How to Make a Video Head Cleaner

Updated April 17, 2017

Keeping your VCR's heads cleaned and free from debris is essential for having the best picture possible, as well as for prolonging the life of the player's internal components. Instead of going out and buying head cleaner fluid from a local electronics store, you can use isopropyl alcohol you have around the house, or buy it from a grocery store or pharmacy. Once you know how to properly make your own video head cleaning tools, you can ensure the life of your VCR for many more years to come.

Get a bottle of isopropyl alcohol from your medicine cabinet or purchase one from a grocery store or pharmacy close by, then pour some into a small container.

Purchase chamois cleaning swabs, or find some from around your house. Using ordinary cotton swabs is not ideal, for they may leave behind lint that can become caught up inside the mechanical devices of the VCR.

Fold a few paper towels into small squares so that they can be used to wipe off the heads and excess isopropyl alcohol from the tape heads after they are cleaned. Be sure to use paper towels that are very durable, so that they do not disintegrate inside the machine when used.

Dip the chamois cleaning swabs into the small container containing the isoproyl alcohol, then dab the paper towels into the container as well. You will now have a homemade head cleaning solution to use when you open up the VCR to gain access to its tape heads.


A clean make-up brush can be used for loosening the dust and dirt on and around the tape heads before wiping with paper towels and cleaning swabs.


Opening your VCR to clean their heads yourself may void the equipment's warranty.

Things You'll Need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Small container
  • Paper towels
  • Chamois cleaning cloth or swabs
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.