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Hagen de Merak
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"Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sat 19 Feb 17:33post reply

So I've been doing some research on what is the safest, and most effective way of cleaning contact pins on old game cartridges. In other words, the best way to clean them without doing any damage. I've found many methods, but there seem to be many conflicting views.

The most popular method seems to be isopropyl alcohol, though people also have different views on what percentage it should be (some say 50, some say 70, some say 91, 99, etc.) The argument against using it seems to be that it's a poor solvent and people use it because it is easily accessible.

Another popular method seems to be magic eraser, in conjunction with compressed air to remove the residue left behind by the eraser. So far I haven't found any real opposition to this method.

Contact cleaner is another method, though I've heard it's basically the same as alcohol, I haven't done too much research on this method so I'm not entirely sure.

Other methods I've read about are Windex, brasso, steel wool, and even some kind of kitchen cleaning item.

So I was wondering if anyone could help me out with this based on your personal experience, or just knowledge on the subject. I don't want to end up damaging my games by choosing the wrong method. Thanks.






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shindekudasai
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"Re(1):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sat 19 Feb 18:22post reply

Use the Nintendo Cleaning Kit! Remember kids - using products that don't carry the Nintendo Seal of Quality can permanently damage your games!

In all seriousness, I haven't cleaned a cartridge in years, but when I did, we just used alcohol on a q-tip, and everything worked out fine. Don't know if that will hold up on older carts, though.





karasu99
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"Re(2):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 00:45post reply

I'm not sure I would go with the magic eraser method-- those things are remarkably abrasive and I would think they remove some amount of metal along with the gunk. But that is just based on a guess.

quote:
Use the Nintendo Cleaning Kit! Remember kids - using products that don't carry the Nintendo Seal of Quality can permanently damage your games!

In all seriousness, I haven't cleaned a cartridge in years, but when I did, we just used alcohol on a q-tip, and everything worked out fine. Don't know if that will hold up on older carts, though.







hikarutilmitt
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"Re(1):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 01:22post reply

quote:
So I've been doing some research on what is the safest, and most effective way of cleaning contact pins on old game cartridges. In other words, the best way to clean them without doing any damage. I've found many methods, but there seem to be many conflicting views.

The most popular method seems to be isopropyl alcohol, though people also have different views on what percentage it should be (some say 50, some say 70, some say 91, 99, etc.) The argument against using it seems to be that it's a poor solvent and people use it because it is easily accessible.

Another popular method seems to be magic eraser, in conjunction with compressed air to remove the residue left behind by the eraser. So far I haven't found any real opposition to this method.

Contact cleaner is another method, though I've heard it's basically the same as alcohol, I haven't done too much research on this method so I'm not entirely sure.

Other methods I've read about are Windex, brasso, steel wool, and even some kind of kitchen cleaning item.

So I was wondering if anyone could help me out with this based on your personal experience, or just knowledge on the subject. I don't want to end up damaging my games by choosing the wrong method. Thanks.



Who hell suggested steel wool? That seems like the opposite of what you'd want since it could (and likely would) ruin the contacts.

I've always used alcohol and a q-tip, though I found 91% to work better for me than 70% simply because it's more concentrated and evaporates quicker so you won't have any residue left from it hanging around. I've never once had it destroy a game.






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Professor
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"Re(1):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 02:23:post reply

I think isopropyl alcohol or an official cartridge cleaner should be fine.
I would strongly not reccomend the use of polishes including products such as toothpaste or the aformentioned Brasso because of their abrasiveness.

From what I understand, magic eraser is a Melamin Sponge. The counter-argument I would make with Melamin sponges are that they take off the dirt by scratching them off at a microscopic level. But it depends on the hardness of the material. For instance, you can't scratch glass with an average melamin sponge. I'm not sure if the connectors are made of harder or softer material, but if you're going to go with melamin sponge, be sure to test it on some unneeded materials and unneeded cartridge to make sure you're confident about your decision.





[this message was edited by Professor on Sun 20 Feb 02:28]

sfried
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"Re(1):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 03:14post reply

quote:
The most popular method seems to be isopropyl alcohol, though people also have different views on what percentage it should be (some say 50, some say 70, some say 91, 99, etc.) The argument against using it seems to be that it's a poor solvent and people use it because it is easily accessible.

I use 90%/91% isopropyl alcohol since it does not leave any residue. Use it on carts and even disks.





Grave
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"Re(2):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 09:34post reply

quote:
From what I understand, magic eraser is a Melamin Sponge. The counter-argument I would make with Melamin sponges are that they take off the dirt by scratching them off at a microscopic level. But it depends on the hardness of the material. For instance, you can't scratch glass with an average melamin sponge. I'm not sure if the connectors are made of harder or softer material, but if you're going to go with melamin sponge, be sure to test it on some unneeded materials and unneeded cartridge to make sure you're confident about your decision.


I wouldn't just for the fact that Magic Eraser needs to be wet before it'll work and it does often leave a bit of residue behind as it works. Especially when isopropyl alcohol is so effective as mentioned before, why take a chance?

I replaced the cartridge connector on my NES with a new one from MCM Electronics and cleaned a number of trouble games with isopropyl and cotton swabs. Most load up first try!





Professor
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"Re(3):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Sun 20 Feb 23:32post reply

Really, it's a product that requires wetting? Then it's best not to use it.





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"Re(1):Cleaning old game cartridges" , posted Mon 21 Feb 05:58post reply

quote:
So I've been doing some research on what is the safest, and most effective way of cleaning contact pins on old game cartridges. In other words, the best way to clean them without doing any damage. I've found many methods, but there seem to be

Another popular method seems to be magic eraser, in conjunction with compressed air to remove the residue left behind by wrong method. Thanks.




MAKE A MIX OF KETCHUP AND RUBBING ALCOHOL

DIP THAT SUCKER IN THE MIX TEACH IT A LESSON

LICK THE CARTRIDGE CLEAN WITH YOUR TONGUE

DISASSEMBLE THE CARTRIDGE TO GET ALL THE KETCHUP