[/QUOTE]

Don't know about the VGC, but I use 91% as it has a lower water content.

[QUOTE=scotland17]
Anything about those old NES warnings on the back of the cartridge about cleaning with alcohol?
[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I noticed that too and kind of found it funny.  I imagine they didn't want you to use alcohol because they wanted you to buy the official Nintendo brand cleaning kit (And I wouldn't be shocked if the cleaning solution in those kits had alcohol in them).


[QUOTE=scotland17]
Anything about using an eraser to clean the contacts?[/QUOTE]

I never used an eraser on cartridge contacts, but I did use one on the contacts on the inside of my NES.  And I have to say that it really did work wonders.  I probably wouldn't go as far as saying that it worked like new, but it was close.  I recommend using those white ink erasers since they are softer than the pink pencil ones. 


User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11122
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 19th, 2014, 10:43 pm

I always used 70% rubbing alcohol.  I didn't know there were others, but I imagine they would work even better.  Didn't know about the NES warning either!

I never used erasers, and never had to open up a cartridge.

I did mention something about the 2600 "dust protectors" in the article.


Wallyworld1
Posts: 488
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby Wallyworld1 » February 20th, 2014, 1:09 am

I bought a giant eraser at an art store to clean cart contacts. It works perfect. Of course you need the security bit to unscrew most nes games. Just order it off ebay for about $4.

Another nice trick for labels is to use a heat gun or blow dryer to melt the glue on a label before peeling. Doing this will avoid having to use goo gone altogether sometimes as it will peel off so easily. Use goo gone if it still doesn't come off clean.

My favorite trick though is for removing permanent marker. Use Mr. Clean magic erasers. The marker will totally be removed with 2 or 3 swipes usually.

As far as the alcohol goes I always use the 91%.



scotland171
Posts: 816
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby scotland171 » February 20th, 2014, 6:06 am

I really enjoy practical articles like this, so glad Dave is updating it. I did miss the part on Atari carts, ooops. That was pretty great foresight to put on those dust jackets on those 2600 carts. The various cart bits are cheap now (but were not back in the day or someone could switch boards) and opening the cart not only makes it easy to clean, but its cool to see the cart guts or change your zelda battery. Thanks for the blowdryer tip Wallyworld, and magic eraser is awesome. I have never resorted to sandpaper yet. I think I would contact cleaner before that.

Just my observation, but carts that were kept in something, anything, even a paper box, seem to weather humidity over the years far better. I may have missed it, but maybe its the place to mention the side loading NES pin connector decay that some well loved units show after awhile. Someone may think its a bad cart when its not.

Tron1
Posts: 401
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby Tron1 » February 21st, 2014, 7:13 pm

For my NES games I use mag and aluminum nonabrasive metal polish. Works great for cleaning the black tar-like grime on the pins. Alcohol is good for minor grime and dust. Sand paper sounds too abrasive to me.

DJC1
Posts: 40
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Guide to Cleaning Video Games

Postby DJC1 » March 1st, 2014, 4:55 pm

To further what Wallyworld wrote, I used to be close to someone who worked in a used game resale store. His 'secret weapon' was a No. 2 pencil that he would use to rub the eraser against the contacts.  It removes all grime/oxidation.  If the cartridge was too small to get into, they would cut art erasers (the pink ones) and use the narrow pieces.

You do want to be careful not to rub metal against the contacts otherwise you can damage them.


Return to “Review Feedback”