Cleaning Music CDs: Question for Kristen

By Kristen
Updated November 24, 2007

How do you clean music cd's? Thank you.



Warning: Do not use traditional household cleaners (like ammonia, bleach, etc.) or anything inventive (like nail-polish remover) because they could etch, warp, or even melt the plastic.

Water is the best thing to use. If you have hard water, you'll probably want to buy a bottle of distilled water to avoid creating any mineral buildup. If you are trying to clean off something particularly sticky, gummy, or greasy, use a drop of dish washing liquid (the hand-washing kind, not the stuff for dishwashers), but rinse it off thoroughly.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need any special CD-cleaning cloth. You can use a wet paper towel, toilet paper, cotton cloth, etc. Obviously you don't want to use steel wool, scrubbers, brushes, or anything else that might scratch the plastic.

When you wipe the CD, it is very important that you wipe in straight lines from the center outward. If you wipe in a circle, you could create scratches that cause skipping or even render your CD useless.

If there is any lint left on the CD, just wait for it to dry and blow it off.

If your CD isn't getting clean with dishwashing liquid and water, try using isopropyl alcohol. Put a small amount on your cloth (not directly on the CD) and start wiping outward. Avoid letting alcohol drip onto the label side of the CD since the label is generally not as protected as the data side of the CD.