How to Fix a Scratched CD

The most common problem with CDs is the scratches that develop on them as a result of continuous use. You will find it difficult to play or use a scratched CD. The common problem you face when your CD is scratched and you try to play it in your CD drive or CD player is that the CD gets hanged or stops suddenly where it finds a scratch. When you experience such a problem with your CD you don’t need to worry for the loss of your data or buy a new CD. You can fix the scratches on your CD at home of you know how to fix a scratched CD.

To locate the scratches on your CD just look at the CD or run your fingers slightly along the recording side of the disk. The scratches that follow the direction of the spiral are more damaging than the scratches that run vertically from the centre to the rim. There are many simple techniques to fix a scratched CD that are as explained below:

Using a liquid scratch repair

  • The easiest way to repair a scratch on a CD is to get a scratch repair kit from a computer store and wipe the CD with a cleaning liquid, which you will find in the kit, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never wipe the CD in circular motion as this may create more scratches. Wipe it in linear motion.

Using home-made scratch repair

  • You can mix a cup of clean water with one or two drops of dishwasher to prepare a home-made scratch remover.
  • Now, using a lint free cloth wipe the scratched area of your CD in linear motion.

Using toothpaste

  • Toothpaste can also be used as a scratch remover for CDs. Apply toothpaste to a smooth cloth (take it in a small amount) and then slowly apply this to the scratched area following linear motion.
  • Repeat the process if required and hold the CD under warm water for few minutes and wipe it with a cloth.

Using light

  • You can also use the light bulb method to fix a scratch on the CD. For this method use a lamp of about 60W, hold the recorded side facing the bulb at about 10 cm.
  • Hold it for about 20 seconds by rotating it slowly.
  • When the CD is still hot play it and see whether the CD is repaired.

Using wax

  • You may also try to fix the scratches on the CD using wax. For this you can use Vaseline, neutral shoe polish, liquid car wax or furniture wax.
  • Apply any of these waxes to the scratched areas and wipe out the excess wax and clean it with a cloth.

Using refinishing method

  • Try the professional refinishing method to repair the scratches on your CD if any of the above methods doesn’t work. For this you need to take your CD to the professional who refinish your CD.
  • There are software available to repair the scratches on the CDs using which they locate the scratch and repair it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before trying out any fixing techniques try to find out whether the problem is really because of the scratch.
  • Most of the times your CD stops functioning properly because of the dust particles or grease on the disk.
  • Such problems can be solved by simply cleaning the disk with a cloth or you can run warm water on the disk and clean the disk.
  • If your problem is not solved by these then definitely you have a scratched CD.
  • When you are done with the repairing, burn the CD to prepare a copy and save it. This is to prevent the loss of data from the CD from any future scratches.

Severe scratches on CDs cannot be repaired by any of the above methods or even by the professionals. If you find that the scratch in the CD has reached the foil, it means that it is severely damaged and cannot be repaired. You can examine these deep scratches by holding the CD in a bright light and see for any pin holes or deep scratches.


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