Cleaning and preserving
Well my friends Iíve come to a point in which ,as the Microsoft Vista TV ad, I turn back and say WOW.
It has been a hell of a rush if you consider that in October 2006 I had no games in my hand, and now Iíve got hundreds of them the great majority of which boxed.
So I decided to reconsider ONE by ONE my entire collection.
Aside the mint never played games which donít need any particular attention, Iíve focused on restoring the used ones to a decent level of presentability.
First of all the boxes. Three are the major problems I've found with them , first the dirt and stains, second decide what to do with the various things attached on them ,like tape residue ,ads stickers or simply everything that wasnít there when it was manufactured, and lastly what to do with the tears or the detachments of the flaps of the box or the general wear of the main box itself.
As far as me my approach has been rather drastic in trying to take every sticker off obviously stopping where the cardbox couldnít hold the pressure of the traction of the tape or the sticker.One thing that helps a lot is blowing with a hairdryer hot air. There are ,especially in the Us,a lot of dedicated products in removing the glue, but I haven't had the opportunity to try them , so can't really say how they work.
As for the various tears, detached flaps or whatever, my attempt is always to stop the tear from propagating and so using the clear tape ON THE INSIDE of the box and putting on the outside a tiny bit of glue.I'm using the Pritt glue ,the one that you use everyday in your office as I found to work pretty good, without leaving traces that can't be removed.
For the dirt it all depends on the type of cardbox used,anyway always light scrubs with soft humid clothes. Iím now trying a more aggressive cleaner which is a little bit acid but this doesnít seem to have any bad effects on the printed box, taking away the dirt stains more efficently.
Second , the games. To clean them Iíve bought these two products on eBay : Meguiarís Mirror Glaze # 17 and # 10 .
Iíve bought them for cleaning the clear plastic parts of the game , but being a non abrasive system I discovered that are rather good even on the coloured casing of the games themselves.
You have to be sure to polish the entire case of the game otherways you will have some parts that may be more polished than the rest.
Do they take scratches off? Well ..no and yes. As they state they are effective with very very tiny hair like scratches but they can do nothing but polishing on bigger and heavier scratches.
One thing is important to keep in mind, they are solvents so you have to be careful with whatís printed on the game. they have NO effects on the white ink used on the clear plastic or generally on what is printed. They DO have effects on the black serigraphies on the main part of the game ,probably due to different inks and methods of printing .So be careful and always try on a spare game or if you donít have one on same not visible part of the game.
In this case too there are many dedicated products , again especially in the US like "Brasso" that as Rik Morgan says "does wonders for fixing slightly scratched or dirty display screens!"
As for all the stuff thatís inside the box ,paper instructions ,brochures ads ,stryrofoams inners or whatever , not much I think you could do.other than a mild cleaning, with a humid cloth.
An other MAJOR problem are the corroded battery terminals caused by the fact that people left the batteries in for years with the result of a leakeage of the acid in them.
Several things you can try about it , from a mechanical approach like sanding them down with a fine sandpaper, to chimical using Hydrogen Peroxide on the battery contacts or baking soda and water.If the contact is so weaked that it breaks off, well replace it with a similar one from an other spare game, and if the leakage has reached the circuitery board ...solong or as we say here in Italy..goodnight to the musicians!
As for everything in life , you have to learn from your mistakes , so try,try until you get a good and satisfing result.