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CD Scratch Repair Devices

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I buy/sell a lot of used CDs on the internet and was wondering what people here use to remove scratches from CD surface.
Obviously if CD skips the repair process is needed to save CD from being tossed, but was wondering if some kit/device out there could also effectively remove general scratches from badly scratched CD without making it worse?

I see many pastes that you apply let dry and then remove from CD, and also mechanical devices like Skip Doctor:

Anyone tried this or have any other systems they recommend?
I am a bit reluctant to buy Disc Doctor because I read it may remove skips but in doing so places fine scratches across entire
CD surface, is there a better way?
post #2 of 26
I just tried the "DVDDoctor" (same product) on a bad disc I had lying about. No improvement. I've got a CD with a nasty scratch on it that I'm going to try to repair in the next day or two. If it doesn't help with that, it's going back.

I've tried various pastes (they all appear to be the same product). Success rate is one out of five atttempted.

The best "repair" I've found is a good cleaner. My favorite is an old CD cleaner Signet used to make (but the motor in mine is almost gone ) Radio Shack has one that I'm trying out.

IMO, the biggest problem with used CD's can usually be taken care of with a cleaner. Once the disc is clean, the error correction in the CD player can usually take care of the rest. If cleaning doesn't fix the problem, I've had lousy luck with any of the repair devices (although I must admit that I've had one "hopeless" DVD that was repaired by repeated paste application).
post #3 of 26
I managed to fix one CD that had plenty of marks on it as if you were to dip your finger into superglue and smudge the surface of the disk. It was caused by my CDROM drive which tended to do that on some games that have CD constantly spinning - probably overheating. Attempts to clean with propylalcohol (rubbing alcohol) failed miserably. Then I used some kind of white paste and paper cloth from a kit from a local shop and that worked, CD was readable again.
post #4 of 26
I would say that a majority of my CD collection consists of used CDs. Like Hirsch wrote, a good cleaner (even a cheap one from the grocery store that's suitable for plastic is fine) often takes care of problems.

When cleaning, the one thing to keep in mind is to rub lightly and to rub from the inside to the outside (perpendicular to the rings of the CD), NOT along the grooves. This way if you accidentally scratch the CD, it won't affect the sound if it's a minor scratch.

However, sometimes you really need scratch/repair stuff. I would avoid that Disk Doctor thing -- if you really have a scratch that needs repairing, you want to only work on the concentrated area of the scratch.

A good repair kit is actually a mild abrasive that also "melts" the CD just a bit. What it does is it softens the area around the scratch, then buffs it out. If you have a deep scratch that is causing skips, usually these kits will do wonders. However, because of the way they work, you don't want to use them too much in one spot. And some scratches will simply be too deep and you won't be able to repair them. Discwasher and some other brands have a good scratch repair kit that comes with two bottles: step 1 and step 2. For those of you who have done any woodworking, it's the same concept as sanding. You use #1, which is coarser, to do some heavy buffing, then #2, which is smoother, to really polish up the surface.
post #5 of 26
I remember someone on HeadWize trying two or three different CD scratch repair solutions, and had great luck with only one of them.

I have several CD's I'd like to fix, so I'm going to search for that thread.
post #6 of 26
That thread was started by apheared if that is any help Jude.
post #7 of 26
jude, could you please post the results of that thread if/when you find it? I've been looking for a good cd-repair solution for a few scratched-up used discs I have.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
A couple people over at Audiogon have recommended this product
to me:

If you read description of product from link below seems like it would be good for minor scratches/scuffing, although it also claims to fix skipping CDs.
post #9 of 26
The Mapleshade sounded interesting, so I ordered it (I've been hunting for years for a CD/DVD repair kit that worked). I'll let you know if something dramatic happens, or if it winds up in my stack of interesting products that don't work
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
I also ordered some MapleShade "mikro smooth" I currently don't have any CDs that skip, but have some used ones I bought that look like the owner rubbed some steel wool across the dam thing!
Of course they were listed as "like new" condition at
Vast majority of the time I get very good condition used CDs from, so I need something to try to repair these poor abused
CDs without doing more harm than good...........will report my
post #11 of 26
From memory, it was Apheared who compared some scratch solutions and confirmed results using EAC.

Doing an EAC rip and burn is actually a very good way to follow-up any CD repair. To simplify, EAC will try harder to do bit for bit copy and tell you when it can't.
post #12 of 26
I use Meguiar’s No. 2 Fine Cut Cleaner with good result (3 out of 5 for CDR, 99% for very fine scratched audio-CD, 50-50 for DVD). You can find it at any auto store.

As MacDEF said, only from inside to outside.

Yes, I am serious, it really works!
post #13 of 26

I had to make a decision on whether or not I was going to keep the DVDDoctor (same thing as the SkipDoctor you started the thread with). So, I pulled out a CD that had a deep scratch that several paste applications failed to repair. After usage, the CD played on two players that had previously skipped reliably at the scratch. So, I've got a failed DVD repair, and a successful CD repair. I'm going to keep it, as a repair option of last resort.
post #14 of 26
Originally posted by DarkAngel
look like the owner rubbed some steel wool across the dam thing!

I need something to try to repair these poor abused
CDs without doing more harm than good

The CD repair goop I use is called Wipe Out. It works by providing a fine grit surface to actually "sand" the stratch out of the CD. Of course, this leaves the CD looking as you say, like it was "steel wooled." I have, however, had very good results using it, saving many a used CD with a nasty scratch from going to Coaster Land (you know, where damaged or incorrectly burned CDs go to die). It doesn't look pretty, but it does fix the scratch most of the time. Also, it has repaired the CDs sufficiently in most cases to let me rip it using DAE (no loss of soundbits) to burn onto a new CD (even when the scratch was bad enough to prevent correct DAE before). So, I guess if the question is, "fix or toss," these abrasive products seem to work pretty well. But if the question is, "can I get scratches out of my CDs and make them look like new," then I would have to say that, at least Wipe Out, fails in that regard.
post #15 of 26
But if the question is, "can I get scratches out of my CDs and make them look like new," then I would have to say that, at least Wipe Out, fails in that regard.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, some of the scratch repair kits include a second solution, that is not as abrasive, to "smooth out" the scratches left by the first solution (again, like the process used to sand wood).
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