How do you clean DVDs, Blu-Rays and video games without scratching?

Got a DVD, Blu-ray Disc, or video game too dirty to play? Do not rush to throw it away. These simple instructions for cleaning DVDs and CDs should put them back on your playlist. All you need for this task is white vinegar and a couple of soft, clean cloths. Microfiber or flannel work well. In just a few minutes, you can put your disc in the player and it will work like new.

How to do it

  1. Hold the DVD, Blu-ray Disc, or CD by the edges or by placing your finger through the center hole.
  2. Clean the disc with a cloth moistened with white vinegar.
  3. Start in the center and clean directly towards the edge of the disc to avoid damaging the disc.
  4. Turn the disc over and continue cleaning in this way until you have gone all the way around the disc.
  5. Clean the disc with a dry cloth and let it dry completely.

why it works

The acetic acid in the vinegar cuts through oils left behind by your fingers, as well as any other dirt that may be on the record.

Tips and Warnings

You should avoid cleaning discs in circular motions. Also, store them in their cases when not in use to keep them free of dust and prevent future damage.

If the disc still won’t play

If you’ve done a thorough cleaning of the disc and it shines like new and still won’t play, check the disc for any deep scratches you may have missed. These can often be repaired with a bottle of scratch remover. Just rub the scratch remover with the descaling solution on the scratch and wipe off the excess. One bottle is good for at least 100 records, so if you have kids who are tough on their movies and video games, it’s definitely money well spent.

Buy a scratch removal kit on Amazon

If you don’t see any scratches on the disc, the problem could be a dirty DVD/Blu-ray/video game player and not a dirty disc. Spend a few bucks on a laser lens cleaner. It is a disk with small brushes built in that is placed in the player. As you “play” you clean the laser that reads your discs.

Buy a CD/DVD/Blu-ray lens cleaner on Amazon

Still no luck after cleaning the drive and player? Don’t throw that puck away yet. Most movies can now be converted to digital format. Use a service like Vudu to turn that scratched movie disc into a digital copy that’s stored in the cloud, and you can watch it anywhere, on any device: your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, or even your TV. Expect to pay a few bucks for each conversion, unless your DVD comes with UltraViolet (that means there’s already a free digital copy waiting for you).