How to Clean a CD Using Rubbing Alcohol

by Constance Barker
cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

A CD requires proper handling to ensure the disc plays correctly. When oil from fingerprints, dust, or other particulate matter build up on the CD, it may skip when played. If left uncleaned, the CD may become permanently damaged and no longer play at all. Employing correct cleaning methods, and the proper use of rubbing alcohol, help to keep a CD in good or even "like new" condition.

Step 1

Hold the CD with your thumb wedged slightly into the hole in the middle and your fingers on the rim.

Step 2

Remove dust from the CD with compressed air. Position the nozzle of the compressed air can 6 inches from the CD, and blow the dust from the CD using quick bursts of air.

Step 3

Wipe the CD with a microfiber cloth to remove oils. Starting at the inside rim, wipe to the outside rim going against the grain. Avoid wiping in a circular pattern, around the CD.

Moisten a cotton ball with one part water and one part rubbing alcohol. Wipe the cotton ball over the CD in the same manner as you did the microfiber cloth. Rub gently to remove any stains on the CD. Set the CD on the microfiber towel to dry before placing back into the CD case.


  • Store a CD in its case when not in use to avoid dust and accidental scratching or spills.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

More Articles