07-19-2012, 07:13 AM
Site Staff | Video
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Never use head cleaner tapes.
Those are only good at two things:
Also never use Q-tips (cotton swabs).
- Scratching/damaging the heads
- Moving the dirt around, not actually cleaning anything.
Use chamois swabs, or even more modern sensor swabs made for cameras.
About.com (now defunct site) made a decent step-by-step guide:
WARNING: Make sure you have all the proper screwdriver(s), chamois, cleaning solution, etc... before starting this process. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS.
- Eject any tape from the VCR and unplug it from wall current.
- Unplug any other cables from VCR (Cable, Antenna, Audio/Video Cables, etc..).
- Place VCR on flat surface, such as a table covered with newspaper or cloth to protect table surface.
- With the appropriate screwdriver, remove VCR cover carefully.
- You will see a shiny round drum--this is the Head Drum. Take an isopropyl alcohol-dipped chamois tipped cleaning stick and place it on the Head Drum with light pressure.
- Manually rotate Head Drum with your free hand (it spins freely), keeping chamois stick stationary, allowing fluid to clean the drum (Never move the chamois stick in the vertical direction-you may snap off Head protrusions on the drum).
- With fresh chamois tips and alcohol, now clean the Stationary audio head, capstans, rollers, and gears. Check for dust. Do not get excessive fluid on any parts.
- Clean Belts and Pulleys using fresh chamois tips, once again, do not use excessive fluid.
- Clean dust off Circuit Boards using
a mini-vacuum cleaner and/or compressed air (Use just enough force to remove the dust and dirt).
- Let machine site a few minutes after finishing above process.
- With the VCR still open, plug into wall and TV, turn on VCR and insert a recorded tape. (Do not touch any of the interior workings of the VCR or interior metal cabinet during this process).
- Press Play on VCR and confirm that everything is functioning correctly and picture and sound is restored.
- Repeat steps 1-10 if results are not satisfactory.
- Eject tape, Unplug VCR from wall, uplug all cables.
- Screw VCR cover back on and place back in original location with proper hookups.