There's four ways to supposedly clean a CD/DVD.
- Three are do-it-yourself (DIY), and two of those are horrible ideas.
- The other method is to use a professional cleaning product, which is a flawless method (almost always works).
DIY #1 - Soap and water:
This is a great method to attempt to clean a DVD. Go a gentle towel or old T-shirt -- nothing scratchy, no paper towels -- and get it damp with some soapy water. Not drippy wet, just very moist with only a tiny glob of kitchen dish soap. Slowly clean the disc, with small circular motions, while the disc lays flat on a table. You don't want to bend it. Then dry it with another towel/cloth, or the dry end of the one you just used.
DIY #2 - Toothpaste, Brasso, cleaning products, etc:
This is a horrible idea. (1) Toothpaste does nothing. In fact, toothpaste is filling a gap with opaque glop, on a polycarbonate surface that's meant to be transparent. Unless you have see-through toothpaste, never do this. (2) Brasso is an abrasive cleaner, like liquid sandpaper. Until you have the accuracy of Superman, you'll scratch the disc further. (3) Random cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals that break down the disc materials, even if the product states otherwise. The purity of these products are generally lousy.
DIY #3 - The store-bought disc cleaner (about $50 or less):
These are junk, and almost guaranteed to ruin the disc. The devices are uneven, and almost always further damage the media. Most users observe nasty swirls on their discs, after running it through one of these sham "disc doctors". ("Disc quacks" would be more accurate.)
This method re-surfaces the disc. A fraction of a millimeter of polycarbonate surface is removed, and then the surface is re-buffed/polished, using a very precise -- AND VERY PRICEY! -- disc cleaning machine. DiscChek
makes the Eco product line, which almost always repair damaged discs. If you price these out on Amazon.com
, you'll see that even the base line Eco Smart is $3300 new, and $1800 used. Yes, thousands of dollars for these machines, which are about the size of four loaves of bread. The cleaning supplies can also be a tad pricey, as you have to replace the pads and fluids in Eco gear.
We're able to repair discs for $20 for the first disc, and $10 for every additional disc. Return shipping is included in the price. Use the Contact Us
link on the menu, if you'd ever like to proceed with this service. There's no money to be made here for us, it's essentially reimbursement for supplies.