galuf1024

What is a good method for cleaning NES and SNES cartridges?

Recommended Posts

I have decided to start playing all of my old games again, but I keep running into issues with them not playing. I've been using 91% rubbing alcohol, and that gets them clean, but a couple hours later they need cleaned again. Does anybody have a better way to clean them?

Thanks,

Galuf1024

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

your system(s) are most likely the problem, as opposed to your games. don't neglect them in your cleaning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I copied and pasted the information below from another forum. It's my response to a thread that talked about how to properly clean and store your retro games and systems. The screws on the carts require special screwdrivers to open. You can get them easily on eBay and other places online like here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Security-Screwdriver-Bit-Set-3-8-4-5-mm-Nintendo-NES-SNES-SEGA-Nintendo 64">N64-Cartridge-/161681393821?hash=item25a4f6489d

Tip #3

The best way to clean a cartridge's contacts is to actually take the cart shell apart and use the proper cleaning solvent then (for me) I use a pencil eraser to polish up the pins.

Phil I'm sure can be more detailed than this. LOL

And then my response:

Yeah boy, that is the best technique on Earth. LOL. Except I use a bigger, standard eraser I buy at Walmart. That way, you have a better grip at cleaning those contacts when rubbing back and forth. After about 4-5 minutes of cleaning, your contacts should look shiny and spotless. I finish up with a cotton swab dipped in 70% Alcohol to clean up the residue left over from the eraser. This should allow your game to work instantly every time you put the game into the system. Works for all cartridge-based games.

Another note is to store your game back into its sleeve, box, or even if you have cart only, put it in a zip-lock plastic bag. This will keep all dust and grime from forming again on your cart contacts. If stored properly, you don't have to clean the game ever again. The new games that I bought since I was a kid (20 years or more) has NEVER been cleaned and still work flawlessly. The only games I have to clean are the ones I bought/trade from eBay or individuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this is a terrible idea or not but it's worked well for me. A tiny dab of Brasso on a rag rubbed for 5-10 seconds on the contacts of carts cleans even the dirtiest right up. Make sure and wipe up an excess as well, then I hit it with rubbing alcohol to make it shiny and clean any remaining brasso. Most games fire right up after this no problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just take a regular qtip and dip/spray it with isopropanol and gently rub the contacts with it. I do the same with the cart slot. .but then I use a folded hard paper and push it down the slot a couple of times. Usually the paper gets black if the slot was dirty. But be carefuel not to use softer paper or it will leave bits in the slot ; (

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, cleaning the games is only part of the answer. You really need to clean the system, and if it has seen heavy use just go ahead and replace the whole 72 pin connector to get a snug connection again. It'll run good as new after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like a system issues. I always just gave them a nice blow and they work. Try cleaning out the system tray. If you are brave, take it apart and see if anything is stuck in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always just blew into it. lol That is how my oldest brother did it. He was in his late teens when I was just a kid so I looked up to him and watched everything he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. The contacts shouldn't oxidize much if at all, just keep them in their sleeves. I would imagine using jelly would cause gunk to stick to the contacts that would normally not be a problem.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't do this at all, Nesseight. While you might prevent some oxidation, the petroleum is not good for the contacts and would need to be thoroughly cleaned before you placed it in your system or else you risk gumming up the works and needing to replace the internal connector.

Isopropyl alcohol and some Q-tips are all you really need to clean. Otherwise just keep your carts in their sleeves if you have them, store them in something like a Rubbermaid tote or other closable storage option, and you'll be just fine. :)

*huggles*
Areala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are your opinions on applying a little patroleum jelly (vasoline) with a q-tip after a thorough cleaning to a cartridge to help prevent reoxidization?

I wouldn't recommend that either. The post I made earlier in this thread is pretty much all you need to do. If the contacts are not very dirty, just a cotton swab and alcohol are all you need as Areala stated. But if the contacts have brownish spots that you can't get out, you must do what was stated in my post above: http://community.retromags.com/topic/9875-what-is-a-good-method-for-cleaning-nes-and-snes-cartridges/#entry41131

You can always check the contacts under a good light if you don't want to open the cart. The light reflection on the contacts will show you if they are clean or not. I have experience of cleaning literally thousands of carts in my lifetime, since I used to own a video game store. I can guarantee you that once you clean a cart properly and store in their respective sleeve, plastic bag, or box (don't leave the games in a moisture-filled environment like the bathroom, garage, or storage facility), it will never oxidate nor get dusty again. I have kept my game cartridges in their original packaging for 15 - 20 years without even touching them. When I take them out to play, the games play instantly when I put them in my system. The key is still store them in your house and in moderate room temperature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geez. If we only knew that we were making the problem worse by trying to blow the dust out to get games to work. Dust wasn't even the main problem to begin with, it was more likely a worn 72-pin connector.

I was pretty crazy back then. If the power went out or I lost permission to play I'd spend the time cleaning everything instead. Maybe it worked out for the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoppe's No. 9 solvent, for cleaning guns. Really good at cleaning contacts. Smells like banannerz, but it's not good to inhale, of course. Alcohol for minor stuff, Hoppe's 9 for the genuine corrosion, because that's what it's for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I open the carts clean both sides with Weiman's cleaner on a qtip, then 91% alcohol to remove it.

I have refurb oem 72 pins on both my NES and all new games are cleaned this way before they ever go into my systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I normally take the carts apart and use 90% isopropyl alcohol on a q tip and go over each sides contacts a few times. When I get stubborn carts off eBay that clearly were not taken care of I wipe them down with the alcohol first to loosen up the crud then lightly go over the contacts with a soft pencil eraser going along the length of the contacts not the width. Then another once over with the alcohol to shine them up usually always does the trick. For the console slots I wrap light paper over the end of a credit card moisten it with the alcohol and gently insert it and remove it a few times until no more black shows up on the white paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now