How to Clean CDs With Household Items

Your CD is skipping again in the player again and you know it's time to clear away the grime.

If you don't, not only will you keep having play issues, but you could also damage the inside of your CD player with the dirt over time. There are a number of CD and DVD cleaning solutions on the market, but if you'd rather save your money and just use some household items to keep your collection clean, you have a few options. Because CDs and DVDs are very delicate, there are only a few products that you can use without compromising their play quality.

Wash your cleaning cloth and put it in the dryer for a few minutes to assure that there is no excess dirt or sand that could scratch the surface of the CD.

Add about a tablespoon of mild shampoo or soap to a cup of warm water and mix it around until it's soapy.

Dab your cleaning cloth into the soapy water. Stick your finger into the hole of the CD and gently wipe the CD from the inside circle towards the outside edge. Many experts don't recommend that you clean the disc in a circular motion.

Use the dry end of the soft cloth to dry off any excess moisture, again very gently. You don't want any wetness or wet spots to remain on your CD when you put it back into the player.

Gently wipe your CD with your soft cloth and a bit of alcohol or mineral oil to get fingerprints off the surface.

For stubborn grime, cover the surface of the CD with a gel toothpaste. Let it sit for a few minutes and then carefully rinse it off under lukewarm water. Gently wipe it dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Soft microfiber cleaning cloth Mild shampoo or soap Alcohol Mineral oil Toothpaste


  • If you have a CD with very important information, you might want to buy a professional CD cleaner instead of using household items. See "Resources" for a suggested CD cleaning kit.


  • Do not use household spray cleaners like Windex on your CDs and DVDs because products like Windex contain ammonia, which can eat away at the surface. In fact, don't spray anything directly onto the CD. Try not to touch the shiny surface of the CD with your fingers.

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.