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How To Repair Scratches in DVD's and CDs

How to Fix a Scratched CD or DVD

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Wax the Disc

  • A thin coat of vaseline or liquid furniture polish may make a disk temporarily readable. These products also may damage the disc over time and so should be used only as a last resort. Also, if any excess is not properly removed, it may damage the disc player, so take care to remove all excess polish.

  • Apply a couple drops or very small dab of polish and wipe it into the surface of the disk, working from the center to the outer edge. Use a soft clean cloth. Do not wipe along the arc of track, around the disc.

  • Test the disc. If it works, immediately make a backup copy of the disc.

Warm the Disc

  • Carefully warming the disc can help to restore playability, at least temporarily.

  • Hold the disk with your finger in the center hole and grasp the edge with your thumb.

  • Hold the shiny side of the disk about 4-5 inches from a 60 watt bulb to gently warm the surface of the disc. Rotate the disc slowly to allow even heating.

  • Try out the disk, if it works, immediately make a back-up copy.

Purchase Your Own Disc Repair Machine

  • Disc repair machines are available in nearly every price range. Many are nothing more than disc cleaners. The most effective machines are also the most expensive. Unless you are in a setting that uses a huge number of CDs, like a radio station, the cost would probably be prohibitive.

Use a Professional Service

  • There are several companies that offer CD & DVD repair service. They use specialty polishers to restore the polycarbonate surface of CDs.
  • One manufacturer of polisher equipment we know of will also accept your individual CDs to run through their equipment.

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