Repair a Scratched CD or DVD with Household Items
If you’re having problems getting a CD to work in your computer because it’s scratched, there are some easy solutions. First, try cleaning the CD with a little dish detergent. Use your finger to gently rub the detergent on the CD and coat it real good. Don’t use a cloth, it can make more scratches and defeat your purpose. Rinse it off well with water and try the CD in the drive again. If you are still getting read errors due to the scratches, then it’s time for the unlikely solution: toothpaste. Yep, you read it right. Put a little toothpaste on a Q-tip and polish the scratched area until they disappear or until they can’t get any smoother. Then wash the CD in water. That should hopefully fix it. If not, just retry polishing with toothpaste. If a few cleanings do not solve the problem, then try a metal polish such as Brasso in the same manner as the toothpaste. There is also a solution that involves gently rubbing Vaseline on the CD from the center outward. But I’m of the opinion if it goes that far and the CD still can’t be read, then it’s time to trash it.
Something else to consider: If your CD drive has trouble reading CD’s or DVD’s that aren’t scratched, then you need to clean the drive’s laser lens. You’ll need a CD/DVD-Player Laser-Lens Cleaner for that. They can be purchased at any computer store and even Wal-Mart.