Disc Resurfacing

I have a number of old CDs which have seen better days, not to mention a 21-month old who sometimes thinks that a DVD in reach is a sanding disc to be applied to the floor before we can get to her. I can get discs ‘professionally’ resurfaced at the local video rental places, but they charge $5 a disc.

So I was wondering, is there a good resurfacing kit anyone here can recommend? I haven’t been able to find anything locally, and am not wanting to have to pay for 30+ discs when I’m not even that confident of the results.

I use toothpaste and a kitchen cloth. Success rate is near 100%.

Second the toothpaste and cloth.

A quick wipedown with Pledge can revive 'em also – the waxy polish can fill in the scratches sufficiently to make 'em readable (and if it doesn’t work, you can wash it back off, no harm done).

If you don’t want to go the DIY route, disc resurfacers like the SkipDr do work. I’ve rehabilitated a number of games and CDs using my older hand-cranked model.

However, it won’t work very well on scratches close to the outer edge of the disc or on mini-discs like Gamecube games.

Add another one for toothpaste and elbow grease!

Dish soap is another common fix. This is what Netflix used to recommend trying if you had disc errors with their DVD discs (maybe they still do but I don’t use Netflix anymore).

I’ve never used one of those devices made specifically for disc resurfacing (like the SkipDr that RickH mentioned), but I’ve heard a lot of reports of them working pretty well as a last resort in many cases.

OK, so I tried the toothpaste on an already unreadable CD, and it seems to have helped. I think I may have done it wrong, however, as I’ve added a lot more tiny scratches rather than seeming to have gently polished the disc.

I got a disc with a deep scratch in it and filled it with a $5 kit from Allsopp. Now that I read these other posts, I realize the goo in the kit was a lot like toothpaste. But elbow grease was definitely key.

I wouldn’t worry about the tiny scratches — maybe try a different cloth, like a microfiber one.

The way I’ve always done it is to use a relatively smooth toothpaste, like the gel ones. You don’t even need a cloth, imo, you just need to spread it smoothly from the center of the disc to the outer edges (as opposed to a circular motion around the center), keeping a layer of toothpaste between your finger and the disc. Once the whole disc is covered, do not scrub or scrape. Just rinse it off with warm water.

The tiny scratches are inevitable, even if you use a retail resurfacer (they just make the scratches very very evenly). The point of the abrasive is to bevel out the edges of the scratch in the plastic that’s distorting the angle of the laser, or obscuring it completely. Little scratches look funny but shouldn’t interfere with the disc operation.

Oh, and it may help to polish it with a piece of felt or supersoft cotton (like an old diaper, if you’re a family man). Only polish it when it’s flat on a table or something so as to not snap it in two.

Odd… I’ve read that that toothpaste trick is only really effective (and safe) with plain old white non-gel toothpaste. No evidence, so if it worked for you that’s great.

If you are really really really in a bind and the other tricks aren’t working, you can try using a cig lighter. Hold the CD and run the flame in quick movements on the underside of the disc. Never hold the flame in place. It is a slow process, but can work. I’d really save this for last though since if you screw it up, well… can’t exactly recover with a rinse in the sink.

From what I understand the key thing is the relative amount of grit (you don’t want much). I only use gel types for my teeth, so that’s what I have around, but the polishing/filling aspect should be true for all pastes. FWIW, I use white gel and not colored gel, simply because the dentists I’ve been to seem to agree that there is no reason to introduce color into the mix.

You know what the main ingredient of toothpaste is? Chalk.

You know what the main ingredient of toothbrushes is? Plastic. Do you know what the main ingredient…wait, why are we doing this again?

I’m saying you’re right with the colour of toothpaste not mattering. White, blue or green, in the end it’s all just flavoured chalk.

I use GameDR

I have a ton of DVDs, CDs, and game discs. This thing has been very good at fixing messed up discs.

30 bucks was worth it for me, but I think they have less expensive hand crank versions.

This is one of those nuggets of information I keep re-discovering over the years but never at a moment where I’m preparred to do anything with the information. Thanks to this thread I was once again reminded and realized that NOW would be the perfect time to give this a shot and fix a few cd’s that have been pretty badly scratched for years.

Holy shit, it worked great. Now I have the use of the following discs:
White Zombie: Astro Creep 2000
Metallica: Binge & Purge Disc 2
Sepultura: beneath the Remains
Infectious Grooves: Groove Family Psycho
Oingo Boingo: Only a Lad

It’s like I’ve been teleported back to my 20’s.

Going to have to try this with my disc 2 of Pink Floyd’s Pulse and report back.

I heard if you resurface disc 2 of Pulse and a DVD of Judy Garland’s St. Louis Blues at the same time you get a non-Starforced copy of Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich.