nes cleaning

NES broken, or just dirty? Here is a surefire way to clean it!

Nintendo RetroGaming

Is your NES broken?

Is your old NES broken? Did you just pull it out of the closet after months or even years of no use? Its probably not.

Its probably not even your games.

Use this tutorial to get it back to life!

You may need to give it a bath. Or rather make some Nintendo soup. For this you really only need a few things

  1. A pot
  2. A Philips screwdriver
  3. Isopropryl alcohol
  4. Boiling water.
  5. Tooth brush or cotton swabs
  6. A copy of Anticipation (I’ve done this many times and it only makes the game stronger. I swear it.)

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage you do to your console. You are to follow this guide at your own risk.

First, turn your NES upside down. Look on the bottom, there are 6 screws evenly placed along the perimeter of the console. Remove these, set aside for now.

Turn the console right side up and gently lift the cover off. Turn it over and store your screws in it.

You may or may not have a big metal piece over the rest. Also known as your RF shield. Remove all the screws from it and lift it out of there.

Next you’ll notice the tray you insert your games into. There are a few screws on this. Taken them out and pop them into the shell for later.



Be mindful of the placement of the large screw


Gently pull the tray forward separating it from underneath the 72 pin connector. This is the part of the NES that needs the bath. Have your pot of boiling water ready at this stage.

Push the connector gently off of the board. You don’t want to pull too hard or you risk damaging it in the spot that provides the power to the connector. I did it to an older NES I had laying around and it caused the graphics to display spotty lines through the TV. It would play some of the time at least.







Now that you have your 72 pin connector out, drop it into the pot of boiling water. Add some spices and stir. (Please don’t add spices. Do stir)




After a minute in there use a pair of tongs or another instrument to remove the hot metal and plastic from the scalding hot water. you may want to wear oven mitts or a kitchen towel while doing this.



At this stage I’ll usually splash some isopropryl alcohol into the connector and scrub it with a q-tip. For tough looking jobs use a toothbrush and brush away all the gross stuff from the connector. Use a cotton swab and dribble some rubbing alcohol to an extremely clean copy of Anticipation.

Now jam the game into the cartridge slot of the 72 pin connector over and over. Use the toothbrush to clear away remainder and drop back into the water for round 2. Make sure the plastic sides are not directly touching the metal in the pot. You do not want to melt them. After another minute and a half repeat the process with alcohol and toothbrush + Anticipation. Turn the stove top off and sit back while the squeaky clean NES parts coll off. Feel free to pat to dry some of the excess off. The alcohol will help in the evaporation process but sit back and wait about 2 hours for it to fully cool and dry.






Transplant the heart of the NES back into the console. Try out a game. Odds are if it’s clean, the NES will play your games just like it did back in 1985!


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