How to Stop Squeaky Cassettes

Written by james clark
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How to Stop Squeaky Cassettes
Try baking a squealing cassette before it self-destructs in your tape deck. (tape out of cassette image by timur1970 from

Cassette tape squealing during playback is often caused either by dirt on the tape deck's moving parts or a separation of the adhesive that holds the tape elements together inside the cassette. The former can be fixed with rubbing alcohol, while curing the latter problem is more involved. If that hideous squeal comes from the cassette itself, baking the entire cassette at a low temperature in the oven can reseal the adhesive and put a stop to that nerve-grating sound.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tape deck
  • Metal baking tray
  • Aluminium foil
  • Oven

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  1. 1

    Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and clean the metal tape heads inside the cassette deck at the bottom of the compartment. Rub the rubber rollers and all other visible moving parts with the moistened cotton swab to remove dirt and dust. Wait 10 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate.

  2. 2

    Rewind the cassette tapes to the start position.

  3. 3

    Turn on the oven and preheat to 54.4 degrees Celsius.

  4. 4

    Layer a metal baking tray with aluminium foil, dull side facing upward. Arrange the cassette tapes flat on the baking tray and them place in the preheated oven.

  5. 5

    Bake the tapes for six hours.

  6. 6

    Remove the tapes from the oven and allow to cool completely, at least one hour, before attempting to play.

Tips and warnings

  • Make a backup copy of the repaired tape in case the adhesive fails again.

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