Cleaning game cartridges...

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by AnAutobot1985, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. AnAutobot1985

    AnAutobot1985 Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to figure out the very best way to clean my old game cartridges. Right now I am torn between two methods.


    1. Clean the pins with Isopropyl 99% alcohol (some people say Brasso), using a Q-tip.

    2. Open the cartridge, and clean the pins with a pink eraser.

    Which do you think is better? Which method(s) do you use and/or recommend?


    Hopefully we can all come up with a definitive answer here that will prove helpful to cartridge gamers.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AMG

    AMG Old School

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    I've always used the alcohol/Q-tip method. Works like a charm.
     
  3. bignick1693

    bignick1693 Maximal

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    I use a q tip first and if there is heavy corrosion then I use the eraser and q tip again.
     
  4. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I actually just bought cartridge and system cleaners. Nintendo sold them at the time, and for the NES cleaner, it came with a thing to use specifically for the cartridges. I've always used those and they work like a charm. That would be my first recommendation, since they are specifically designed work with the systems specifically.
     
  5. wheelnut

    wheelnut Well-Known Member

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    this is all you need
     

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  6. rapid_fire

    rapid_fire Banned

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    erasers always worked great for me.
     
  7. MetalRyde

    MetalRyde is an a-hole with a heart. RIP Spike and Mojo.

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    i was told in 1999 in a local video game store that the alcohol-qtip works best on cartridges when my turok 2 game froze on me.
     
  8. The Barracuda

    The Barracuda Retro, bitches.

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    Ditto to what most people have already said. The Q-tip method is how I clean my cartridges. Can't go wrong with high-proof Isopropyl; it'll evaporate faster so no moisture is left on the pins. If the cartridge is really screwed up, then the eraser will do in a pinch, but I would finish the job with an alcohol bath just to make sure anyways.
     
  9. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    If you ask Nintendo, besides of course their actual cleaning kits, they recommend a slightly moist cotton towel. They say alcohol can leave a residue on the pins that will build up.
     
  10. Gigatron_2005

    Gigatron_2005 President of Calendars

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    I always do the alcohol/Q-tip method. Although I've never had a cartridge that required anything more than that. I would probably try the eraser method only if the Q-tip was not really working out for me, but I've not been there yet.
     
  11. Tytus

    Tytus Well-Known Member

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    Blow on them.
     
  12. MetalRyde

    MetalRyde is an a-hole with a heart. RIP Spike and Mojo.

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    a while back, a friend of mine came over with his younger brother (also a friend) to my house to play some N64. the younger brother was looking for a game to play, found it and i saw he was about to blow on the connecters when i quickly stop saying "STOP! you don't need to blow on the game. i take obsessively good care of all my games. just stick it into the system and it will be ok."
     
  13. AnAutobot1985

    AnAutobot1985 Well-Known Member

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    sheldon meme.jpg


    So aside from that, and that one good idea of official Nintendo cleaners, it seems unanimous that Isopropyl and Q-tips are the best bet. That, with the eraser method for back up (or if feeling ambitious) seems to be the very best option out there. If anyone else has any ideas to contribute I'd like to hear.

    I think I'm going to soon start using the Isopropyl and Q-tips. Just bought some 99% online. Soon enough I'll grab some erasers, as well as 3.8mm & 4.5mm security bit drivers to have on hand as well. Lots of games to clean!

    Now for a debatable question...does Isopropyl and/or erasers leave beind residue? I think it is possible (not probable), but I cannot yet confirm one way or another.
     
  14. Cracka J

    Cracka J judas in my mind TFW2005 Supporter

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    also the thing most people don't realize is that these contacts are really tough. meaning you can't really do any damage to them if they really have some grit caked on and you have to do some extensive cleaning. if you get something like that from a flea market or swap meet, pickup a denture brush at any store that carries toothbrushes. denture brushes have extra long bristles that are perfect for scrubbing carts. dip it in the alcohol and scrub the shit out of the contacts. you will see the dirt run off on the brush if you're doin it right.

    go back and clean off all the remaining alcohol with dry q-tip, repeat if needed, then let air dry once you see the contacts shining again. I've done this trick with some nasty ass carts (and nes contacts on the actual system) and resurrected them from the land of the dead.
     
  15. The Barracuda

    The Barracuda Retro, bitches.

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    The great thing about high alcohol-content Isopropyl is that is evaporates insanely fast and shouldn't leave any residue. I bought some 90% from the drug store. You might leave behind fibers if you're using super cheap Q-tips. I clean every game I buy before I put them into the collection and sometimes they need a refresher if they don't work properly.
     
  16. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    Haha, yeah I still blow on my NES games when they're being difficult. I've never had to do that with either SNES or N64 games though.

    EDIT: Just checked the Clayfighter Sculptor's Cut auctions I was watching and it looks like it actually sells for $175.00. Damn. I think Imma have to sell mine.
     
  17. Boulder

    Boulder Rock Lord

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    Never thought about denture brushes. Wow, thanks!
     
  18. JackKnife

    JackKnife Well-Known Member

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    Also, radio shack sells what is called a "circuit pen". It's an abrasive fiberglass pen that can remove corrosion and is specially designed for electronic circuits. I have one of these and they work fantastic!; here's the link:

    Pro-Grade Abrasive Fiberglass Pen : Fiberglass Pens | RadioShack.com

    Note: just be aware that some of the pens can be a bit wonky.