Thursday, January 04, 2007

Advice from Readers on How to Clean CD's - Helpful Hints and Tips

You guys came up trumps! You've sent in some fantastic ideas on how to get my wonky old CD's nice and clean again. Here are the CD cleaning ideas you guys sent in - I thought everyone would want to know about this cleaning essential...hey, we DO need some groovy music while we clean, right? So un-skipping CDs really help! Right, so here's the tips:

Please note: A few of you clever slobbos told me that it's VITAL to clean not only with the right solution, but with the right TECHNIQUE. You'll learn more about that below - just remember not to clean following the circular pattern of the CD...And really, with tips that range from smooth peanut butter to Dawn Liquid - I think you guys are continually proving that Happy Slob Housecleaners are the coolest cleaners on the planet!

  • Dawn Dishwashing Liquid or Rubbing Alcohol - from Nancy - "I use rubbing alcohol for lightweight smudges and Dawn for really dirty spots. Just put either on a soft cloth and rub the CD until it's clean."
  • Rubbing Alcohol & A cleaning technique tip - from Sharon - "To take care of DVDs and CDs that have been scratched; instead of buying an expensive kit to fix them, put a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and working from the inside of the disc outward, wipe in a straight line(no circles!). Wipe until you have rubbed across all of the scratches. The discs will be good as new!"
  • Tips from a Guy with 2 Computer Programming Degrees - from Ashly (his wife) - "My DH has 2 degrees in computer programming and has taught me the neatest trick for repairing a cd. Toothpaste. Yes, I did say toothpaste. Try a type cheap type from the local dollar store. After putting just a small bit on the scratch, wipe clean with a small microfiber cloth. It works great for the smaller scratches for any type of cd, whether it be computer, video game, dvd, ect...

    But if there comes a time when the disc is beyond repair I've found that they make the greatest drink coasters. They also make great decorations if painted. I've taken some from local thrift stores, painted them and used jewelry making wire to connect them together to make an "awesome" wall decoration. Well I hope I've helped you some.
  • Dishwashing Liquid & Another Tip - from Sonya - "I have had very good luck with washing with a very mild detergent,
    After cleaning the shouldbe immediately dried with a soft cloth and store in a CD container or sleeve. Do not store until completely dry."
  • Peanut Butter - from Kerry - "Here is what you do: Take some peanut butter-not a lot- and rub it on the scratch with a clean coffee filter. It has to be a coffee filter because of the lint factor. Anyway, rub in the peanut butter for a few, then wipe off with another clean coffee filter. Let the CD sit for a while before you try to play it.This will work for all scratches, *except* when it is so badly scratched that you can see light through it. It that case, it is beyond repair.Happy cleaning!"
  • Another Vote for Peanut Butter With a Coffee Filter - by Shannon - "you've probably heard that one before.
    i am NOT certain as to what length peanut butter will go, but I do know it works well on MINOR scratches and scrapes, making the disc look impressively new and clean.
    It can be a bit messy though. The best dust free material is a coffee filter. Just smudge some peanut butter on the filter and in little rotating circular motions go around to the left, switch rotation and go back around to the right. Wipe clean with plain coffee filter."
  • Aerosol Furniture Polish Spray - by Trista - We have found that using a commercially available aerosol furniture dusting/polishing spray works wonders for scratches. Spray it on a very soft dusting cloth (no paper towels or scratchy scrubbers!!!) and buff it on, and lightly remove excess with a clean soft cloth. This seems to "fill in" the scratches and it plays well. Our four-year-old tries to load his (expensive!!!) DVDs by himself, and winds up scratching them, and this works very well for this. This may need to be done again after several uses/handling of the DVD/CD, although I haven't found that to be the case just yet. I'll bet it would also remove the smudges and fingerprints.

    If all else fails, our local video store will run them through their commercial machine for less than $2.00, and they do a good job, too. I am frugal, though, and much prefer to do this myself. However, even with as frugal as we all are, if home remedies fail to fix this, the $2 that the video rental store charges is much better than paying $18.95 for a movie, or for video games, up to $50 for a new video game disk!

    Finally, don't overlook a dirty lens cover in your actual CD or DVD player. If many of your disks aren't playing well, a dirty lens might be the culprit (after all, if we have to clean the disks, the inside of the player might become dirty itself). I'm not sure the home remedy for this, but using a commercially available lens cleaner disk and cleaner combo (also available for rent from some video stores) is certainly cheaper than replacing most DVD players.

Phew, how amazing are these tips!? Thanks you guys - next time I have a weird cleaning dilemma, I'll be sure to ask you guys again!

And yes, as soon as I've tried out a few techniques, I'll let you guys know which one seemed to work the best. :) It's sort of fun doing the experiments...Happy cleaning to you, slobbos!

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