CD Cleaning and Care: How to Put Every Disc on a Spin

CD Cleaning and Care: How to Put Every Disc on a Spin post thumbnail image

A lovely CD is on edge? Then what about a little cleaning process? If you do it right, you usually fix the problem. Dirt on the disc can prevent the laser from properly reading the stored data. Dust and dirt are usually easy to remove if you follow a few rules. Scratching is more difficult, but not impossible. What applies to CDs also applies to other optical data carriers such as DVDs and Blu-rays.

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Clean the CD, don’t scratch it! 5 Tips

Your CD player or CD receiver no longer wants to play CDs? Then see if our 5 tips will help you get it working again. After all, physical sound carriers like CDs are far from obsolete. You can also solve DVD problems with our tips.

1. There is nothing softer than the wind

You don’t need to bring the big guns to dust. just blow it away. However, breathing the air is not the ideal solution, as the moisture in it can cause particles to stick to the surface instead of flying off. Better use compressed air spray, which you can also use to blow out PC cases and keyboards.

2. Use the Right Wipes

If you rub the CD on the trouser leg of a pair of jeans for cleaning, the protective layer of the data carrier provides no benefit to the user. You can clean the CD with a clean conscience with the glasses cleaning cloth. If you want to remove a film of lubricant from the surface of the CD, you should also pre-wet the wipe. CD/DVD cleaning kits are also available in stores, which usually contain a microfiber cloth and a cleaning spray. A cleaning disc for the CD player’s drive is also often included. A fine brush on the underside of the disc cleans the lens optics of the scanning laser during playback.

3. No Circular Movement – Clean CD

When cleaning a CD, you should not wipe the disc in the read direction. In concrete terms, this means: Do not wipe in a circular motion with a round disc. It is better to clean in vertical or straight lines from inside to outside. Background: Scratches, which can be caused by this, tend to be heavier on the read side, as the drive’s error correction can compensate for the less well.

4. Beware of Chemicals

Water mixed with a little bit of washing up liquid often helps against grease stains or similar stains. On the other hand, you should keep your hands away from chemicals containing aggressive cleaning agents and solvents. They can attack the protective layer and the data groove. After cleaning, you should gently rub the disc with a microfiber cloth. Water and detergent deposits can also interfere with playback. You can also use distilled water to prevent limescale deposits.

5. The Right Way to Deal with Scratches

Scratches on the bottom of the CD can deflect or refract the laser beam in such a way that playback errors occur. The trick to saving the CD is to reduce the height difference between the small groove and the intact surface by carefully sanding it down. Special CD repair sets with polishing paste serve this purpose. You may have heard of a home remedy that uses the same principle: It attempts to reduce the refraction of light by rubbing toothpaste over a surface. Scratch removal can work like this. However, there is no guarantee of success. If that doesn’t work, you can also use it to finalize the disc. Therefore, it should always be the final solution. You should also take care of the top of the disc. If there are deep scratches, the laser beam may not be reflected properly. If you put the disc in the case after each use, cleaning may not be needed.

Ideally, you should also try to insert the CD into another drive. Where one drive fails, the other may work. In this case, you should transfer CD songs to PC.

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Impaq 8000 in close-up

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Conclusion: Pay attention to material, liquid and technique when cleaning

  • Dust can be blown away – best with a compressed air spray.
  • Lint-free microfiber cloths are suitable for dry and wet cleaning of CDs.
  • Do not pat the cloth over the CD in circular motions, but stroke in straight lines from inside to out.
  • Scratches that cause reading errors can often be corrected by polishing.
  • However, the polishing method does not give any guarantee of success.

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