The “Toothpaste Trick” For Scratched CDs
Sometimes a CD gets so beat up and scratched that a CD player or CD drive will not read it. Here’s a trick that may save your CD. Polish the plastic side with toothpaste.
Take a cotton swabs, rub some toothpaste in, then gently rub the swab over the scratches until they disappear or until you feel you can’t rub them out any more. Now, by doing this, it may create more scratches, but it’s the deep scratches that are really causing the problem. After you’re done, wash the CD in clean water and let it dry. If you have a smooth cotton cloth, you may use that to dry it off. To not use a dish towel, hand towel, or paper towel for they will scratch the CD you just “repaired”.
If there are still some scratches remaining, use a metal polish (Brasso works best) in the same way as the toothpaste. Finally, rub Vaseline gently onto the CD without pressing hard, moving out from the center of the CD to the rim.
Now, go ahead and test the CD. After you verify that it’s working again, make a copy of the CD to back it up so you don’t risk losing it. If it’s not working, try the procedure again and look for a scratch that may still be visible, and concentrate on reducing it or making it disappear completely.
Now, this whole process does rub down the plastic coating of the CD, so be careful that you don’t rub all the way through to the label. If you do, the CD will be ruined completely.