What to do about games that smell

I can’t remember the last time I’ve walked into a store selling used video games that didn’t have a foul odor.  If you’ve ever been in a GameStop, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – that mix of body odor, cigarette smoke, and several other unidentifiable smells, which sits stagnant in the store with no ventilation.  If you trade games online or buy them on eBay, you get “treated” to a sample of whatever the other person’s house smells like.  No matter where you go, you just can’t buy a used game that doesn’t smell.

So what can you do about it?  In my experience, replacing the case gets rid of most of the smell 99% of the time.  The discs (or carts) and instructions are generally protected from the outside environment, so they usually don’t carry much of the smell.  That’s why I usually keep some spare new cases lying around.  If you don’t have empty new cases, sometimes it helps to leave the malodorous game in a well ventilated room.  This works best when the smell is relatively mild.  Otherwise, remove the game, instructions, and cover artwork from the case and soak it in warm, soapy water.  Make sure to use a neutral scented soap unless you want your games smelling like lemon or aloe vera.


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