How to Clean a Compact Disc

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

We have all had the frustration of a skipping CD, and tried frantically to clean it by rubbing in on our shirt or pant leg, which is probably the worst thing to do. Compact discs are easy to clean, but they are also easy to damage, so it is important to clean them in the correct way.

Step 1

Choose a cloth that is safe to use on delicate surfaces. There are many brands of wipes that are soft and lint-free. Use this type of cloth until it looks dirty, and then throw it away. A better choice is a chamois cloth. These are great because they can be washed and reused.

Step 2

Select a cleaning agent. There are a variety of cleaning liquids available for cleaning compact discs, but you can also use a garden-variety liquid dish soap. However, select a cleansing agent that is perfume, oil and dye-free, and never use a bar type or abrasive soap.

Step 3

Run the compact disc under luke warm water for a few seconds to loosen the dirt and grime. Apply a small amount of your selected cleansing agent.

Step 4

Clean the CD with a cloth, moving in straight lines beginning at the inside edge and moving to the outside edge. For example, using the image of a clock, begin at the center moving towards twelve o'clock and back to the center. Never wipe the disc in a circular motion around the disc. Rinse the CD well and allow it to air dry completely.

Step 5

Repeat the same radial cleansing motion with a dry cloth once the compact disc has dried.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is always best to leave your compact disc alone, so be sure it actually needs cleaning. If you notice that many of your discs are skipping, the problem is probably not your CD, but your disc player. In this case, try a lens cleaner first. However, if you notice that only one disc is skipping, it is time to clean your CD.