How to Clean a CD

Things You'll Need

  • CD cleaner or water
  • Anti-static cloths

When built up dust, dirt, or other materials are collected on a CD, they can cause the CD to work incorrectly. When you run a CD with dirt on it, the dirt may scratch the surface of your CD, causing permanent damage. Because of this, cleaning CDs is important. However, if the CD is not cleaned correctly, the CD can be irreversibly damaged in this way as well.

Spray CD cleaner onto an anti-static cloth until it is barely damp. This should not take more than one or two sprays. Be careful not to spray any of the CD cleaner directly onto the CD.

Put water (and only water) into a squirt bottle and spray the water onto an anti-static cloth until it is barely damp, if you do not have CD cleaner. Water should not be sprayed directly onto the CD either.

Pick up the CD by holding it by its edges, or by putting one finger through the middle of the CD. Be careful not to clamp down on the part of your CD that is going to be cleaned.

Grab the anti-static cloth that has CD cleaner or water on it with your other hand and lightly wipe the CD from the middle of the CD out to its edges over and over again. Do not wipe the CD in a circular motion, as this can easily rub particles across the face of the CD in a way that would damage it.

Use a clean anti-static cloth to dry the CD. Wipe the CD from the middle out to its edges in the same way that you did while cleaning. If you use a cloth that is not anti-static to dry the CD, you may leave unwanted particles of dry cloth all over the surface of your CD and it will have to be cleaned again.

Put the CD into its case or into your computer. Keep your fingers on the sides of the CD at all times so you do not touch the bottom.


  • Use a fine tissue or cloth as a replacement for an anti-static cloth.


  • Never scrub a CD hard. Never use household cleaning solutions other than CD cleaner on a CD.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, David Boston has been published on eHow, Suite101, and other websites. Boston currently holds a B.A. in political science from the University of North Florida. He has presented original research at the ACSP Annual Conference, and will be attending the University of Maryland - College Park in the fall of 2010 to pursue a master's in community planning.

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