When it comes to cleaning fingerprints off a disc, or wiping away the residue after a repair, many people ask what the best way to do it is.
It seems such a simple thing, yet many times when you clean a disc with a soft cloth after a repair, it ends up scratched again, why is this? and what can be done?
What you will read…
The most common advice given is to wipe in circular motions, radially outwards, starting in the centre and never in a broad circular motion around the disc. This advice is all over the web on how-to websites, but almost no one qualifies why this would be the best, they just repeat the same directions as if they just copy each other without knowing the reason behind it or who started it.
It’s possible that this advice comes from someone believing that CD/DVDs have a ridged surface like a vinyl disc and that wiping in a circular direction would scratch along the ridges, which isn’t true.
It is also possible that the originator of this advice was suggesting that you need to wipe in such a way that you don’t repeatedly wipe over the same part of the disc and that by wiping from the centre out, you would achieve that easier.
Whatever the source, the truth is that the disc’s surface is smooth like a pane of glass and whichever direction you clean it in, the result should be the same. The key thing is not to repeatedly wipe back and forward over the same area, as this can moves particles back and forth over the surface and causes scratches.
The material of the cloth you are using is critical too. Many fabrics can scratch Polycarbonate discs because they don’t have great hardness. We use micro-fibre cloths that are designed for high quality lenses and these, when clean, simply don’t scratch discs whichever way you wipe.
The problem with the advice you will generally find on the web, is that for most people, if you follow the instruction you will still end up with a scratched disc, because either you’re using the wrong type of cloth, or making too many passes over the disc while wiping radially outwards.
Our guide to cleaning
1. Invest in a high quality cloth
The cloths we sell and include in all our disc repair consumable packs are lens grade cloths, the best on the market.
They can be washed and re-used many times.
2. Always lubricate the disc
Wiping a dry disc will just move whatever particles are on the disc around and possibly cause scratches.
Again we sell a CD spray on our website, in fact it comes as part of Cloth & Spray Pack for £5.
3. Use bold wipes
Try to use as few wiping motions as possible, try not to cover the same area again and again and don’t rub back and forth.
4. Use a dry part of the cloth
Rotating the cleaning area of the cloth whilst wiping is essential, because otherwise you will wipe dirty liquid over the disc and scratch it.
5. Build up a technique
There is a knack to good disc cleaning and there is no set way of doing it really. Follow our instructions and try to find what works for you.
If you run hundreds of repairs at a time, you may benefit from a mechanical disc cleaner – like the Eco Clean, this cleans & dries discs in 3 seconds flat, one after another.
Happy disc cleaning!