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post #1 of 11 Old 12-06-2018, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Question How do you clean a DVD-A (or SACD) without scratching it?

DVD-A seem to be more susceptible to light, surface scratches than even CD/SACDs. I've used all sorts of super soft clothes, wipes, etc. and literally nothing can clean the surface without leaving light scratches on the surface (purely cosmetic but I hate them). So frustrating as used discs often are dirty. I can ignore dust that doesn't blow off but not a greasy fingerprint...

Any techniques/products? I'm thinking not at this point but open to suggestions.

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post #2 of 11 Old 12-06-2018, 08:32 PM
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I clean all discs (CD, DVD-A, Blu-ray and SACD) when needed with water and liquid soap by hand. Then I dry them with a soft towel from the center of the disc out. Leaves no scratches at all.

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post #3 of 11 Old 12-06-2018, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impetigo View Post
DVD-A seem to be more susceptible to light, surface scratches than even CD/SACDs. I've used all sorts of super soft clothes, wipes, etc. and literally nothing can clean the surface without leaving light scratches on the surface (purely cosmetic but I hate them). So frustrating as used discs often are dirty. I can ignore dust that doesn't blow off but not a greasy fingerprint...

Any techniques/products? I'm thinking not at this point but open to suggestions.
If you're leaving scratches then you're doing it wrong.
But anyway there's actually a considerable selection of "disc cleaning" and "disc repairing" machines that are meant to salvage discs which no longer play.
I use one like THIS. DVDs have a coating that is meant to limit scratches, as do SACD. CDs are the most vulnerable. Blu-rays are even harder than DVDs and UHD discs are the toughest.
Use no paper products, only clean, soft lint-free cotton cloths to clean. Some people like microfiber cloths but I find those do leave some lint.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-07-2018, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
I clean all discs (CD, DVD-A, Blu-ray and SACD) when needed with water and liquid soap by hand. Then I dry them with a soft towel from the center of the disc out. Leaves no scratches at all.

Bill
Thanks Bill, maybe I'll try water although I don't like the idea of using any sort of cloth (and I only have tried super soft materials that are designed to clean glasses, computer screens, etc., which are fine for those since glass is obviously much harder of a surface).

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If you're leaving scratches then you're doing it wrong.
But anyway there's actually a considerable selection of "disc cleaning" and "disc repairing" machines that are meant to salvage discs which no longer play.
I use one like THIS. DVDs have a coating that is meant to limit scratches, as do SACD. CDs are the most vulnerable. Blu-rays are even harder than DVDs and UHD discs are the toughest.
Use no paper products, only clean, soft lint-free cotton cloths to clean. Some people like microfiber cloths but I find those do leave some lint.
Thanks for your input and suggestions. However, I've been buying CDs, DVDs, SACDs, and blu-rays for years and so I'm quite familiar with them. I am also an extremely meticulous and even OCD type person, so probably you didn't notice the type of light scratches I'm talking about. I mean the ones that you only really see when you hold them up to the light and reflect light off the surface. Most people who are not OCD like me probably never do that and never noticed the scratches.

AFAIK, CDs and DVDs do not have any protective layer on the reflective data side like blu-rays do. Blu-rays (and UHD) have a protective layer in the blu-ray spec because the data layer is closer to the surface and more susceptible to damage and that's why they are the only optical disc (not counting things like LaserDisc as I don't know about those) that contain MC audio that do, which is why those are the only ones you can reliably clean with a soft cloth without leaving any marks. The spec doesn't specify a particular type of coating though and so that can vary. IME, some blu-rays cannot be scratched unless you really try to using some sort of sharp tool. Scratching it with your fingernails doesn't leave a mark, whereas even touching the reflective surface of a DVD or CD with almost anything will leave very, very faint marks.

The product you linked to is no longer available but I've used the most popular consumer product available on amazon (the JFJ Easy Pro) and ended up returning it as they have a generous return policy due to it not doing what I hoped it would. Those products are really intended to restore discs with more significant scratches that affect playback, and if you read enough reviews you see that they are not products that can "polish" a disc surface to like-new condition. I know pro machines can restore discs to like-new condition as a local CD shop in the Bay Area that sold used CDs (Amoeba Records) used one to resurface used discs they resold, but those are very pricey and probably more so now that CDs and DVDs are nearly obsolete. Haven't tried the Azuradisc which costs several thousand dollars.

Anyways, I've always had a "never touch" policy with new SACD/DVD-A that I buy, like I literally will never touch the surface with anything. I will blow air (or use a compressed air can) to remove dust but will never physically touch the surface with any material. I guess I could use water to rinse them but I wouldn't want to leave spots that might be left if not physically dried, which I don't want to do. The only problem is when I buy a used disc that looks good (I re-sell the ones that have notable scratches on them) otherwise but has that one fingerprint that drives me crazy. I try not to buy used but some discs are just too hard to find new/sealed.

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-07-2018, 02:19 PM
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I know what you mean, sometimes those nearly invisible scratches happen no matter how careful you are. If a disc is really dirty, I'll wash it with running water and a little soap. Then shake the disc to get most of the water off and air dry, or use a hair dryer.

But I have another possible solution that may ease your OCD. Rip your CD discs with a program that uses AccurateRip. Read the report that your disc was ripped with zero errors, and then put the disc away. That night you'll sleep like a baby.

Last edited by meli; 12-07-2018 at 07:34 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-07-2018, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impetigo View Post
Thanks Bill, maybe I'll try water although I don't like the idea of using any sort of cloth (and I only have tried super soft materials that are designed to clean glasses, computer screens, etc., which are fine for those since glass is obviously much harder of a surface).
Using water and hand soap with a soft hand towel has never scratched any discs that I've cleaned. To make it even safer you can just dab the towel or soft cloth on the disc to absorb the water. That way there is no rubbing of the cloth on the disc. I'm serious OCD with my gear and discs. So I'd never do anything to the many expensive OOP discs I have that would damage them. One also has to take great care in the way they handle their discs. That way there is never any need to clean them.

Bill

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post #7 of 11 Old 12-08-2018, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meli View Post
I know what you mean, sometimes those nearly invisible scratches happen no matter how careful you are. If a disc is really dirty, I'll wash it with running water and a little soap. Then shake the disc to get most of the water off and air dry, or use a hair dryer.

But I have another possible solution that may ease your OCD. Rip your CD discs with a program that uses AccurateRip. Read the report that your disc was ripped with zero errors, and then put the disc away. That night you'll sleep like a baby.
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
Using water and hand soap with a soft hand towel has never scratched any discs that I've cleaned. To make it even safer you can just dab the towel or soft cloth on the disc to absorb the water. That way there is no rubbing of the cloth on the disc. I'm serious OCD with my gear and discs. So I'd never do anything to the many expensive OOP discs I have that would damage them. One also has to take great care in the way they handle their discs. That way there is never any need to clean them.

Bill
Thanks guys, I will give your suggestions a try. I also ordered a new super duper microfiber cloth from amazon which will no doubt be the same as the countless microfiber cloths I've tried in the past...

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-08-2018, 08:24 AM
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I read that it's best to clean them from the inside out and not to wipe in a circular motion to minimize scratching. Seems to work for me when using a good microfiber cloth. I handle my disc's carefully so I rarely need to clean them.

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post #9 of 11 Old 12-10-2018, 01:31 PM
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DVDs are quite robust against scratches affecting playback. Further, they they're most repairable. The reflective layer is in the middle of a polycarbonate sandwich and thereby hardest to damage. CDs have the reflective layer on the top and BD's have it on the bottom making both easier to damage. Scratches on the bottom of a DVD or CD can be polished out if they really affect playback. Blu-ray is a bit harder to scratch due to the coatings, but if you do, you're out of luck.

A good microfiber shouldn't leave scratches on any of the three types.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-10-2018, 01:41 PM
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-10-2018, 01:44 PM
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If using water it is best to use distilled water. You don't have to be concerned with wiping them completely dry.

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