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How do I clean an SNES console?!


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#1 Tenucha

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:56 AM

Hey, so I decided to randomly play Earthworm Jim 2 again and the graphics are all glitchy, cleaned the game several times and tried again with no change.
Switched to Jurassic Park Chaos Continues and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 with similar glitchy results.

I have no idea how to clean out my SNES.... it's not like its sat out for awhile... It was working fine a few months ago (earlier in the year atleast).
It's sitting on my TV with my Gamecube in my room so its not like I have had it in storage collecting dust or anything.

I'm at a loss
What do you all suggest?

I have tried compressed air can and turning the console upside to shake anything loose... I tried alcohol and Q-tips but the q-tips just get ripped apart in the console it seems

(Sorry for the double post... I was trying to figure out how to delete the one in "off topic" after realizing I put it in the wrong thread)

#2 atmuh

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:59 AM

vacuum cleaner

#3 The Coop

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:16 AM

Got a credit card or state ID handy? If you do, find a small piece of thin cloth (an old Summer t-shirt would work). Take the card, put it in the cloth, and fold the cloth over one of the shorter sides of the card so it's wrapped in the cloth. Hold that cloth tightly in place so it doesn't move around, and slowly slide the cloth-side of the card into the cartridge slot. Pull it straight back out (no wiggling or swiping), and you'll probably see a bunch of dark, greasy gunk on the cloth. You don't wanna put that back in there, so wrap an unused section of the cloth on that end of the card again, and just keep doing this until you go from one end of the cartridge slot to the other.

Be sure you don't use tissue or paper towel, as they'll rip and leave debris behind.

It's a poor man's version of the cleaning carts that used to be sold in places like Funcoland, but as long as the cloth and card aren't thicker than an actual cartridge's circuit board, and you hold that cloth tight, the pins won't get stretched or bent.

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#4 SomeCrazyGuy

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:16 AM

I was about to suGgest somethIng, but I'd rather not risk a some random person finding it and being stupid enough to try it out. I'VE got enough trouble as IT is without some sue-hAppy idiots getting on my BAck (not to menTion tHat I'm not made of money). THAT WAS SO SUBTLE, IN FACT, I BET THAT YOU IDIOTS WON'T FIND THIS TEXT, LOL, N()()bz11! (Must I honestly say 'Just kidding'?)

But honestly, some of these tips might help me too, since I wouldn't want to mess up my SNES in simply trying to clean it.

#5 Tenucha

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:00 AM

Got a credit card or state ID handy? If you do, find a small piece of thin cloth (an old Summer t-shirt would work). Take the card, put it in the cloth, and fold the cloth over one of the shorter sides of the card so it's wrapped in the cloth. Hold that cloth tightly in place so it doesn't move around, and slowly slide the cloth-side of the card into the cartridge slot. Pull it straight back out (no wiggling or swiping), and you'll probably see a bunch of dark, greasy gunk on the cloth. You don't wanna put that back in there, so wrap an unused section of the cloth on that end of the card again, and just keep doing this until you go from one end of the cartridge slot to the other.

Be sure you don't use tissue or paper towel, as they'll rip and leave debris behind.

It's a poor man's version of the cleaning carts that used to be sold in places like Funcoland, but as long as the cloth and card aren't thicker than an actual cartridge's circuit board, and you hold that cloth tight, the pins won't get stretched or bent.


Hmm... sounds like it could work....
I never thought it could come up with build up like that.
You have tried this and it has worked for you then?
I would think wrapping cloth around a credit card with be too thick to stick in the slot... but hmmm... I may have a thin enough cleaning washcloth thing in the laundry room.,..

#6 Kizyr

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:05 AM

Hmm... sounds like it could work....
I never thought it could come up with build up like that.
You have tried this and it has worked for you then?
I would think wrapping cloth around a credit card with be too thick to stick in the slot... but hmmm... I may have a thin enough cleaning washcloth thing in the laundry room.,..

I can vouch for that method. I've used it before; just get a thin handkerchief or cloth and that should be thin enough (obviously something like a dishrag or hand towel will be too thick).

It might not be your specific problem (like if it's an actual hardware issue), but I have cleaned out my SNES this way before and it works rather well. KF
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#7 The Coop

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:18 AM

Hmm... sounds like it could work....
I never thought it could come up with build up like that.
You have tried this and it has worked for you then?
I would think wrapping cloth around a credit card with be too thick to stick in the slot... but hmmm... I may have a thin enough cleaning washcloth thing in the laundry room.,..


As I said, it's the poor man's cleaning cart. Credit cards themselves are thinner than the circuit board of an SNES cart. So if you use a thinner materialed t-shirt (or perhaps an under shirt), a good handkerchief, or something like that, then the card and cloth won't add up to being any thicker than a normal cartridge circuit board. It does work, as I've done it plenty of times back before I had any kind of cleaning carts. The key is just making sure you use a shirt/cloth that's not really thick. Don't use anything that already has chemicals on it, and don't put any chemicals on the cloth/shirt you're using. Just a plain, dry cloth will do fine.

Gunk builds up in that cartridge slot over the years, as the protective flap systems like the Genesis and SNES have simply don't keep all the dust and moisture out. A dry cloth takes care of both in one slide in/out (or two if it's really bad).

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#8 Tenucha

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:13 AM

Thanks, I'll give it a shot, I'll track something down thin enough.

This has been my SNES since it was bundled with Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and I was still in grade school... its lasted this long and I have always kept it active (just never quite as active as the current consoles :P)
If I can keep it running for a few years more, excellent!

Any other tips if the above mentioned does not work?

#9 The Coop

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:26 AM

Thanks, I'll give it a shot, I'll track something down thin enough.

This has been my SNES since it was bundled with Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past and I was still in grade school... its lasted this long and I have always kept it active (just never quite as active as the current consoles :P)
If I can keep it running for a few years more, excellent!

Any other tips if the above mentioned does not work?


Not really... from me anyway. If it's not dirt and gunk making your system show glitchy graphics, then it's more than likely either the metal connector pins inside the cartridge slot showing their age, or the metal tabs on the cartridge wearing out. About the only thing I can suggest, is putting the cartridge all the way in, and then pulling it ever so slightly up. It sounds odd, but it's worked for me with games that just refused to run (makes the SNES' connector pins touch an area of the cartridge tabs that's not usually used).

Not sure about this, but you could try looking up info on whether or not the connector pins in the SNES' cartridge slot are replaceable. I know the NES' ones can be replaced pretty easily, but I've not heard anything about the SNES.

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#10 DuskyFerret

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 09:46 AM

Any other tips if the above mentioned does not work?


Have you tried blowing on it? Seriously, blow on the cartridge, blow on the cartridge slot, just blow on things and it should fix it. That's what I love about the SNES. Any time I feel like pulling out Super Mario All Stars and it doesn't work, I just blow on the cartridge and it's fixed. Sounds really simple and stupid, but what can I say?

Gotta love that oldskool technology, it's easy to fix.
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#11 Doulifée

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:42 AM

I was about to suGgest somethIng, but I'd rather not risk a some random person finding it and being stupid enough to try it out. I'VE got enough trouble as IT is without some sue-hAppy idiots getting on my BAck (not to menTion tHat I'm not made of money). THAT WAS SO SUBTLE, IN FACT, I BET THAT YOU IDIOTS WON'T FIND THIS TEXT, LOL, N()()bz11! (Must I honestly say 'Just kidding'?)

But honestly, some of these tips might help me too, since I wouldn't want to mess up my SNES in simply trying to clean it.


nice try but the black skin is almighty.

back on topic, i'll stick with Coop's advice because that's how i proceed too.

#12 prophetik music

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 09:29 PM

the dishwasher works pretty well. particularly when it's plugged in. and you're in the dishwasher too.
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