Nov 1, 2011

How To Get Scratches Out Of DVDs/CDs: Bananas? Toothpaste? Wax? Which Methods Really Work?


I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but for us, little kids = scratched DVDs.  I know, we should be better about keeping them out of their reach, and we did REALLY good on this with the first two kids.

But now we have 4 kids.  And lots of scratched DVDs.

So last night I had finally had enough of trying to find a DVD that actually would play all the way through, and I bought a $7.88 container of CD/DVD scratch remover at Walmart.

And it really did help with the DVD I used it on (Little Einsteins).  It wouldn’t play more than a couple of minutes before I used the scratch remover, but we put it in after using it and it played ALL the way through without an issue!  WOOHOO!

But I noticed something when I opened up the $7.88 (SMALL) bottle of scratch remover.  It smelled suspiciously JUST like car wax.

So I did something that I should’ve done before I went to Walmart to buy the scratch remover.  I googled it!

And oh my, you come up with all kinds of crazy ideas when you google something.  Using a banana?  Toothpaste?  LOL!  Sure, why not?

So I looked through our garage, kitchen, and bathroom to see what we had in there and this is what I found:

A banana, toothpaste (the paste, not the gel), armor all, car wax, and scratch out.

And I tried them all!  Here are the directions I used for each:

Banana: Cut off a piece of ripe banana and rub the banana around the DVD (or CD) in a circular motion.  Then rub the inside of the banana peel around the DVD in a circular motion.  Finally, buff (again, in a circular motion) with a dry cotton towel.

Toothpaste: Squeeze a small amount of PASTE toothpaste onto the DVD.  Rub it in pretty well and let sit for around 5 minutes.  Wash the toothpaste off the DVD and then spray with window cleaner and buff in a circular motion with a cotton towel.  Let dry.

Armor All, Car Wax, & Scratch Out: Apply to the DVD and rub it in in a circular motion with a cotton towel.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes.  Buff off in a circular motion with a dry towel.

At first I tried them on different DVDs, and looked at the results.  Several of the DVDs looked MUCH better.  The only DVD that DIDN’T at least look better was the one that I used the banana on.

The banana pretty much did nothing.  Actually, it might have made even MORE scratches on the DVD.  Goes to show that you can’t just trust Youtube!

I had used the banana on the worst of the DVDs which was our ABC signs Signing Time DVD.  ALL of our kids have been obsessed with Signing Time since they were toddlers, and the ABC signs one was especially well-worn.

So since I had used the banana on the worst one (and it made it worse), I thought I’d use the Signing Time DVD to work my way through the other methods.

The toothpaste did okay.  I could tell that there were fewer scratches on the DVD, but there were still a bunch of skips when I tried to play it.

The armor all made absolutely no difference.

Then I tried the car wax and there was a huge (HUGE) difference!  We could play through the letter D on the DVD (that’s where it always would stick).  I was thrilled!  But later in the DVD (around half way through) it started skipping again.

So on to the Kit Scratch Out.  I rubbed it in, let it sit for around 5 minutes, and then buffed it out with a cotton cloth.

And the DVD played ALL THE WAY THROUGH!  First the first time in years.

The Kit Scratch Out is around the same price as the “official” DVD/CD scratch remover, but has 3 1/2 times MORE product in it!  And you likely have some sitting in the garage somewhere!

I would love to hear your experience with getting rid of scratches on your DVDs or CDs!  Are there any other methods that I didn’t cover?

Disclaimer: This is only my experience.  Others may have a different experience when using these products or others.  Surviving The Stores makes no guarantees, either written or implied, that any particular methods will work to get scratches out of CDs or DVDs.  Always consult a professional before attempting pretty much anything.  🙂

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  1. Ok this gonna be kinda of like what u did but I used furniture polish like pledge or some other store brand. It helped on some of my Cd’s and DVD’s and the really bad ones it did not.

  2. I’ve heard that using dryer sheets works. I haven’t tried it though. To save money I kept an old VCR. The VCR tapes don’t scratch or brake easily. Plus they are super cheap at garage sales or flea markets. All of the Disney stuff is $1 or $2 per tape. We have pretty much everything. lol

  3. I now know what my kids next since fair experiment will be ;). Thanks for the info

  4. Sedarella says:

    I’m buying some asap! We have tons of dvds that are scratched

  5. I have a netflix subscription and I inevitably get DVD’s that skip or just flat out won’t play. I’ve had the best luck using vaseline and buffing it in really well. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s worked better than furniture polish and toothpaste. I have some ‘scratch out’ in the garage that I will try next time, though. Thanks for the great info!!!!

  6. JoshNvbowhunter says:

    i jsut have the movie channels and dvr everything that way it eliminates the need for dvds and solutions to fix them:)

  7. Any good paste wax will do the trick but I must admit, I haven’t tried the scratch out.

  8. When I was a teenager, I used to work at a hardware store. We sold something called “Glass Wax” which was meant to wash your windows really high up and then repel dirt so you don’t have to wash your windows all the time. Ever see “Coming To America” and notice when they’re washing the windows it looks dry rather than wet? That’s Glass Wax. It fills in dings and usually buffs very clean.

    Anyway, CDs were fairly new then and expensive at times, my music professor said that glass wax was your best bet. The way CDs work is that the light shines down on the disc and then back up to be read. You want that surface clean and flat so that it can be easily read. If you have a gouge, it’s usually at a v type angle, and that makes the laser reflect at an angle and you get skipping.

    What you want is to fill in that v so that it reflects back upwards, but also still is reflective, and that takes care of the skipping. He recommended the glass wax, for CDs with scratches.

    I would guess that DVDs would be the same.

    Another thing to keep in mind, if it’s a Disney DVD, make sure you enter it in the movie rewards club. Even if you don’t have the code, enter it. If it gets scratched beyond repair, you can send in the disc and pay a minimal fee to replace it. 🙂

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