How to Repair a CD

If your CD is skipping songs or sometimes refuses to play, it is probably due to some dirt or scratches on the surface. If that is the case, you can try the following to try and repair a CD.

Required Tools and Materials

Toothpaste or Brasso metal polisher
Clean, soft, lint-free cloth
Rubbing alcohol or water
Gloves (for holding the CD)

How to Remove Dirt on CDs

Wipe the disc with a lint free cloth. Wipe from the center and move the cloth outwards. If the dirt sticks, clean the CD under running water. Make sure the water is warm. You can take out the dirt using your fingers. Don’t apply too much pressure because it might scratch or break the disc.

If it’s still dirty, rinse the disc with soapy water or water mixed with mild detergent. Let air dry the disc; do not wipe it with a cloth. Try playing the disc when it is fully dried.

How to Repair a CD with Scratches

Step 1

Get some white toothpaste (not gel, no additives), Brasso or fine grit polishing compound.

Step 2

Apply a small amount of the substance on a clean piece of clothing. Wipe the cloth on the disc. Begin at the center and wipe onto the CD edges. Repeat this a dozen times. Do not wipe in a circular manner.

If you can see the CD scratches, focus your wiping efforts on that part. If necessary, add more toothpaste or Brasso. Do not put too much pressure on the CD.

Step 3

If you applied toothpaste, wash the disc with warm water. Give it time to dry. If you applied Brasso, remove the excess amount with a clean cloth. Don’t wash it; just let it dry. After drying, wipe it again with a cloth.

How to Wax CDs

Step 1

Put natural shoe polish, Vaseline or liquid car wax on the disc. Whichever you apply, put only a thin layer. Use a lint free cloth to take away the extra wax.

Step 2

Wipe off the wax according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Light Bulb Technique

Put the disc under a 60W incandescent filament bulb. Put the disc close to the lamp with the recording side facing up. Hold the disc 4 inches from the lamp for twenty seconds. Spin it slowly. Put it in the CD drive while it’s still hot and play it.

When studying how to repair a CD, keep the following in mind: as soon as you get the scratched CD to play, burn its contents to another CD. It’s the best way to solve the problem.

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