Can I use the fix scratched CD with toothpaste method on my scratched disc? I have a scratched CD (on the base or non label side) that will not play properly in my drive. Is this remedy for fixing scratches simply a homemade remedy that has no repair value or will it work?
If you have a CD that is not playing properly
either because of scratches or some other reason, the first thing you should do
is try playing the CD in another drive. Some drives play discs better than
others. If it plays well, then make a copy. If other drives still do not play
the disc well, then you need some sort of disc repair in order to make the CD
fully playable again.
One remedy that has been proposed to fix scratched CDs is toothpaste. Toothpaste has been suggested because it is essentially an abrasive polish. The theory is that the toothpaste will polish out the scratch so that the reading laser light will no longer be affected by the scratch. Although the toothpaste may lessen the effect of a large scratch, what often occurs is that numerous smaller scratches are created which may cause even more problems than you had initially.
Let us take a closer work at whether this treatment for scratches on optical discs is effective or not.
In this experiment, a CD-R was recorded with information until capacity was almost reached. It was then analyzed to determine the error rate pattern on the disc.
As is evident from the above image, the error rate of the recorded disc is low and this is a very good quality disc in terms of the error rate. If a scratch is made on the disc (in this case a small circular scratch of about 1.5 cm), the error rate will rise when the scratched area of the CD-R is reached. This is illustrated in the picture below when focusing on the 26 to 31 minute mark of the disc.
Next, some toothpaste is applied to the scratched area of the CD-R and then a moistened soft bristled toothbrush is used to rub the area of the scratch. Light pressure was applied. The paste was then cleaned off with water and the disc dried. As mentioned above, the toothpaste and rubbing with the brush created many smaller scratches, creating a dull surface in the area of the rubbing. This disc was then analyzed and the results are presented below.
The result is a small increase in the error rate of the disc. Therefore, the toothpaste treatment was repeated as described above, but this time with harder rubbing. The error analysis of the disc is shown below.
The area of the disc containing the main circular scratch has not changed much, but now more errors are starting to appear on the disc as noted at the 10-minute mark.
The toothpaste treatment for fixing scratches on a CD was then repeated a third time with even more vigorous rubbing and the error analysis after the treatment and subsequent cleaning of the disc is shown below.
Now the errors have increased substantially, and the disc is in a condition significantly worse than the problems caused by the initial scratch on the CD.
Therefore, in summary, our chances of success using
toothpaste to fix scratched CDs or DVDs are slim. However, if you have no other
option available to you, it might be worth a try, keeping in mind that you may
be worse off.
The most successful scratch repair remedies
(that do not necessarily work well all the time) involve sanding the disc and
then repolishing the plastic using specialized equipment so that it is one
hundred percent transparent once again. This is one of the problems with the
toothpaste method, since it is difficult to polish out the additional scratches
and restore transparency to the plastic after rubbing the toothpaste on the CD.
More information can be found at digital scrapbooking storage home page.
I have a number of CDs and DVDs that were never put back into their
cases after use. After months of just being left lying around, I decided to
finally deal with the mess. Many of the discs had scratches and were not
working properly. I tried the fix scratched CD with toothpaste method on the
discs that I could afford to loose. Unfortunately, the toothpaste did not
remedy the problem. I have to say that toothpaste is not a good away of
eliminating scratches for CDs and DVDs.
For the discs I wanted to keep, I brought them to a used CD store. At the store they had equipment that restored my discs. It only cost me about two to three dollars per disc and the discs work just fine now.
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