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Cleaning Optical Media


May 5, 2009 by admin

CDs or DVDs do not require routine cleaning. It is best to clean the disc only when it is absolutely necessary, specifically:

  • before storing, when surface contamination is visible
  • before recording, when surface contamination is visible
  • before playing, to prevent surface contamination from being “flung off” while the disc is spinning in the disc drive
  • when readability (playability) is impaired and surface contamina-tion is visible

In general, avoid using organic solvents. Harsher solvents (ac-etone, benzene) will dissolve the polycarbonate and damage the disc beyond repair. Mild solvents (isopropyl alcohol, methanol), however, may be used. These mild solvents evaporate quickly and will not disthe polycarbonate.

Other solutions that are not harmful are water-based lens clean-ers or water-based detergents (with mild soap) formulated for clean-ing CDs or DVDs.

The polycarbonate substrate is a relatively soft and transparent type of plastic. Each time a disc is wiped, rubbed, treated with some solution, or otherwise manipulated for cleaning, that substrate, and thus the disc itself, is at risk of scratching or contamination.

If the disc needs cleaning, remember these tips:

  • Use an air puffer to blow off dust.
  • Use a soft cotton cloth or chamois to wipe the disc.
  • Try cleaning with a dry cloth first, before using any cleaning solutions.
  • Do not wipe in a direction going around the disc.
  • Wipe from the center of the disc straight toward the outer edge.
  • Avoid using paper products, including lens paper, to wipe the disc.
  • Avoid using anything abrasive on the surface of the disc.
  • If the disc has a heavy accumulation of dirt, try rinsing it with wa-ter first.
  • Use commercially available water-based detergent formulated for cleaning the surface of optical discs.
  • Use isopropyl alcohol or methanol, as an alternate to water-based detergents, to clean the disc surface.

1 comment »

  1. First of all thanks for share such wonderful information. Everyone is familiar with CD-DVD as we are using it in daily basis in our life in form of music & movies CDs and DVDs. But many people don’t know how to clean CD-DVD. Due to dust and air particles, Our CD & DVD becomes harmful which will impact negative on other electronics appliances at our homes and offices. Overall you provided excellent caring tips with no involvement of cost at all. This will increase the durability of CD and DVD. 🙂

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