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How to Maintain Arcade Cabinets

Updated: Jan 8

Arcade game with with text that says, "How To Maintain Arcade Cabinets."

What could be more fun than having your own arcade cabinets at home? You can play anytime you want and enjoy the nostalgia of your favorite games. But owning these iconic pieces also comes with some responsibility — regular cleaning and maintenance are required to keep your pieces operating and looking as intended. With the right tips, you can keep your family's favorite pastimes in the best condition possible.

Learn more about how to clean arcade cabinets and maintain arcade games at home below.

What Not to Do to Your Arcade Games

When discussing how to maintain arcade cabinets, perhaps it's best to start with what you should avoid doing to keep your games running smoothly and in great shape for years to come. Understanding what not to do can help you avoid accidental damage. If you want to keep your games safe, here's what not to do to your arcade cabinet:

  • Place the game in direct sunlight: Protect your investment by never situating it in front of a window or anywhere it may be in direct sunlight. The sun can damage the finish and colors of your game cabinet, causing them to fade.

  • Keep the game in high humidity: Moist conditions can quickly ruin a quality game cabinet. Humidity can lead to moisture buildup inside your unit, causing mold and deterioration. Don't store your game cabinet where humidity is a problem, or invest in a dehumidifier to keep your cabinet in better condition.

  • Let maintenance go too long: Regular maintenance is something you don't want to put off. Neglecting cleaning and maintenance tasks can shorten the life span of your game cabinet and lead to more costly repairs down the road.

  • Leave the machine plugged in during maintenance: When you're cleaning or repairing your gaming machine, you should always unplug it before you begin. Attempting to perform maintenance tasks while the system is still plugged in can cause damage to the machine and be a personal safety hazard.

  • Clean with the wrong materials: Always use the proper cleaning supplies and maintenance tools. Check your user manual for tips on what you should use for regular cleanings and maintenance tasks. Neglecting to follow these directions can lead to damage to your machine.

Arcade Cabinet Maintenance Tips

With your arcade game cabinets, a little regular preventative maintenance can go a long way. A great place to start is with the operating manual for your machine. Here, you'll find detailed information on the specific recommendations for the repair and maintenance of your arcade cabinet. Each type of game cabinet or table may be different and have unique recommendations for maintenance, so it's best to know what your unique gaming piece needs.

Follow these maintenance tips to keep your machine in top condition:

  • Keep the exterior clean: Regular cleaning can keep your game cabinet in tip-top shape. Use a gentle all-purpose cleaner and a soft microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior of your game cabinet. Don't use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents unless your manufacturer specifically recommends them. Even paper towels may cause scratching if your machine has plexiglass components.

  • Clean the insides: Not all game tables and cabinets have an accessible interior, but if yours does, you'll want to know how to keep this clean, too. If your game has a removable panel, open this panel to get inside. Be very careful of any electronic components as you do so. Check for dust buildup on the inside of the machine, using a vacuum attachment if necessary to clean it out.

  • Check game components: All game tables and cabinets can benefit from a regular checkup of all their various parts. Carefully inspect both the exterior and interior areas for any loose parts. Even a loose screw can make a game uneven and throw off the calibration. Play a round and ensure everything is working correctly. If anything seems off during your inspection, take a closer look at the problem to see if it's a simple fix or if it may require professional help.

These tasks should be done every few months to ensure your game is running smoothly. This can also prevent the need for costly repairs later.

Repairs for Your Arcade Game Cabinet

Whether your game cabinet is brand new or antique, it may need some repairs at some point. If you have a particularly older unit, it may be more difficult to find the exact parts you need for repairs, and you may need to find new ways of repairing your game cabinet and getting by with what's available. Sometimes, modifications are necessary for older units.

Even if your gaming unit is newer, certain repairs can get technical and may require some expert advice or help. Some arcade game maintenance is simply better left to a professional. However, there are many minor repairs you may be able to do yourself. For example, you may want to invest in a multimeter to measure current, voltage and resistance.

Be sure to do your research before diving into any repair project. Many game cabinets and tables have specific maintenance needs and may have unique instructions for repairs. So, whether it's a broken air hockey table that needs fixing, a pool table in need of maintenance or something else, read up on the basics before you start.

If you're ever unsure about repairing your own arcade game or would just like the peace of mind that comes with having an expert in charge, seek out professional repair help. This can ensure you get the work done correctly the first time.

Shop Arcade Games and Tables

If you're ready to add to your arcade game collection or purchase a replacement, check out the options at HB Home. Bring your home game room to the next level with quality arcade pieces from HB Home. With well-maintained, top-quality arcade games, your home will be the preferred hangout spot for all your friends and family.

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