How to clean your NES games and 72 pin connector

It happens to almost everybody with an NES, your game won't load. What do you do? You take the cartridge out of the NES and blow in it a couple of times, then try it again. Still doesn't work? Blow in the NES itself!

While this method might work, it is actually damaging for your NES cartridges and NES. Blowing on the pins might clean some dust of it, but some spit will also get on the pins, which damages them and might even destroy them. This is why I'm going to show you how to (easily) clean your NES games and the 72 pin connector.

Cleaning game cartridges

This is actually very easy, all you need is a couple of q-tips (cotton swabs / cotton buds) and some cleaning alcohol (91% or higher! DON'T USE LESS, THIS MIGHT DAMAGE IT). Dip the q-tip in some cleaning alcohol, then let most of it fall off, you only need a little bit! Now just gently brush the q-tip in against the cartridge pins. Be very gentle, and don't hesitate to use a new q-tip when the old one is dirty! Just move across all of the pins bit by bit, and when you're done let it dry for a while (Now don't go and blow in it to make it dry quicker..). That's that! Your game is now clean and will work way better than before!

Cleaning the 72 pin connector inside your NES

Cleaning the 72 pin connector requires you to open up your NES. It is a rather easy task, so you don't have to be a technician to do it. All you need is a screwdriver, q-tips and some cleaning alcohol (again, 91% or higher). Now you want to open up your NES. Unplug it and turn it around, then unscrew the screws (see picture for screw locations).

Turn your NES back up and remove the top part, now you have to unscrew the metal protector (see picture for screw locations).

After you've done this, you'll the cartridge holder, we're going to have to remove this to get a better access to the connector (see picture for screw locations).

Now you can clean your 72 pin connector. It's the same idea as a cartridge, gently move the alcohol containing q-tip against the pins. Once you're done, let is dry for a while and you're good to go!

I hope everything was clear enough. If you're afraid you will break something, don't be! The NES is a sturdy machine! Just make sure you don't flood the pins with alcohol, use a little bit! Have fun playing your NES games!

how_to | do_it_yourself | Games

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