Cleaning DVDs.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Drew_W, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I have no idea where to post this, so I hope this is the right place.

    Recently I've received many a DVD that has required a cleaning (previously owned, from various sources). I was just going to ask what the best way to clean DVDs is. A whole bunch of DVDs I got are clean, but they have faint swirl marks (like light scratches)...I'd like to be able to clean fingerprints and whatnot off DVDs without creating such marks.

    Ideas? Thanks.
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    *poof*
     
  4. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    Cleaning the dirt and smudges off of DVDs will NOT remove previously existing scratches, but DVD error correction seems to be more forgiving of slight scratches than it is of dirt blobs, so cleaning is a good idea on discs that you are having a problem getting to play.

    First try plain water (preferably distilled or demineralized with a home filtering system) and a soft clean cotton cloth. Run water over the disc and wipe in a radial pattern (straight out, not "round and round") in several passes from the center to the outer edge, turning the disc slightly with each pass so the cloth wipes a different area each time. Do this until the disc is dry.

    In a pinch, you can use a paper towel to blot off water, but do not slide it across the surface of the disc as many types of paper towel will scratch the disc. This will remove the water but may leave behind some of the smudges.

    If plain water doesn't work to remove stubborn dirt and finger prints, then use a very mild detergent (really watered down) and then rinse with plain water and wipe as above.

    Do NOT use alcohol or solvents on your discs unless you are planning to convert them into coasters. :>) Also, non-detergent soap will leave a film of scum which is not much better than having scratches on the disc.

    It is very important to use the radial wiping technique instead of running the cloth in circles to avoid adding the kind of scratches you described.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Brian W

    Brian W Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    To clean DVDs, all you need is hot water and a 100% cotton towel.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Water does not remove oil well (e.g. fingerprints). If the water and cloth is insufficient, then Burke said is good. I believe a generic, detergent soap -- "green" soap" -- will work. Preferably non-scented, no extra stuff in it, just plain soap.
     
  8. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    ^^^ HOT water. It works.
     
  9. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    I had always heard that also, but a few weeks ago I rented a movie from Blockbuster, and there was an insert that had the following info (not exactly worded this way):

    If you are having problems playing this disc, wipe the surface with a clean cloth. If you still have problems, spray Windex on the DVD and wipe clean.

    Like I said, those aren't the exact words, but they definitely said to use Windex! I was like, "No way!"

    Since it was a rented disc, and it said to use Windex, I decided to try it out, even though the disc wasn't that dirty, and lo and behold, the thing still played in my DVD player. I'm not suggesting anyone do this to your disc, but it is what Blockbuster recommended. Anyone else see this info on a movie they rented?
     
  10. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I've always used Windex on DVDs. It's not a solvent, and it has no alcohol. More than 96 percent of it is inert. Its active ingredients are effective for cleaning DVDs--especially marks on the playing surface caused by the keepcase hub after a disc pops loose--but in negligible amounts:

    ISOPROPANOL...............3.5%
    PROPYLENE GLYCOL..........0.25%
     
  11. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Stunt Coordinator

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    Isopropanol = isopropyl alcohol.

    For most spots, I just get the disc misty with my breath and wipe it with one of the plain white cotton t-shirts I keep around to wipe stuff with.

    Hmm, I wonder how Novus plastic polish would be?
     
  12. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    But that's such a small amount that any effect would seem to be negligible. I would assume that it's there mostly to speed drying. I've used it on dozens of discs with no ill effect.
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I have heard toothpaste is effective for repairing damaged CDs. Anyone try it on a DVD?
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I use Novus 2 for scratch removal and Novus 1 for light cleaning. Works like a charm. [​IMG]
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Toothpaste can be used to repair CDs. I believe the intention is to polish the scratched plastic, to smooth a sharp scratch or make clearn an opaque abrasion. Toothpaste has polishing agents, so it can be used as a simple polisher on plastic. I've used it with some success on a few CDs.

    I've never tried it on a DVD. If you've got a DVD which is scratched and no longer plays, it might worth a try.
     
  16. jon_ad

    jon_ad Stunt Coordinator

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    Netflix recommends using either dish soap or windex-- so I am windex is an appropriate cleaner- as I am sure Netflix wouldn't suggest something that would destroy its disks more than the usual damage that comes from sending out their disks
     
  17. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    I use dish soap, tepid water and a Kleenex with a gentle swirling motion. Once done, I rinse the disc off under the tap, using a thin stream of tepid water. Any drops remaining I wick up with the corner of a paper towel.

    This process results in very nicely cleaned surfaces that don't show swirl marks. Sometimes, it will even remove marks from mail-order discs that had worked loose from the hub and shaken loose in the case.
     
  18. rob kilbride

    rob kilbride Supporting Actor

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    I've found the best way is using windex with toilet paper. Using any kind of a cloth will leave fine scratches at best. Probably not bad enough to make the disc skip but using toilet paper with windex and a very light touch will clean the disc and not scratch it a bit. I've done this several times. Any kind of cloth is to rough IMO and IM experience. Also try to find a brand of TP that has as little lint as possible since I've noticed that some brands do leave a bit of dust behind.
     
  19. Jon-C

    Jon-C Stunt Coordinator

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    I would be afraid to use HOT water, since most dvd's have a dual layer held together with glue. [​IMG]
     
  20. BillGo

    BillGo Stunt Coordinator

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    I use a few drops of Windex or any similar window cleaning liquid and wipe with a dry Viva paper towel.
     

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