how to clean cd disc

One day your CD suddenly fails to play properly, for example, the lower sound quality or read errors. The first thing to do is take it out and check whether there are dust, assorted smudges, fingertips or small scratches. If yes, it is time for the cleaning.

But, do you know how to clean your CD disc correctly?

Some people just breath on and rub the dish on their shirt. Luckily enough, it might fix the problem. But, it can also cause even worse damage.

Here come steps by step to clean and maintain your valuable CDs the right way.

How To Clean the CD Quickly

What you need:

  • A soft and lint-free cloth. Investing a fabric specially designed to clean CD or eyeglasses is better.
  • A compressed air, a puffer or brush. Those for camera lenses are recommended.

To-do list:

A soft cloth is enough to drop the dust off the CDs.

Clean your hands first then handle the disc the right way, or you might leave more scratches or even damage the label side where the data locate.

Hold the CD disc up to the light without touching the shiny portion: your finger in the hole and your thumb along the edge.

Avoid circular movements. Instead, move the cloth gently from center to the outer edge because the linear scratches might not be recoverable.

Dust might grind into the scratches, which is hard to clean thoroughly with a cloth. That time, a compressed air, a puffer or a brush will help. Hold up the CD disc as above and blow the dust off in straight lines outward from the center of the dish.

Remember to brush lightly rather than to scrub.

Remove The Hard Dirt and Fingerprints

clean dirt cd

If you are not in a hurry or your CD dishes still look dirty after the quick cleaning, take a further step to ensure the dust-free CDs.

What you need:

  • A clean bowl to submerge the CD into. A plastic bowl is fine, but a steep bowl is better. Prepare a teaspoon and lint-free cloth as well.
  • Cleaning liquid: dish soap or 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
  • Some warm distilled water

To-do list:

You can use either the liquid dish soap or the rubbing alcohol, whichever is available at your home.

Method 1: Clean the CD disc with soap

Step 1: Add a teaspoon of detergent to the bowl

Household hand soap without additives or moisturizers is safe enough to clean your dish. However, you can also use several chemical formulas specially made for CD cleaning.

Make sure the bowl is dust-free before adding the soap.

Step 2: Mixture the soap with 2-3’’ warm water

The warm water can soften the dirt, even which is stuck on the scratches. Swirl the water into slowly, then stir the mixed liquid with your fingers or the like.

The mixed soap should be sudsy and might bubble up a bit.

Step 3: Sink the dirty CD into the liquid for 1-2 minutes

Immerse the disc into the mixture of soap and water and leave it there for a minute to soften the dirt. Remember that the upside of the CD does not rub against the bowl’s bottom.

Whisk the disc up and down several times to clean better.

Step 4: Tilt the CS of the running warm water

Take the disc out of the water in a pincer grip to avoid creating scratches.

Then, bring the CD under the running faucet. Be sure the water flow is both warm and soft enough not to smudge the disc’s surface.

Keep rinsing and tilting the CD at every angle until there is neither streaks nor visible suds in the water.

Step 5: Dry the CD with a lint-free cloth

Switch the CD off and shake it slightly to remove the access water. Use a lint-free cloth to avoid scratches or additional dust.

Hold the CD disc up to the light with your finger in the hole and your thumb along the edge to prevent the risk of damages. Also, move the cloth gently in straight lines from the center to the outer edge.

You can use an air-drying solution instead of the hand-drying.

Method 2: Clean the CD disc with rubbing alcohol

clean cd

Step 1: Create a 1-to-1 mixture of distilled water and  90% isopropyl alcohol

The purified water is recommended as tap or spring water might contain minerals or small particles that leave water spots or scratches on your CDs. Whereas, the 90% isopropyl alcohol will cut through the stuck-on dust and thick grime.

Pour water and the rubbing alcohol into the bowl in the same proportion. 50mls of each is far from enough. Stir gently to blend them together.

Step 2: Soak the lint-free cloth with the mixture and wipe the CD’s surface

Fold the cleaning cloth with the fingertips and dip it into the mix. A small amount is enough.

Hold the disc with a finger inside the middle hole and the thumb on the outer edge. Move the cloth across the surface of the CD outward from the center. Feel the dirt and foreign substances under the cloth and clean them off in a straight line.

Step 3: Expose the disc to the air to dry it

Never put the CD into the case or the player if it is still wet.

Because the rubbing alcohol is easy to evaporate in seconds, you do not have to use another dry cloth. Instead, leave the CD to air dry.

Final Words

This post has wrapped how to clean CD disc correctly in several steps. We hope they are helpful to maintain your collection. Besides the dishes, you should also pay attention to the CD player. You should check whether the tray is loaded with dust. If yes, clean the player before taking the CD in.

After the cleaning, the CD is supposed to sound as initially. In case it still fails to play properly, there might be severe scratches. That time, you should consider some resurface products on the market or get the disc repaired.