How to Clean a DVD

Do you know how to clean a DVD? DVDs don't need to be cleaned too frequently; in fact, it's best not to clean them at all, unless you're having performance issues or the DVD is visibly dirty. Over-cleaning your DVDs can cause scratches and deteriorate the surface of the DVD, resulting in a loss of video integrity and eventually a ruined DVD. Never clean a DVD more often than once a month, and keep DVD cleanings as few and far between as possible.

Use a clean, soft cloth
Don't use paper towels or any abrasive materials to clean your DVD. Use a soft, clean, lint-free cloth to wipe down your DVD. If you're just cleaning dust from the DVD, a quick wipe with a dry cloth should be sufficient. Always wipe from the center of the DVD straight out toward the edge; never wipe the DVD in a circular pattern. If you follow the grooves on a DVD when you're cleaning it, dust and residue can build up in the grooves or you can actually wear the grooves down, causing a loss of integrity and potentially damaging the disc. When cleaning a DVD, use the lightest pressure possible to avoid damaging the disc. Hold the DVD with a finger through the center hole and a finger on the edge to avoid touching the surface of the DVD and leaving smudges from the oil on your skin.

A water-based cleaner is best
If you've got smudges or serious dirt on your DVD, use a water-based cleaner to wipe your DVD down. Don't use organic cleansers or alcohol-based solutions, as they can degrade the surface of your DVD and cause long-term disc damage. The easiest DVD cleaner to find is a mild dish detergent mixed with lukewarm water. Again, wipe from the center of the disc straight out toward the edges, not in a circular motion. Use a soft, clean cloth to dry your DVD. Never put your DVDs back into their packaging wet; always make sure the DVDs are dry before putting them away. You can also use DVD cleaning solution available at most electronics stores, but this solution is typically more expensive than homemade remedies.

Try a scratch repair kit
Some electronics stores sell scratch-repair kits and solutions for your damaged DVDs. The effectiveness of these solutions is questionable, but if you've got a favorite DVD that's damaged and you simply cannot find a replacement, it may be worthwhile to try a DVD repair solution. If you can't find DVD repair solutions and are desperate to try to repair a scratch, try using toothpaste and a soft cloth to buff the scratches out of your DVD. Apply a little toothpaste, add a little water and buff it out with your cloth. As with cleaning, don't use circular motions but instead move the cloth from the center towards the outside of the DVD.

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