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Cleaning Super Nintendo (SNES) Cartridges

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Cleaning Super Nintendo (SNES) Cartridges
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Why clean your carts?

  • A lot of second hand SNES carts are usually covered with dirt
  • Even carts you've owned from new get dirty from dust
  • Dirty carts may not always work - cleaning them may make them work again
  • Putting a dirty cart in your SNES can build up dirt in your consoles cart slot - too much dirt will prevent your clean/dirty carts from working
  • Cleaning your carts can make them look as good as new!

What you will need:

  • Cotton buds
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cloth
  • Kitchen roll
  • Jug
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Toothbrush * 2
  • 3.8mm GameBit
  • Table/flat surface
  • SNES games!!

 3.8mm GameBit (see: The-1-stop-SNES-shop or SNES-NES-Gameboy-N64-Console-Games shop to buy one of these)

Step 1

  • Unscrew the two screws on the SNES cart using the 3.8mm GameBit and put the screws some where dry
  • Remove Printed Circuit Board (PCB) from the cart - put this somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight

Step 2

  • Put a very small amount of fairy liquid into a Jug and fill it up with warm water
  • Get your cloth and wet with warm water
  • Fill your bowl with warm water

       PCB CONNECTOR

Step 3

  • Get a cotton bud and wet it with warm water
  • Pick up the PCB and wipe the connector with the cotton bud - both sides. Keep wiping until the connector is clean - you may have to use several cotton buds until the connector is clean
  • When the connector is clean both sides - use a dry cotton bud to dry the connector 

Step 4

  • Use the toothbrush to clean the cart (plastic only) - use the 'Jug water' for this step. Clean both sides of each half until clean. Do NOT use the toothbrush to clean the front and back labels of the cart as the tootbrush will ruin the labels
  • Use the second toothbrush and the bowl to rinse the soapy water off the cart halves
  • Use the wet cloth to clean the front and back labels - be careful not to wet the label too much. I usually wipe the label from the centre of the label in an 'away motion', as wiping 'towards' the label sometimes makes the label come 'unstuck'. Once the label is clean, use a dry piece of kitchen roll to dry the label. Best to do this part fast to prevent the label from going 'soggy' and becoming ruined. (If the label is already unstuck - you can use Pritt Stick which sticks the label down well and any residue can be wiped off very easily without leaving a mess)
  • Use the second toothbrush as well to clean the screws. Once clean - dry them as soon as possible and put somewhere dry.

Step 5

  • Let the two halves of the cart dry.
  • Once dry, put the cart back together - COMPLETE!

Problems with cart?

Sometimes, even if you have cleaned a cart - it may not work straight away. Do the following:

  • Clean the console cart slot - use a wet cotton bud and just wipe across the top and around the edge - then wipe it with a dry cotton bud. Try the cart now - it should work.
  • If the cart is still not working, wipe the cart connector/console slot a few times with a dry cotton bud - then try inserting the cart again a few more times, if the cart still does not work - then insert the cart in a slightly different position - i.e. when putting the cart in - push it slightly towards the 'back' of the cart slot or slightly towards the 'front' of the cart slot- as opposed to putting the cart in 'centrally' (i.e. normally) 
  • If that doesn't work - put the cart in and then lift the cart slightly so that it's not all the 'way down' in the cart slot

The above steps should make your SNES carts work. Most carts can just be put in the cart slot normally with no problems, but there are always exceptions!

Good luck!

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