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Thread: NES games cleaning method

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    Question NES games cleaning method

    Hello, I am new to this gaming community. I just started collecting old Nintendo NES games and got my old console a brand new 72 pin installed. Now I have started cleaning my NES games. I have used polishing paste and finished them off with little bit of alcohol. I know cleaning by hand is time consuming and probably the safest way to clean them. So I have tried another method of cleaning them. I have tried buffing them with dremel in low rpm setting. It appear to be effective and of course, the quickest way to clean game chip. But the question is, does using dremel affect the quality of game play? Is this method a wise idea? I am curious what is your cleaning method, especially quickest way to do it? I have ton of games to clean and cleaning them by hand isn't gonna be fun.

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    I have a dremel but haven't used it for cleaning my games. I use a non-abrasive metal cleaner safe for all metals and an old rag. It only takes me 20 or so seconds to clean a cartridge. When the metal is nice and shiny I consider it clean. As long as you use a soft buffing wheel I don't see a problem. I wouldn't use sandpaper or a metal wheel.

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    qtips and 90% rubbing alcohol

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    I am unsure of your particular method, but after an initial cleaning or for a game with some serious crud on it- I personally would just clean the games there-after with rubbing alcohol with a high alcohol content (90% as previously mentioned would get the job done) and q-tips which seems like a good maintenance cleaning method beyond any initial deep-cleaning that needs to be done. I am curious as to what a dremel does to the pins over time. These little guys are over 20 years old now and longevity is definitely a concern for me and my collection. Qtips are gentle, safe and get the job done.
    But of course.... "Only use the officially licensed NES Cleaner Kit located at any fine retailer near you."
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    Hmm, that seems like something that would work, but I personally would use something a lot less abrasive. Eraser works fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    Hmm, that seems like something that would work, but I personally would use something a lot less abrasive. Eraser works fine.
    &

    Quote Originally Posted by walrusmonger View Post
    qtips and 90% rubbing alcohol
    I use these two combined. Works great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by portnoyd View Post
    Jesus christ. Half the internet is truly retarded.

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    I tried the dremel a few times. It always seemed to leave the contacts nice and shiny, but also a different color (darker) than when I just use a rag and metal polish. I think it very quickly wears away the surface plated metal. I doubt it affects function much, but they probably corrode faster.

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    I have noticed a darker color on the contact areas too. I am not sure if it will corrode the game but it seem like the dremel method aren't good idea. Sure it clean games faster but I rather to see the games last longer. I will definitely try using eraser/rubbing alcohol method. If using eraser method, will contact areas be silver or will it still be gold color once the game cleaned? Thanks for your suggestions!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by camarothunder View Post
    If using eraser method, will contact areas be silver or will it still be gold color once the game cleaned? Thanks for your suggestions!!
    Depends on how much force you apply.

    I've noticed that if you put alot of force, they will turn silver. If just enough force is applied, in other words just a "bit", then it will retain the color gold.

    I usually use a cotton swab afterward dipped in 70% alcohol to wipe away any leftover residue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by portnoyd View Post
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    I too use qtips, and rubbing alcohol

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    For especially ugly cartridges, I'll use DeOxit. For light duty (or to clean the left-over DeOxit), I use the ol' iso alcohol and cotton swabs.

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    I just blow it off and if it doesn't work Q tip and rubbing alcohol.

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    Rubber gloves, metal tongs, barrel of acid. Problem solved.

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    Glass cleaner, q-tips, compressed air

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzz_n64 View Post
    Glass cleaner, q-tips, compressed air
    I second the glass cleaner (Windex). I find it does a better job at breaking down the older, built-up crud.

    Anyone a chemist and know the difference between cleaning with alcohol or with glass cleaner (ammonia based)?

    What tricks does everyone use to clean the contacts in the system itself? I just try to keep all my games clean which helps keep the system clean.
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    Set the cart on fire, then extinguish the flames with a mixture of salt water. If after (and only after) this does not work, use the 'search' feature for the forums and see if there aren't any threads that exist already on the topic
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    Usually the salt water trick works, you just gotta stick it in the toaster, not the toaster nes, a real toaster, to dry it.

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    Usually I'll just use some 90%-91% isopropyl alcohol or windex, but if I want the contacts to really shine I'll use Weiman Glass Cook Top cleaner. It works wonders, I'm telling you.

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    i use rubbing alcohol on a piece of felt rubberbanded to a tongue dispenser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Anyone a chemist and know the difference between cleaning with alcohol or with glass cleaner (ammonia based)?
    I'm no chemist but I did look this up when it came up on here before. The conclusion that I came to is that I personally wouldn't trust it. Glass cleaners have dyes and perfumes added that I wouldn't want to be left behind and build up over time, while isopropyl(rubbing) alcohol is an industry standard for cleaning electronics. It might be fine to use glass cleaner but why take chances when the industry standard is so cheap and readily available?

    I've had good results using only a q-tip and alcohol to clean about 95% of my games. And I only use the 70% stuff. The rest I used an eraser and then q-tip/alcohol. Only 1 game did I need to resort to using very fine sandpaper to sand away the corrosion.
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    I use q-tips and copper polish. It makes the dull copper shine, which helps with the connection. For tough jobs, I will also do a second stage with alcohol. Servicing the inside of the NES is equally as important (pin connection problems, etc.)
    Last edited by Orion Pimpdaddy; 02-05-2010 at 09:30 AM.

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