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Remove Scratches from a CD/DVD with Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly)

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Picture of Remove Scratches from a CD/DVD with Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly)
Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) can be used for chapped lips, dry skin, and for getting rid of head lice; but how about making CDs and DVDs readable again?  Well, it does that too.  There are also other ways to do this on the Instructables website, but I will show you the one that I believe works best.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Before you start removing scratches from your CDs and DVDs, you should grab your materials.  To perform the directions in this Instructable, you will need  the following materials:

- Soft Cloth or Disc Cleaner/Repair
- Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline, Store Brand, etc.)
- Minor to severely scratched discs

Step 4: Finished!

Picture of Finished!
All clean!  As you can see, there are no more visible scratches.  If this didn't work for you, try peanut butter.  Rumor has it that it works.

If there are any improvements that need to be made, please do not hesitate to comment.
uncle frogy4 years ago
the only media that has any hope of lasting for ever and to be "readable" is stone or metal. every other media is subject to deterioration at different rates. It is not that the plastic will last it is it still readable there is a rate of "bit rot" that occurs that after a while makes the disk unreadable. The advantage of digital format over analog is that digital format does not deteriorate with copying, a copy of a copy of a copy is as good as the original.   
Thank you for the article anything that helps us retrieve our data and prevent it disappearing for ever is good. Once it is repaired I would recommend making 2 copies one on a HD and the other on a new optical disk.
backup the backups!
I know it's a 3 year old comment, but I can't resist. CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, etc. are all digital formats. They do not deteriorate with copying, as you said. You can copy any of them onto another, and have a fresh one.

Digital formats are not invincible, however. Discs scratch, hard drives crash, and flash memory deteriorates. Sure, you're copying a bunch of 1s and 0s, but given the right conditions, even that can copy incorrectly and leave you an inferior clone.

And for all of the lossy formats out there, many times, you do come out with an inferior copy that does deteriorate as it is copied around. Burn a bunch of mp3s to a disc as an audio disc, they are resampled. Rip that disc to mp3, resampled again, to a lossy format again. This wreaks havoc on the integrity of the audio. Constant resampling and altering of images causes the same issues. Compression isn't as great as it's made out to be if you look at the longevity of these things.

LPs, cassettes. tapes, etc. are analog formats. They deteriorate as the plastic deteriorates, warps, or stretches. They cannot be copied losslessly. However, they can last a very, very long time given the proper care... as can any physical digital medium.

The point I'm making is if you keep your physical stuff in good shape, you can generally avoid much of this resurfacing or repairing stuff anyway. I can't say I have never scratched a disc, but most of my issues have been with others and buying used.
dianet6 months ago
Hi,
For polishing a dvd it's correct to go in circles.. That's what it says on my JFJ disc repair. It's a polish not a cleaner. This is how it's written:" Spray 2 pumps on a disc. Wipe in a circular motion from the inside out until a lusterfull shine appears.. You can check for your self at JFJ Disc repair. Easy to google. It is correct to CLEAN discs in an outwards manner, put not polish them. And it seems to me vaseline is a polish.
ianolivia11 months ago
I'm allergic to Peanuts, so I can't use peanut butter.
:....( IT DIDN'T WORK:(
powerfool2 years ago
Instead of a cloth do you think I could use some pure cotton (eg. a cotton bud) to apply the vaseline locally where the scratches are? I only have two or three tiny marks, not even deep. Do you think cotton is ok?
WELL EVERYBODY!!!!! CALM DOWN!!!! THERE IS A NEW WAY FOR ALL OF YOU WHOSE DISCS DIDNT WORK WITH THIS TREATMENT......... TRY THE BRASSO, AND GET A COTTON BALL AND GENTLY WIPE FROM CENTER AND WORK UR WAY OUTWORDS...(IF YOU WIPE IT IN A CIRCULAR MOTION IT WILL GET SCRATCHED) THEN WASH WITH A BABY WIPE.... IT WORKS ON ANYTHING THATS SCRATCHED...
i've tried everthing! toothpaste, a banana, peanut butter, and nothing! none of them worked and after i tried this it still did't work PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
well, there is one more thing you can use..... try a light bulb...... DJ'S use it to heat the cd into working...... turn a lamp on-(but the light bulb has to be a 70 watt light bulb) put your finger in the center of the cd and rotate it slowly on top of the bulb. it will make your cd forcefully work again even if it is scratched... ur welcome!!!!(-:
geekvig3 years ago
You can also use the following:

Peanut butter
Toothpaste
Banana
Metal polish
gb123 geekvig3 years ago
WTH? bananna?
geekvig gb1233 years ago
Yes. Banana.
The banana method saved my Halo 2 game. XD So, yes, banana.
The vitamin X 612 T5 in banana is useful.
You are spot on Solder.....
jsingh232 years ago
I tried it on my DVD. It worked absolutely fine..... Very very good suggestion. V cheap and best.
GBoss132 years ago
Thanks for the help! but another tip; use a little water when cleaning off the grease
atonix2 years ago
I have the better idea than you have.
First, layer the CD with toothpaste. Then layer it with peanut butter. WIPE IT with tissue or soft cloth,you can use kitchen towel. Repeat the same process. Then dip it in the mixture of coke and soda for about 30 minutes. don't forget to shake. Then, Amazingly all the scratches of all types will be removed. This method works perfectly. For test, I had used a manually scrached CD scrached severly by rubbing it on cement surface. The result was far better than this messy valseline job.
fuzz2002 years ago
This method saved my disc!!!
ive done all of the steps but i still have alot of scratches but i still thought it was going to work but my wii didn't detect it ive done this like 6 times already please help!!!
Brasso metal polish will work, thats what professionals use, and it worked for me., its in a liquid form in a can.
This doesn't work..... It just made my discs reaaaal greasy, and the Vaseline was really hard to get off.
light man3 years ago
That's great,but will this method remove scratch's from a psp 1000 plastic screen?
Shamus0303 years ago
 actually, you should go from the center of the CD out when wiping.  If you make a large circle along the perimeter, the CD reader will follow any microscopic scratches you make and screw the CD up.  By making outward strokes, any scratches you make will not affect the tracking of the CD.  This happened with my copy of ghostbusters, and whenever I got to the part where the giant marshmallow man came out, it tracked back to the opening clip.
lol
etaf73 years ago
would this work for informational disks such as video games?
caca11283 years ago
I tried it and the scratches stayed there but there were less scratches.
Ruettiger3 years ago
I always use plastic polish and follow that up with a very small amount of car wax. Of course you have to buy this stuff but it's like 4 bucks for the polish.
xc10244 years ago
 Does that make the laser lens dirty with that dead dinosaurs' jellified corpse? If it does, I wouldn't risk doing that. Maybe when I have a spare CD drive.
ac-dc xc10244 years ago
Wasted colorful comment.  You wipe off exess and the laser lens never touches the disc so the most problematic thing that might happen is due to the disc now being stickier, if you have a lot of dust in your optical drive you may need to pull the disc out and wipe all the gunk off then reapply vaseline.

However it would be prudent to use mild compressed air to clean out an optical drive beforehand, sometimes it is not only the disc at fault but a combination of factors including dust buildup (or other environmental pollutants like grease near a kitchen or smoke from a tobacco smoker) on the lens.
xc1024 ac-dc4 years ago
 Yes, but then if I reapply the jelly, doesn't the disc get destroyed even more than it was before? I would assume that the jelly gradually reacts with the plastic on the disc and eats it away. Is that true or not?
no.  Petroleum jelly is made up of very long, nonreactive hydrocarbons.  The atmosphere would be more corrosive to your disk than the Vaseline.
I think it's more a matter of the petroleum jelly filling the cracks and allowing the laser to pass through again.
I wouldn't imagine. I'm guessing that's why we're to let it sit overnight, then wipe it off... don't know, but I'm excited to try it today and I will let ya all know how it works for me!
you does not have that much capability to over night  sit and wipe today man
wanwarlock3 years ago
first time commenting on here

this actually worked on my sons' Thomas the tank engine DVD! that saved me some $ and also for not doing any illegal downloading! heheh

thanks a million for this very easy (and works!) instructable!
timothymh4 years ago
 Tell people NOT to rub in circles, as this can cause interference itself if the cloth rubs at all. Instead, rub perpendicular to the tracks on the disk (i.e. in -> out or vice versa).
clonaciano4 years ago
does this method works with video games?
 It should work with all the CDs containing data, so yes.
gpotvin (author)  clonaciano4 years ago
yeah.  thats what inspired me to make the instructable. 
anyone think this could work to take the scratches of a samsung eternity?
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