How To Clean N64 Cartridge Slot?

How To Clean N64 Cartridge Slot
Introduction – Cleaning the cartridge slot will fix most of the problems with the Nintendo 64.

    • Open the slot with your finger. Blow along the length of the cartridge slot with the air duster.
    • Moist a q-tip with rubbing alcohol. Rub it along the length of the cartridge slot.

Conclusion If cleaning the cartridge slot worked, you should be able to insert a game and play normally. If the game still does not boot normally, check to make sure the pins are not damaged, and that the cartridge does not need cleaning.

How do you clean a cartridge slot?

Dip into sanitizer and ring excess liquid. Then clean the cartridge slot deck. With a clean cloth, dipped in sanitizer solution, clean the cartridge probes. Repeat these steps until both the cartridge probes and deck are clean and dry.

How do I clean a dirty n64 cartridge?

Dampen a cotton swap with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (be careful not to use too much alcohol.) Insert the cotton swab into the insertion gap. Start cleaning the copper contacts in a gentle rectangular motion. Replace your cotton swaps as they get dirty to avoid moving the grime around the cartridge.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean n64 games?

How to Clean an Old Game Cartridge: 5 Steps (with Pictures)

  1. 1 Get a small container of alcohol. It is recommended not to dip the swab in the bottle of alcohol, as not to contaminate it.
    • 2
    • Dip a cotton swab in the alcohol.
    • Advertisement
  2. 3 Carefully, but firmly rub the alcohol doused cotton swab against the copper contacts of the game cartridge. Rub about 2 times back and forth, and switch to the other side of the swab. Continue until the swab comes back without dirt on it.
  3. 4 Inspect the cartridges to be sure that there’s no cotton fibers left on the cartridge.
  4. 5 Allow the cartridges to dry completely before you attempt to play them. It’s best to let them air dry, and not blow on them.
  5. Advertisement

  • Question Can I use hydrogen peroxide? No. Hydrogen peroxide is corrosive and will damage the contacts.
  • Question Do I use rubbing alcohol in place of hydrogen peroxide? In my experience with most 3DS/DS games, 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol works just fine. However, in most cases I choose to distill it with water (one part water to two parts alcohol), just in case it may be a little too strong for some cartridges.

Ask a Question Advertisement

  • As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!


As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!


  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Game cartridge
  • Cotton swabs

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 16 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 70,763 times.

  1. Co-authors: 16
  2. Updated: March 29, 2022
  3. Views: 70,763


Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 70,763 times.

“Worked like a charm. Used it and it was dry, clean and ready to play inside of 5 minutes. Don’t know what I’d do without my Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Thank God for this post or I don’t think I’d have been able to satiate my dino-killing desires! Great and easy-to-follow directions.”,”

: How to Clean an Old Game Cartridge: 5 Steps (with Pictures)

Can I clean cartridge with alcohol?

It’s a Saturday morning. You don’t have to work. You don’t have to go anywhere in fact. It’s 1:00 pm and you’re still sitting in the living room, unwashed, in your PJs, with the quilt from the back of the couch wrapped around your shoulders. The conditions are perfect to bust out those old gaming systems and return to a simpler time in your life. This age-old method of cleaning your gaming cartridges is actually harmful to the game. And you want to protect that sweet, sweet nostalgia. When you blow into a cartridge, the moisture from your breath collects on the inside of the cartridge and can cause the metal to rust,

You might find yourself saying, “I’ve been doing this for years and my cartridges still work!” You may not see the negative effect from this right away. But if you’re blowing into the cartridge every time it glitches for decades, it will start to deteriorate, And the more time that passes, the harder it will be to find a replacement for your favorite games.

So, protect the games that you have. This method of rebooting is not only damaging, but ineffective. Much of the dust, dirt, and patina on the cartridge will not be cleaned off. “But it works for me, I swear!” It does, but not because you’re blowing on it. Likely, what you’re doing is giving the game another chance to make a good connection,

But, you’re also inflicting damage on the cartridge for no good reason. You’d be better off simply removing the game and reinserting it to give it another chance, Frankie Viturello, a host from Digital Press Webcast, did a side-by-side test of two NES cartridges. The two cartridges were left in the open air in the same room.

He blew on one of the cartridges ten times a day to imitate a long period of use. After a month, all of the 72 connector pins that had been blown on had corroded. The other cartridge looked the same as it did at the beginning of the experiment 4, Instead of risking the integrity of your gaming cartridge, start employing a simpler, safer method of cleaning.

One of the most popular recommendations is a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol 2, Gently wipe out the inside of the cartridge with the damped Q-tip. Using isopropyl alcohol is more effective than trying to clean with a dry Q-tip because it holds onto more dust and dirt. If you use a dry Q-tip, it will most likely just smash the debris into the bottom and corners of the cartridge.

Unfortunately, with this method, the Q-tips can start to pull apart and leave fluff behind on the contacts. You’ll have to take the time to clear all out all of the fibers before putting the cartridge back in the game. For a faster, more convenient option, consider something like the 1UPcard Video Game Cartridge Cleaning Kit, The 1UPcard is a durable, reusable cleaning card with two felt pads on each end. One pad can be dampened with the cleaning fluid and the other left dry so that no excess fluid is left on the cartridge. The width of the card will clean cartridges much faster and more thoroughly than using a Q-tip would. The 1UPcard can be reused up over 150 times and can be washed with soap and water if the pads become too dirty. It cleans the game cartridge quickly and effectively without leaving behind any fluff. The fluid that is sold in the kit bundle is 99% isopropyl alcohol.

For cleaning gaming cartridges, the higher the concentration of the isopropyl alcohol the better, The higher the concentration, the less water there is. As we learned earlier in this article, you don’t want water left on the cartridge because it will cause corrosion. “Why can’t I just buy my own isopropyl alcohol?” You can! The major upsides for the 1UPcard cleaning fluid are the size and shape of the bottle.

It’s easier to store a small bottle and you have a lot more control over how much fluid is being dispensed onto the cleaning pad. And, that tiny bottle will still give you about 100 uses. Plus, whereas most drug stores will carry 50%, 70% or 90% isopropyl alcohol, the pure 99% can be harder to find. Let’s go back to the living room where you are still sitting with your console and glitching game. Do you want to waste your precious lazy afternoon cleaning with half a dozen Q-tips, or do you want to get to gaming as soon as possible? Let 1UPcard save you time and save you from a pile of dusty Q-tips. Taylor Soper, Chris Higgins, “Glitch” image credit: Gavin Reed

Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean ink cartridges?

Steps for Manually Cleaning the Printer Head – If the overnight cleaning still does not work, there may be a layer of thick ink that is blocking the holes of the printer’s head. The next option is to manually clean the printer head. Follow these steps:

Determine from the owner’s manual where the print head is located. Remove the ink cartridge from your printer and then dip a cotton swab in hot water or isopropyl alcohol and rub it against the print head. This should loosen any crusted ink. NOTE: Be careful, especially if you use isopropyl alcohol to clean your print heads: Some printers use rubber gaskets, and if you get isopropyl alcohol on the gaskets it could dry them out. For models where the print head is in the printer, drop 7 to 10 drops of isopropyl alcohol (91% denatured isopropyl alcohol – not ‘rubbing’ alcohol) down the ink receptacle area where the ink actually flows from the cartridge into the head. Run a few self-cleaning utilities. If possible, allow the printer to sit a few hours or overnight and repeat the self-cleaning utility. If the print head is in the cartridge, soak the cartridge print head in hot water. Allow it to soak overnight. Dry the print head area with a paper towel. Repeat the self-cleaning utility. If the hot water soak did not unclog the print head, place the cartridge printer head in isopropyl alcohol and allow it to soak overnight. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off the print head area and dry carefully. Try the self-cleaning utility again. If the alcohol soak did not unclog the print head in the cartridge you may need to purchase a new cartridge. This will provide new print heads that won’t be clogged. Contact a service technician for repair of print heads in the printer if the alcohol did not unclog the printer head.

Do N64 games wear out?

Like anything, over time, they can go bad if not kept in proper temperature and humidity, or exposed to a lot of something like tobacco smoke. However, they should typically last a very long time, probably longer than either of us, if well taken care of.

Why is my N64 blurry?

Why does the Nintendo 64 look so bad on modern TVs? – Most retro consoles from the fourth-generation on adapt pretty readily to modern TVs if you have the right equipment since they output RGB. Usually, all you need is the right cable and an OSSC or Framemeister, and you’re good to go.

  1. Unfortunately, the best you can get out of a stock N64 is S-Video, which, while better than composite, is still not ideal for upscaling and conversion to HDMI.
  2. In addition to lacking RGB, the Nintendo 64 has some wacky features built-in that degrade picture quality on HDTVs.
  3. There’s a blur filter applied to games that is intended to help soften the jagged edges of polygons.

This effect was arguably beneficial when playing on a CRT, but it’s terrible when you’re trying to upscale games on HDMI. Additionally, almost every game featured some sort of anti-aliasing that further muddles the picture. While you can mod a Nintendo 64 to output RGB video, taking care of the internal filter and anti-aliasing is a bit tougher.

  • Fortunately, the retro community has come together to research and create GameShark codes to disable software anti-aliasing.
  • This helps picture quality a bit, but the hardware horizontal blur is where most of the issue comes from.
  • To get rid of the system-level filter, you need either an UltraHDMI mod, which is no longer in production, or one of Tim Worthington’s N64RGB or Borti4938’s N64 RGB Advanced boards.

Both of these mods allow you to bypass the N64’s internal blurring, but as of writing, the N64 RGB Advanced is the only one you can actually purchase. The creator of the UltraHDMI is said to be working on Version 2 of the mod, but there’s currently no release date announced.

How do you clean N64 games without alcohol?

Method 2. Try alcohol. – Our next favorite method if you want a little deeper clean, is to use alcohol. We recommend either isopropyl alcohol or denature alcohol with a high level of purity. You might hear that rubbing alcohol is bad for your Nintendo games, but we like the higher purity level alcohols for retro games.

Grab yourself a few cotton swaps as well. Dampen them in alcohol and get to scrubbing the insides of your game cartridges. Don’t use too much alcohol, since it can do more damage than good. Swipe your cotton swabs along the copper contacts of your cartridge and push them in to the insertion gap for a little extra clean.

Be firm, yet aware of where your swabs go. Replace your cotton swab each time if there is any dirt on it. Remove as much dirt as possible from the game. Then, set it aside to dry at least 5-10 minutes before you try to play. Don’t use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process, as that could damage the interior bits and pieces.

How do you unclog a connector?

Recommended Cleaning Procedure –

  • Blow off any loose soil or dirt using dry compressed air.
  • Use an ultrasound washer with distilled water. Pictured above is a Branson 5510, but you can use a similar ultrasound washer.
  • Lower the connector to be cleaned into the distilled water up to the top of the lock ring (see picture above). Only submerge the connector to the top of the lock ring, indicated by the arrow in the picture.
  • Run the ultrasound washer for 10 minutes.
  • Dispose of the used water and fill with clean distilled water for the final rinse, 5 more minutes.
  • Blow dry using dry compressed air. Start blowing from behind the connector under the lock ring to get most of the water out of the connector. Then, blow into the connector using circular motion. Finally, blow into each pin or jack. Make sure not to drive water into the connector with the compressed air.
  • Rinse the connectors in 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) shake off and blow dry with more compressed air.
  • Place the cable with connectors in a clean, dry room and dry them using a heat fan blowing warm air over the connectors overnight. Be sure that dust or other contaminants cannot enter the connectors. Cover them with a lint-free cloth or other suitable protection.

NOTE: Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and should be kept away from heat and open flame.

Can I use isopropyl alcohol to clean N64?

Not to self, don’t use Isopropyl alcohol on a N64 label

Does Toothpaste clean game discs?

Download Article Download Article No matter what type of optical disk you have, scratches can make the data inaccessible. Surprisingly, “sanding” down the scratches with toothpaste is an effective home remedy, if the scratches are small.

  1. 1 Inspect the scratches. Toothpaste works best for shallow scratches and scuffs on the reflective side. It will probably not work on a deep scratch. Scratches on the non-reflective label side should never be rubbed, and may have caused irreparable damage.
    • If you have deep scratches, consider sending the disk to a disk repair service. You could also try more abrasive treatments, such as a non-petroleum-based metal polish.
  2. 2 Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth. Lightly dampen a cotton or microfiber cloth. You’ll use this to clean grime off the disk. If you skip this section, the toothpaste could rub dirt particles into the disk, making the scratch worse.
    • Avoid any rough or dusty materials.
    • If the disk is visibly greasy or dirty, wipe it under running water.


  3. 3 Wipe the reflective side of the disk. Gently brush the wet cloth against the disk. Wipe each stroke outwards from the center, like a spoke on a bicycle wheel. Rubbing in circles increases the risk of damage.
    • Hold the disk by the rim to avoid adding additional dirt and oil from your fingers.
  4. 4 Dry the disk carefully. A dry cloth is more likely to damage the disk. One of these methods of drying are recommended instead:
    • Place face down on a couple layers of paper towel and wait until dry.
    • Loosely wad a paper towel and brush from the center outward. Do not push onto the disk; the only pressure should come from the bending of the paper towel.
    • Let air dry.
  5. Advertisement

  1. 1 Choose your toothpaste. You must use actual paste, not a gel toothpaste. The paste contains abrasive material that scrapes plaque off your teeth. This will sand down the scratched surface as well, hiding the scratch causing the laser to misread.
    • Baking soda toothpaste works well due to the extra grit.
    • If you’re lucky, your toothpaste will list an abrasion rating, called RDA. No one’s tested how RDA affects disk cleaning, but a higher rating (120+) should work better.
  2. 2 Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the polishing cloth. A small dab should be enough. As before, use a clean, lint-free cloth such as cotton or microfiber.
  3. 3 Gently rub the toothpaste over the disk. Always move radially, from the center of the disk straight out to the rim. Do not rub in circular motions. Continue rubbing gently until the scratch is gone or nearly gone. This can take a few minutes.
    • Do not polish harder in an attempt to speed up the process. This can cause further damage to the disk.
  4. 4 Wash the disk off with cold water. Ensure that you remove all of the toothpaste. You may need to use a clean polishing cloth to remove residue, using the same wiping pattern.
  5. 5 Dry the disk. You may wipe it with a dry cloth, but blotting with a paper towel is safer. You should notice that scratches are fainter or even completely gone. You may have made some additional tiny scratches, but provided that you did not press hard, these shouldn’t interfere with the disk.
  6. 6 Test out your disk. Place the disk into the appropriate drive and see if it works. If so, then you are done. If not, repeat the toothpaste treatment for a second round.
    • If there is no noticeable improvement at all, try again with a grittier toothpaste, or with petroleum-free metal polish.
    • If two rounds of polishing do not work, try sending it to a disk repair service. These can buff out the scratches with a special machine.
  7. Advertisement

Add New Question

  • Question Can I use regular toothpaste? Any toothpaste designed for adults should work.
  • Question Will this work with PlayStation 1 games? If so, how? This works with pretty much any disc or cd. Use the same method and it should be fine.
  • Question What about PS4 games? Can I do the same thing? No. PS4 discs are Blu-ray, different materials than regular discs. Take it to a Gamestop and they can fix it.

See more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement

Be consistent. It’s better to press with the same force and move at the same speed because it ensures a smooth resurfacing. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

Thanks for submitting a tip for review! Advertisement

  • Don’t press too hard or polish the disk too many times, as you’ll risk damaging it even further. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • This method is designed to combat light damage by polishing away the surrounding areas. If your disk is severely damaged, you won’t be able to polish it deeply enough to “remove” the scratches without damaging the disk in the process. If this is the case, explore additional disk-repair options. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!


  • Toothpaste (baking soda toothpaste recommended)
  • At least two non-abrasive, lint-free cloths (e.g. a polishing cloth for glasses)
  • Water
  • Paper towel

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 452,531 times.

Can I use hydrogen peroxide instead of rubbing alcohol to clean?

What Is Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide? – They’re antiseptics — germ killers — which people started using back in the mid-1800s to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Frequent handwashing has reduced the spread of germs in the modern world, but antiseptics are still doing their part.

  1. Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are two of the most common.
  2. Rubbing alcohol is good for killing bacteria such as E.
  3. Coli and staph.
  4. Rubbing alcohol can kill them within 10 seconds.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide is another antiseptic, or disinfectant, that kills viruses and various forms of bacteria.
  6. But it needs more time than rubbing alcohol does to kill germs.

It needs up to 5 minutes to do its job.

How do you manually clean a printer cartridge?

Ink Cartridge & Printer Cleaning (All 2-Cartridge Printer Models) General Cartridge Cleaning Procedure (IPH – Integrated Printhead Cartridges): To help overcome poor printing performance, it is suggested you first refer to your printer manufacturer’s website for cleaning instructions specific to your printer model. For general information purposes, two-ink cartridge printer model cleaning instructions are provided below. To improve print quality for an integrated ink cartridge, you may need to clean the nozzle plate and/or rear electrical contacts. Using an isopropyl alcohol dampened lint-free moist cloth, gently blot the nozzle plate until some ink is drawn out and absorbed into the cloth. NOTE 1: Only use isopropyl alcohol or de-ionized water on cleaning cloth or wipe. If nozzles are allowed to dry or clog, white streaks may be visible in the printed text or graphic. Printing alone may not remove clogs from the nozzles, sometimes a ‘cartridge clean’ may need to be initiated from printer’s control menu or printer software. HP Diagnostic Test Print (several colors are misfiring) For a severely clogged ink cartridge (i.e. completely missing color(s) and/or partial jetting of color(s), which cannot be revived by the methods listed above, you can attempt a manual ink cartridge recovery.

Refer to video below: NOTE 2: If the printer/cartridge is rarely used, or old, there is the possibility the internal foam has hardened (dried) to a point where the ink will not absorb properly into the foam and flow down to the nozzle plate (often cartridges may experience severe ink pooling or leaking at the bottom when this occurs).

If this is the case then the cartridge will need to be replaced. Printer Flexible Cables – Cleaning Procedure Using a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol thoroughly clean the flexible cable contacts inside the printer. Ensure contacts are thoroughly clean of all ink residue and no lint fibers remain on cable surfaces. Service Station Caps/Seals (or wipers) – Cleaning Procedure (pdf) If printed output appears to be smeared with multiple colors* then the service station or parking pad is likely dirty (i.e. full of residual ink buildup) and will need to be cleaned. In the example below the yellow ink is contaminated with magenta ink (“cross contamination”). Steps:

  1. Remove ink cartridges from the carriage.
  2. Dampen a lint free cotton swab with distilled water. Gently clean both service station caps (cartridge parking pads) until thoroughly clean of ink residue / debris build-up.
  3. Inspect to ensure no fibers remain on station caps, if present.

* Storing ink cartridges upside down may also cause cross contamination or smearing of printed output. Procedure is not applicable to printer models which feature a maintenance station that ‘cycles’ out of the way during cartridge loading and unloading (i.e.

  • HP Photosmart C5200 printer model series).
  • Repeated ‘head strikes’ with the paper surface can also cause cartridge failure and/or print head leaking.
  • NOTE 3: Random droplets of ink on your paper are normally caused by contaminates on the printhead nozzle plate area such as a fiber, hair, built up dust, dried ink.

The smallest fiber on the printhead can act as a wick and collect ink from the head until it is oversaturated and therefore drip. In many cases both the service station caps/seals (or wipers) and both ink cartridges will need to be thoroughly cleaned to correct this issue.

  • Advanced HP Printer Diagnostics
  • To view advanced diagnostics tests for your HP printer, click here:

Help Out Your Friends. : Ink Cartridge & Printer Cleaning (All 2-Cartridge Printer Models)

How do you clean a cartridge tip?

Cleaning a cartridge is easier than cleaning a tank, as you only need to worry about cleaning the mouthpiece and the outside of the cartridge. To clean the mouthpiece, dampen a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently scrub the mouth-piece.