How to Clean Your Cartridge Games

Posted by Chris Evans at

The number one cause for a system not loading immediately is a dirty game. If your games have been sitting unused for a long period of time or were purchased from an unreliable source, it is likely that they need to be cleaned. We have a simple strategy for cleaning your games that should get them up and running right away!

1. Dip a q-tip in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Rub the damp q-tip along the contacts in the bottom of the game. Be sure to scrub out any excess dirt that is visible in the bottom of the game with the q-tip while you are cleaning it.

2. After you have removed any excess dirt from the inside of the game, push the game into the system while the contacts are still somewhat damp with alcohol. Insert and remove the game 5 times to clean out any dirt that may be in the system. On the 5th time, push down the game and power on the system.

3. Give the TV 5-10 full seconds to load the image. As you may have read in our blog about using a refurbished NES, newer TVs have a longer load time for the image from cartridge systems.

If this doesn't get you up and running, try repeating the process and repositioning the game in your console. Sometimes games and consoles have a "sweet spot" that makes the game kick on every time. The key is not to get frustrated or give up! It is not common that cartridges break for good - so stick with it!

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