Introduction: A Neat Trick on How to Resurface a CD

Picture of A Neat Trick on How to Resurface a CD

This is a trick that a lot of people already know, but just in case they didn't I posted this.


Step 1: Gather the Materials

Picture of Gather the Materials

The Needed Materials for This project are:

1.) A scratched CD

2.) White toothpaste (not the gel kind)

3.) Warm water

Step 2: Get Er' Dun!

Picture of Get Er' Dun!

First get you CD and smear the toothpaste on the scratched surface (NOT TOO MUCH, ONLY ENOUGH). Then rub it around a little with your finger in an up and down motion, NOT A CIRCULAR MOTION, IT WILL RUIN THE CODING. Lastly, rinse it off with warm water in an up and down motion.
And Voila! A usable CD!

Step 3: After the Resurfacing ( an After Picture for Weissensteinburg)

Picture of After the Resurfacing ( an After Picture for Weissensteinburg)

This is a different CD, not the blue one. And I am in the process. But anyways, note how the CD isn't too scratched.


redifyp (author)2014-10-04

try glue but don`t wash it off and try to get all the glue in the scratches and don`t leave any over the scratches then let it dry

kstettler (author)2013-07-01

It does work. However, what this person forgot to mention is that it has to be done a certain way. You have to do straight line from the center of the disc to the edge. You also have to use a soft, non-lint cloth (an plain white cotton tee works fine). Also, it works best if the scratches are surface scratches on the plastic side. If the scratches are too deep or on the side of the label, you're just wasting toothpaste.

scubaguy95 (author)2011-12-22

does this work for computer games

ghand (author)2011-08-27

Repairing CDs and DVDs:

Many interesting posts some of which (the failures) point up a basic problem and that is a lack of specificity as to the "grit" size(s) required. Brasso and/or Crest, tooth paste vs. "gels" are different ways of -- implicitly -- indicating grit sizes. What we collectively need is some guidance as to what grits to use to achieve what results. With numbers, one could go to an industrial supply store and buy the appropriate powders (probably a range of three to five would do fine). I've been sharpening chisels and plane blades for years using a buffing wheel (easily available at Home Despot) and "rouge" sticks (once available at Sears but I haven't bought any new in decades), and with the correct selection of grits and in the correct order, a mirror finish that one can shave with can easily and quickly be put on a chisel or plane blade. I'm not suggesting buffing wheels for CDs and DVDs (although it might actually work fine if done with GREAT CARE), but the principle is the same; we need some numbers, and some suppliers. (Cleaning, the proper buffing motions, etc. all seem to be handled nicely by the existing posts. BTW, I've managed to bring DVDs back long enough to copy using simple old nose grease; Vaseline and WD-40 sound like constructive alternatives that I personally haven't tried yet.)

Blaaken (author)2011-02-10

For one thing, buy an external hard drive, second get an iso maker and turn all of your expensive cd's into iso files and put them on the external hard drive. this will back your discs up so if they ever get ruined, you can just make a new one so if it's a game, make sure you keep your cd key, now for scratches, all you need is super glue, i'm in the process of making a cd resurfacer that uses extremely runny super glue to put a new surface on. i'm going to make an instructable on it, but sadly i made it then thought of instructables. and to be honest if you use this, it's a one time thing, this process can make the disc more fragile and it would break while in use. that is why you actually need to add to the surface, not take away the surface with toothpaste, and the white kind is surposed to have soda powder in it.

yendor47 (author)2011-01-11

toothpaste is OK but it must be a very fine type I tried a number of things using old disk and the best result so far is a kind of toothpaste its used for stain removing there are 2 types on the market THAT DO WORK one is Pearldrops and the other is Denivit the best one is Denivit I use a disk cleaner machine but instead of the rubbish they give to clean with I use Denivit anti stain its on sale here in the UK pearldrops too ,,.Icleaned about 6 disk so far all work make sure you wash of the paste before putting in your player / games console dry with a micro cloth or something fine. good luck

kleddon (author)2010-05-14

Thank You! Thank you! Thank you Linux_Galore!!!    You are a freaking genius!
I had to reformat and re-install Windows XP Pro. Set-up could not read the files from my disc. I was bummed!  I did the toothpast thing and brasso thing with no success. I read your post about the WD 40.  It did stop on me several times but I just kept hitting enter and one time I had to use the WD40 a second time. But it worked like a charm. I am now finishing my OS installation with XP Pro.  You are my hero!!!

trebuchet03 (author)2007-06-05

We have a "be nice" comment policy. Please post accordingly.

flio191 (author)trebuchet032009-04-09

(removed by author or community request)

flio191 (author)flio1912009-04-09

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flio191 (author)flio1912009-04-09

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flio191 (author)flio1912009-04-09

that he said that
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Punkguyta (author)trebuchet032007-06-05


CaffeineHouse (author)2007-08-02

rubbing in a circular motion will NOT 'ruin the coding', the actual data is stored on the CD in the layer just below the label.

flio191 (author)CaffeineHouse2009-04-09

true that.

the reason why you dont rub in a circular motion, rather, is because it's much easier for a disc reader to read through a single notch of unreadable data, than a continuous, circular stream of unreadable data.

toothpaste doesnt work too well. only looks clean when its still wet, but once it's dry, its back to step one, even if there are less scratches.

the real trick is brasso, and metal polishes.
hint hint

WesDoesStuff (author)2007-02-20

really you are just scratching everything to the same level rather tha actualy resurfacing the cd. it does mork wih minor scratches on many different things.

Prometheus (author)WesDoesStuff2007-02-28

If all you have is mediocre scratching, get a cd-buffer and use it. Also try cleaning your CD-drive for increased sensitivity. This is a method well-discussed for last-minute data-recovery.

If you respect CD-R's as they are, precision optical media, and handle/store them as such, then you will never have such damage to your media surface.

Pretend it's the '80's, and you are the only one to hold this technology. Do you ignore the sensitivity of it, or do you try to keep it as mint as possible? I *still* have CD's that not only work, but are some of the earliest varieties, since they first came out. They work just fine if you handle properly.

rayden54 (author)Prometheus2008-08-25

Unfortunatly, proper handling might not be enough. I've had CD players scratch discs. The tray-less players in cars are particularly bad.

Prometheus (author)rayden542008-08-25

Yeah, I admit you can't really get around that damage except not to use them. Most decent manufacturers will actually have felt "lands" to keep this from happening though. PC drives are the worst though, because not every disc is built well enough not to distort at speeds of 32x or so. Another reason why I never burn any disc at 52x, even though my burner is perfectly capable of it. I just find alot of people who abuse them in amazing new ways, and then complain about how poorly-made they were.

rayden54 (author)Prometheus2008-08-26

Just like every time you play a tape, you risk it getting eaten. My PC drive isn't capable of speeds that high. I did still have a disc shatter though. Inside the computer.

Prometheus (author)rayden542008-08-28

I've had disc failures inside my drive as well, which is another reason I don't use that speed anymore. Were it not for my ability to repair the drive, I would have been out at least two drives by now. The best way to prevent such an occurrence is to inspect optical discs for cracks that originate at the hub first, especially if the disc was used in tray-less drives such as a sony playstation (the original) or similar, where the disc locked into the hub through sprung ball-bearings. Burning copies of discs at the lowest speed not only assures the quality of the burning process, but also the risk of failure during the process. I still have a copy of Gran Turismo for the PSX that is risky to play at 2x speed, I keep it only for proof-of-license. Meanwhile I have burned a copy of the media for archival purposes.

renji_abarai (author)2008-01-15

dose it work on ps2 games.

killajones (author)2007-09-11


Tierra (author)2007-05-14

Ah I've used this technique also on watches to get little scratches off the screen

seamountie (author)2007-04-17

When you say rub up and down, is it up and down toward the centre (radially) or up and down tangentially?

sorchah (author)seamountie2007-04-20


seamountie (author)sorchah2007-04-22


acidnine (author)2007-04-16

This technique also works on PMP (Portable Media Players) screens, like the soft plastic of a creative zen, or the slightly harder plastic of ipods.

roncarney (author)2007-03-26

While it is ALL called toothpaste, this "white kind" really IS "paste" vs the green or blue "gel" kind you mention. It's not "ALL gel" despite other comments to the contrary.

bhunter736 (author)2007-03-16

Ive had good luck with bad disks by using high gloss auto polish. Clean disk with soap and water, dry and then apply non abrasive polish liberally and let it start to turn white. Then instead of buffing the polish or wax off of the disk to a micro fine layer like you would on your car, I buff it ever so gently and quickly. This leaves it filling in the deeper scratches as well as the shallow ones. Quick and easy. I keep a sample size bottle in the stereo cabinet. Sometimes CDs that spend time in the glove box escape the jewel case. Anyway, its another option and Ive had good luck with it. Next time it doesnt work Ill try toothpaste for some re-surfacing. : )

Fat Tony (author)2007-03-03

You can also restore a CD with an automotive buffer. set on a low to medium speed with the trigger lock. lay the buffer upside down on a stable surface and use automotive polishing compound to buff to a perfect no scratch finish. the amount of material you are removing is minimal and have never had one not work agter buffing. hold on to the disc tightly or it will get pitched across the room like a frisbee.

Linux_Galore (author)2007-02-24

I just spray the CD/DVD with either a bit of WD-40 or some 2-26 lubricant spray with a quick wipe (don't wipe it dry) and often the CD/DVD works for enough time for you to recover the data.

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-02-20

I've never heard of this one, Could you post an after picture?

Sure ill post an after picture, but Shark500 is right, if your CD is too scratched it won't work.

qtm (author)Run N Gun2007-02-22

On badly scratched CDs, I put them facedown on the carpet at work; one of those industrial office carpets. I step on the CD (with sneakers, don't want to scratch the top) and rapidly move my foot back and forth while applying pressure. Essentially, this buffs out the scratches. It's a last resort, at that point I don't really care if I destroy the CD; but it's worked where nothing else has and allowed me to recover the data on the CD.

Run N Gun (author)2007-02-21

Your welcome =)

Run N Gun (author)2007-02-21

Why are you guys so picky about wording? Paste, white toothpaste, same thing. Not everyone know that paste is also granular material in a background fluid. Also, this will not always work, due to the severety of some scratches.

tek2000 (author)2007-02-21

I tried it before and sadly it doesnt work as it will not polish the cd enough to get scratches out. it will not be readable

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-02-21

aww A step just for me :D

Austinisi (author)2007-02-20

I read this in pop. sci. a few months back. I do this all the time when blockbuster sends me a scratched dvd in the mail. (and yes, it works)

ongissim (author)2007-02-20

I think you mean "paste", not "the white kind."

Run N Gun (author)ongissim2007-02-20

UMM.. SURE? Paste as in glue? I meant the gritty white toothpaste. But sure...

Andrew546 (author)Run N Gun2007-02-20

you mean paste. Paste is not only a kind of glue, but a type of toothpaste

From wikipedia:

"Pastes typically consist of a suspension of granular material in a background fluid"

Sounds kinda like "gritty white toothpaste," doesn't it?

"Examples include starch pastes, toothpaste, mustard, and putty"

Mr.Asmith9 (author)2007-02-20

Nice, but Shark500 is right, All your doing is scratching it all to a level serface so that the reader of the disk driver (Im having a brain fart and forget what it is called) doesnt hit a ruff edge making it inable to read it from the wayve signal it will recive.

Run N Gun (author)2007-02-20

soo? it works...

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