A free alternative to professional VCR head-cleaning!
When a VCR starts acting up, it’s usually caused by dirt on the video head. The “dirt” causes snow and streaks on your screen. That “dirt” is really tiny metallic particles from the magnetic coating on videotapes that builds up on the sensing heads and interferes with getting a clear picture.
Instead of taking the VCR in for professional servicing, unplug everything, then lift the long narrow access door where you put your tapes in, and you will see a shiny silver drum about 3 inches in diameter. If you can reach it easily, clean it gently with a cotton swab dipped in video head cleaner or isopropyl rubbing alcohol. If it is too far in, try taping the swab to a pencil or straw for a longer reach. Or remove the outer cover for better access. Once you’re done, the snow will be gone and you will have saved about $20.