Skip to comments.How To Properly Clean Your DVD Collection
Posted on 09/04/2006 10:51:39 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Properly cleaning the data side of DVDs (this article also applies to CDs) is one of the most disregarded hardware longetivity precautions. Often times, individuals wipe off grease and/or dust by simply rubbing the non-label side of a disc in a circular fashion, using harsh abrasives, such the underside of a t-shirt, or worse, a towel. Truth be told, that's not the way to do it! Yes, you may have temporarily fixed the read issue, but you have also permanently scarred the disc, which could cause many more read issues in the future. Why not take a few extra precautions and do it the right way, and make your data last longer? This tutorial will show you how.
Start out by acquiring the materials. You will need cotton balls (highly suggested, they work the best), rubbing alcohol (supposedly the higher the purity, the better, but I've seen 90% isopropyl yield no scratches), and of course, your DVDs (and CDs) that need cleaning.
The first step of cleaning is the surface clearing. Blow as much dust and particles off the bottom of the DVD as possible. Try to make every single speck disappear. If you're having trouble doing that, lightly feather the cotton ball back and forth, on the data side, till all the particles that may interfere with contact are gone. Remember, if any dust is in between the cotton ball and the disc, though you may clean the DVD fine, you will also be pressing the dust and particles deeper into the disc, causing thousands of microscopic scratches. You don't want that!
Now that the surface is clean, proceed by dampening a cotton ball with the rubbing alcohol. You're going to want to have one damp cotton ball for the actual cleaning, and one dry one to dry off the disc, and remove the grease that may have been moved around during cleaning.
The most important thing to remember when cleaning your DVD collection is this: never, ever, attempt to clean it by wiping the cotton ball in a circular motion, or straight back and forth on the tracks (even if you don't pay attention to anything else in this guide, remember this). Place the damp cotton ball in the center of the data side of the disc, and slowly, gently press your way to the outer edge of the DVD.
Immediately follow this swipe by the swipe of a dry cotton ball. Make sure to start in the same position as the damp one, and glide across. This secondary dry cotton ball picks up all the dirt and microscopic particles that may have remained in the grooves of the disc. Continue to repeat this process for the entire circumference of the DVD.
And you're done. It's as simple (or as difficult) as that. But it's worth it. If you want to keep a DVD collection in tip-top shape for years to come, this is the best way to do it.
And remember: Always rewind your DVD's after watching them.
dvd's are usually cheap enough and your time and labor dear enough that you should just buy another copy rather than do this.
plus, the dvd/cd may be obsolete in 5 years so why bother.
Useful information. Thanks. But rubbing alcohol? I clean CD's with a NON alcohol cleaner because alcohol can harm the CD.
But there must be an easier way to do this?
If they'd sell us memory sticks/cartridges with movies on them, there would be no moving parts to need cleaning.
There may be a difference in the coating between CD's and DVD's,...don't know.
Wonder how we could chase that down and make sure we are getting good info?
The new Blu-Ray discs have some kind of special hardened coat...recording surface is much closer to the surface.
My Matag Neptune has a CD/DVD cycle.
I cleaned my DVD collection....I removed all the Baldwin brothers movies.
Not all titles are replaceable.
If you acquire a library of movies over time (say 5-20 years, VHS, LD, DVD), you will find that some titles go out of print altogether, whereas others are rereleased in alternate edited form (you cannot buy the theatrically released version of Blade Runner on DVD), and some are reissued without commentary tracks or with different/lesser supplements.
But if you keep fingerprints off of the surface area and don't stack up discs so that they can get scratched, they should last a good long time (at least until rot sets in).
Thanks, I have an extensive DVD collection and appreciate this.
A bar of Lava should do well at removing stubborn stains. < /s >
There is one Baldwin brother who is a conservative born again Christian: Stephen Baldwin...he made a couple decent flicks. Check out IMDB.
I have a couple hundred DVDs. First thing I do when I get them is rip to DVD files(dvdFab), re-author with DVD shrink to just get the movie instead of the all the "non fast forward" garbage you have to sit through. Then I put the original back in the case and burn the ISO to a Taiyo Yuden blank. If my neice wrecks it up with peanut butter, I just burn another. The only downside, I have probably a terabyte worth of hard disk space filled with ISOs.
Right, I'd suggest reading up on some archival sites about the problems of using alcohol as a cleaning agent.
Even some soaps have bad chemicals to leave residue with.
Alcohol is nice because it evaporates quickly but it also can dry out a surface (too much).
Distilled water should be good for being a neutral cleaning agent.
I certainly can recommend leaving your master copy out of general rotation (haven't scratched DVDs yet, except for the ocassional odd drop or time that the player closes the door while I'm insterting or removing the disc).
I have got quite a few scratched CDs these days (especially from having too many in my car, where cases get cracks or even they float loose in proximity to the case when some or all of the teeth in the center hub break).
Whereas hometaping used to be considered "fair use" of titles you purchased, the Clintonian DMCA (or is it DCMA) says that you no longer have that Constitutional right because the data is protected by a digital block.
I've ben helping the manufactures and picking up some big disks at the fire sell's....
Here is one:
Outpost #: 4596287
* 7200 RPM
* 16Mb Buffer
* Regular Price:$189.99
Product currently unavailable.
Seagate 3.5 PATA Internal Hard Drive
Price: $ 99.99
Hopefully they will get another refill.....
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