How to Repair a Water Damaged CD or DVD

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Distilled water
A soft, clean cloth
A compact disc repair kit
Plastic sleeves for compact discs

If you own CDs or DVDs that have incurred water damage, you may be thinking about throwing out or replacing the damaged discs. Before you do anything rash, you may be pleased to learn that there's a very good chance your water damaged discs are repairable. With this helpful guide and a few readily available tools, you can repair your discs in just a few easy steps. Read on to learn everything you'll need to know about making your water damaged discs as good as new.

Step 1 - Use Your Compact Disc Repair Kit

Lightly damaged discs can generally be fixed with a compact disc repair kit, commonly referred to as a "disc doctor." Begin this procedure by using a spritz container of distilled water to thoroughly spray any compact discs that have incurred water damage. Make sure to pay special attention to the most heavily damaged areas of the discs.

Once you have vigorously sprayed the disc, open your disc doctor and place your first disc in the center of the device. Close it. Using the tiny knob found at the top of your disc doctor, proceed to turn the device for the amount of time specified in its instruction manual, which is usually a minute.

After the disc has been spun around for the specified amount of time, use a clean cloth to gently buff it and wipe away any remaining droplets of water. Make sure the cloth is composed of a material that isn't harmful to disc surfaces before wiping your discs with it, as harsh cloths are likely to cause additional damage.

Step 2 - Place a Protective Plastic Sleeve Over the Discs

If your disc repair kit fails to do the trick, you may want to give plastic compact disc sleeves a try. These sleeves, which are specifically made for damaged compact discs, are meant to be placed over the surfaces of your water damaged discs. Doing so should enable your computer, DVD player, CD player, or video game console to read data from the discs, as the sleeves will act as a sort of faux surface. Should plastic sleeves bear no results, please proceed to the next step.

Step 3 - Have Your Discs Resurfaced

Resurfacing a compact disc is the ultimate fix for water damaged discs, or damaged discs of any sort. Simply take your water damaged discs to any CD specialty shop and ask to have them resurfaced. Most stores that specialize in compact discs have a resurfacing machine on hand, which essentially strips away the damaged layer of your discs' surfaces, making them as good as new. Most stores that offer disc-resurfacing charge no more than $2 per disc, so don't worry about breaking the bank. While it's possible to purchase a disc-resurfacing machine of your own, these devices generally cost thousands of dollars, so unless you have an exorbitant number of water damaged discs, it's probably not a wise purchase.

So there you have it. With this handy guide at your disposal, repairing your water damaged discs will be a piece of cake.