How to make a CD lens cleaner for your DVD/CD Player

This post will show you how  to make a CD lens cleaner for your CD Player, or dvd player.

My in-dash car cd player has been having a really difficult time reading CD’s lately. I figured it was all the dust accumulating on the lens, as the playing is intermittent and random.  I looked on ebay and in stores for a solution to clean the laser lens, but found they cost a lot of money for just an audio CD with a little brush glued onto it. Therefore, I decided to make my own for free. This is how I made my own lens cleaner for a cd player (in my case, a car in-dash cd player). This however, should work for any type of player such as Blu-Ray, DVD, HD-DVD, CD, whether be it a computer or standalone player.

I think this hack is probably the simplest solution I have done to date, as you only need three items:

1. Any crappy Audio CD (burned or whatever).

2. Super glue (A glue stick might work, but I was hesitant to use one as the material might not hold as well and fall off into the player).

3. Cotton ball, Felt material, or in my case, PEC pads (used for cleaning sensitive electronics like a digital camera CMOS sensor). If you are using a cotton ball, just glue the ball onto the CD, then pull and leave some cotton adhered to the CD (it should work the same).


First, cut a thin strip of the material you plan on using on the CD. I made mine about 2/8″ wide, and cut to the length of the CD.


Just draw a thin line of super glue on the CD. Next, Glue the strip onto the CD and cut off the excess. It should look like this.

Glued on strip of material

Glued on strip of material

Here is a closeup view of the material on the CD. I checked the clearance of the CD Laser assmembly to the CD to be around 1/8″ (the distance of the gap between the laser element and CD). So I left roughly that amount of material hanging off the CD.

Fold and bend the material to stick up about 1/8" high

Fold and bend the material to stick up about 1/8″ high

I stuck the CD into my cars in-dash CD player and heard the disc spinning for a few seconds, then the player ejected it. I repeated this a few times and then tried an audio CD. Played right up! Simple, cheap, and effective…just not as elegant and pretty as the ones sold in stores.

**Update**  – After two days of using my cars cd player. I can honestly say that this cd lens cleaner works like a charm. My player used to error out when I would start the car after ending work, and I would need to pop the cd back into the player several times before the cd player would read the disc. Now the player reads the disc from the point where I turned off the car.

Do this at your own risk. I assume no liability for any damages done to your equipment.

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37 thoughts on “How to make a CD lens cleaner for your DVD/CD Player

  1. alex

    Wow your tips helps me a lot, I’ll try it now, I hope it’s alright and it doesn’t damage my DVD player.

  2. Eric

    My wife just brought home super glue, and we used a cotton ball. Both our CD players we out of commission and now they are working! I was able to fix both CD players for a fraction of the cost of a store bought CD Player Cleaner. Don’t waste your money!

  3. Muammad Farooqi

    Thank you very much.. it really worked like a charm.
    you know.. I didn’t have any cotton balls, or cleaning PEC pads, or any glass stuff cleaner. I searched in my surrounds in drawers and everywhere in the room. and found “Alcohol Pad/spirit gauze” used for cleaning wounds.
    I cut one in half and then one of that half into another half.. it was a small stripe..
    I put glue on CD and then strips.. and this worked .. 🙂

    Thank you man !

  4. Jack

    My car cd player was skipping. I was worried that I might need an expensive repair. However I made the DIY cleaner described in this email and it was easy to make and worked fine. No more skips. I used felt that I had around for putting on the bottom of game boards.

  5. Verbal

    For my in-dash CD player, I used the material used for wiping spectacle glasses and I think it works. Just remember it flashes ERROR and ejects automatically. I played the home made version three times before the sides of the material turned blackish due to dust. I am saving the custom CD cleaner & plan to use it from time to time. Thanks in 2015 to BLOGMASTER!!

  6. Sazze

    This worked like a charm. Thank you so much! It worked on my 6 cd changer. It is old but I love my CD changer and I did not want to buy another one. It was stuttering like crazy. After I did the cleaning as you suggested, it started to work smoothly. I am really grateful to you for posting this. Thank you!

  7. Lee

    I did not have any of the things mentioned for cleaning the lens so I put it the washing machine on an extended boil wash, all seemed well until the 1700 rpm spin kicked in, the glass on the washing machine door lasted about 10-15 seconds the washing machine itself faired little better. The warranty company refused point blank even to attend! Never mind, with my newly cleaned DVD player I fitted it back into my wife’s 500 ML, imagine my disappointment when it dident even power up, then my horror at the plumes of smoke that bellowed from the dashboard.
    The car burst into flames which spread to my garage and house. The insurance are refusing to pay (something to do with wilful negligence) The fire dept are charging me to put the fire out and the police are charging me with arson and endangerment. My wife has left me taking the children and my scorched dog.
    Next time I’ll find the correct stuff.

  8. Mazda 3 owner 2.3 2005

    Hi, I don’t usually post comments, but dude, you saved me. Tried with a cotton slice from my T-shirt – works as it suppose to. Thank you very much for saving me some money, time and nerves :)))))

  9. Jerry Gander

    I am an older guy. I am really skeptical. But I tried this exactly like you described. It took me all of five minutes of my time to make this. I inserted the disc a few times….and unbelievable… cd’s work perfectly. I am so impressed. You saved me a ton of money and worries tonight!

  10. Jack

    This worked great, was hesitant it might get stuck in the player but it didn’t. I used two strips of felt sticking up slightly like the picture shows and hotglued it to an old cd I had. CDs that wouldn’t work before now play again, thanks for the tip glad I didn’t waste any money on a store bought cleaner.

  11. Opulent

    It works perfectly well on 6 loader. Just load it in CD one compartment, then allow the CD to read or play. It won’t play. Either it will skip to disc two or still be in disc one. If skip to disc two skip it back to disc one severally. Then testify the perfection

  12. Scarlett

    This sounds like a great DIY, and I’m sure everybody else had no problem, but be warned! My homemade cleaner-disc is currently stuck in my car’s 6-disc changer and I’m afraid I’m going to have to dismantle my dashboard tomorrow to regain use of it.
    “Sazze” above said it worked like a charm for their changer, but my experience apparently says otherwise. So if you are doing this to clean a disc-changer’s lens, proceed at your own risk!

  13. Matthew Maranell

    I just broke my 6 disk changer in my 2005 dodge caravan. I wouldn’t try it. Or at least get all the other disks out before trying it!! (I’m feeling kinda dumb right now;)

  14. Mark

    Thanks…..this worked. What I used was the soft side of self adhesive velcro. I cut it in smaller pieces and stuck it on a CD, worked like a charm 🙂

  15. Terry

    Great article. Thanks. I bought a used Tacoma and the Stock CD player on the radio would not play a CD. I read your article and glued a strip of kitchen towel material onto a disk as you did except with the towel material being thicker I didn’t bother to try to make a flap, I just laid it on the disk flat instead. After the glue dried I wetted the strips down with Alcohol and ran it through the player 3 times and amazingly it played a CD the first try.

    Thanks again

  16. patrick

    Yes it works after trying to run the prepared cd cleaner twice and i then try one or two cd player and it works perfectly thanks…


    I spin mine on delicate, if that don’t work I wash it and run through an old wringer washer. Works great! You never have to try and clean it again.

  18. Sandie O.

    It works! Thank you for a great DIY tip. We’re going on a small road trip tomorrow and thought we were stuck surfing the radio. At the last minute, we tried this quick fix, did as you said, and voilà!

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