Dirt, small bits of detritus and oily smudges can render a DVD or CD inoperable. This is due to the fact the grime interferes with the ability of the DVD or CD player to effectively read the data stored on the disc. What's more, dirt can easily scratch the surface of the disc. Once scratched, the disc becomes much more difficult to fix. Thus, regularly cleaning your discs will not only fix the problems caused by dirt or dust but will also help prevent scratches. Vinegar offers the perfect cleaning solution.
Combine 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1/2 gallon of warm water. Mix the solution thoroughly. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help dissolve oily grime from the CD. The baking soda, meanwhile, will act as a mild abrasive and remove light scratches.
Rinse the CD under warm, running water. This will eliminate any large particles of dirt that may further scratch the surface of the disc during cleaning.
Moisten a microfiber cloth in the vinegar cleaning solution. Slip your index finger through the hole in the centre of the disc and grasp the outer edge with your thumb. Do not touch the surface of the CD with your fingers because this will transfer oils onto the surface.
Clean the surface of the disc with the dampened cloth. Begin at the hole at the centre of the compact disc and rub gently toward the outer edge. Never rub around the disc with circular motions, as this may result in adding more scratches to the surface. Continue polishing from the innermost portion to the outermost until the entire disc has been cleaned.
Rinse under warm water once more and allow the disc to air-dry before attempting to play.
If the disc is not scratched, use white vinegar alone to clean it. Simply dampen the microfiber cloth in the vinegar and clean the disc in the manner outlined above.