How can I clean the CD player in my home stereo?

Written by kimbry parker
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How can I clean the CD player in my home stereo?
Cleaning dust and dirt from a CD player helps CDs play correctly. (hi-fi cd player image by Yorkie Paul from

A home stereo CD player is ideal for home entertainment. Over time, CDs may begin to skip or not play when inserted into the CD player. Cleaning a CD player will often resolve this problem. Dust and dirt accumulate inside of the CD player and on the laser lens, interfering with playback. Clean a home stereo CD player regularly to keep your CDs playing properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rag
  • Compressed air
  • Screwdriver
  • Bowl
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Turn the power off on the CD player. Unplug the unit from the outlet.

  2. 2

    Clean the outside of the CD player. Wipe down the unit with a damp rag. Clean dust out of the vent on the back of the CD player by spraying compressed air into the vent.

  3. 3

    Use a screwdriver to remove the top cover of the CD player. Most units will have four screws holding the top in place. Unscrew the screws and pull up on the top to expose the CD deck and lens.

  4. 4

    Fill a bowl with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol.

  5. 5

    Dip a cotton swab into the bowl to absorb a small amount of the alcohol. Dab the cotton swab on a paper towel so that it is not dripping with alcohol. Avoid soaking the cotton swab with too much alcohol.

  6. 6

    Wipe down the lens and the tracks surrounding the lens with the cotton swab. The lens is blue and is located in a small, black box within the CD deck.

  7. 7

    Go over the lens with the dry end of the cotton swab to remove any excess alcohol.

  8. 8

    Moisten a clean cotton swab with more alcohol. Dab the alcohol on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

  9. 9

    Wipe down the rest of the CD deck, including the circular disc drive and the black box that the lens sits in, with the cotton swab. Switch to a new cotton swab and add more alcohol as one becomes dirty. Allow the CD deck to air dry for a few minutes.

  10. 10

    Replace the cover on the CD player. Tighten the screws to secure the cover in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a store-bought CD lens cleaner for a quick way to clean a home stereo CD player. This is a disc that is popped into the CD player to clean it.
  • Grease the laser lens tracks with a small amount of lubricating spray to ensure smooth movement.
  • Avoid touching the wet cotton swab against the circuits or wires inside of the CD deck.

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