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Thread: Cleaning NES games with sandpaper?

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    Apple (Level 5)
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    Default Cleaning NES games with sandpaper?

    I sold a few NES games on Craigslist yesterday and when the buyer picked up the games, he asked how I clean my games.

    "Q-tip and a bit of rubbing alcohol typically."

    "Oh you shouldn't do that, the alcohol can seep into the board. You should use sandpaper, it works great."

    I've never heard of using sandpaper before, maybe to get off some corrosion but otherwise I don't see the practical application of it.

    Has anyone tried using sandpaper on their cart games?

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    I used to work at a game store and we cleaned NES games with windex and those green Scotch pads. So I guess sand paper could work. I am in no hurry to try it though.

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    Apple (Level 5)
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    Those scotch pads probably work well enough to work out the heavy grim, I'd think that sandpaper would wear down the contacts.

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    What I've heard the best thing to do is to get the board out of the cartridge and rub the contacts with a pink rubber pencil eraser. Gets the crap off and won't damage the contacts. I haven't tried it myself, though.

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    I know that it's possible to use sandpaper to remove the corrosion from a copper wire, the kind that you find inside a coaxial cable.

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    I just use Q-tips and Rubbing Alcohol. If you're worried about getting the alcohol into the board, just squeeze the excess off the Q-tip, simple as that.

    I wouldn't use sandpaper though, that just sounds dangerous.
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    I'd only use sandpaper if the corrosion was really really bad. Otherwise Q-tips and alcohol all the way. Still doesn't work, then I open it up and use an eraser.

    And even if the alcohol does seep into the board, it will evaporate away immediatly afterwards. The place I work builds circuit boards and we run them through a regular dishwasher to remove solder flux so even whatever tiny bit of water is left behind after the alcohol evaporates won't be a problem.

    The only reason NES carts say not to clean them with alcohol is so you buy their special cleaner, which (surprize!), is mainly alcohol.
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    Default copper polish

    I've stopped using alcohol and started using copper polish. If you were polishing up a copper vase, you would not use alcohol, so I don't think it would be the best for copper contacts either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    I'd only use sandpaper if the corrosion was really really bad. Otherwise Q-tips and alcohol all the way. Still doesn't work, then I open it up and use an eraser.

    And even if the alcohol does seep into the board, it will evaporate away immediatly afterwards. The place I work builds circuit boards and we run them through a regular dishwasher to remove solder flux so even whatever tiny bit of water is left behind after the alcohol evaporates won't be a problem.

    The only reason NES carts say not to clean them with alcohol is so you buy their special cleaner, which (surprize!), is mainly alcohol.
    This is what I figured, the guy who bought the games off of me said he got his info off of some local guy who calls himself "Nintendo Dan"

    What is it with guys with the name Dan and thinking "Nintendo Dan" is a good nickname?

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    I use sandpaper all the time.

    It's all I have available at work and it works everytime.

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    I'm a rub-and-q girl too for all the games that I purchace, even if they look clean, my nes is very picky and either likes the game genie or a quick hard thumb shove of the cartridge to the right and in.

    I've also seen the eraser trick in action(when i was young a friend's mom used to use a pencil with an eraser to "fix" games, and i've done it myself when i was out of solution. it works almost as well as alcohol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tofu View Post
    I use sandpaper all the time.

    It's all I have available at work and it works everytime.
    What grit? Ever have any issues with sanding off the contacts?

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    i bought one of those cleaning kits off ebay with the solution, anti-static spray, wipes and the tool to open up the cart.

    Ive never had a problem with a blinking nes game since. I cleaned all 105 of my games, none of them blink at all.

    Best stuff ive ever bought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuros View Post
    What grit? Ever have any issues with sanding off the contacts?
    100 grit, never had a problem with sanding off the contacts.

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    Hm, maybe I'll give it a try sometime.

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    I know this has nothing to do with nes, but I couldn't find where else to post. I've only recently started collecting old school games and would like to know do Q-tips and rubbing alcohol work to clean other cartridges?

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    Be VERY careful with sandpaper... had some quickly wear through brittle contacts once. Sucked, never will use it again.

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    I've been using Brasso on some my games that I couldn't get to work. The same games I tried with alcohol and water and the rubber eraser. Brasso shined em right up and they are working perfectly in my toaster.

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    I do not know why but Nintendo Dan sounds like a good Xbox live account name.

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    i clean my games with bullets!

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