How To Clean A Nintendo 64 (A Complete Guide)

How To Clean A Nintendo 64

How To Clean A Nintendo 64

Hey you all, I understand this is super frustrating when your favorite Nintendo 64 gets dirty or it doesn’t work, oh my god horrible experience. Well, if it is dirty or does not work well in both situations we have to be calm and just read this article and I am going to take you through the entire process of how to Clean A Nintendo 64 in just some minutes, interesting right? 

To do so, you have to go through with the article till the end because I am going to give you so many ways that will change your life and stress for cleaning N64 and taking proper care of it. I am going to tell you how to Clean A Nintendo 64, N64 cartridge, and N64 controllers. So, without wasting any more time for all of us, let’s get right into the topic.

Step 1: Using Tools

But let’s hear this out before you do anything with the tools. We do not take any responsibility for any damage that you might do with your N64. Okay, so now let’s begin here. Your N64 has a very easy and compact build structure. You only need simple and very few tools.

  • First, you need a simple Gamebit screwdriver.
  • Then if you need a flathead screwdriver you can go for Philips.
  • Some Cotton swabs to wipe off the tools and the dirt stuck in your N64.
  • Some paper towels again for wiping purposes.
  • A nail polish remover which is I guess available with the Girl reader we have here on this page. Well, just make sure you are not using a Nail polish remover which consists of an Acetone.
  • A normal Soap and clean water.
  • You will also need a compressor or any can with compressed air, but well this is optional.
  • You will need a WD40, again it is optional.
  • Last but not least a Game bit which you will only get online for about 5 bucks. So, now that we are well equipped with the required tools let’s get started.

Step 2: Take part in the Nintendo 64

So, before losing any screw you need to make sure you are taking out the extra memory of the Nintendo 64 (but in case you do not have any extra memory already then you can just simply ignore what I just said). Now, be very careful while doing this you have to take off the clip very carefully and remove the sticker using a flathead screwdriver. 

Now push the memory towards you and up and keep doing it until it gets out from the Nintendo 64. Well, there are some special tools available in the market for this but because I don’t have them and I believe most of us do not owe them, you can just do this make-shifting technique to pull it out. Now, once it’s done take the rest of the Nintendo 64 apart, and I will tell you what you have to do afterward.

Now, once the first part is completed and the memory has been pulled out of it. You now have to turn or flip the Nintendo 64 and there you will be able to see 6 weird kinds of Nintendo screws which will be holding the top of the system of Nintendo 64 with the Bottom part. Now, exactly this is where you are going to need your first screw which is Game-bit. 

Now simply take the screw out and rotate them in a circular motion, here rotation direction depends on your Nintendo 64’s structure. For me it is clockwise. Now, take the screws out of all of them and then start organizing the screw, by that I mean you will know in a minute why you are doing so. 

Now, again just flip your Nintendo 64 and take off the top part of it. Now, this is the time when you will see so many bad things like really gross dust and other bad craps. Now, how can you think after so much dirt accumulated inside this cute small device, it can work properly? And You will find a bunch of screws.

You are going to find so many screws now a millions of them. Just kidding, just take them out, each one of them. Now, again make sure you are organizing screws well but once after cleaning you have to set it up again. Now, take the metal heat sinks and keep shielding them off until and unless you are just left with the board. 

Now, you can try to start up your compressor of the Nintendo 64 and blow the board to clean it. The cartridge contacts are easy to clean and can be simply cleaned by using a cleaning kit or just any paper towel. You can also use the nail polish remover but make sure it is acetone-free.

Step 3: Cleaning

Now that we have unassembled the Nintendo 64, let’s start with the cleaning part. This is my favorite from the entire process. You can simply dump all the plastic covers in the sink and then clean them by using simply soap and water, easy right? Now, take the light lens part out of the Nintendo 64 and then the metal pieces out before cleaning the bottom of the Nintendo 64. 

Now for deep cleaning the top part of the Nintendo 64, you will have to make sure to take out the cartridge spring for the best possible cleaning. Now, A pro tip time- You can use compressed air to dry out the plastic parts for the best result to speed up the drying process.

Step 4: Assembly

Let’s come to an interesting part of the process after cleaning all you have to do is assemble the parts. You can start assembling the N64 back together as it was earlier before removing the screws. First, you have to place the metal shield back in its place on the board and then place it on the top of the board with the shield back to the bottom part.

Now that everything is clean, you can start putting the N64 back together. Put the metal shield back on the board and place the board with the shield back to the bottom part. Then just put the heat sinks and metal parts back on the board. Be sure that the controller ports are clean as well before putting the top on. You can do this with a paper towel slightly moistened.

Step 5: Cleaning and Memory

Now, after doing so much hard work and cleaning the Nintendo 64 so nicely, we have to move towards the cleaning of its memory because why not? So, before you put the top in its place, let’s clean the memory first and then do it. You can use any smaller game-bit to open it in a similar way as you did to the Nintendo 64

Now, after doing so you just have to clean the plastic body of its memory and the metal parts as well attached to it with normal water and soaps. Now, you must be thinking that I am asking you to wash off the metal with water. What if it gets rusting afterward and doesn’t work? Well, do not worry because it’s a tried and tested way, so you can simply trust me. 

Now, you might find it very dirty, but trust me on this it is always a superb idea to clean the metal contacts as well, you can also use cotton swabs and can also use a nail polish remover because we have already disassembled it earlier only so nothing is to worry about.

Step 6: To Assemble

Now that we are very close to the finishing part, you can just simply put the top part on and you can screw them up in place with the help of those 6 screws which we have already discussed about. Afterward, you have to put the extra memory inside and then seal it up using the sticker like nothing has ever happened to it.

Step 7: To Polish

Now, this step is completely optional, if you like it and wanna do it then go ahead otherwise your Nintendo 64 is still gonna work with or without doing this. You can give your Nintendo 64 a nice shine and a new beautiful look with some WD40. So, if you have it then great if you don’t you can get it from any online store. 

For applying it you can use a paper towel and some WD40 and then cover the Nintendo 64. After doing so, just let it sit for some hours without any disturbance until the WD40 is completely absorbed by the plastic. After some time you can take a clean towel and remove the extra WD40 from the plastic and now you have a fresh look for your Nintendo 64.

Step 8: Cleaning Cartridge

Your clean console would need a clean cartridge as well. So, here comes the process where we are going to clean this cartridge and then hold it together with just Nintendo 2 screws.

Now, to take it apart you can use your game-bit. After doing so, you will be able to see the 2 Phillips screws inside of it that will be holding the shielding of a metal altogether. 

Now, just take the cartridge apart, and then you can clean the metal and plastics with water and soap as we did previously. You can clean the board simply by using the cotton swabs and the nail polish remover it will remove the stains and dirt in a second and like magic. Expert notes would be here that some of the cartridges are going to be with the battery in them. So, this is the right you get it replaced ASAP!

Step 9: Testing

Here comes the breathtaking part, now is the time you will realize if all those efforts were of any use or not. Now is the time for your results. So, read it very carefully. But before you try and test it, make sure that it is completely dry and there are no possible drops of water left on it because if there are we all know what is going to happen here anyway. 

Once you are done with its deep cleaning it is important to check if it is working properly or not to console your soul as well. In case it doesn’t work, then surely you might have broken something while opening or closing it. But we can not help you here because we are just covering up for the cleaning part. 

But in that case, you have to dig deeper into the electronics and you can get it fixed by some expert. And In case it works then viola, congratulations my friend you did it well. You have proved yourself that you can do anything in this world. 

Just joking. But after cleaning this you can also go for cleaning your controller and take this process one step ahead of it. But since we are just going to cover here till this part, I might write a few more articles to take this process forward.

Also Read: How to Clean a Leather Purse from a Thrift Store


Well, after going through this intensive cleaning process you have to make sure of enjoying your favorite Nintendo 64 after it fully. Make sure you are following the steps properly and keeping a note of each point especially which I have mentioned. 

You might not need any more tools apart from the list which I have shared on this topic. It is always good to keep your things neat and clean especially when you are using them daily. 

Even if it is not for you as an individual but for your family or your kids then also you have to make sure you are keeping things clean and away from the dirt and debris clogged in it. Because you can not see it without getting inside of it. So, make sure you are doing a deep cleaning of it once a year or as it suits your busy schedule.

Carrie N. Thomas

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