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

Posted by Blog Master on January 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

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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  • On December 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm alex said

    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.

  • On September 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm Joe Smoe said

    You only need to put the felt on one side since a CD player spins.

  • On September 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm Faith said

    Wow, great idea, it worked:)

  • On November 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm Eric said

    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!

  • On December 7, 2014 at 11:51 am Elaine said

    Do you insert with the material facing up or down?

  • On February 20, 2015 at 10:40 pm richie said

    wow! am greatfull for that

  • On April 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm jen said

    Will this work for a 6disc changer as well?

  • On May 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm mike said

    Will this clean the freaking lasers on my sharks?

  • On August 1, 2015 at 11:30 am max said

    Thanks a lot, was really helpful

  • On September 11, 2015 at 4:58 am Muammad Farooqi said

    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 !

  • On November 18, 2015 at 11:43 am Jack said

    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.

  • On November 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm Dan said

    This worked for my MacBook Pro. Thank you!

  • On November 22, 2015 at 4:04 am Verbal said

    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!!

  • On November 28, 2015 at 4:29 am kenneth jones said

    i would like to know will this work with 6 dis cd changer

  • On January 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm Doug Setter said

    Thanks for the awesome tip. Do it yourselfers rock.
    I can now afford more cds.

  • On January 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm Shurlokke said

    It really works! Thanks man!

  • On January 22, 2016 at 8:06 am Sazze said

    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!

  • On February 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm Lee said

    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.

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