How to keep your CD collection clean

You have a great collection of DVDs and music CDs, but what if you manage to scratch some of them and they refuse to work properly?

There are some handy alternatives at home. Some things like furniture wax, brass polish and toothpaste work fine. Just take any soft cloth, add some of the wax or brass polish to the affected area, and then wipe. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on the surface and leave it for five minutes, before wiping it clean with a soft cloth. Wipe from the centre hub to the outer edge.

Remember, the worst CD scratches are the ones that go circularly around the disc. A scratch from the centre to the rim isn’t as bad. A CD player can miss a beat and you won’t notice it, but if the scratch follows the track pattern of a CD you’ll notice a lot more skipping.

The best thing is to never use solvents to clean your CD, as they may cause permanent damage to the disc. But, while solvents are not a good idea, but if you still want to use one, then use a Kodak Lens cleaner and a lens tissue or soft cloth, to clean your discs. Also, make sure the CD is dry before putting it in the player.

But ideally, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry, so here are a few handy tips on how ‘not’ to mess with your precious collection.

1. Always handle your CDs by the edges. Do not touch the shiny side of the disc, as this is the side that the laser reads the information.

2. Cheap plastic sleeves may seem like a good idea at the time, but if exposed to extremes of temperature, the disc and sleeve may stick to one other.

3. Don’t eat, drink, or smoke around your CDs.

4. Never use a ballpoint pen to write on your CDs.

5. Do not try to remove labels from your CD. The adhesive may pull off the foil on which the data is encoded.

6. Acrylic jewel cases provide good protection against dust, scratches, light, and rapid changes in humidity.

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