How to Clean a CD Using Rubbing Alcohol

By Constance Barker

Remove dust from a CD before using rubbing alcohol.
i 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.

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

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.

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.