Best N64 Console and Cartridge Cleaners [Two Standout Options]

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The iconic Nintendo 64 holds a special place in gaming history. Yet, over time, dust and grime can dull its magic. Thankfully, there’s two solutions that we can highly recommend.

In this article, we highlight the best picks to ensure your N64 shines, inside and out. Dive in and let your console shine like it’s 1996!

1UPCard N64 Console Cleaner

1UPCard N64 Console Cleaner

Key Takeaways:

  • Internally cleans the N64 cartridge connector pins.
  • Removes dust, sludge and unsightly buildup that can cause many issues.
  • Reusable, over and over again.

The 1UPCard N64 Console Cleaner, at first glance, beautifully mimics the design of an actual N64 game cartridge. Beyond its nostalgic appearance, it offers impressive functionality.

By simply inserting and removing it repeatedly into the N64 console, it effectively cleans and buffs the pin connectors, restoring the console’s performance. After witnessing our once-neglected N64 spring back to life, we can vouch for its efficacy.


Post-cleaning maintenance of the 1UPCard is straightforward. A quick rinse with water readies it for its next use. However, it’s crucial to avoid alcohol, which could damage the longevity of the unit by prematurely wearing the contacts down.

One of the standout features is its durability. We’ve put it to the test multiple times, and each session consistently removed deep-seated grime, enhancing the console’s lifespan. We used it with over 10 different N64 consoles and with each one it made a visible difference.


Best of all, the fact that it’s American-made adds another layer of appreciation for its quality and craftsmanship. For those keen on preserving and fine-tuning their N64 and bringing it back to its original life, the 1UPCard Console Cleaner is a worthy investment. It’s a simple yet well-refined invention that’s actually very effective.

1UPCard Game Cartidge Cleaning Kit


Key Takeaways:

  • Alcohol and lint-free pad combo.
  • Bottle provides a precise yet small amount of alchol.
  • Can be used with any vintage game cartridges.

Stemming from the same reliable brand behind the previously discussed console cleaner, 1UPCard, this kit offers a pristine solution for maintaining vintage game cartridges.

One of the first things we noticed was how this kit offers an excellent and lint-free alternative to the traditional Q-tip method. Instead of leaving behind lint or fibers that can further clog or damage the cartridge, the 1UPCard cleaning kit ensures a clean sweep.

The kit contains a small yet sufficient 1-ounce bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol that can be dispensed drop by drop, making the cleaning process highly controlled. Accompanying the alcohol is a small, lightly abrasive pad designed to buff the contacts. The dual-end design of the pad is wonderful: one end for applying alcohol, and the other for drying. This streamlined approach ensures that each cartridge gets a thorough and precise cleaning.

1UPCard Game Cartidge Cleaning Kit

While we used it primarily for our N64 cartridges, the versatility of the 1UPCard Game Cartridge Cleaning Kit is remarkable. It’s compatible with a plethora of vintage game cartridges, including NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Atari, and more. This makes it a must-have tool for anyone with a diverse collection of retro games.

Overall, this is a small investment that promises to deliver big returns in the form of enhanced gameplay and prolonged cartridge lifespan. A wonderful addition to any vintage-gamer’s tool kit.

N64 Console Cleaning FAQs

Why is it important to clean my N64 console and game cartridges? Regular cleaning ensures optimal performance and longevity. Over time, dust, grime, and corrosion can build up on the pin connectors, leading to glitches, poor game performance, or even damage to the console and cartridges.

How often should I clean my N64 console and game cartridges? It’s advisable to clean your console and cartridges every few months, or more frequently if they’re heavily used or stored in dusty environments. Always clean a newly acquired second-hand game before inserting it into your console.

Can I use any isopropyl alcohol for cleaning? It’s recommended to use 99% isopropyl alcohol as it evaporates quickly and doesn’t leave residues. Avoid using lower concentrations as they might contain additional water or additives.

Is it safe to use Q-tips for cleaning game cartridges? While Q-tips can be used, they might leave lint or fibers behind. Lint-free alternatives, like the 1UPCard Game Cartridge Cleaning Kit, are more effective and recommended.

What’s the best method to clean the external surface of the N64 console? A: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the exterior. Avoid using abrasive materials or excessive water, which could damage the console.

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