Here are a few handy tips to clean your priceless collection of CDs and DVD discs.
But before you try any of these methods, remember that the disc media is very delicate and you may unintentionally damage the shiny reflective surface if you are not careful:
» If dust particles are sticking to the CD surface, use a piece of soft cloth to wipe off the dust. To hold the CD, insert a finger or thumb inside the center hole of the CD or handle it by the edges but never touch the shiny surface.
» If the DVD surface feels sticky or greasy, mix some baby shampoo in lukewarm water and use cotton or soft cloth to gently rub the CD surface with this solution. Make sure the CD is completely dry (no water drops) before putting it back in the jewel case.
» If there are fingerprint marks on the CD surface, dip a soft cloth in Isopropyl Alcohol/Ethanol/Methanol and gently wipe the surface. Never use a petroleum based solvent like Acetone as that will permanently damage the CD surface.
» When none of the above alcohol based products are available in the local market, use a bottle of Mineral water to clean the dirty CD surface. Normal tap water has higher concentration of salts that may leave white marks on the CD surface.
» Always wipe the disc surface in a non-radial back-and-forth motion (from the center hole to the outer edge). Don't follow the concentric circles while cleaning.
» There are few DVD polish products in the market that promise to repair the scratched surface of CDs and DVDs. I have never used them myself so cannot comment if they really work as advertised.
Final Advice: If you notice a scratch on the surface of a CD or DVD, I would suggest that you immediately make a copy of the disc as it is possible that one fine day, your DVD drive may suddenly refuse to read the disc.