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Are CD cleaning machines recomended?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by DK Pete, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Levittown. NY
    Fanatical as I am abpout trying to keep my Lp's and CD's in excellent shape, I find that this is a near impossibility when it involves the latter. Despite how careful I am in holding and inserting/removing them properly 9from case and player) in order to make no contact with the actual playing surface, somehow, someway, light linear and scuff indications always seem to make their way onto them. While this affects their playability and sound by 0%, it annoys me. That said, are any simple-to-use machines out there that will remove these light markings without causing any damage to the sound? All opinions, input highly welcomed. Thanks.
  2. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    The important part of your post is this: "While this affects their playability and sound by 0%". Who LOOKs at their CDs? I'm an artist and fairly picky about things being in their place, done right, clean, and in order--but I've never worried about how the played surface of a CD looked except to check for obvious damage when buying them used. Relax. Enjoy the music.

    Others may have, but I've never heard of a CD cleaning machine. I doubt they exist.
    timind, Carlox, scobb and 1 other person like this.
  3. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    I clean used CDs that I buy with some Sunlight dish detergent and water. Dry with a clean microfiber towel. This removes any fingerprints and dust.

    I don't worry about light scratches. Unless a disc can't play, and then I'll hit it with some toothpaste to buff out the scratch. This doesn't tend to come up much, as I only buy used CDs that are in NM condition.
  4. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Every home buffing technique I've seen ends up leaving a haze or more marks.

    A professional buffing machine works but they are expensive and not practical for home use. I have over 4,000 CDs and wouldn't buy one.

    If you are extremely OCD and have extra money to burn knock yourself out.
  5. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Levittown. NY
    Thanks for your advice and I really have to try thinking in those terms. I'm one of those people who's a huge fan of mini Lp's and digipacs so you can imagine my obsession with keeping these things in as "new' condition as possible. I have seen a few "cleaning machines" either on amazon or Ebay and of course, the reviews talk about how well they work; but I have my doubts and wonder if it's really worth the trouble.
  6. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Levittown. NY
    Your opening sentence is key; I've had the same experience when "experimenting" on a few CD-R's. The resuklts never inclined me to use them on my "real" discs.
    patient_ot likes this.
  7. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    You can wash a CD with the tiniest touch of dishwashing fluid, room temperature water and your fingertips. Pat dry -- do not wipe.

    I have been able to cure most CD (and DVD and Blu-ray) scratches with Armor All. However, this is not recommended by some people, as the residue may melt off the disc and fall onto the laser lens. I only do this if the disc fails to read, but those people would suggest never doing it at all.
  8. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    If the disc plays without issue, just leave it alone. Period.
    timind, Mike-48, Carlox and 5 others like this.
  9. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Arizona desert
    I had a neat cleaner back in 90's that I liked. I believe it was called a hydrobath or something like that. Washed and spin dried.
  10. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer

  11. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Worcester, MA, USA
    For CD's I play a lot I burn a CDR copy to play so most of my silver CDs have only been played once.

    Other option is to rip a flac file if your player can play or a wav file to stream.
  12. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    just get a little lens cleaning cloth or whatever to wipe fingerprints off, if you want. Anything else you are wasting time IMO.
    Casino likes this.
  13. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    you think playing wears them out?
  14. classicrocker

    classicrocker Life is good!

    Worcester, MA, USA
    No handling and playing them can lead to scratches that the OP was concerned with.

    I was offering options to keep his CD's in mint condition while still enjoying the content.

    CDr's are cheap and throw away if you damage a copy of your original CD, but a rare original silver CD, like some of the bootlegs I own, can be expensive or impossible to replace
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  15. Nakamichi

    Nakamichi The iceage is coming....

    I have been playing cd's since the day they came out and I have never bothered to clean any of them.
    They all still play perfectly.
  16. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Fonthill, Ontario
    and I’ve never scratched one
    Nakamichi likes this.
  17. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Lincoln, UK
    I have used my glasses cleaning wipes and then a clean glasses cloth ... worked so far ..
    timind likes this.
  18. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    I have got to try this toothpaste buffing technique!
  19. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Mysphere 3.2.

    Buy some round ended CD bags to put your Cd in then put that containing the CD into the mini-LP sleeve, much like a miniaturised version of Japanese or Australian albums.
    Never, ever wash a Nimbus manufactured CD.
  20. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Think you are supposed to use regular toothpaste. And paste, not gel. I just use basic Colgate or Crest for this. Nothing with whitening technology, or Listerine breath strips, or Scope, or any of that.
    Damien DiAngelo likes this.
  21. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Devon, UK
    I've used the toothpaste technique a few times. It leaves the surface cloudy but can get rid of annoying deep scratches sometimes. So only as a last resort. But I've had it work well mainly.
    patient_ot likes this.
  22. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabbit!

    Berkshire UK
    They do exist, as reported in the quote below. I think it was marketed by Maxell . The mention of "hydrobath" reminds me that I still have one somewhere ( in a box in the garage perhaps?)

    CMT likes this.
  23. DavidR

    DavidR Forum Resident

    For general cleaning I use Eclipse Cleaning Fluid and PEC-PADS.
  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Here's a link to some professional machines:


    As you can see, they are very expensive. Even the basic "cleaning only" model will cost you over $300. The models that actually buff discs can get into the thousands of dollars.

    A few years ago I lived down the street from a record shop that had one of these professional machines. Since I was a regular customer, they would buff any disc I purchased or brought into the shop. Even with those machines, you have to be careful. If the instructions aren't followed properly they can ruin discs.

    If you ever want to try one go into a store that sells a lot of video game discs. Often they will have one and charge a fee to buff a CD or gaming disc. Many types of scratches can be fixed but not if the scratch goes down into the data layer there is nothing that can be done.
  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    playing cds since '83. the only ones i have ever cleaned are ones that get accidentally wet, dropped or bought used that are scratched.
    i use a soft cloth and windex for cleaning and a soft cloth with auto finish scratch remover working from the center out in spoke like strokes.

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