Best way to clean heads of VCR?


Novice Member
Hi - I’ve recently bought a used Panasonic VCR. I want to clean the heads and have read that:

a) cleaning with cotto buds and cleaning fluid is a bad idea

b) the cleaning cassettes available on Amazon for approx £10 are low quality, may well not work at all and might even get stuck in the VCR

Has anyone got any advice on this?



Distinguished Member
+ ++ No replies yet....Have you resolved this issue...?
IMHO you need to know "why" you need to clean the heads... If existing tapes play with "noise" that could be the tape, although more likely the player . . . but not specifically having dirty heads.... There could be a mechanical issue.

"Tape cleaner" should be the very last to try.... when all else has failed.

PS Check your "Test-tape" to make sure it's a clean recording.... before blaming this new VCR..
The clear "Start2 of a VCR cassette is said to have cleaning properties.... but remember a VCR tape doesn't touch the spinning heads - there is the tiniest gap of air in between.
Have you resolved this issue...?


Novice Member
Hi Harry

Thank for your post. The VCR is performing perfectly well as far. I only thought I should clean it because it's secondhand and ... well, I thought I should. But maybe if it ain't broke ...


Active Member
You can use clean white paper (out of a printer) with Switch cleaner fluid (or pure rubbing alcohol) cut the strips 12mm x 60mm and wet them with fluid (not too wet) remove the power from the unit. Take the case off the video recorder and locate the head drum (large silver disc with the tiny heads) Hold the damp strips on to the drum in the center covering the full width of the drum and heads, now rock the drum forwards and backwards gently with the infused paper gently rubbing over them as if a tape were doing the same thing, keep the paper strips still don't move them, spin the drum back/forth about 4 times with paper touching them, reverse paper and repeat, make sure the drum in now clean and dry before operating it. You should also clean the black roller (idler drive) as these also very dirty. DO NOT use cotton buds it will tangle into the tiny coils and destroy the heads.

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