How To Clean Cassette Player In Car

Cleaning a car cassette player is tricky and most people don’t know how to clean cassette player in car. So, if you are one of them then in this article we will guide you through a simple step-by-step to help you properly clean the tape path including heads, capstan, and pinch roller.

Tape cassette players have been in existence for well over 50 years now. According to an article on Wikipedia, The first cassette player that was designed for use in car dashboards was introduced in 1968 and by the late 1970s, they were everywhere.

Almost all tapes in a cassette shed oxide that builds upon the tape heads and guides. If ignored, over time it just affects the sound quality of the tapes and progressively makes the sound muddier. It will not only affect the overall audio but also affect how the cassette player handles the tape.

Therefore, car cassette players may be old and outdated, but if you have still got cassette tapes then you should keep them in good condition, shouldn’t you? 

So, without further talk, let’s get started.

Car cassette player’s parts are totally internal and it is quite impossible to clean it physically without taking the whole cassette player apart and voiding the warranty.

Therefore, to clean the cassette player properly you will need to buy a specialized kit. Which is a head cleaning tape. It is the best way to clean a car cassette player because the cassette cleaning tape comes in cassette form that can simply be inserted into the player to clean those parts that are hard to see and touch.

The cassette cleaning tape can be a very good solution for the demagnetizing and cleaning head, capstan, and pinch rollers. You can use it until the tape head cleaning fluid is finished (comes with the cleaning tape).

Follow the steps below to properly clean your car’s cassette player with the tape –

STEP 1: Get a cassette Cleaning Tape

Cassette cleaning tapes are very rare and not always available in the physical stores. Therefore, if you haven’t bought a cassette cleaning tape then you can check these out –

STEP 2: Add fluid to the tape

how to clean cassette player in car

Read the manufacturer’s instructions properly and add the included cleaning fluid to cassette cleaning tape (2-3 drops). The hole where you need to add liquid will be marked on the tape by the manufacturer, don’t worry.

Warning: Adding excessive liquid to the tape may damage the tape deck.

STEP 3: Turn the key into the ignition

Now turn the key into the ignition so that the tape deck can receive power.

STEP 4: Insert the cleaning tape

Open the door to your cassette player by simply pressing the eject button and insert the head cleaning tape into the cassette player.

STEP 5: Play the cassette player

Now press the “PLAY” button on your car’s cassette player and let it play into your player until it stops. It normally takes 3 to 5 minutes to finish.

STEP 6: Test the player

Eject the tape and let the player dry for 5 to 6 minutes. Insert one of your own cassette tapes into the player and play it. If the sound quality improves and the muddiness goes away then you know that the cleaning tape has worked fine. Other than you can repeat steps 2,3,4 & 5 again.

Why your cassette player needs regular cleaning?

how to clean cassette player in car

Cassette players simply work by passing an oxide-coated plastic over a tiny metal-encased coil that turns the magnetic variations into an electrical signal which is later converted into the audio you hear. The oxide-coated plastic needs to be moved along at a significant speed in order for the audio to be enjoyable and heard perfectly.

As cassette players work by passing oxide-coated plastic, they shed oxide. If you ignore these oxide sheds then they will make the overall sound quality of your cassette player muddier. The oxide sheds not only affect the audio but also affect how the machine handles the tape. It can also damage tapes permanently if you don’t fix the problem fast.

Therefore, you need to clean your car’s cassette player regularly. It is not that tricky process to clean a cassette player with a head cleaning tape. If your cassette player is very old then we recommend you clean the player by taking it out.

Frequently Asked Questions :

Q1: What really is the cleaning fluid is and what does it do?

A: As we already discussed in the article, black projector screens have become popular in recent years. Therefore, it does not have more options available in the market. Also, they provide improved and sharp image contrast than other screens. These make black screens more expensive than others.

Q2: Can I use the cleaning tape for the microcassette player?

A: No, the cleaning tape does not clean microcassette players. This is only for full-size cassette players.

Q3: Can you suggest to me some best cassette head cleaning tape?


Most of the people, who have a car with a cassette player, don’t actually care about the player. Because they are outdated and rarely used. But if you still have tapes then you should always keep them in good condition.

As you are reading this article, you are surely not one of them.

You should clean the player on a daily basis as oxides can damage your player and tapes. Oxides present themselves as a brown residue on certain parts of the machine. Firstly they keep caking on reducing the highs in the audio and makes the audio muddier.

Hope you got all the information that you require on “How to clean cassette player in car?“. Thanks for being with us 🙂

Samuel Anali

Tech enthusiast, gamer, programmer, and reviewer, Samuel is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in technology. With an eye for detail, he loves nothing more than getting his hands on new gadgets and tearing it apart to see how it works. When he's not gaming or programming, you'll find him reading a good book.