Effective CD Scratch Repair




Introduction: Effective CD Scratch Repair

CD's scratch so easily as you all know, and the average scratch repair method sucks. Toothpaste doesn't work on moderate to heavy scratches, and the things that can fix those are to abraisive to use at all.

While searching for something to polish up my brass paintball gun, I stumbled across the perfect compund to repair CD's.

Step 1: What You Need!

You will need

1 CD that is in desperate need of repair
1 roll of paper towel, and not necessarily the soft stuff
1 roll of reasonable soft and durable toilet paper
1 cloth do place the CD on as to not damage it, and soak up excess Brasso
1 Can of Brasso Metal Polish (MUST BE BRASSO)

Take a look at the intro picture to see what I used.

Brasso is a very unique polishing agent. It is just abrasive enough to remove mild to moderate scratches without being so abrasive that it will scuff the polycarbonate plastic..

One of it's listed uses on the back of the can is for polishing plastic watch crystals.

Step 2: Polishing Part 1

Lay down your cloth and place your CD on top.

Neatly fold some paper towel up and apply a moderate amount of Brasso. The stuff is runny and has a very strong order so try to not make a mess.

Hold your CD securely and rub the CD with the Brasso covered paper towel in circular motion similar to the way you would wax a car.

You can apply a decent amount of pressure to work out deep scratches but don't crack the CD. The less pressure you use the better the final surface, but you can also go through stages of polishing. Work out the deep scratches then go over with a finishing, light pressure, polish.

I've also used a Dremel and/or a substancial amount of hand polishing to buff out realy deep scratches, but you have to be sure to taper the plastic out gradualy otherwise it will create a reading problem when the laser is directed off at an angle.

Step 3: Polishing Part 2

Just as car was would, the Brasso will dry to a haze.

Periodicaly stop polishing with the paper towel, allow the Brasso to haze, then use the toilet paper to rub off the haze.

This step actualy does a decent amout of polishing in it's self so i recomend doing it often.

Basicly when you feel that the initial Brasso aplication is running thin or the section of paper towel is wearing out, stop, dry polish with T.P., then start over.

Step 4: The Finished Product

Depending on the severity of the scratches this could take some time, especialy if you are trying to remove the deep ones.

I usualy use a rougher abrasive on target areas then use the brasso to correct those scratches. It's safer than a dremel, and still effective.

When you are done you should have a surface that is readable, with only light insignificant swirl marks.

You may want to try using toothpaste at this time to finish it to a like new surface.

Happy polishing, and be sure to be in a ventalated area.



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    28 Discussions

    will it wik on ps1

    Thanks for the tips.I had a couple CDs that skipped and was about to throw them away if I couldn't find a way to make them play. First I tried cleaning them with dish washing liquid, no go. I didn't have any Brasso on hand, so I tried Nevr-Dull Magic Wadding (cotton wadding) Polish, which I know from my Navy days to work on similar surfaces. Low and behold it worked! The CDs played without skipping. I never would have thought of that without your write up, thanks again.

    Looking at the CDs surface under a bright light, I see a lot of light scratches,
    but any adhesive appears to been removed. deeper scratches minimized.

    I just held the CD in my hand, thumb on outer edge, fingers in middle hole. I tore a small piece of cotton wadding and worked around the CD in small circles a few times. Then rubbed straight dish washing liquid all
    around the disk with my fingers. Rinsed the CD off with water in the
    sink while removing soap reside with my thumb. Then dried it with an old
    cotton T-shirt. Good luck!



    U think it will work on a video game that got scratched when my Xbox fell down. It's a perfect circle scratch

    Interesting. Will Silvo work as well as Brasso? If you are not familiar with it, it is a silver polish by the same manufacturer as Brasso.

    1 reply

    none of this will work anymore. They changed the compound. It's a paste and its to course. Silvo will not work. Its not really a compound. It's more a chemical paste. It works on a reaction.

    Whatever method you choose, I strongly recommend testing it on a CD or DVD that is no longer of value.

     I know this was posted back in 2007, but I heard that sometime after this, the company that makes Brasso changed the formula so that it couldn't be used in this manner again.  Can anyone tell me if Brasso is still useful in this manner or if it's no longer useful?

    2 replies

    yeah i have recognized htis because the new one is a paste and the old one is liquid.

     I just bought some of the new stuff, and it destroyed a CD.  I highly doubt this method is effective anymore.  If you can find it in a metal tin, your all good.

    toilofday i have a deep chip in my game disk. i was wondering if i could post a picture of it online for you to look at and tell me if it can even be fixed. i have tried, furniture polish, toothpaste, light bulb, um... idk what else its a really deep chip and im not sure if it can even be fixed. thanks 

    Good job!
    Glad to see another cd scratch recovery tutorial, I have recovered many compact disks from moderate scratches with just toothpaste but if they are too deep then this might work. I thought about making one on here but there seems to be enough instead i will just link to my tutorial www.vluray.com

    NO! I ruined the screen on my phone trying this. It made the scratches look bigger, which really sucked.

    Sorry to hear that. I would recommend using a Dremel with the buffer wheel and the polishing compound. It really does work well and I have used this to remove scratches on my Spectacles. Good luck. Maybe you could borrow one if you do not have one.

    I just tried this on my new 360 game that i managed to scratch pretty badly, however thanks to your guide was able to fix it. thank you

    LOL, No I did not see that other instructable. My aproach is a little differnt with the Brasso aplication and method, so I think i'll keep it. This is also my first instructable! :) About Silvo: Yes it should work. I've haven't ran across it yet, but I do know it's much less abrasive and could be used as a finishing polisher to remove the swirl marks left by the Brasso. It is definately on my list of things to buy.

    1 reply

    hey i tried it on a xbox 360 game and it worked for a couple of levels but not to where I wanted it to, and its brasso but in a bottol

    1 reply

    I'm assuming your disk was very scratched. Deep scratches are hard to get out and even after some minor polishing can still affect your game play (in this case). It's possible that you need to continue polishing until you've worn down the polycarbonate enough to have worn down any deep scratches. Then begin using a progressively lighter application of pressure in a few final passes to reduce swirling and scratches inflicted by the grit in brasso. Another method which has work faster but has a higher risk of damaging the disk is to use a harsher compound, such as automotive polishing compound, in order to get below the scratches faster. Brasso can take a considerable amount of time. It's very gentile. Once you've gotten below the scratches with a harsher compound, use the brasso to smooth it out. The only problem I've had with this second method is creating a valley in the plastic which sends the laser off course. This can be corrected by carefully creating a more gradual slope with the harsher compounds over working on just a small area. I usualy polish at least 1/2 a disk tapering outward in both directions from the scratch. Polishing is art. It's very similar to sharpening knives.