Picture of Re-surfacing CDs so they work again.
A simple way to remove scratches from a cd so you can get your data back off the disc again.

Step 1: Gather Required Materials.

Picture of Gather Required Materials.
First gather the following materials.

- Paper towel (softer is better)
- Polishing cloth (eyeglasses cloth will do fine)
- CD scratched beyond playability (Easy to find)
- Can of Brasso Metal Polish.
onionbuskut6 years ago
HOLY CRAP! the circle my xbox carved in to my GTA4 disk is gone! aweeesome
how do you fix deep scraches

use peanut butter and wash itoff

does it work?
CraigD46 months ago

Brasso is a very bad idea....too much ammonia and far too coarse. If you must, use a swirl remover for clear coats on cars

SeeMeGroup8 months ago

Better than Brasso as it is LESS ABRASIVE but more effective is Liquid Cutting Compound used by Car Body Shops for the final buffing of new paint... you can also use Silver T-Cut, does a perfect job and you can SHINE the CD after, they come up like a Mirror again

Skitrow82 years ago
I have over 1500 CD's (music) and an unknown number of DVD's. I bought them all new. I have 2 questions - 1. How do the discs get all scratched up? I take the disc out of the case and place it into the CD player. When I'm done, I put it back in the case. This way, no dust or scratches. I have 2 discs I bought that had scratches on them when I first opened them.. I should have taken them back...but that was a long time ago.
2. I'm worried about using any of these products recommended on these scratched discs. I have a top end CD player that cost me $7000.00 - (crazy expensive but the sound is as good as it gets on disc). I don't think I want anything like Brasso, Vaseline or toothpaste anywhere near my player. Am I paranoid? I don't think so, but...?
The idea is, you'll be cleaning off all of the Brasso when you are done. None will be left to somehow drip into your fancy player. You're using the components of the Brasso to scratch up the surface of the CD--you'll be creating more scratches, not less. It doesn't fill the scratches in. It is sanding it down. A splinter on a wooden handle makes the handle useless--but if you sand the handle down, you can touch it again no problem without injury. The laser reading the disc is doing the same concept here. Don't leave the brasso on forever or anything, but polish out the deeper, bigger scratches causing the disc to skip. If your disc has a scratch but is not skipping, then it is fine as is and does not need repair.
what do you clean it off with when you do not have brasso???
kyoung312 years ago
You can actually use green alchohol and soak a rag or paper towel and wipe down the back if you want to do it the easy way of course.
people1012 years ago
could u use soap water or some thin' like that?
Tovamon2 years ago
i would like to point out that this really does work and that it has saved my ass dozens of times
Uncle Kudzu3 years ago
I have polished automobile tail light lenses and plastic watch crystals with cutting compound paste (like Turtle Wax brand). I'm guessing it would also work on scratched CDs, and it might be easier to find (auto parts store) than Brasso.
Autopolish is cheap too.
chosen114.3 years ago
dudes and doodies if u want a cd to b clean use anormal erazor and wipe with kaka tissues simple as that
wildviolets3 years ago
peanut butter works as well....just wipe from small hole outward...
travis963 years ago
I prefer colgate mint toothpaste it puts more scratched but the disc will work again...on video games at least.

1) apply toothpaste
2)let sit for 5 min
3)rinse in warm(not hot or cold)
4)repeat until disc works

P.S. apply toothpaste with your finger, rubbing in circular motions.

P.S.S. I like this guide 5 Star for you. im going to try it sometime too. Just one question...does it erase the memory?
50-50 travis963 years ago
All this is doing is waring down to layer of plastic below the skratchs.
You are preatty much skratching the rest of the disk down to the same level so it looks like it was never skratched.you would have to ploish for hours to get down to the data.
slayer04 50-503 years ago
or just start from the top, because all the data lies directly on the other side of the label :p
hedgesci3 years ago
use a "mister clean" magic eraser, from the center towards the outer edge. works everytime
Does this actually work? How deep can the scratches get before it doesnt work anymore?
ya i that on my game and it didnt work can any one gve me some more tips?

Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) Seems To Work Very Well For Me.(:
The easiest way to fix unplayable CD's (that i found to work) is With Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly.(:
skaihaku4 years ago
They use discs because when was the last time it cost more than 30p to make a disc as opposed to £3.50 for a cartridge. When also was the last time you could wipe a discs memory with a magnet?

They use discsettes for a reason, because physical memory beats virtual memory, and always will. fact
diskettes and CD's are all "physical" memory. There is no "virtual" memory. Both formats store data in physical 3 dimensional space
toogers4 years ago
CDs are so much work, i wish cartridges were for movies and music, in addition to some video games
I've thought of cartridges for media too. It's certainly possible with SD cards and such. Maybe they'll just start putting them on those SD cards instead with the only problem being that they are easy to lose. A cartridge of some sort would be better IMO.

ahmedhosen4 years ago
It is Ok . I did it
i tried that and it didn't work. Any more tips i could try.
i recommend 3500 grit, comes in disk for for a DA sander, but you can put brasso on it and had sand it
javitech5 years ago
This is the ticket! Brasso for brass works great. I've tried car wax, toothpaste ( too harsh) and the winner is Brasso. Gives a mirror polished shine that the Wii likes. I used in conjunction a cotton polishing cloth (looks and feels like the type of material used in baby blankets) after 3 tries i decided to remove the residue of brasso from the center towards the edge of the CD and it read w/o errors virsus circular motion (on removal of residue remember) Polishisg must be done in circular motion then again trial and error if you have the time and material to experiment. Good luck and thank to the contributor of this fine idea!!! (germanpickle). Regards, Javitech...
scottamus8 years ago
2000+ grit Sand paper would probably work great. Just attach it to something perfectly flat (I would use a sheet of glass) and start rubbing the disc on it in circular motions. I'd start with 2000 grit and see if that's enough to take the scratches out if it's not go to a lower grit. Once the surface is uniform go a higher grit and repeat. You'll have the added benefit of a trued (flat) surface. This is how I true chisels and if you do it right they have a mirror finish.
I use 1200, 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper, I've found simply tearing off a small piece, say 5x3cm and sanding the disc by hand, usually in straight motions from centre to outside. Depending on the severity of the scratch, I usually use 2000 and if it doesn't work, then 1500, sometimes 1200 if I just want to hurry it up. Then go back up to finer grit (1200 to 1500 to 2000) then polish with brasso on a cloth. That usually fixes it. If I want, I can also polish it further with plain white toothpaste, which can vary in ingredient.
When gentle polishing alone does not work, I also use sandpaper and work up to 3000 grit before polishing with rubbing compound.
You dont want to rub in a circular motion.. this is the way the data is read.. You actually wipe from the center straight out. And dont expect to remove all the scratches, you just buff them and remove the sharp/jagged edges so the laser doesnt skip. It can go up and down a hill, it cant jump a mountain. skip doctor is pro.
That may work, but first you'll have to sand down the ridge that runs around the center hole (presumably to keep the readable surface from contacting anything if the disk were laid flat. Take a look!)
The readable surface is not the shiny side of the cd. The data is written on the upper side under the print. That's the vulnerable side. The scratches on the 'playing surface' just get in the way of the laser , inhibiting it's ability to read the upper layer. Just fyi. Shabbadooooooo!!!
dal1235 years ago
I don't know what's in brasso and the fumes do smell - but i do know that I tried it AND IT WORKED!!!! WOO HOO!  I almost threw the disk out, I tried toothpaste and that just made it horrible.  I was going to send it to one of those resurfacing places but with shipping and that the cheapest I could find was about $9.00.  I had some brasso and it worked, my daughter's playing the disk right now - THANKYOU!
linda20105 years ago
brasso is sometimes corrosive and toothpaste is a terrible idea. for effective scratch removal i would use ScratchOut its a great product and can be found a gaming stores besybuy and walmart. its a great item to have around the house.
rakol17 years ago
there is no place that sells Brasso
Any military post / base / station whatever you wanna call it. Its a privates worst nightmare. (a privates, as in a person of the rank E-1 to E-3 in the army. Not your junk. Though I'm sure brasso on your junk would suck)
baneat rakol17 years ago
You get it in supermarkets.
check a hardware store. it's where i get mine
Hi all i just wanted to add to this with a comment about Xbox 360 dvd's. I had a 360 disk which had a horrible scratch running round the centre middle of the disk almost a full circle which rendered the disk unreadable by the console and i can confirm that after using this instructable the disk now installs and plays works fine although i replaced the paper towel with a soft cloth so it did take a few minutes more but the end result was a sucess. Thanks to germanpickle for this very effective method.
nikosapi6 years ago
Brasso worked great for a bunch of scratches on a DVD of mine, thanks!
suffice6 years ago
You don't really need all these things. An easier way to fix CDs and DVDs is that you can actually use toothpaste to polish them. Just get a towel, any kind would do but the softer the better. Wet the towel and put a bit of toothpaste on it. Start polishing from the center out by rubbing the wet towel against the disc. Remember you have to polish it from the center out not in circles. After a while the minor scratches should be gone and your CD or DVD should work again. If it doesn't then you have some deep scratches just keep polishing some more. Oh and rinse the disc and wipe it before you put it back in the player of course. Don't worry about minor scratches resulting from you rubbing the towel that's why you're rubbing from the inside out and not in circles, scratches in circles cause a continuous lost of data.
Turpialito9 years ago
There are substitutes. Try a car rubbing compound. God knows I rescued valuable CDs that way. IMHO works better than Brasso.
Brasso is wonderful stuff, but NOT recommended for plastics, because the solvent liquid can melt-distort most plastics. Used in small amounts and small areas is fine, but don't let it sit wet, your plastic can melt! Turpialito has the best solution - use car rubbing compound for heavy scratches, and polishing compound for light scratches, and final polishing from the rubbing compound. Even regular car wax will remove some light wear, and leave a nice coat of protection! Yes, toothpaste does work. It has micro-fine abrasive particles in it, to clean your teeth. So yes, it will work on plastic. YMMV Furniture polish will not be abrasive enough to remove scratches, but the wax will smooth light scratches some. Video stores have Pro machines that are designed to buff DVD's & CD's. Really big bucks...forget about that! Those "Disc Doctor" machines with the hand crank work OK. They're not perfect, but if you're not the mechano-geek kinda person (what are U doing here?), then they are fine for a noob to just snap in a disc, wet the surface (distilled water), and crank the handle till the disk makes a full rotation. Heavy scratches may take 2 rotations. Soft Scrub cleansers may work well. Try it if ya got it. YMMV. DON'T use old-style cleansers, you will scratch your disc into a coaster 4 sure! Ultra-fine silicon sandpaper will do a spiffy job fast, if you know how to use it properly. Most people don't. Takes lots of practice, lots of water, patience, and the skills & tools to get it right, and -evenly- surfaced. If you know, you're already there. If clueless, um, practice on that pile of AOL CD's you've got! Once you're skilled, you can even make your car paint look like you paid thousands! Final note- Whatever you do to one part of the disc, do to the rest of it. You don't want to grind micro-valley's into the surface, you want a flat, smooth, and even surface over the whole disc... You've been skooled. Go and conquer those nasty scratches! Last note- If you use flame, or boiling whatever kind of tips, then stick your head in there too. You need serious reshaping! ;-D
plutotan6 years ago
Look for a chemical called 'polyproponal' (dont know if its spelt right but sounds as written!) Now,.. I tried brass n metal polish ande yip, got rid of the scratches and the disc looks beutifull on my fifa 09, just like the first comment at the top, my X box had made a circular like feature,gauge, scratch, whatever!..anyway, back to the point, the disc still dont work. Now, polyproponol is a plastic like solvent in wich is residue is of a fine film, coating of plastic similar to that of the disc itself. SUMARY: polyproponol puts a proper new coat on to damaged discs, just keep applying layers. this liquid can be found in jml's disc repair kit, but in a lesser form. get the good stuff that is used in game shops that they use to fix your disc @ 2.50 a throw. thomas.......
babyandmom16 years ago
did it on shrek the 3rd before trying it I could not even get to the main menu now my son is watching it and so far so good there was a little skipping so I may have to do it one more time to get that out but seems good! Thank You!!!
acdc2316 years ago
tooth paste
better yet.. if you have one of the cheap cd cleaning systems. pour dots of brasso on the cd, clean. rinse cd, and rub with a cotton ball and it does wonders
brandon6947 years ago
OMG!!! my ps2 game works now!! after all this time of trying.. what i did was use an eraser and rubbed on the game from the centre to the outside really hard.. i wasnt expecting it to work.. and it didnt.. but then i thought of metholated spirits! and thought.. hmm that always works.. and got a cloth and put some metho on it and rubbed hard.. and now it works.. and im waiting to play it now but im writing this but yeah.. yay wrestling! anyway yeah it seriously works!
Brasso works wonders on cds and dvds. Just last night, I fixed three dvds that I couldn't watch. Sky Captain, Spy Kids 3D, and Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. Sky Captain had a part that would skip and freeze then start again a minute or two after the scratch. Spy Kids had a second or two glitch, and Harry Potter had a part that would skip and then just freeze. I supposed Brasso might or might not work depending on how you rub it in. For me, I just used an old tshirt and put a dab or two of Brasso on the shirt and wipe it gently across the scratches. After a minute or two to let the stuff dry some, hold the cd/dvd against the palm of one hand (or have it sitting on a clean, dry, flat surface) and with the other hand, the one with the cloth with Brasso on it, press hard (but not so hard that your finger/thumb starts to really hurt. You don't want to take off too much of the disc's surface) and rub the Brasso over the scratch affected areas in a circular pattern. Some people will tell you that you should wipe the polish from the inside to the outer edge in a straight line because scratches going from the inside to the outside are easier for the dvd player to overlook, but as long as the cloth you're using to polish with isn't overly rough (you're already using an abrasive), you can get results just as well with circular motions. Depending on how hard you press while polishing , the disc with either turn out looking just about as polished and as good as new, or it may be a little cloudy. After a few minutes rubbing the Brasso into the disc's scratches, use a clean cloth (or a clean part of the one you're already using) and very lightly wipe any excess polish off of the disc. You can do this in a straight line motion if you want or in the same circular motion (stopping every few strokes to use a clean piece of the cloth) just as long as you do it very gently. You've already rubbed enough abrasive into the disc and probably don't want to take the chance of making any more scratches. After a minute or two, you should have your disc looking close to new. Even if the disc surface seems to look a little cloudy, you've probably rubbed enough of the scratch out that your dvd/cd player will be able to read the disc with no problems.
jdog1727 years ago
I have a question can i use multi purpose brasso metal polish
i couldent getbit to work i tried like 1mil times im getin mad
macca4life7 years ago
thats easy all you need to do is... go on my computer and the will be a icon saying CD drive or somthing like that double click it and hey presto
btravis727 years ago
The best method I've found is Meguiars PlastX™ Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish and a Dremel tool with a buffing pad attachment. Put a drop or two on the disc, buff out the scratches with the Dremel, and within a few minutes you have a polished disc that will play again. I've saved quite a few discs this way so far.
slakosky7 years ago
I have also used my handheld steamer. I dont know what it isbut it seems to have melted all the data back together
I also used any name brand toothpaste to remove scratches on cd's and dvd's. Works too.
gunner7 years ago
it works time to play metal gear solid 1 twin snakes
shikira7 years ago
I have used furniture polish, just spray and polish on a DVD and it worked fine. Actually it was Mr. Sheen furniture but im sure any furniture polish which is not greasy would do.
Any try this with video game consoles? I need to resurface a few ps2 games.
kylet0078 years ago
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo shiney
kylet0078 years ago
i was reading it and got bored at the first step to much informayion i got a head ache owwwwwww
cykovisuals8 years ago
You can also use a banana!

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS2NMeUBArs
davos8 years ago
does this work with pc games to?
WendiS9 years ago
I used to use a small, handheld butane torch to get rid of CD scratches. It took a lot of practice to get the technique down-pat (and a lot of sacrificed CDs in the process), but if you just quickly swipe the flame over the scratch (you know you've done it long enough when it starts to look fogged up), it sort of re-melts the surface and dries smooth. Of course, you want to clean the CD first with something that isn't flammable, just so you aren't melting in any grit, and make sure you use a small flame and have the CD lying on a flat, firm surface. Has anyone else ever done something similar to this? DISCLAIMER: If anyone wants to try this method, consider yourself warned that there's a very narrow margin for error; I can't and won't replace your discs!!! :-)
Back in college I had a museum display project that involved plexiglass fabrication. Luckily, one of the shop assistants was a grad student with a background in professional plastic fabrication. Among the many great tips he gave me was that the torch was the preferred method for removing tooling marks from cut edges and restoring a clear appearance to the material. In this case, he liked best the hydrogen-oxygen torch for the clean flame, but that's not to say others wouldn't work if the exotic torches weren't laying around. And yeah, it does take practice, and there were a few tense moments on my time-consuming finished piece. I think cd's are manufactured from a similar plastic.
Ahh!!!!! Nice! thank you, i love using fire to cure my problems! Also i never EVER thought of melting the disk scratches(just enouf) :-D
CeeJay.dk8 years ago
Putting the CD/DVD in boiling hot water for about 30 seconds also works great and it's easier and faster to do than polishing the disc or filling it's scratches up with wax or sealant. And if it doesn't fix all the problems with the disc, you can always try polishing it afterwards.
That is not recommended by most people UNLESS the CD you got was new and did not work. The reason it works is because some moisture got on the CD/DVD before it was packaged and I don't remember all of it, but when you boil it, the plastics expand and the moisture was let out. Brasso should be used if the CD is 95%+ scratched and other CD/DVD fixes did not work.
It has worked for me with old DVD's as well, so I don't believe you.
You don't have to believe me, but when I was looking for fixes for CD/DVD scratches, I found an article on what boiling water does to a CD/DVD. It's been found to work a few times, but most people end up ruining their CD/DVDs.

Here is the article.
That article says that in does indeed work, and tells nothing about people ruining their CD/DVDs by doing this. Can you back up your claim that lowering a CD/DVD in boiling hot water for 30 seconds ruins the disc ?
It was in a forum where people said it could damage the CD/DVD further, I'm not sure which, but if I find it again, I'll show you.
bubbasoft8 years ago
I made my son try the torch AND brasso at the same time, and the results were funnier than the dvd I was trying to repair. The doctors say he can go home in a few weeks.
Linda19498 years ago
I hope SOMEONE can answer this, and help! I cannot install my Lexmark printer. It seems like the computer isn't reading the disk. The green light blinks constantly but nothing is happening. Could the lens be dirty, and if so, how do I clean it? PLEASE HELP ASAP. E-mail at Stormygal5157@Aol.com Thank you so much!
Lexmark printers and other cheap, similar printers, have to be plugged in during or after installation. Do NOT plug in your printer first or you will waste 30 minutes. Since the software is already installed, uninstall it first. If this does not work get a can of compressed air. Open the drive. Many times the drive has a small hole in the front. Bend a paper clip straight and insert in the hole.
The can of air should come with a straw. Blow air into the open drive. It is not a good idea to open it up though. You can replace it for about $40-$60 otherwise.

Benjamin Edwards
Linda19498 years ago
Hi! I need to repair my E-Towers Rescue disk for this computer. It's scratched pretty bad. Do you think Brasso will work on it? About the toothpaste, I've heard before it has to be white. I have blue gel, will that work as well? Thank you!
Pumpkin Pie9 years ago
Worked great! I had a Window$ ME disc that looked like it spent the day in the driveway. Wouldn't read at all. Did the Brasso thing since we have tons of it anyway. Worked great. No errors. Thanks a million!
yuck....you should really put that ME disc in the driveway....forever.
Concur. ME is unequivicably the worst operating system of all time. If you have an old computer that needs an operating system, try Xubuntu. Its fast and stable, even on old hardware. Same goes for Damn Small Linux. If you can't do linux, for whatever reason, go with vanilla windows 98. Its still a far cry from a good operating system, but its more stable than ME.
ItsMyTurn008 years ago
Another idea is...If you have scratches on the side of a CD where the writing is, put a coat of Black fingernail polish over the scratch to fix it.
blade128 years ago
yo was poppin son where do i go to get that cream shit
hondagofast8 years ago
Toothpaste works on seemingly un-readable PS1 discs that were scratched and had soda syrup baked on that I bought at a yard sale for $.50
ZenZan8 years ago
I've used this several times, it does work. But I start with tooth paste. Most tooth pastes are a fine lapping compound (polish)and it's slightly more abrasive than Braso. Also the first thing to try with any damaged CD is washing it in warm (not hot) soapy water. And if you hold it up to the light and can see light shining through, ie the foil is damaged, forget it (please note CD's are slightly "see through" kind of like the shiny wrapping tea bags come, in check it out). Your only other hope is to use software to copy it and skip the damaged part. Ok for movies and Music, little hope if it's software. Oh and Patience is a Virtue. I've been thinking of makeing a automatic polisher, couple of gears a pad or two and a motor. Any suggestions?
Thangfish9 years ago
If your various attempts at resurfacing a MUSIC cd fail, try EAC (Exact Audio Copy) Using this free software and a good cd reader, I have many times managed to rip good data from an otherwise un-playable cd.
I've been using EAC to back up my CDs to FLAC, and it's absolutely amazing. In addition to the awesome error correction capabilities, it gives you detailed reports on how successful the read was. It sees the tiniest scratches, but it'll read through even ugly radial scratches. What's more, it's free! Great suggestion!
try DB power amp
Brasso & T-CUT are cutting agents (Not a polish as such) both containing Ultra Fine cutting compounds. Fine for light scraches but if there a bit deep try giving them a sand with some P2000 Wet&Dry (with a block) Just dont go sick & sand through the surface ! Also if you want that surface to reay glow try polishing it with some nice soft Cotton Wool & a silicone polish
All buffing compounds are cutting agents, aren't they? You do want to remove some plastic. Polishes are only for after sanding/buffing, to fill in the ultrafine scratches left by sanding and buffing.
NICK_648 years ago
Steps For a badly scratched disk only. Take a side handle car buffer and attach disk to buffer with quarter size washers on the top and bottom side of the disk. Screw the retaining nut with just enough tightness to keep the disk held firmly in place...if it is too tight....stress fractures will form do to the tork of the spinning and the middle of the disk will break out. once the disk is attached, take 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper. Wet the paper and fold it so that you have enough area exposed to press to the spinning disk. Don't max out the buffer rpm's... use just enough to effectively resurface the disk without stressing the disk....remember alot of tork is being applied through centrifical force. You will quickly see the finish on your disk will look unrepairable. Apply the sand paper while wet only and until the disk has taken on a uniform dullish appearence. Once that is done have two cloths available....I use disposable handy wipes...perforated thin cotten cloths. Dampen one of the cloths and apply some auto mechanic mojo handcleaner to the cloth. Get the disk spinning again and hold the mojo cloth to the disk....this is to start cleaning the disk. Do this for about 5 seconds. Now hold a dry cloth to the disk. Now we will apply some turtle wax car polishing paste compound to the damp cloth ... not rubbing compound, polishing compound...it has mild abrasives. Apply polishing compund for about 15 to 20 seconds....switch to the dry cloth....then mojo on the damp cloth again....back to polishing compund, dry cloth, mojo ...etc. Keep repeating this process and you'll start to see the disk finish starting to come back. When the gloss starts to come back, and you think you've applied enough polishing compund, apply smaller amounts of mojo. Go to the dry coth each time and hold the dry cloth lightly against the spinning disk. The final step is to remove the disk from the buffer and wash the disk with warm water and dish soap. Rub the soap with your hand all over the disk as you rinse. Wash the disk in this manner twice. The whole process takes about 15 to twenty minutes. I was able to bring back two badly scratched disks that looked terrible and would not boot in ps2. One of them required the sand paper because the scratches were deep. The other disk was brought back just by using the buffer, polishing compund, and mojo. I had success the first and only time I tried this procedure.
cgosh8 years ago
Simple solution: When you get a new, expensive disk, make a copy and use only the copy to do your daily work. The original sits safely on the shelf until the copy gets so damaged you need to make a new copy. If you can't copy because it's "protected" Google DVDShrink. Also, buying a disk typically buys the disk and a license. Contact the vendor and you may find they'll send you another disk for a nominal fee rather than buying another license, too.
mtcw8 years ago
Excellent idea. Try a preliminary step before you put in this much labor however. I always keep a little generic automotive paste wax nearby for just this purpose. When I find a cd/dvd malfunction that is attributable to scratches, I just dab a little paste wax on and buff it off immediately. The wax (apparently) fills the scratch (that's what turtle wax designed it to do) temporarily with a compound that is similar enough to the base acrylic that it reduces light scattering. This works about nine times out of ten for me. For the other ten percent, fifteen minutes of Brasso is likely to help out. Also, if a disc is really badly scratched, there's a good chance both sides have gotten damaged. Hold it up to a bright light to make sure that the information layer (other side) isn't indeed scratched through (you'll see specks of light through the disc surface). It that's the case then there is nothing more to be done. Can't be fixed.
I run a CD and DVD repair company. While researching, I found that after using abraisive compounds, is improves results is finishing off with car wax.

Obviously, now I use large, expensive machines, but from a method similar to above, I got good results about 1/3 or the time.

It's worth a try. If it doesn't work and you live in the UK, you could always try a mail order CD, DVD, Playstation, etc repairing company like CD-Repair.co.uk.
I have a 1st gen nano and its scratched up badly. Could this method work?
germanpickle (author)  electronicfreak228 years ago
I've heard this works on the nano screen, but don't hold me responsible.
what about for CD+G karaoke discs? is there a method, many times the audio is fine but the graphics are diminished due to too many surface contaminants and scratches, I am at my wits end with this situation occurring nearly nightly i have several different players and they all react differently to different discs, i e one disc may screw up in player A. I eject it and load in player B. it plays fine, or player B screws up and i try in A IT WORKS FINE! I DON'T GET IT! i can clean the discs and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't change at all! I am scared to attempt the BRASSO on CD+Gs since many of them cost me upwards of $30 each to replace. i have attempted to make backup copies and that doesnt work as well as the original help me please, a karaoke host in atlanta!
phreek8 years ago
freakin awsome
This process should work on DVDs and game discs, as they run just like CDs do, with a laser reading grooves in the upper layer. If a disc is scratched, the laser gets distorted and files etc. cannot be accessed. When scratches are lessened, the laser can penetrate the plastic again. I like this method because it uses houshold items :)
lemonie8 years ago
Brasso did actually work on my Butthole Surfers Electric Larryland CD. It was scratched beyond playability, but pain-in-the-arse as it was I got it back. L
I have tried EVERYTHING to get my PS1 version disk (not the melted one ;) of FF8 to work, but i cannot find a solution! I have tried toothpaste, spit, carwax, vasaline, soap and water, pledge, peanut butter, cleaning the lens, compressed air, gettign it professionally cleaned and buffed. It there any reason other than scratches that might have made my disk unreadable??? I'm desperate, i borrowed this game from My husbands friend!!!! I'll buy him a new one, but i REALLY want to finish the darn game!!! Any help would be great!!!
Some CD resale shops will attempt "repair" of disc. Some have a 3-stage process to resurface the disc. Also since its PS1 it might be available for cheaper than new. Also have you tried a different PlayStation. Amongst all this good information, Why isn't DiscDoctor considered. Its manual or semi automatic resurfacer. My only other scratch removal experience that was good is a metal-polish. It has work good on non-cd titems such as plexiglass. However becareful you can overbuff, it takes elbow grease, not high speed buffering. Buffing can be done with cotton cloth or microfibre works too as it gets the grease off.
ps DiscDoctor sells for about $30-40 and has refills available. Try store such as Best-buy for example. Also there is no difference between the models that say made for audio or dvd or pc data disc. they're all the same polymer. product also is known as skip doctor, dvd doctor etc, made by digital innovations. enough writing. Good ideas but you might want to consider investing a few sheckles in a dedicated repair device
cjrboy148 years ago
Great Idea, BUT DO NOT use if you have any cracks on either side of the disc or you will end up with a split disc lol. Other then that its works really good
note for anyone: Don't try goo-gone followed by pledge... bad chemical reaction. Made my PS1 disk totally unreadable, and caused weird melt marks inside the layer under the first lacer layer.
darkpenguin9 years ago
if you have a really bad disk, take it to your local Hollywood Video/Game Crazy. All chain stores should have a resurfacing machine that they will be more than glad to use for you.
if you take your scratched disks to a movie store to get them buffed, make sure that the person who does it isn't new. I took one to a StarVideo and it came back with one monster scratched section. the manager wouldn't re-do it either.
ive got to try it
moryock9 years ago
An alternative to Brasso, toothpaste, PB, etc. is Novus Plastic Polish. It does work, although it seems to be better for acrylic (Plexiglass, Perspex) than the polycarbonate used for CDs.
what will work on xbox games
sizzzlin9 years ago
this seems to work however if you have a CD that is scratched on the top of it then it won't read either as the the optic will see through to the other side .....just color the scratch in with a permanent black marker on the top of the cd not on the data side and the CD will be readable once again :) sizzz
My son had a crash with my 96 honda,replaced the right front headlight..original one is very cloudy,will use brasso polish, hopefully bring it up to the other thanks...Heather
Heather, if the cloudiness is on the outside try using carnuba wax and a buffer. When I was a car detailer, I used that on police car overhead lights and it works great
Wait does toothpaste really work or was that a joke.
peanut butter works as a polish too(sounds goofy but it works)
aniket9 years ago
I liked ur idea. very well thought. Cleaning of a CD would also work with the use of an astringent and cotton. Try this out.....
mztriz9 years ago
you can do the same thing with toothpaste; everyone has that (i would hope so at least).
I agree. It works, but it dries out really fast
Cypris9 years ago
Im not sure if it was myself, or the brasso, but some where within the first part of the 15 mins cleaning time, 3 cracks occured in the inner ring going outwards, the middle crack is longest, the right crack is a tad shorter, and the left crack goes about an 1/8th inch past the inner silver ring.. maybe not even 1/8th, i had this cd on paper towels at my computer desk (Window open, fan blowing air out, house fan on high), 2 layers of paper towels, 1 whch was 4 lenghts folded on eachother, and on that layer was a 3 length, folded to be bigger than the cd by 2 inches on all sides, the cd didnt get much pressure applied to it.. i dont see how it happend. I dont care if its never happend, but COULD brasso crack a cd? in some way AT ALL under light pressure. thank god this was a test cd. but guys, now what am i going to do without Power DVD? Use WMP maybe/ lol. (i never used this). anyways, has this happend to anyone besides myself, or am i just that bad at doing delicate work? :-p
lbreevesii9 years ago
If you are willing to drop the cash, the novus series of plastic polishes works incredibly well. Having not used the brasso method I would try it first to see if the novus number 3(heavy) is more or less abrasive than brasso. I've used the novus system on some severely scratched disks including some OS disks laying around the pc shop with great sucess
bigboehmboy9 years ago
Where can you get brasso from? Are there other substitutes that can be used?
WAL-MART!!!! you can get it in the cleaning section
I use aersol(bad i know) wood polish or better yet, toothpaste. mix the toothpaste with water before you rub it into the cd. then rinse and buff.
Brasso is also available at small town hardware stores. Maybe at "Big Box" stores like Home Depot, as well. As a sustitute, I have heard of a chain of DVD movie rental stores which uses Pledge brand furniture dusting spray to polish their disks, preserving their functionality.
Try music shops. Brasso is a type of polish(or like it anyway) used for brass instruments. It also removes minor scratches from them, so it's usually quite easy to find either that or something similar
PurpZeY9 years ago
I took out a DVD from the library which looked like someone let their dog play frisbee with it. I tried standard soap and water to no avail. I have now tried the brasso approach also to no avail. There is some particular section of the disk that is damaged. No matter what software I use it always catches at "83%" I have to figure that means the scratch is somewhat towards the middle. However, after brassoing there aren't really too many scratches I can see. . .I might try one more time, but so far, although I expected better this method didn't do much.
Saever PurpZeY9 years ago
Alright this is how it works, a DVD or CD is NOT like a vinal (record). They read from the inside --> out
bricyn9 years ago
Sorry Guys, It should have been the kr-70 kit(they changed the number)
bricyn9 years ago
The aviation product we use on aicraft windows and canopies is called "micromesh"
Check out this wesite: https://www.micro-surface.com (all you need to know is here... try the kn-70 kit)
It is designed specifically for polishing and removing scratches from plastic. I work in aviation and I've used this kit to repair several severely scratched cd's. It works very well. As with all polishing processes READ AND FOLLOW the directions,and be prepared to spend some time doing this (is it worth fixing-or replacing?) I've always been able to get my discs to play again using this product. I hope this helps everyone.
Dayshawn9 years ago
Brasso works great on my ipod also.
Goshen.Guy9 years ago
I am concerned with anything that removes material, as the newer - read that "cheaper" - method of disk manufacture applies a layer of foil directly to the underside of the disk, without the benefit of the protective layer of plastic. This leaves the foil unprotected. What happens if you are using an abrasive directly on the foil, and not on plastic? Have you used this on the newer (cheaper) disks?
Hero9 years ago
i have more of a question then comment. i was wondering if anyone has tried this on a playstation disc and has made it work? i really like the games i have but i dont konw of i should try it. i cant really replace the games cause they are classics and i dont konw wher i can find another one.. if anyone could help that be great thanks.
padawan Hero9 years ago
If it works with a CD, it would work with a playstation CD of course. All that you are doing is repairing the pertecting layer. you are not actually repairing data. it will work for any console game, computer game, or audio CD or even a CDR
_soapy_ Hero9 years ago
It does work, I've used Brasso in the past. If the discs don't work, then what have you got to lose?
savagenarce9 years ago
A word of warning: scratches on the blank (bottom) of the disk can be treated this way, but scratches on the top (label) side of the disk will probably render it unuseable (which I suspect may have been the cause of PurpZeY's problem). In fact, Microsoft's volume licensing website (they distribute a library of disks to clients with volume licenses) instructs them to make un-needed disks unreadable by scratching the label side of the disk with a sharp object. This removes the reflective coating, and makes the disk suitable only for frisbee use.
zephyr52089 years ago
another wonderful little device i have found is d_skins.. they cost about a buck a skin, but that is really a small cost compared to the 40 and 50 dollar games and 500$ programs that you can protect with them.. d_skins work wonderful with everything, except for the xbox 360.. i have used them on pretty much everything from PS2 and Xbox games to DVDs to The Sims 2 to XP install disks..
Would the same work for sreens on cellphones and PDA's? I might just try on some old Nokia 5120 phones i have in a junkbox.
petropoldan9 years ago
did you try tooth paste?
Digeeedad9 years ago
I had great luck using Brasso through 2 bottles/cans of it. I then tried to purchase Brasso again and found that no matter what I did, including using a hair dryer, it will not dry. Previously I would use a hair dryer to speed up the drying and then wipe off the CD/DVD when dried to a haze as per the instructions on the product and on other forums. Returned 3 cans/bottles from different locations thinking it to be a "bad shipment". Finally got a written reply from Brasso company saying that the Brasso formulation was recently altered due to enviornmental regulations. Less drying agents could now be used, thus the non-drying experience. Brasso sadly is now out as DVD/CD scratch remover for me, as trying to get the oily substance OFF the disc now causes more harm than help!!! What a shame.... Curt
abbabibble29 years ago
holy shit! THIS WORKED GREAT! i repaired my favorite game disc back from the days of Mac OS8.5 and 9! THANKS!
chesshaha9 years ago
Does it work for cd that have really deep scratches?
There's a standard military procedure similar to this method that is used to repair scratches in aircraft canopies. It has abrasive compounds in suspension fluids and sand papers from 4000 to 12 or 16000 grits. I've never seen it used, but the airframes guys always had a couple kits laying around.
DUKE9 years ago
Also, I have done some disc polishing using toothpaste with good results. The Brasso sounds like a good idea too. I've confined my polishing efforts to small areas of the disc using Q-Tips. Consider that using an abrasive on your CD is actually adding millions more tiny scratches to the plastic, and maybe doing a polish over the entire surface is not always necessary. If you've just got one or two scratches, you might be better off treating them alone and leaving the rest of the disc unblemished.
DUKE9 years ago
Good instructable, I'd just add a reminder to try less drastic options first. I've had great results more often than I'd have thought just from washing the disc. It can pull a lot of laser-blocking dirt out of scratches and allow another clean read. This has worked for me a lot on heavily handled discs, like audio CDs from the library. Take it to the sink and give it a wash using the classic "straight lines from the center to the outside edge" method of cleaning discs. I use dish soap and a very light pressure at this step to make sure any grit that would cause further scratching is gone from the disc. Next I grab another dab of dish soap and work it into the surface of the disc with a heavy, circular scrubbing motion using my thumb, the idea being to soap and polish the dirt out of the scratches and make it more likely that the laser can read through that area of the disc again. Pat it dry with a soft towel and give it another shot in the reader. I've sometimes done the scrub two or three times before finally getting an error-free read, and sometimes it just doesn't help, but it's usually my first effort to recover a scratched disc.
rekaks9 years ago
this can only work with hairline scratches. for deep scratches, this won't work. also, most cheap optical media such as cd and dvd have only 5- 10 years memory retention.
juanbullet9 years ago
We always use Pledge on an old cotton t-shirt to clean the windscreen on our aircraft. Ends the glare, scratching and crazing (sun aging), so I'm sure it would do the same to discs.
Eggy9 years ago
FWIW Brasso also works well on perspex (polymethylmethacrylate) and is therefore good for getting rid of scratches on plastic spectacle lenses and iPod screens.
BillTheCat9 years ago
Check this older article out too...
http://www.cybergrass.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=16 titled Reparing Damaged CDs.

I didn't realize that aircraft acrylic is the same as CD material!
mad4tunes9 years ago
When you're using a cloth, make sure it's 100% cotton, and not a cotton/polyester blend. After all, they make fishing line out of polyester thread.
bemenaker9 years ago
DO NOT USE A PAPER TOWEL. It is too course and will introduce scratches. Use a cotton cloth. The inside of t-shirt is great, and the inside is softer then the outside. It has to do with the weaving. You can do this more than once, the plastic is thick enough. I have done this for years, but I normally use McGuyers plastic polish. #10
spinach_dip9 years ago

No need to brasso, polish, wash. Just spray and wipe.
gover579 years ago
any normal auto wax works - turtle wax, mother's, carnuba - just polish as you would a scratch on your car, and you should be able to get rid of the scratch enough to at least rip or copy the disc so you can use the files/music and burn another disc. also, the was doesn't remove the plastic as the brasso does, thus saving your disc for possible second or more copying. just make sure you put it in a case this time...
tonyspencer9 years ago
Sorry for the double post there - wireless dropout problems. oktyabr has an excellent idea. Had not thought of that, but that stuff is ideal - it's designed not only for plastic, but to enhance the optical see through properties.
tonyspencer9 years ago
I've used T-Cut auto polish on DVDs, and that has worked. Of course it would be better to reburn the DVD/CD, but at the moment blank dual-layer DVDs are often more expensive than the original DVD! Basically any abrasive compound should work, if care is taken, and the aim should really be only to recover data for reburning not for continued use of the disk.
oktyabr9 years ago
A good autopart store will carry a bottle of spray on cleaner/polish specifically for plastic windows in convertible tops, helmet face shields, motorcycle windscreens, etc. This stuff works GREAT and is very affordable too. Same technique.
tonyspencer9 years ago
I've used T-Cut auto polish on DVDs, and that has worked. Of course it would be better to reburn the DVD/CD, but at the moment blank dual-layer DVDs are often more expensive than the original DVD!
piratetom9 years ago
I've had much success with toothpaste. Use it as a last resort as it's a relativly high-abrasive substance.
iTech9 years ago
I actually think this would work quite well. Although I don't believe its a good idea to do this to a CD more than once as it takes of the plastic layer. I'm guessing the best situation this can be applied to is when the CD becomes completely unreadable and you wish to simply restore the data. I'd say that those people who just wish to "fix up" their music CDs and then continue using them are stuck. The best they got is restoring their CDs using the wonderful guide above and then simply backing the CDs up. I'm hoping to write a similar article on my site http://itech.webwarp.net and I would appreciate if I can use information from this artle.

Also: Have you ever tried using toothpaste to solve the scratch problems?
DynamoBen9 years ago
This seems to work. I tried this technique with some audio CDs. The only thing I did different was I added a coat of carnauba auto wax when I was done. This filled in some of the scratches from polishing.
nak9 years ago
Cool! Are you going to do a trebuchet instructable? (just from the avi filename :-) )
bigboehmboy9 years ago
just a quick note, it's "rinse" in case youre able to change it. Great tutorial though :)