Cleaning Gameboy Games

 Proper Way of Cleaning and Maintaining the Health of Game Boy Cartridges

We have to accept the fact that sooner or later the Game Boy’s cartridges will suddenly stop working. Once it’s broken, there is really nothing anyone can do about it but throw it away. Therefore, it is for the best interest of all Game Boy Advance owners to know how to take care of their Game Boy Advance cartridges.

What damages the cartridges? The most common cause why Game Boy cartridges are damaged is because of dirt. No matter how clean and dust-free you think your house may be, there will still be dirt and dust that is accumulating in places that you can’t see. No matter how small and compact the Game Boy cartridges may seem, dust and dirt can still find a way to get inside which will damage the cartridge in the long run. It is important to know how to properly clean the cartridge to prolong its life. Let us start getting all the things that will be needed to properly clean and maintain Game Boy cartridges.

What we need:

1.    Water

2.    Cotton Swab

3.    Paper Towel

4.    Compressed air

The first thing to do is get the compressed air can. The compressed air can has a nozzle. Hold the compressed air can so that the nozzle is about half an inch away from the opening of the cartridge. Do not place the compressed air can’s nozzle directly inside the cartridge opening because it will damage the cartridge. Blow some compressed air to the cartridge. This is usually enough to get rid of the dust and dirt that is accumulating and affecting the cartridge. Remember not to place the nozzle of the can too close to the cartridge and everything will be alright.

If you think that blowing compressed air to the cartridge is not enough, then get a cotton swab and dampen one side of it with water. Note that the word used is “dampen.” This means that the cotton swab should not be dripping wet. Rub the damp cotton swab lightly on the contact points of the cartridge. To make sure that the cotton swab is only damp and not wet, use the paper towel to remove the excess water from the cotton swab before rubbing it to the cartridge’s contacts. The rubbing should be from side-to-side motion. After you are satisfied, use the dry end of the cotton swab to dry the contacts. It is important to remember that water should not reach the inside parts of the cartridge; otherwise the cartridge will be damaged. According to Nintendo, only water should be used as a cleaning agent. Do not use alcohol or any other kind of liquid when cleaning the cartridge. Other kinds of liquid will damage the cartridge contacts.

The cleaning of the Game Boy cartridge is done! Before trying to use the cartridge again, let it sit for at least ten minutes before plugging it to the Game Boy. Now, your Game Boy cartridge is like brand new again!


The cleaning process should not be done frequently. Even if the cartridge cleaning is done correctly, there is still a danger that that the cartridge may get damaged with constant cleaning. To keep your Game Boy cartridges clean, always use the plastic case for storing the cartridges and keep them in a container. If you are not going to use the Game Boy for some time, remove the cartridge from the unit. Follow these simple tips and your Game Boy cartridges will have a longer life,  saving you lots of money on games!

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