How to Fix a Scratched DVD

A compact disc (CD) is a plastic molded disc that contains digital data. The data is scanned onto it by a laser beam [source: Britannica]. A digital video disc (DVD) uses laser technology to read digitalized data that has been encoded on it. Since it uses a digital format, a DVD can store any kind of data, such as movies, images or text [source: Britannica].

As a DVD stores its data externally on a disc it can easily get scratched, which can affect the data. Scratches are a disc's worst enemy. Whether or not a scratched disc can be repaired depends on where the scratch is located. If the scratch is on the top, shiny part of the disc, the disc is not repairable and all the data is lost. If the scratch is on the bottom, plastic part of the disc, you may be able to repair the disc by resurfacing and polishing it. Today, some disc manufacturers are developing scratch-resistant discs. This will eliminate the necessity of trying to repair them [source: TDK]. Professional companies actually advise you to discard any scratched discs [sources: Roksan, Iomega]. However, if you'd like to try to fix the scratches, you may want to follow these instructions.

  1. Clean the disc with a mild soap and warm water. This will remove any oils and finger marks.
  2. Dry the disc with a lint-free cloth.
  3. Squeeze toothpaste on the disc.
  4. Rub the toothpaste on the disc in a straight motion (not in a circular motion) from the center to the outer edges.
  5. Wash off the toothpaste and dry the disc.