How to Fix a Scratched DVD

By Alexander Poirier

DVD discs are typically resistant to the wear and tear of everyday use, but careless handling can scratch them over time to the point that they become unreadable. If any of your DVDs aren't working properly due to light or moderate surface scratches, don't throw them in the trash can right away -- try repairing them with a few household cleaning items first.

Things You'll Need

  • Jewelry cleaning cloth
  • Jewelry polishing cloth
  • Wax-based furniture polish

Step 1

Hold the scratched DVD with the shiny, scratched side facing up. Hold the DVD so that your fingers touch only the edges of the disc and avoid the surface of the DVD.

Step 2

Clean the surface of the DVD with the jewelry cleaning cloth. Start at the center of the DVD and drag the cleaning cloth to the edge of the disc. Repeat until the entire surface of the DVD has been cleaned. Don't use a circular cleaning motion, because this can further damage the DVD.

Step 3

Polish the surface of the DVD with the jewelry polishing cloth. Use the same center-to-edge motion. Repeat until the entire surface of the DVD has been polished.

Step 4

Spray a thin layer of wax-based furniture polish on to the surface of the DVD, then polish the disc using the center-to-edge motion.

Step 5

Rinse the DVD under cold water and dry the disc using the polishing cloth.

Step 6

Wait overnight for the wax to set and fill the scratches on the DVD. After the wax has finished setting, test the disc in your DVD player. If the DVD still does not work, you may need to have it repaired with a professional buffing machine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wiping the surface of the damaged DVD with store-bought scratch filler or commercial window cleaner can also repair damaged discs.
  • Check that the repaired DVD disc is completely clean and dry before you insert it in your computer or DVD player. Moisture or wax residue will damage your optical DVD drive.