How to Clean XBox Disks
By Carol Finch
Updated September 22, 2017
If an Xbox disk won't play, and it looks to be in less than sparkling condition, dust or dirt may be preventing the console from reading it. If this happens, you may see an error message when you try to load or problems may occur during gameplay. It's important to keep disks as clean as you can -- dust and dirt don't just cause loading issues, but may also damage the disk and transfer into the console itself.
Use the Right Cloth
To avoid damaging your disk, choose the right type of cleaning cloth. Cloths should be clean, soft and non-abrasive. If you use abrasive materials, you risk scratching the disk's protective coating, which might cause permanent damage. It's also worth using a lint-free or microfiber cloth, as these materials won't shed fibers or fluff when you use them. Remember, your aim here is to clean your disk and not to add more debris to it.
Use the Right Liquid
According to Microsoft, you should only ever use water to clean an Xbox disk. The company advises against using any other cleaning solutions, such as chemicals or solvents that contain alcohol, paint thinner, gasoline or benzene. If you can't get your disk clean with water and choose to try a different solution, you'll be doing so against the manufacturer's advice and may damage the disk.
Use the Right Movements
The best way to handle a disk is by its edges; you can also put a finger in the central hole for more control. Hold the disk up to the light and assess how dirty it is. If specks of dirt or grit are stuck on it, blow across it to see if they dislodge. If not, use a soft brush to flick them off, being careful not to pull them across and scratch the surface.
Dampen your cloth slightly and rub it across the shiny surface, working in straight lines from the central hole to the edge. Never wipe around a disk in circles, as this may damage data. If your disk is still not clean, add a little more water to the cloth and repeat the process.
Use Disk Cases
If you leave Xbox disks lying around out of their cases when you aren't using them, chances are they'll get dusty and dirty. The longer they are out in the open, the harder they may be to clean, so it's worth getting into good disk storage habits. If you put your disks back in their cases every time you're done using them and close the cases correctly, they won't attract dust or dirt and you protect them from other accidents, such as scratches or having things spilled on them.
Carol Finch has been writing technology, careers, business and finance articles since 2000, tapping into her experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting. She has a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages, a Chartered Institute of Marketing.certificate and unofficial tech and gaming geek status with her long-suffering friends and family.