How to Clean VCR Heads
If you rent videotapes, there's a chance you'll get one that's been around the block a few too many times and leaves an oxide mess on your VCR's tape heads. The result is a snowy picture or--if your VCR has a video-mute feature--a plain blue screen, which is less interesting than at least half the shows on TV.
Things You'll Need
- Head-cleaning Tape
- New Blank Videotape
Play a new blank tape in your VCR. Most of the time this works to clean the heads and keep them from flaking additional oxide.
After an hour, remove the clean tape and try the VCR.
If the heads still aren't clean, try using a special head-cleaning tape (available at electronics stores). Buy one that uses a cleaning fluid; dry cleansers are more likely to damage the VCR heads.
To keep your heads clean longer, check rental tapes for obvious signs of damage before putting them in your VCR, and fast-forward past the first few minutes of any rental tape, which is where damage is most likely to occur.
Tips & Warnings
- Fast-forward and rewind your own tapes every two years to prevent sticking and potential flaking of oxide.