How to Clean Your DVD Drive

Your DVDs have started to freeze and skip. We know to check for smudges and scratches on the disc itself, but often overlook the drive as the cause. Keeping your DVD drive clean is just as important as the discs themselves. Here’s how to keep yours in top condition.

Using a Disc Cleaner

You Will Need:

  • DVD Cleaning Kit (Check Amazon or your local retailer)

Steps to Clean the Drive:

  1. Cleaning kits are the easiest way to clean your DVD drive. They consist of a special disc that is inserted in to the drive. Some have special cleaning fluids that are placed on the disc first. The disc spins in the drive and cleans the lens in the process.
  2. These kits are readily available at any electronics store. They are relatively cheap and work well most of the time.
  3. Follow the instructions for your particular product as each brand has a slightly different cleaning steps.
  4. If the cleaning kit does not clean the drive well, move onto our next cleaning method. Though not as simple as the kit, it is sometimes more effective.

Stick Cleaning Method

You Will Need:

  • Soft, lint-free cloth
  • Water or rubbing alcohol
  • Blunt stick (long cotton swabs work well)

Steps to Clean the Drive:

  1. Begin by blowing into the drive to remove any loose dust or dirt. Compressed air can also be used.
  2. Moisten the center of the cloth with either a small amount of water or rubbing alcohol. It does not take much, and you don’t want the liquid to drip inside the drive, so use as little as needed.
  3. Place the soft cloth around the blunt stick and carefully insert it into the drive.
  4. Apply gentle pressure as you move the cloth back and forth over the lens to clean it.
  5. Remove the cloth and stick and allow the lens to dry before use.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the drive still needs further cleaning, it will require disassembling the drive. This should only be done by those who are experienced with this level of cleaning. Take your drive to a professional for this level of cleaning.
  • Always use gentle pressure when cleaning the lens to avoid scratching or damaging it. Never use any abrasive cleaning methods.


  1. W1ndsor says:

    I was told by a professional electronics repair guy that you should never clean your DVD drive with store-bought DVD cleaners. It’ll scratch the laser. Instead, he said to use Windex on a long Q-Tip and just wash the laser. Be sure to unplug the unit first, of course!

    Use a compressed air to blow out any dust in the unit.

    I think he’s right. I had two DVD’s in a row stop working correctly right after I used a store-bought DVD disk cleaner.

  2. Ana says:

    How to clean a penny: Put the penny in a cup with ketchup. Leave it for 30 minutes and after that, just wipe it. I learned that in first grade; it really works for those that like to collect coins.

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