How To Clean a Cassette Deck

A dirty cassette deck causes the poor sound quality and may destroy or "eat" your cassette tape. Proper storage of cassette tapes is also needed to avoid poor quality when playing your tapes. Cassette tapes are magnetic and must not be stored near any speaker magnets and power supply. This may build up a small charge on the head of your tapes and may demagnetize the tape and record heads. There are cassette cases that are cheap and can be bought in almost any audio or electronic stores. It is smart to store your tapes in proper places.

Demagnetizing record head and tapes head:

  1. Buy a deck demagnetizer. This can be bought from any audio and electronic stores.
  2. Make sure that your cassette deck is turned off. Plug in demagnetizer if it doesn't have a switch or turn it on if it does.
  3. Move the tip of the demagnetizer to the deck head slowly. Make sure that the tip of your demagnetizer does not touch the heads.
  4. Move the demagnetizer across the tape head for a few times, getting closer to the heads but not touching it.
  5. Gently pull the demagnetizer away from the head then unplug or turn it off when done demagnetizing.

Cleaning a cassette deck is easy and it will save you money rather than buying a new one to replace it. But be cautious in cleaning the deck. If you clean it in a wrong way, it may scratch the surface of the heads and may even cause an expensive replacement and repairs. There are many cassette head cleaners you can buy that usually include a normal cassette tape with a solvent. This tape is inserted in the deck like a normal cassette tape with a few drops of the solvent on the tape's strips. This can wear off the surface of the heads on the deck since it has sensitive electronic components.

Here is some necessary cleaning equipment you will use:

  • Cotton swabs or Q- tips. Cotton swabs from pharmacies are OK but swabs that can be purchased from electronic shops are recommended. This Q-tip's from the electronic shop are specifically for cleaning cassette deck heads. These have long handles; where in the cotton from the tip is tighter so that few or less cotton remains on the heads.
  • Alcohol Solution. You can either use a rubbing isopropyl alcohol or an alcohol solution that can be bought at an electronic shop. Alcohol from the electronic shop is recommended still because this is design to remove dirt and oxides without leaving a coat dry on the heads.

This is the simple procedure to clean the cassette deck:

  1. Carefully remove the cassette carriage cover to gain access to the heads. If you could access the heads without removing the carriage cover, then there is no need to remove the cover.
  2. Dip one end of the swab in alcohol then gently rub it on the heads, pinch rollers and guides, both plastic and metal guides. Swab the surfaces while rotating the Q-tip. If the q-tip gets dirty (dark oxide), use another clean one. Continue swabbing the surface until there you don't see any dirt remains.
  3. Now that you have swabbed the dirt of, let the deck dry. Leave it open for at least thirty minutes, this will allow the alcohol to evaporate.

You should regularly clean your cassette deck to avoid replacements and repairs. But you can take your deck to a repairman. The repairman usually has the proper equipment and the knowledge on how to clean your cassette deck.


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