Repairing scratched CDs or DVDs can help you save money by preventing you from having to by duplicates. Since CDs and DVDs are made of plastic, they are susceptible to being scratched when left outside of their original cases. By using the following methods below, you can help save a disc for future use and the hassle of going to the store or searching for out-of-print material that can cost substantially more due to rarity.
Clean the CD or DVD off using a soft, clean cloth to remove and dirt or debris that may be on the scratched surface. If the dirt will not come off, use a bit of water or window cleaner to fully remove the dirt to prevent it from creating more scratches when the CD or DVD has its scratches removed.
Apply toothpaste to a cotton pad or cotton ball, about the size of a dime. You can use any type or toothpaste as they all have the same basic texture, which is what is responsible for removing the scratches on a CD or DVD. Rub it into the cotton ball or pad to disperse it evenly for use on the surface.
Hold the disc in your left hand and rub it with the cotton ball or pad in a circular motion until the CD or DVD is completely covered in toothpaste. Continue to rub the toothpaste into the surface until you feel as though it has reached the small scratches on the disc's surface.
Rinse the CD or DVD off under the faucet. You want to remove the excess toothpaste on the surface of the disc. Use lukewarm water rather than cold water and the temperature will help get the toothpaste off of the surface.
Dry the CD or DVD off with a dry, clean cloth and inspect the surface. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, so it will remove small scratches from a plastic surface such as a CD or DVD. Repeat steps 1 through 4 if you still see small scratches on the surface. Toothpaste will not work on large gouges on the surface.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 with metal polish, which can be found at your local hardware store. It is more abrasive than toothpaste, but can remove deeper scratches than toothpaste can by removing the top layer of the bottom of the disc.