How to clean the laser eye of a CD player

Updated July 19, 2017

If the laser eye of a compact disc player gets dirty, it can affect the unit's ability to play audio CDs correctly. You may start to notice skipping and distortion on discs that do not contain any visible scratches. In the most extreme cases, the CD player will not even be able recognise discs at all. Fortunately, there are CD laser eye cleaners available that can be used to easily clean your CD player. If the laser eye is easily visible, you can also try cleaning it using some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.

Purchase a CD laser lens cleaner. These are CD-like discs that include a set of bristles on the bottom that clean your laser lens while playing. There are many different brands available, but they generally function the same way.

Insert the CD laser lens cleaner disc into your CD player. The disc will have an arrow indicating the correct orientation of the disc in the player.

Press the "Play" button.

Allow the disc to play all the way to the end to ensure a proper cleaning.

Remove the CD laser lens cleaner.

Insert an audio CD into the CD player to make sure the laser eye is properly functioning.

Open the lid to your CD player. You will not be able to do this with CD players that use trays.

Dip the end of a cotton swab into some rubbing alcohol.

Swab the laser eye of the CD player gently with the damp end of the cotton swab.

Dry the laser eye gently with the other end of the cotton swab.

Wait a few minutes and then insert an audio CD to make sure the laser eye is functioning properly.


If your CD player is still skipping after multiple cleanings, the laser optics may have deteriorated. This is a natural occurrence for many CD players and can not be fixed without replacing the entire laser lens in the unit.

Things You'll Need

  • CD laser lens cleaner disc
  • Cotton swabs (lint-free)
  • Alcohol
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

J.M. Chanel began writing in 2002 as a webmaster for an independent film company. He graduated from West Virginia University, earning a Bachelor of Science in journalism. Chanel has been contributing to online publications since 2010.