How to Safely Remove Adhesive Labels From CDs

By Rebecca Dyes-Hopping

Many CDs are purchased with stickers on the CDs. This is often the case when a CD is purchased aftermarket, such as when purchasing used games, music and movies. The adhesive label can cause the CD to not work properly, give read errors, or you may just dislike the look of the label. Removing adhesive labels can be time-consuming and can in some cases ruin the CD, so it is best to test your method beforehand on a CD that is unimportant.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs

Step 1

Pick off as much of the adhesive label as you can. Lift the edges and pull. Do not pick at the label with your fingernails or a sharp object like a knife or blade.

Step 2

Pass the CD under running water to wet whatever is left of the label and it's sticky residue.

Step 3

Wipe with the soft cloth. Wipe from inside near hole in CD outward to the edge of the disk and repeat. Never wipe in a circular motion around the CD as this can damage the CD.

Step 4

Pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball, or dip a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol.

Step 5

Wipe the cotton ball or cotton swab over the adhesive label you wish to remove. Wipe gently from the inside of the disk toward the outer edge to avoid damaging the CD. The rubbing alcohol should help to break down the label and sticky residue.

Step 6

Wipe off the alcohol with a soft cloth and check to see if the adhesive is fully removed.

Step 7

Repeat steps 2 through 6 until the adhesive had been completely removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be as gentle as possible while wiping the CD with the cotton ball or cotton swab to avoid damaging the CD. Sometimes the sticker or label simply will not come off without more intense scrubbing, which could damage the CD.
  • Always test on a CD you don't care about first, to get some practice removing a label.
  • There is always the chance that you will damage the CD you are trying to remove the label from.