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Home Remedies for Scratched DVDs

by Launie SorrelsUpdated September 28, 2017

Not all scratched DVD's are salvageable. A key point is the direction of the scratch. If the scratch goes in the direction of the grooves there is a very good chance you lost that DVD. However, if the scratch goes against the grain of the DVD then there is hope.

Polishing Materials

The key to the right material is that it must be slightly abrasive or act as filler. You want to remove the outer film of the DVD without creating more scratches. A common product is baking soda toothpaste. Furniture wax/polish or creamy peanut butter will work as well but they work differently. The polishing process is the same, but they fill in the scratches with wax, or in the peanut butter's case, peanut oil.

The Process

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You will want to utilize cotton cloth such as a piece an old t-shirt. Do not polish in a circular motion. Polish straight from the center ring to the outer edge of the DVD. See Figure 1. Do this around the DVD in its entirety. This is to keep the DVD level with the polished finish. You are doing this with a dry cloth to remove dust and debris from the DVD. Next, apply the desired material to the cloth and polish the DVD. Some of the products used to fix the DVD are mild abrasives. If you rub the abrasives with the grain of the DVD it can cause irreparable harm to it. If using wax or peanut butter it is a good idea to let the DVD sit over night. This gives the wax or oils time to set into the DVD scratch.

Rinse the DVD with cold water, but do not rub the surface with any material. Pat dry with a cotton cloth or let it air dry. Your DVD should be back in working order. If it is not then: a) it is not repairable, or b) it needs a surface cleaner. A surface cleaner can be bought at the store or some DVD rental places will do it for a small fee.

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