Fix-it Tutorials

Welcome to Pixel Pencil's Fix-it Tutorials! Learn how to fix your phone, clean up your old video games, or make an evil robot army from the detailed text and video tutorials. Thanks for visiting!

Tutorial Map:

Basic Electronics Fix-it Guides
. How to Clean and Restore a Scratched Disc
. How to Clean, Maintain, and Make Your Apple Device Run Faster

Video Game Fix-it Guides
. How to Clean and Restore Game Cartridges
. How to Clean-out, Fix, and Restore a Super Nintendo

Electronics Cleaning Tips Videos
. #1 Knowing Your Tools

My YouTube channel also has these same videos, click here to go to my channel!


Sources and suggestions:
How To Clean's Guide
BonniexnxClyde's Guide

Text Guide:
What you will need for the first part of this project is:
-70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
-Fine Cleaning Cloth

     Take the water and rubbing alcohol and mix them together to create a 50/50 solution. Next, dip your fine cleaning cloth into the solution. Don't make it dripping wet, a little will do just fine. Now, pat the wet end of the cloth on the disc, get the solution all over the disc. Once it is all over the disc, take another end of the cloth and wipe perpendicularly, from the center-out, applying small pressure. Don't rub in little circle motions, as that may make it hard for the laser to read the disc in the machine it functions in. Once all of the solution is off the disc and you've buffed out all of the stubborn little spots, then you're done with part one!

What you will need for the second (and last) part of the project is:
-Brasso, Brass Polish, Metal Polish; either one will do
-Fine Cleaning Cloth
-A Sink

     Put a little of the metal polish on a dry part of the cleaning cloth and pat it on the disc, don't rub it on though. Once the disc is covered in polish, find another end of the cleaning cloth to use for taking off the polish. Wipe perpendicularly, center-out to get rid of the polish (the same way you did in part one). Once most of the polish is gone, move to a sink and run cold to room temperature (temperatures too hot may start to mess up the disc's readability) water over the disc for ten to twenty seconds to rid the disc of excess polish. Once completed, set your disc on a towel to air-dry. Fifteen to twenty minutes later your disc should play as if it was brand-new!

Sources an suggestions:'s Guide
iMore's Guide
Krusher007's Guide

Text Guide:
What you'll need to do these things are:
-Q-tip with the end cut down to about 1/4 of the original size
-Spray Electronics Cleaner or Compressed Air

     Take the cut down Q-tip and insert it into the headphone jack. Turn the Q-tip around while it's inside of the headphone jack just to make sure you're picking up all of that dirty stuff in there, then pull it out! If there is a gray-ish/black-ish coloring to the Q-tip when it is pull out of the jack, it is a good sign. Now, to flush out your USB dock, cover your speakers and jack, grab your can of either compressed air or very low moisture spray electronics cleaner, and spray into the USB dock. If dust flies up, out of the port, that's a signal that you've cleaned out your USB dock thoroughly.

To complete this part, you will need:
-Microfiber Cloth

    If you own a device that is 3GS or later, that is less than a year old, take your dry microfiber cloth and polish up the touch screen on the front of the device. Why? Because you device most likely retains your Oleophobic coating that is used to prevent fingerprints, adding water would help make the coating degrade faster. But if your device doesn't meet either requirement in the first sentence, add some water to the cloth, it makes a world's difference when trying to rub off those sticky smudges. To clean off the back of the device, grab your banana and cut it so part of it is a flat-ended piece of the banana. Next, rub the flat end of the banana onto the chrome backing of your device. Rub until you see an even coating of a slightly brown residue, wait a minute, then use your dampened microfiber to wipe all of the residue off. Once completed, your device should be a little shinier and a lot of the scuffs should be removed. Only a few of the light scratches will dissipate though.


     Go into settings on your device, remember to always have airplane mode on when you are not using Wifi. This makes your battery run a lot longer and increases your speed a bit. Next, double tap the home button and you will find icons of your apps appear. Hold one of the apps until a minus sign appears on all of them, then tap the minus sign. THIS DOES NOT DELETE THE APP. This deletes multitask function for it which allows it to run in the background. When you take items off your multitask bar, your device runs a little quicker. Now, I honestly don't know why this works, but go into settings. Tap general. Then, select spotlight search. Tap everything that is checked to make every keyword unchecked. This makes your device faster from an unexpected method. Finally, a way to make your device lightning speed fast is to do a good old-fashioned power down which is done by holding the power button until your device says slide to power off. Do so, then wait a minute and turn on the device; you won't believe how well this works. Everything should be running smoothly on your Apple product after completing these steps!


Sources and suggestions:'s Guide
JJ Games' Guide
Retroware Tv's Do's and Don'ts of Cartridge Cleaning

Text Guide:
These are the materials you'll need for this part of the guide:
-70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Optional: spray electrical contact cleaner

     Create a 50/50 solution of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water (diluting it a little can spread out the powerful alcohol to clean more sensitive surfaces and things). Dip one end of your Q-tip into the solution enough so that it's damp but not soaking wet. Next, proceed to insert the Q-tip in the end of the cartridge and place it up against the electrical contacts. Rub it back and forth for ten to twenty seconds. After pulling it out, if your cart was dirty, it should be a little darkened. Now, flip your Q-tip to a dry end and rub it back and forth up against the electrical contacts. This will dry off the contacts and pick up any loosened grime. Now,  if you have any spray electrical contact cleaner, spray it up against the contacts and connectors, just to maximize cleanliness. Now, wait about ten to fifteen minutes and your game cartridge should be ready to play!

The things you will require for the last part of the project is:
-Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
-Windex/glass Cleaner
-Razor blade/letter opener

     To rid your cart's surface of any permanent marker, yellowing, or dirt, spray windex or glass cleaner onto the offending spot. Wait a couple minutes, then wipe the spot down with your magic eraser, being careful to not wipe the paint or sticker off the cartridge; as it is a very strong cleaning utensil.

     To take off unwanted stickers or labels, spray windex or glass cleaner on the sticker. While the sticker is damp, use your razor blade or letter opener to peel off the corners of the sticker first, then the whole thing. Now, apply some Googone to the residue or wipe the residue down with the magic eraser, either way will get the job done.

Great! Now your game looks all brand-new and mint!

part 1:
Before the text tutorial begins, I'd like to say that this tutorial is VERY VISUAL. So the text tutorial really won't cover the exact same ground as the video and I would recommend watching it for clarification. Also, the suggestions and sources will be located below all of the parts of this video mini-series.

Text Guide:
What you'll need for the first two parts of the video series is:
-70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
-Spray Electronics Cleaner
-Glass Cleaner
-Paper Towels or a Magic Eraser
-A Flat Head Screwdriver
-Plastic Card
-Old Shirt or thin rag
-4.5 Security Bit (Find online, like Amazon or Ebay)
-Phillip's Head Screwdriver

     To start off, clean the patina of the Super Nintendo using your glass cleaner and cleaning cloth or paper towel. Spray the glass cleaner onto the offending dirty spots and buff the glass cleaner off using your cleaning cloth or paper towel. To get those controller ports and AV ports clean, take your spray electronics cleaner and briefly spray into them. Don't get the spray on yourself, as few may have allergic reactions.

     To get inside for further operations, undo the 6 security bit screws on the bottom of the console. When the top half of the SNES is ready to pop off, gently pull the top end over the front end. Now you have your console open! Now, to take out the first obstacle in the way, which is the eject button, dislodge the tiny spring from the front-left part of the eject button from its little notch. Then you must lift up the button from the front-right side and pull the bar all the way out. Now, collect all of the eject button's parts and you've taken the button out.

     Time to traverse the next obstacle, which is the power switch. Unscrew the 2 Philip's head screws that anchor down the power switch and unlatch the switch from the 2 pegs. Now, to pull out the power button, you will find that the button is still attached by 2 wires leading into a little white insert. Take the black part of the insert with your fingers or with pliers and pull the black part out. Now that the power button is out, we'll move on to the controller ports. Take the papery white thing in the front interior of the console, and edge it out of its black insert. DO NOT BREAK THIS! But once you have this out the whole port comes out, so just be diligent.

part 2:

     Continuing, unscrew the 6 Philip's head screws that attach the heat plate over the mother board(they shouldn't be too hard to find). Next, while your SNES is open, you might as well take your spray electronics cleaner and clean up the mother board with it by spraying down the spots that were obscured by the heat plate. 

     Now it's time to clean up and fix the thing we've been trying to get to the whole time; the connector pins. These are the contacts that read your game when you insert it into the Super Nintendo. When they're cleaned up and ready to go, your games will read much better and you will see practically no blank screens when you are trying to load a game. Now, you may have not realized this, but when you unscrewed all of the heat plate's screws, you unscrewed the two screws that hold in the connector pins. So yes, you may pull them off, no strings attached besides don't break the connector pins. 

     Currently, you have the connector pins pulled off the console, and under the connector pins are the insert the connector pins sit atop. You can spray those out with the spray electronics cleaner for maximum cleanliness or if there's a particular smudge you want to rid the insert of, just dampen a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and buff it off. Getting back to the connector pins, it's time to clean them! There are 2 methods to clean out the pins; the Flat head screwdriver method and the credit card method.

     I will describe the flat head screwdriver method first. Take a thin part of an old shirt or rag and place the head of screwdriver into it .  Now, leaving the head of the screwdriver in the shirt or rag, dip the head in your Isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Now, carefully slide the flat head screwdriver  into the connector pins from the top, make sure you're not pushing the pins apart, then pull the screwdriver out; rinse and repeat until you see black or gray stuff on the part of the shirt you are using, as that's a good sign. Now my personal favorite, the credit card method. Take a plastic card or an old trading card and put the shorter edge into a part of a shirt or cloth, just as you did in the Flat head screwdriver method. Now, dip the covered end of card in the Isopropyl rubbing alcohol(yet again, this is mostly like the flat head method) and insert the card into the pin connectors. Pull it out, rinse and repeat. The only difference in this method is using the card; since it's smaller you are able to polish up the pins more with less of a chance to push the pins apart. 

     To finish the job, douse the pin connectors in your spray electronics cleaner and it will be about to time reassemble(ONLY BEGIN REASSEMBLING WHEN ALL PARTS OF THE CONSOLE ARE DRY)! The reassemble should be a pinch, now that you know the ins and outs. Beginning the reassemble, place the pin connectors back onto their insert, make sure they're on the correct way and click into place! Place the heat plate back over the mother board and use the 6 Philip's head screws you had taken out of it earlier to anchor it in place. Next, place the controller jack onto its correct location on the front the console and slide the papery white thing back into the black insert. To position the power button back into the console, click the black end of the wires into the white insert and place the switch on the 2 little pegs. Screw in the 2 Philip's head screws and all of the electric hardware is back in the system. 

     The trickiest thing to put back in the old Super Nintendo is the eject button. Place the gray plastic button into the console, the 2 arms that spread out from the button should have the pin connectors between them. Push the metal rod through the right side of the console, half-way in. Place the spring into its little notch and tiny hole. While you have it held like this, push the metal rod all the way through. If you manage to do this and get the spring-action from the eject button, you've completed the hardest part. 

     Now take the top half of the SNES and place it on top of the opened console, making sure to line up the power switch with the corresponding switch below it. Just take the security bit screws, screw them in and you have cleaned out your Super Nintendo!


FYI: This video is not part of the console cleaning video, this video is to educate on how to clean the console's controllers. 

     To clean the controllers, you need the following items:
-Glass Cleaner
-Spray Electronics Cleaner
-Paper Towels/Cleaning Cloth
-Jeweler's Philip's Head Screwdriver (any tiny size will do)
-Q-tip (really good to clean out small sticky spots on your controller's buttons)
-Electrical Contact Paint

     Take out the 5 Philip's head screws on the back of your Super Nintendo controller with the tiny jeweler screwdriver. Next, open the controller by pulling the 2 sides apart very carefully(try to not let anything slip out onto the floor). Now separate the mainly plastic part from the part with the circuit board and cord. 

     Now, get to the circuit board half and lift the cord and circuit board out of their resting place. The first cleaning procedure will be to clean the circuit board with your spray electronics cleaner. Spray on the green side, not the brown side! Doing this should improve how often your buttons work on the controller. To finish up cleaning this part, spray the pins that connect the controller to the console at the end of the cord with your spray electronics cleaner. Moving on to the buttons and the plastics now!

     Pick up the mainly plastic part of the controller that serves as the controller's bottom half. Take your cleaning cloth or paper towel and apply glass cleaner to it. Then scrub down the plastic surface of the controller.

    To clean the buttons, do as it says above! Scrub them down with glass cleaner so the sides are unhindered with stickiness, this will ensure your buttons will not stay stuck down when you press them in. To clean the receivers, if the plastic(non-black) parts are dirty, you can wipe that grime off with glass cleaner. To improve connections between the buttons and the circuit board, you may slather on a tiny bit of electrical contact paint on the black spots. 
     Now that everything is all hunky-dory, it's time to put this thing back together. Place the start and select buttons back into their place in the middle of the controller, line it up on the 2 pegs! Place all of the hard plastic buttons back into place, including the D-pad. Next, insert the button receivers(with the black spots facing up) into the controller onto their little pegs. Next, place the L and R buttons back into the mainly plastic part of the controller, make sure the tiny metal rods are in place to hold up the buttons! Now place the dried circuit board on top of the buttons and line up the controller's cord. Lastly, put the 2 little rubber circles with pegs on them back into the shoulder areas of the controller(if they fell out before) and it will be time to combine the 2 halves of the controller.

     I have found that it is most easy to leave the half with buttons on the table and hold the mainly plastic half together while you join the 2 halves. If you find trouble with this, just consult the video above! But now you should be almost done with controller, you should use your tiny screw driver and screw the 5 screws back in. Now you're good to go and all set with your controller!

Sources and Suggestions for this mini-series:
 cleaning the console
Pwned Clips' awesome video on How to Clean a Super Nintendo
SNES Hub's Guide
 cleaning the controllers
Famicomplex's Guide
Nintendo Repair Shop's Guide

These videos are not guides, but handy tip-giving videos. So there are no text tutorials, just the videos :)


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