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Cleaning the underside of a DVD

Old 03-26-05, 11:46 PM
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Cleaning the underside of a DVD

What is the best way to clean a DVD? Skin grease and such. I've seen varying bits of advice. Alcohol and dish soap are most often recommended. Already tried alcohol, and it leaves a major film behind. Haven't tried dish soap, but I was a tad wary of it.

Can I wash the underside of a disc using warm water--well, lukewarm (don't know what really warm water would do to it, and wouldn't want to find out)--and regular dish soap? Is it safe to actually submerge a DVD in soap and water? That's really what worries me.

How do I then go about drying it? Drying is another key aspect of the process. Wiping the underside of an optical disc will leave tiny scratches in the material. Pat it dry perhaps?

Thanks a million!

-THX
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Old 03-27-05, 12:11 AM
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I only use one thing when I clean my DVD's....





BRILLO. It just cleans everything.


Actually I use alcohol and then wipe them dry with a clean, dry lint free cloth to get the film off. And I never wipe in circular motions.
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Old 03-27-05, 12:21 AM
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I always use alcohol. If it leave a film, then you're not hold your mouth right.

The way I do it is like this. Take a wash cloth, pour some alcohol on it in a small area. Wipe down the entire surface of the DVD in circular motions in the same sector of the disc. NOT circular motions all around the disc. In other words, don't circle the entire disc when you wipe. Just "wax on/wax off" in the same spot on the disc. Rotate the disc section by section until you do the whole thing. This shouldn't take more than 15 seconds. Then when the alcohol is still wet, take the dry part of the wash cloth, or a clean one, and wipe outward from the center all around the disc. Never had a problem with this method. If the alcohol starts to dry in on area, just rewet it with the alcohol and then quickly dry it again.
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Old 03-27-05, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by CertifiedTHX
What is the best way to clean a DVD? Skin grease and such. I've seen varying bits of advice. Alcohol and dish soap are most often recommended. Already tried alcohol, and it leaves a major film behind. Haven't tried dish soap, but I was a tad wary of it.

Can I wash the underside of a disc using warm water--well, lukewarm (don't know what really warm water would do to it, and wouldn't want to find out)--and regular dish soap? Is it safe to actually submerge a DVD in soap and water? That's really what worries me.
-THX
I've had minimal success with the dish soap and warm water deal. What I've done in the past is wet a cloth with some warm water, with soap, and 'wash' the disc carefully. I mainly only have to do this when it involves my 3 year olds films.

It works if there are finger print smudges, but sometimes it doesn't seem to help with more stubborn issues. I'm sure there's better solutions out there than just dish soap, but that's just my opinion from limited experience. It should be fine for very mild smudges.
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Old 03-27-05, 08:39 AM
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I use Auto Glass Cleaner and wipe with special DVD cloth that won't scratch your DVD's no matter how hard you wipe them.
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Old 03-27-05, 10:46 AM
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I use lens cleaner.

kar10, could you tell us a bit more about the special DVD cloth you use? Where did you buy them? Thanks!

Last edited by mookiemeister; 03-27-05 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-27-05, 12:01 PM
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why would you even need to clean an underside of a disc? i have never seen dirt or anything on any of mine, even ones that sit for years.
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Old 03-27-05, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
why would you even need to clean an underside of a disc? i have never seen dirt or anything on any of mine, even ones that sit for years.

What? Do you have 10 ionic breezes in your house that eliminates all dust and air-bourne particles?
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Old 03-27-05, 12:47 PM
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If anything would ever need to be wiped off(has only happened a few times in 5 years)....I'd use NO products to clean the disc. I'm all for NOT wetting down a disc with anything BUT a little breath. Just like if you were to clean off a pair of glasses....then I would use an original type of diaper cloth...."unsoiled" of course. That cloth is very soft and that combined with a little damp lung-air is all you really need. Unless of course, someone is playing with discs right after molesting a few slices of pizza.

And people get on me for using re-sealable case sleeves for most of my dvds. "Why would you do such a thing"?, they ask. Because it keeps dust and other floating enemies off my cases and off the discs. I also cover all my audio/video gear when not in use. This prevents more dust from getting into the player....then off onto the discs. I have hardwood floors, so trust me, I know how to battle dust and there is only so much you can do. This helps....so you have been informed.

Thats why(?).

Last edited by gutwrencher; 03-27-05 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 03-27-05, 04:03 PM
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i think they should invent a DVD washer machine!
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Old 03-27-05, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
why would you even need to clean an underside of a disc? i have never seen dirt or anything on any of mine, even ones that sit for years.
Well, to put it eloquently, shit happens

As I mentioned above, my 3 year olds discs get dirty - fast. He insists on putting them in the dvd player and removing them himself, getting smudges on them. I have had discs that I take great care of get dirty, and sometimes they even come like that. It's not always a sign of not taking care of something.
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Old 03-27-05, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
why would you even need to clean an underside of a disc? i have never seen dirt or anything on any of mine, even ones that sit for years.

Where do you store your DVDs? In a sterile Emergency Room?
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Old 03-27-05, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Lowrey
Where do you store your DVDs? In a sterile Emergency Room?
no...just in a hyperbolic chamber...so what's wrong with that?

seriously though, i dust bi-weekly and that's it, but not much gathers on the lower level of a townhouse i guess. the dust never gets into the case itself, like never. unless i am missing something, but i usually look at quite a few underbellies often just to check.
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Old 03-27-05, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
no...just in a hyperbolic chamber...so what's wrong with that?

seriously though, i dust bi-weekly and that's it, but not much gathers on the lower level of a townhouse i guess. the dust never gets into the case itself, like never. unless i am missing something, but i usually look at quite a few underbellies often just to check.
That's cool. A lot of things, from vents to where you live to who you live with, can affect dust. I seem to gather it pretty quickly, even if dusting bi-weekly. (And, of course, I'm too lazy to do that) My discs are almost always spotless but there are times smudges or a fleck gets on them. What I can't stand is mysterious scratches that shouldn't be there.
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Old 03-27-05, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kar10
I use Auto Glass Cleaner and wipe with special DVD cloth that won't scratch your DVD's no matter how hard you wipe them.
I must say this. It isn't the cloth, it's what is on the cloth. You can have the highest tech material in the world, guaranteed to never scratch anything anywhere. If there's a piece of sand between it and your disc, voila! Scratch city.

What? Do you have 10 ionic breezes in your house that eliminates all dust and air-bourne particles?
Mike, those ionic breeze machines are absolute crap. Serious waste of money. Not trying to be off topic, if anybody really wants to know, start a discussion in PM with me.



Wash the discs with HOT water. Period. Use your clean finger or soft cloth for stubborn bits of fingerprint if necessary. DVDs are just fine for the 120 deg water coming out of most faucets. Probably your hands can't take it as easily as the disc. Some people even boil them with no problems, but you really don't need to take it that far. I don't know the melting point of the DVD plastic, but it is probably closer to 400 deg. They can take 120 forever.
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Old 03-28-05, 09:10 AM
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You can also boil them.
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Old 03-28-05, 09:17 AM
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http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hlight=Boiling
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Old 03-28-05, 12:32 PM
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Stick them in the Dish Washer on a warn cycle and hey presto, clean and dry too
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Old 03-28-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Romerojpg
Stick them in the Dish Washer on a warn cycle and hey presto, clean and dry too
Is that an ancient Chinese secret?
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Old 03-28-05, 03:48 PM
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I just boil them once every 2 yrs or so.
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Old 03-28-05, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
I must say this. It isn't the cloth, it's what is on the cloth. You can have the highest tech material in the world, guaranteed to never scratch anything anywhere. If there's a piece of sand between it and your disc, voila! Scratch city.
Perhaps they should start selling each cloth individually bagged and sealed?
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Old 03-28-05, 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by Spiky

Wash the discs with HOT water. Period. Use your clean finger or soft cloth for stubborn bits of fingerprint if necessary.
Very cool. Based on the responses on this thread and others, I'm going to use Ivory dish soap (soft on hands, tough on grease) and warm water.

But here's my main issue: How do you dry them without introducing scratches to the optical material? I use a dish towel, one of the softest cloths available to me, but wiping in any way leaves scratches.

Would pat drying work? Once the DVD is washed and rinsed, does the water bead up and allow for easy pat drying?

--THX
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Old 03-29-05, 12:14 PM
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Yes, I usually just sandwich the dvd in my hands wrapped in a clean towel, or even paper towel. Without rubbing.

If you are at all used to cleaning your glasses or camera lenses, cleaning DVDs is a snap. Much less fragile and much cheaper.
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Old 03-29-05, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JCFantasy23
Perhaps they should start selling each cloth individually bagged and sealed?
It's funny you should say that. This is exactly how lens cleaning cloths are sold, and how they should be stored. As I mentioned, people are fairly careful if they have real lenses, which can easily cost thousands of dollars.

You could take a good (clean!) lens cloth and probably polish a DVD as hard as you want without scratching it. Not that you would need to, nor am I recommending elbow grease just to clean fingerprints.
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