You often see stores selling CD-buffering kits for $30 or more, but the truth is you can do just a good a job yourself at home. To buffer a scratched CD, you need something to smooth over the imperfections causing the CD-reading laser to skip. This is best done with a common, if unlikely, household item: toothpaste. Toothpaste buffers down the imperfections causing the laser beam to deflect, rescuing often even the most damaged CDs.
Things You'll Need
Run your CD under warm (not hot) water.
Put a pea-sized glob of toothpaste on a cloth, paper towel or toothbrush.
Rub the toothpaste from the inside hole of the CD toward the edge in a straight line. Repeat all around the CD.
Buffer any particularly deep scratches by rubbing the toothpaste in a small circular motion along the length of the scratch.
Wipe the CD dry using the same radial motion you used in Step 3. The back may look worse than before, but it will now work. The buffering replaced the big, harmful scratches with many tiny, inconsequential scratches, so the image is misleading.
- Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images