CD sellers, how do you clean these discs?


I’d recommend a JFJ repair machine, but I don’t want my competition saving thousands of dollars a year. :slight_smile:

-Scott B.


That only works for the play side of the disk. OP was talking about label side.

OP I’ve NEVER had luck getting that stuff off. I wish you well with it.


Hi Marilyn,

You can do a short 10 second run on the label side with the lowest setting (polish only), on a pricier disc repair machine. If all else fails the OP, instead of tossing them, I would be willing to try them on my machine.



It is probably not a bad idea at all - but you do not want to buy one just for this purpose although they are not terribly expensive
and many are idling in hospital and research laboratories.


And garages and basements. I have one somewhere, can’t remember where and if mine is big enough.


I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS, but I use Bestine for a lot of cleanup that doesn’t work with other solvents.

Also, might be a silly question, but have you tried rubbing alcohol? It is a different plastic, but the type used on computer cases gets cleaner with alcohol than just about any other method. Don’t know if it would work for CD labels, though.

Also, Fabuloso sometimes cleans things that no other general-purpose cleaner can handle; for example, I have soaked mini-blinds in it (in the bathtub) and they almost “magically” come clean. So maybe it would work for this?


How about warm water and maybe very mild dishwashing liquid? Try the warm water first.


I have been using denatured alcohol for years to clean everything from ink marks on typewriter cases to removing label debris from dust jackets. A quart usually lasts me about six months and costs about $7.00 to $8.00 at Home Depot or my neighborhood hardware store. Denatured alcohol is NOT the same as rubbing alcohol. I tried rubbing alcohol in the past and it really did not do the job as well as denatured and denatured will not harm most plastics. I have not tried it on CD labels but it really cleans up the “read” side great.


I think the JFJ Easy Pro is a great investment for discs. You can use the fine sandpaper for deeper scratches. I don’t let a disc go out unless it has been resurfaced. The discs look like new & the customers are very happy, give good feedback & re-order. It’s worth the $250 especially if you are going to be selling more discs. If not you can always try a Game-Stop or other reseller of video games. They most likely have one but they would most likely charge a fee to clean them. However maybe you can reflect that in your price. Fooling around with chemical light lighter fluid & magic erasers only increase the chance of ruining the disc. Check it out on their site.



Just wanted to share a similar experience that I had yesterday and bump this thread to alert some CD sellers of this issue.

I had read your thread and had never seen any damage to the surface of the CD’s from these sponge or foam inserts so I didn’t check the CD sets that I had listed at the time. Bad error on my part as I could have prevented this issue from happening.

I received an order for a 3 CD classical boxed set that I had listed about a year ago Sunday evening, when I listed the CD’s they looked fine and unfortunately I kept the sponge inserts on the CD’s.

Monday morning when I went to pack the order to ship, lo and behold, the first CD had some small shiny silver dots across the surface, I tried to clean with Windex to no avail. CD’s #2 and #3 had excessive small to tiny silver and gold dots blemishing the label sides of both all over.

Not a good way to start off the week. I did try my cleaning and polishing machine on the label side to no avail for 10 seconds and at that point the only thing to do was to contact my buyer, apologize and explain why the CD’s were unsellable and to cancel his order.

I cancelled his order immediately after sending the email and put another note in the cancellation comments regarding why in case he didn’t receive or read my email.

The buyer replied this morning and asked if the CD’s were still playable and I remember reading this thread and johnnypuck’s reply that they still played fine. I thought it was worth a try and let the buyer know I would play the three discs through and send them out no charge if they didn’t have any playability issues.

The three CD’s did play fine but just didn’t look very pretty with all of the silver dots and I shipped them today at no charge.

Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to make other CD sellers aware of this issue and to please remove any sponge or even possibly foam sheets/inserts you may find when you list a CD for sale so you don’t have to cancel an order and possibly disappoint a buyer.

I did close down all of my CD set listings to check them all out and remove any foam or sponge inserts yesterday after I noticed this issue.



Glad they at least played OK, even if you’re out the money. I’m guessing you’ll have a happy customer. And as you said, it’s a good lesson for others to throw that foam “protection” out immediately when you see it.

I have a couple of sealed sets that I’ve been tempted to open because they’re from the right time frame for the foam inserts. I might do that now having seen this…I’ll get less money for them, but it’s better than a potential refund after they’ve sold.


I can tell you that personally, if I bought a sealed copy of an older, OOP CD set and the sponges had deteriorated, I would not care a whit about it along as they played fine.

(Of course, I also would have cleaned them with Bestine, so there wouldn’t have been any reside to worry about.)

Edited by: Tbooks on Jun 11, 2013 2:49 PM


Hi johnnypuck,

I was thinking somewhat along the same lines as you yesterday as I didn’t open the sealed CD sets that I had closed yesterday and just relisted them, but something in the back of my mind tells me it may be wise just to open them to see if they have the sponge or foam inserts and I think I will do that this evening.

Better to be safe listing as a lesser condition than having a buyer be unhappily disappointed.

I think that another thing that I did to exacerbate the issue was the fact that after listing the CD boxed set a year ago I placed it in a polybag and taped the ends shut. I had read a post about books outgassing and needing to breathe and never seal them shut in a polybag.

I think that was also an issue as something completely sealed cannot breathe and outgasses things from the sponge or foam into the label side and face of the CD that can’t be removed as they are internal defects now.

I still put books in polybags with the top end open 1-2" and will now do the same with CD sets keeping one end completely open. I’m thinking that completely sealed CD sets may have that issue over time unless they are packaged like some toys, games and books from publishers that have some small holes in the shrink wrap when purchased as new.

I noticed that the books in the past that I had sealed and taped in polybags had rippling and waviness to the pages as possibly conditions and humidity levels change in the environment. Sort of like a closed new car where you get outgassing from the vinyl or other materials in the interior of a car that reflects as a film on the windshield and windows.


Edited by: paintcreekbooks on Jun 11, 2013 5:57 PM


Hi Tbooks,

I don’t think Bestine would have helped or actually anything would have helped as it seemed like the tiny silver dots actually went into the internal top layer of the CD. You couldn’t feel them on the top surface at all.

I think that if you purchased as New, Like New or Very Good from a seller, you would be disappointed to see the surfaces of the CD’s as they appeared. Even now knowing that they played well, I could never list any CD that had this type of appearance even as Acceptable.

Sometimes you just have to draw the line on the type of items that you are willing to list or sell if you are aware of an issue.



Can you post a pic so I can get a general idea of what the issue is? Thanks

There is a pure citrus spray sold in the cleaning section. . Works wonders…


Gotcha. I was thinking this was a residue, not a chemical reaction.


A lot of really good info in this thread. Thanks for all the cleaning suggestions.



I know that the original OP hasn’t posted back if he still has the CD or CD’s in question with the issue of this thread so perhaps he discarded them as I was about to do prior to my buyer emailing me back that he was still interested in the three CD Set if it played well.

I rescued one of the spongy inserts that caused this issue on the CD set from the waste basket and will attempt to duplicate this issue for yourself and other sellers for future reference so I can scan a picture of the damage that it causes to the CD/CD’s.

The other spongy insert had totally disintegrated into tiny pieces which left small to tiny yellow and orange particles all over.

I was going to scan one disc to show the damage to the label side of the CD prior to mailing but it was time consuming enough just to listen to a three CD set Classical Opera Set with the time limits that I had.

This was the first issue I have ever had with these spongy inserts and I guess the best preventative is to remove them immediately as was mentioned in this thread.

I did open up and check out my newer and sealed chubby 2-3 CD case sets and none of them included any foam or sponge sheets.

If I can replicate this issue with the saved spongy sheet on top of a CD for a period of time, I will post the image back here or perhaps some other CD sellers who have experienced this could post an image as well of the label side of the CD.




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