Cleaning Game Boy cartridges? Best way to not cause damage while cleaning/restoring
from to on 20 Aug 2023 02:43 +0000

Hello everyone,

I have a few game boy games I’d like to revisit. I’ll admit they were not stored the best way being mostly kept in a small cardboard box.

Before I just put in a cartridge and turn it on, what step could I take to clean/restore the games? I’m sure all my Pokémon are long gone so battery swaps would probably be a thing.

Before I just go dabbing alcohol I wanted a check on what the best way to go about cleaning and getting a cartridge in playable condition.

I really don’t want to fuck up my copy of Pokémon Crystal. It was there more than my parents were.

#retrogaming on 20 Aug 2023 02:46 +0000 next

Just wipe down the contacts with a dry cloth or paper towel if they look dirty. Honestly, besides maybe a battery swap, as long as they’re not obviously gross, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. on 20 Aug 2023 04:08 +0000

Nice, I repair electronics semi regularly but nothing older than a few years old. I assumed deterioration could be an issue.

Sounds like it’s just an over thinking on my part. Time to break out the microfiber towel. on 20 Aug 2023 06:48 +0000

Ye, youre overthinking it. Gameboy cartridges are basically 32 contacts to a memory controller (if any) and a rom/ram chip. Nothing more, nothing less on 20 Aug 2023 02:59 +0000 next

Is there something specific to clean?

Sticker residue comes off with Goo Gone from the dollar store. Marker can come off with isopropyl alcohol. Keep both away from the label. Sometimes I’ll take the screw out so I can safely clean the plastic while staying away from the internals. A pencil eraser will clean dirty metal contacts. on 20 Aug 2023 04:11 +0000

Outside should be straightforward. I’m hoping to clean down to the PCB. Give every nook and cranky a wipe down.

I guess my main concern would be aging capacitors or other vital pieces of the PCB that may have gotten damaged. on 20 Aug 2023 08:04 +0000

I used to sell video games professionally, and I used distilled white vinegar and a q-tip. Just dip the q-tip in vinegar and wipe the pins, then dry it with the other end. A bunch of black crap will come off - keep doing this until it’s clean! To open it, you need I think a 3.5 mm game bit - you can buy them on ebay for a few bucks. You can also buy the batteries with the metal bits already on to solder it back onto the board. Make sure the polarity is correct!! I believe most gameboy games take 2025 batteries but you’ll wanna double check, I think a couple take 1212s or 1216s. Hope that helps :)