How to Clean Camcorder Heads? Best Practices

How to Clean Camcorder HeadsThe plus point of a camcorder is that you can transfer all the files stored in it to your PC. The troubling part is that you have to clean your camcorder at a regular basis. Otherwise, it will not remain in good working condition anymore.

Usually, the easy way to clean the camcorder head is by using a cleaning tape.

But not everyone gets a cleaning tape available in their home. What to do then? There is a solution to that as well.

Besides using a cleaning tape, there are some alternative ways to clean your camcorder head that will give out better results.

But first, let’s go through the items that we need to clean your camcorder head.

Things needed to clean camcorder head:

  1. Compressed Air Duster
  2. Tape Head Cleaner
  3. Cotton Swabs (Double Headed)
  4. Non-Slip Cleaning Fluid
  5. Chamois Leathered Cloth
  6. Freon TF Head Cleaner

Not so much items are required to do that. Whether you use a cleaning tape or the materials mentioned above, the result will be the same.

Now, let us move on to the steps for cleaning the camcorder head. Let’s begin.

Steps to clean camcorder head:

Now that we are here, let’s get started with steps to keep the camcorder in good working condition.

Step-1: Open the tape compartment of the camcorder

The first and most important step to start the cleaning is to carefully open up the tape compartment of the camcorder. After opening the compartment, see to it that it does not contain any dirt or debris. If it contains any kind of dirt then clean it properly with any cleaning cloth

Step-2: Take out tape ends in the compartment

Sometimes it is possible that some tape ends are stuck in the camcorder tape compartment. It happens when the camcorder is left unused for a long time. If you see tape ends stuck in the compartment, and then carefully take it out. Otherwise, your camcorder might malfunction even after cleaning it.

Step-3: Spray the compartment with compressed cleaner

After you have cleaned the compartment of its debris, spray some compressed air duster on the tape compartment. Also spray the duster on other components of the compartment as well. But first, make sure that you locate all the respective components. It will help you to clean them with correct procedures accordingly.

Step-3: Clean the capstan

Capstan is a component inside the tape compartment in the camcorder. Capstan rotates the pin that regulates the tape speed. This is the most important component of the tape compartment. To clean the capstan, wet a double-headed cotton swab with the head cleaner liquid. Then wipe the capstan with the swab. After you have cleaned the capstan, insert a tape and play it. It will expose capstan every time while rotating and help you wipe it clean.

Step-4: Clean the pinch roller

The wheel inside the tape compartment is called the pinch roller. This time wet another cotton swab with the non-slip cleaning fluid. The pinch roller is made of rubber so you will have to be cautious while cleaning the roller. Lightly rub the swab against the pinch roller. While you are cleaning the roller, make sure to spin the roller to expose the dirt. It will help in cleaning all the dirt.

Step-5: Clean the roller guides

The roller guides inside the compartment pull the tape against the capstan. You will have to clean this component carefully and maintain its shine. For that wet a cotton swab with the head cleaner. Wipe the roller guides with the swab until the guides look shiny. This will also make the guides look like a newly bought component.

Step-6: Clean the drum head properly

The drum inside the tape compartment rotates when the tape is pulled against it.

Now soak the chamois cloth with the head cleaner. Then wipe the cloth across the drum head. Now the tricky part is that you will have to use your finger to rotate the drum clockwise slowly. Don’t be in a rush. And remember, neither wipe the cloth against the drums roughly nor press the cloth too hard. Keep cleaning all parts of the drums. If the cloth becomes dirty, then wipe with the other end of the cloth.

Step-7: Check if the camcorder is working

After you are done with all the cleaning processes, place the components back to their location. Insert a tape and check if your sporting camcorder is working properly.


It was not so hard, was it? Problem with a cleaning tape is you will never be sure if all the dirt is clean or not. With these steps, you can carefully clean all the dirt from every nook and corner without any confusion. Hope these steps will help you. Happy Shooting!