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How to Clean Your Nintendo Switch Games Safely

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Keep your Nintendo Switch cartridges in great condition with these steps.


The Nintendo Switch uses a cartridge format for its games. This gives them a much longer lifespan when compared to game disks. When a game disk gets scratched or nicked, that data is permanently missing from the game and cannot be replaced.


While Nintendo’s cartridges are certainly hardier than game disks, they still need to be taken care of to work properly. This means that you need to clean and maintain them, just like you would with any other valuable items.


How Do I Know When I Need to Clean My Switch Games?

Since the Nintendo Switch is a portable system, you are more than likely going to be taking your Switch games out and about with you as well. This can lead to them getting dirty over time if you aren’t careful.

A great way to avoid this is by purchasing a case to carry your Switch and games in. Check out the best Nintendo Switch travel cases if you are in the market for one.

If your Nintendo Switch game cartridge gets dirty, your system won’t be able to read the data properly. You might notice the game freezing, drops in performance, or it might not even work at all. If your game cartridge is too dirty for your Switch to read, you might see a notification appear on your screen stating that the game card could not be read and to please remove and reinsert it.

But this doesn’t mean that your game is broken. You can easily clean your Nintendo Switch game cartridges and get them back in working order in no time.

How Do I Safely Clean a Nintendo Switch Game Cartridge?

Cleaning your Nintendo Switch game cartridges is easy, but care does need to be taken to ensure you are not risking any long-term damage to your game. To clean your Switch games safely, you will require:

  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • A Q-tip.
  • A dirty Nintendo Switch game cartridge.

Using a lower rubbing alcohol means it has more water present in the formula. This water can get trapped inside your game cartridge and damage it. Since a high percentage of rubbing alcohol evaporates very quickly, it is much safer to use on your game cartridges.

Once you have your supplies, all you need to do to clean your Nintendo Switch game cartridges safely is dip your Q-tip in a very small amount of rubbing alcohol and gently rub it on the contacts. These are the metal parts on the back of your game cartridge that your Switch uses to read the game data.

Once you have cleaned the dirt and debris off the contacts, rub them with the dry part of the Q-tip to remove any excess liquid. Then let the game sit for a couple of hours to make sure it has completely dried before playing.

Keep Your Switch Games in Perfect Condition by Keeping Them Clean

Dirt and debris on the contacts of your game cartridge mean your Nintendo Switch might not be able to read your game properly. But with just a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, you can get your dirty Nintendo Switch cartridges back in working condition in no time.



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