Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs
I used to look in wonder and amazement at some of the CDs and DVDs in my best friend's collection. How could he let them get in such a state? "Dude, treat them with more respect" I'd say. Then I had children, and found my CDs and DVDs were perfect replacements for frisbee toys, coasters and anything else they could think of. (See also: Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again)
Recently, I found several of my favorite music CDs and movies were unplayable due to some innocent playtime fun. Kids will be kids, there's little you can do to avoid that (especially if your CDs and DVDs are at kid-height). But before I reluctantly bought replacements, I figured I had nothing to lose by going to the web and finding remedies. If they worked, great. If not, I had lost nothing anyway.
I had heard of toothpaste, which was the first remedy I tried. But I found other methods, too. Below are the results of my exploration, complete with my own experience with the remedy. Remember, I can't guarantee results. If your scratches are very deep you're probably out of luck. But if a few scratches are giving you some skipping or the CD/DVD is unreadable, this may save you a trip to your local Best Buy.
Note: NEVER clean any CD or DVD in a circular motion. Always clean in straight lines from the center of the disc outwards. Otherwise, you'll just make things even worse.
I had heard about this one, but I never really knew what to do.
My results: 3/5
The toothpaste did indeed help with some scratches but only very small ones. The deeper scratches were unaffected. On another note, my CDs now smell minty!
Yes, banana. I had to watch it twice to make sure I wasn't missing something.
Not quite as good as the toothpaste, but it did help with a few tracks that had skipped. It's a lot more messy though, and a waste of a good banana.
This could have been a great way to find an extra use for a bit of gum. Here's the video.
This worked. NOT! I tried it on a DVD that was unreadable and it remained that way unitl I tried the next method.
Brasso (metal polish)
I have always called this Brasso regardless of brand name, but any liquid metal polish will work.
This was excellent. I remember my dad using Brasso to remove scratches from his plastic eyeglass lenses so I figured it had a good chance of working. But this worked great for me. On the two discs I tried it on, it returned them to their former glory. Very happy.
As I've said, don't try this on CDs that are 95% OK becuase I can't guarantee results. But if you have a highly-scratched, almost unplayable disc, you've got nothing to lose.