Collecting Guides and Tips

Retro Gaming Cleaning Supplies

When you get that new game at a garage sale or flea market and it’s typically covered in grime and permanent market. Buy a game at Gamestop and it’s covered in stickers. Maybe you have disgusting eating habits and need to clean your controllers. No matter what your situation, you need cleaning supplies to take care of your games, controllers, and systems. Here’s my list of cleaning supplies every collector needs.

Isopropyl Alcohol, Q-Tips, and Cotton Balls

These three together make a great combination of cleaning off pretty much any foreign contaminants on your cartridges. Just don’t get too much rubbing alcohol on your Q-tip as it can take the color off your labels. I suggest using a test section so you don’t end up ruining a perfectly nice label like I did with this extra Super Mario 64 cartridge. I feel so foolish for doing this but hopefully you can learn from my mistake.

Poorly Cleaned N64 Cartridge

Goo Gone

This product is great for removing those pesky Gamestop labels that won’t come off your case. Remove the insert first, spray the case, and use your cotton balls to remove that excess glue. You can typically find this is most hardware stores.

Axe Body Spray – Yes Really

This is an odd cleaning supply I used to use in college since they gave away a lot of samples. Spray a little on any permanent market and it will magically go away. I wouldn’t use this on a label as I’m sure it would take the color right off. Don’t want to risk damage to your cartridges? Prank your college floor by making “Axe Bombs.” Just to be clear it’s NOT an explosive, just pop the top, tape the sprayer so it starts releasing that terrible teenage cologne, and toss it into an unsuspecting person’s room as you hold the door shut. Just make sure the person doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions because this stuff sticks around.

Compressed Air

Great for removing dust from your PC but this also works when you’re cleaning out consoles. Not much more to say that it’s great for removing dust bunnies.

Toothpicks and X-acto Knife

Box Cutter or X-ACTO Knives

This is great to remove any metal security tags located inside the case of your game. I used to use my finger nails to remove them until one time the metal security bar separated from the plastic and went under my finger nail a good quarter inch. That was a very pleasant experience that I don’t recommend to anyone.


You may not eat while you play games but your controllers are filthy. Dead skin cells build up in the crevice of your controller. Toothpicks are great way to get all that gunk out without damaging your controllers. Just make sure to lay a tissue down when you do it. You’ll be surprised how much is caked in there if you haven’t cleaned your controllers in a while. Once you do it once you’ll be amazed at how filthy you are even if you take regular showers.

With all of these tools you should get through even the most difficult gaming stains. Have a product or tip in your arsenal of cleaning supplies that I didn’t list? I’d love to hear about it and I’ll be able to add it to the list.

Do you have any game cleaning tips that work for you? I want to hear your tips. Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you like what you’ve read, you can help support Joystick Journey by donating via Ko-fi. Just click the button below. Thank you, I greatly appreciate your support!