Have a dirty Nintendo cartridge that won't play any longer?
We have all been there. You settle in to play one of your favorite Nintendo games, but instead of Mario greeting you on the screen, you are greeted by the dreaded flashing red light. We'll fortunately for you, we have some tips to help you fix your dirty game cartridge problem in a jif. Now, assuming that flashing red light is being caused by a dirty game, and not an actual issue with the console itself, there are a few simple steps you can take to clean up the decades of grime that may have built up on those classic games you love.
Here at Retronisce, we use a proprietary agent to thoroughly clean the video game contacts, that is gentle enough to not cause any damage to the game. But, there are some things you can try at home, that only require basic items that you probably already have on-hand.
Our first suggestion would be to try the old tried and true alcohol or window cleaner method. You will need some cotton tipped swabs and either rubbing alcohol or window cleaner to try this method. You simply apply a small amount of either the alcohol or window cleaner to one of the cotton tips, and then gently rub it back and forth several times over the cartridge contacts. Be sure to clean the contacts on both sides. Once you have given them a good cleaning, use the dry cotton tip to go over the contacts to remove any leftover moisture. This method can be used as many times as you feel necessary to clean off any grime from the game contacts. Always make sure any residual moisture if completely dried before inserting the game into your console to play.
If the alcohol method does't work, there are a couple of other things you could try. One being electronic contact cleaner. This usually comes in an aerosol can, that you spray directly on to the contacts to clean them, and can be found at most Walmarts and electronics stores, such as Fry's. Another option is to try using brass polish. We highly recommend that you only try this method if you have a 4.5 mm security screwdriver handy that you can use to take the cartridge apart first. Otherwise, you run the risk of possibly pushing some of the polish inside the cartridge, with no way to clean it out. Once you have removed the cartridge screws, and gained access to the actual game components, you will want to use a cotton tip swab to very carefully apply a very small amount of brass polish to each side of the game contacts only, gently rubbing back and forth. Use the other side of the swab to clean the polish off. Once you are satisfied the game contacts are clean, use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean cotton tip swab to gently clean both sides of the game contacts before re-assembling the cartridge. As before, make certain there is no residual moisture or polish left on the cartridge before inserting it into the game console.
Now that your game is clean, you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
*These are suggestions, based on our own experience with cleaning game cartridges. Retronisce Gaming is not responsible for any damage caused by misuse.