For nostalgic collectors of retro video games it can be tough to keep those old cartridges safe from things such as temperature, dust, and time itself. Unless you have the money for a climate-controlled cabinet or room, chances are your NES cartridges are either sitting on a shelf or piled in a box. Contacts get dirty; labels are scratched or peeled away; and games picked up at garage sales, while often cheap, don’t always look their best.
Fortunately, Drumblanket has provided a short video explaining several steps you can take to get those cartridges shining, and potentially restore the worst of them to a playable state. From cleaning the contacts, replacing the labels, and re-soldering the PCB (the heart of the cartridge), Drumblanket breaks down each step. Even if you don’t have cartridges that need restoration, it’s a fascinating watch to see a beat-up cartridge get a face-lift.
Check out the full process below, and if you’re looking to restore a few cartridges yourself Drumbeat provides links to the recommended products in the video’s description.