No. of Recommendations: 8
Pay attention to the marketing of the CD/DVD tools. Many of them are just cleaners and are not repair/polishers. Besides, you can do either of the above with minimal tools if you have patience, a light touch, and some common sense. If I have a disc that skips I go through the routine below. It resolves the issue 95% of the time, and I've never made a disc worse.

Step 1:Hold disc under cool running water. Wet a microfiber cloth. While holding under running water, lightly rub microfiber cloth from center to edge. Test disc.

(Microfiber cloths are widely available for a few dollars. They also come in handy for cleaning camera and projector lenses.)

Alas, water won't always cut through grime and fingerprints, which are often the true cause of playback issues on rental discs.

Step 2:Wet microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol. Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol on disc. Lightly rub dics from center to edge. Don't overdo it. Rinse the disc by repeating step 1.

Step 3 The above steps will resolve playback issues due to grime and very light scratches. If there is a minor playback issue, there is a good chance that your computer can save the data off of the disc without any errors. The ripping software will slow down the disc and read it multiple times to retrieve the data. Then, just burn a new copy. Besides, I suggest backing up digital media available to kids in the first place.

OK, Steps 1 to 3 didn't resolve the issue. You require an additional and more invasive step.

You have to decide on some sort of light/mild abrasive to polish the disc. Some people swear by Brasso, some say toothpaste, others try baking soda that has been completely diluted in water, and some turn to high quality auto-detailing polishers or scratch removers you might already have around the house.

If the home remedies don't suit your fancy, I suggest getting your hands on a product actually designed for plastic, such as Meguiar's professional grade "Mirror Glaze Clear Plastic Polish" or their consumer grade product "PlastX". These are commonly used by professional auto detailers for motorcycle windscreens, helmet visors, and headlight lenses.

With any of these polishers you can decrease the level of abrasiveness by diluting with water.

Step 4 Pick your poison from the choices above. If you can identify the offending scratch, you will want to work on that particular section to avoid unnecessary damage to the rest of the disc. Since you have already done steps 1-2, you should have a clean disc free of any grime that could create additional scratches. Apply enough polishing agent to the disc to cover the scratch and provide some lubrication for rubbing. Again, rub lightly back and forth from the center to the edge. Don't get carried away.

You might create some very fine scratches from the center to the edge, but stop if you notice you are creating anything severe. Switch to a less abrasive polish or dilute.

The most sensible approach is to stop after 10 seconds of rubbing, rinse the disc with step 1, test it, and then more polishing if necessary. If repeating the polishing process two or three times doesn't work you either don't have an abrasive enough polish, or the scratch is too deep and you are probably out of luck. I say "probably" because you might have polished the surface just enough to make the computer ripping process in Step 3 work.

The last resort:

Step 5 This is pretty much the last resort for a damaged and valuable DVD or CD. Find out if any of the used CD/DVD shops in your area have a professional grade resurfacing machine. There is a shop in my city that has one and they charge two dollars a disc. I did a video game there that had a major scratch and the resurfacing machine made it look new. They warned me to handle it carefully because they had to take off a good deal of the surface, which means the data later had little protection. If there is nothing local, you can search online for companies that offer a commercial-grade service through the mail.

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