Cassette players may be outdated, but if you still have tapes, especially ones you love, you’re going to want to keep them in good and playable condition. All you will need are cotton swabs or Q Tips and rubbing alcohol.
Step 1: Open the cassette player door / doors by pressing the Eject button. The device does not have to be turned off but is recommended.
Step 2: Grab one of your Q Tips and dip it into the rubbing alcohol for one second.
Step 3: Clean the metal tape head behind the cassette door with the swab, usually located in the center where the bottom of the tape will touch. Rub the swab both horizontally and vertically. On some tape decks, you can extend the head to make it easier for cleaning by pressing the ‘Play’ button.
Step 4: Keep cleaning the head with fresh new alcohol dipped cotton swabs, until dirt no longer accumulates on the swab.
Step 5: Clean all the tape guides, and plastic/metal pins, and rollers, with the same process used for the tape head.
Step 6: Wipe the reels with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab. This time, it’s perfectly acceptable to see a black residue on the cotton swab. Now pop in your favorite tape and hit play!