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Proper care of CD’s and DVD’s

Caring for a disc so that it lasts for a long time is not necessarily a well known thing. Many people have learnt bad habits from watching other people. If you hire a DVD from a shop or borrow a CD from a friend and it jumps, if you look at the bottom of the disc you may find many scratches and maybe even fingerprints from mishandling of the disc. With proper care and handling, a CD or DVD should be usable many times without fault. Here is some information you may or may not know about CD / DVD discs.

If a DVD or CD is an original it will be a like a mirror or silver reflective colour on the bottom. If it is a copy or ‘burned’ a CD will be a light green or light blue colour and a DVD is usually a light or dark purple colour.

To keep a disc in a good working condition, it is advisable to keep a disc in a plastic case or sleeve at all times, provided the inside of that case is clean and free of dust.

If you must put a disc down without a case, it is better to put it label side down to protect the plastic and when handling a disc either hold the disc with 1 finger in the middle hole or fingers gripping the edge of the disc, don’t hold the bottom of the disc as that will cause fingerprints and dirt to obscure the correct reading of the disc.

The data on a CD or DVD is actually written on the thin layer of aluminium that is on the underside of the label, so using a ball point pen or permanent marker can damage the data written on a disc, only proper CD markers should be used to write on a disc so the ink doesn’t eat into the aluminium.

if a disc is laid down for a short period of time, it will gather a small amount of dust and if not cleaned properly before use, will form small circular scratches on the disc as it is used in a CD player or Computer drive, over time this disc will become unusable as the laser that reads the disc will not be able to read through the scratches.

To clean a disc properly, it is advisable to get a proper disc cleaner. However if a disc must be cleaner before use and you don’t have a disc cleaner then keep these things in mind when cleaning a disc. People assume because the disc is a circle that it should be cleaned in a circular movement, this is in fact incorrect and doing this will also cause circular scratches from your clothes as you are going against the grain of the plastic and is often done on a shirt or material that is in fact rougher than you think. Rather find a material that is soft like cotton or silk and that is clean, breathe a hot breath on the plastic side and then softly rub the disc in an up and down motion a few times to clean dust or light fingerprints off the disc then you should be able to tilt the disc in the light to see if it is clean.