How to Clean Blu-ray Lenses

By Dan Stone

A non-cooperative Blu-ray player that frequently skips or won't read content may be malfunctioning because of a dirty lens. Dust and debris can work its way into your machine and obstruct the lens; removing the obstructions fixes the problem. Cleaning a dirty Blu-ray lens can be as simple as inserting a cleaning disc or as complicated as disassembling the drive; however, the process always comes with a damage risk.

Things You'll Need

  • Blu-ray laser lens cleaner disc
  • Compressed air canister
  • Cotton wipe (lint-free preferred)
  • Cotton swab
  • Isopropyl alcohol (91 percent plus)

Step 1

Insert the cleaning disc, press "Play" and follow the onscreen instructions.

Step 2

Remove the cleaning disc and test the drive. Stop here if the drive works.

Step 3

Blast the lenses with compressed air to remove debris. If possible, expose the lens and spray from a few inches away. If the drive will not expose the lens, pop open the tray and spray the compressed air alongside the entire opening.

Step 4

Test the drive and stop if it works.

Step 5

Wipe off the lenses with an isopropyl alcohol (91 percent or greater) damp cotton swab or cloth if the drive still won't work. Gently wipe the lenses using a cotton swab if the drive can expose the lenses. If the drive uses a tray or slot loading mechanism, wrap a clean credit card in a cotton cloth, insert the credit card into the opening and slowly drag the credit card from side to side.

Step 6

Test the drive; if it still doesn't work, either bring the device to a repair professional or disassemble it yourself to directly wipe off the lens with an isopropyl alcohol damp cotton swab.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try cleaning the disc with a micro-fiber cloth before you try testing the drive or player. It is safe to clean Blu-ray discs with water as long as the discs are dry before being used again.
  • You can clean CD and DVD devices using the same methods for Blu-ray devices. If the Blu-ray lens is dirty the device may still read DVDs and vice versa. The major difference between the two is that Blu-ray players feature two lenses instead of one.
  • You can avoid debris build-up inside a Blu-ray device by keeping your discs clean.
  • Disassembling the drive and directly cleaning the lens is the most likely method to work; however, it's the most likely to break the drive as well. Do not attempt it unless you are experienced with computer or electronic repair. You can scratch and ruin the lens if you apply too much pressure with a cotton swab or cloth. Cotton cleaning tools can leave lint behind and make the situation worse.
  • Do not under any circumstances use water to clean the lens. Instead, use isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol doesn't conduct electricity, so it won't cause a short if it ends up on sensitive drive hardware.