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Question: what's worse than ruining a CD or DVD with a nice, deep scratch? Answer: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Instead of breaking down and sobbing hysterically beneath your cubicle for three hours, like you did last time, check out this DIY disc repair article from Wise Bread. The author did a good job collecting videos for each method of scratch removal, but beware of the second one under the toothpaste version... trust me. So, here's how Wise Bread breaks things down:

Toothpaste - (effectiveness: 3/5) - Squirt some toothpaste on the data side of your disc, gently smear the toothpaste over the entire disc using your fingers to make small circular motions, let the toothpaste sit on the disc for a few minutes, carefully rinse the paste off with lukewarm water, and then gently dry the disc with a soft rag or t-shirt. Wise Bread's take: "The toothpaste did indeed help with some scratches but only very small ones. The deeper scratches were unaffected. On another note, my CDs now smell minty!"

Banana - (effectiveness: 2/5) - Peel a banana, smear it on the data side of your scratched disc, and then wipe it clean. Quick, wasteful, and generally ineffective. Wise Bread's take: "Not quite as good as the toothpaste, but it did help with a few tracks that had skipped. It's a lot more messy though, and a waste of a good banana."

Chewing Gum - (effectiveness: 0/5) - This is easily one of the weirdest uses for chewing gum I've heard of, but who am I to judge. According to the video, you take some gum (they're not specific about the brand or type), chew it up, pull it out, use the gum to rub your saliva all over the disc, and then rinse it off with water. Wise Bread's take: "This worked. NOT! I tried it on a DVD that was unreadable and it remained that way unitl I tried the next method."

Brasso - (effectiveness: 4/5) - I've actually heard this one mentioned a few times for removing light abrasion scratches from camera lenses. Take some Brasso, place a dab on the end of a rag, rub it into the data side of the disc, then buff it away with a clean rag. Wise Bread's take: "This was excellent. I remember my dad using Brasso to remove scratches from his plastic eyeglass lenses so I figured it had a good chance of working. But this worked great for me. On the two discs I tried it on, it returned them to their former glory. Very happy."

All in all, these are pretty good tips. Another one that Wise Bread forgot to mention was using super fine-grain sandpaper (we're talking 2500+). With a little patience and technique, you can quickly learn to sand those scratches into oblivion. Check this comment out for a little more detail.

In the end, it might be better to exercise a little preventative maintenance with your discs (i.e. keep them in their cases when you're not using them). If the scratch couldn't be avoided, however, why not give one of these techniques a shot? After all, what else do you have to lose?


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