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How to Clean a Cassette Player

Cassette players may be outdated, but if you've still got tapes, you're going to want to keep them in good condition.


  • Step 1: Open the player Open the door to your cassette player by pressing the eject button.
  • TIP: These tips apply to freestanding players. To clean a car cassette player, you'll need to buy a specialized kit.
  • Step 2: Dip the tip of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol.
  • Step 3: Clean the tape head Clean the metal tape head with the tip of the cotton swab, rubbing it both horizontally and vertically.
  • TIP: On some tape decks, you can extend the head to make it easier to clean by pressing the "Play" button.
  • Step 4: Repeat Keep cleaning the head with new alcohol-dipped swabs until a fresh one comes away clean.
  • Step 5: Clean guides and pins Clean all the tape guides, rollers and plastic and metal pins the same way you cleaned the tape head.
  • Step 6: Wipe the reels Wipe the reels with a rubbing-alcohol soaked cotton swab. This time, a black residue on the swab is acceptable. Now pop in your favorite mixtape.
  • FACT: In 1963, the manufacturer of the first tape recorder let others reproduce the technology royalty-free, making cassettes the global standard in audio recording.

You Will Need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol)

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