How to Clean NES & Retro Games

23 Jan, 2012

I love me some classic games. The problem is, the older they get, the trickier they are to get working. Over the years I’ve gone through many different cleaning processes, but the video above illustrates my favorite of all the cleaning methods. This method is easily the most costly, timely, and messy one, but it really does wonders for games that are otherwise on the fritz. I have performed miracles with this stuff, getting games that I’ve otherwise thought had no chance of surviving into great working condition.

If you’ve watched the video and you’re ready to jump in there, here is a handy list of everything you’ll need to get cleaning.

Required:
Mother’s Mag & Aluminum Polish
3.8MM gamebit
Some sort of cloth (anything will do, from an old t-shirt, microfiber cloth, or in the case of the above video, an old burp cloth)

Optional:
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Windex
Q-Tips
All Purpose Cleaner

Most of this stuff you probably already have around the house, so the only hurdle should be the gamebit and the polish (which you can pick up at automotive stores if you don’t want to grab it online).

I have written more in-depth articles in the past about cleaning games, restoring entire consoles like the N64 and the NES respectively, but I decided to make this video after buying Kabuki Quantum Fighter at MAGFest and it needing just a bit of care in order for me to get it working perfectly. As I said before, it takes some time, but it’s well worth it.

Have fun.

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5 Comments

  1. Vhallaran
    Vhallaran
    January 24, 2012

    I never used any of these consoles, apparently I’m missing out, but I’ve always played games like Command and conquer on pc
    And everything else on PS1, never used a cartridge in my life.

  2. January 24, 2012

    Wow, not even a GBA or N64 cart?

    Crazy thinking there is a generation now that potentially never used a cartridge before.

    • Vhallaran
      Vhallaran
      January 24, 2012

      It’s not that I’m too young, it’s just that I’ve always loved my PC, since i grew up on RTS you don’t really get those on platform that require a cartridge, and the PS1 was one of my only consoles, man i sunk too many hours into Spyro, Small Soldiers and MediEvil on that thing; have you played MediEvil? I would highly recommend trying it.

  3. Johny47
    January 24, 2012

    I had one of the first nintendo with the cartridges fore a little while before having the PS1, I liked it but only had metroid and mario stuff so I never get nostalgic with that.

    I thought these things would have rotted away to dust by now they’re so old =P

  4. January 24, 2012

    Hahah, believe it or not they hold up really well and they can take a beating. It’s pretty amazing how my old NES from eons ago still works really well and my Xbox 360 is breathing its final breaths (then again, I have done some major cleaning overhauls to my NES to get it to hang in there).

    And Vhallaran, I actually tried MediEvil fairly recently. It was a free download around Halloween for PS+ users. It didn’t really seem to age with much grace, but I’ll admit that the 32/64-bit gen is probably my least favorite time period, but that’s a whole other story and debate. Haha.