How To Clean an Optical Disc Player

If your CD or DVD player has become sluggish or is skipping, you may need to clean the lens. Here’s how.


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You Will Need

  • A Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Cotton swabs
  • A small screwdriver (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Disconnect the player

    Unplug your disc player and disconnect all the audio cables.

  2. Step 2

    Put it on a level surface

    Put your disc player on a level surface, like a table or desk.

  3. Step 3

    Unscrew the cover

    Remove the screws that secure the cover.

  4. Step 4

    Remove the cover

    Remove the cover.

  5. Step 5

    Plug it in

    Plug the power cable of your disc player into an outlet.

  6. Step 6

    Eject the tray

    Eject your disc player’s tray or carousel, if it has one.

  7. Cleaning a disc player that is plugged in may result in electric shock. If the tray will stay ejected with the power off, unplug your disc player now. If not, proceed with caution.

  8. Step 7

    Find the lens

    Locate your player’s laser lens. This should be beneath where the tray or carousel sits when it is closed.

  9. Step 8

    Remove cover

    If your disc player contains a lens cover held in place by screws, remove it with a small screwdriver.

  10. Be careful not to look directly into the laser behind the lens. It can cause permanent eye damage.

  11. Step 9

    Clean the lens

    Lightly brush the surface of the lens with a cotton swab.

  12. If the lens is especially dirty, you can wet the end of the swab with a drop of rubbing alcohol.

  13. Step 10

    Screw on cover

    Screw the lens cover back into place if applicable.

  14. Step 11

    Replace the cover

    Replace the cover and its screws.

  15. Step 12

    Close the tray

    Close the player’s tray or carousel.

  16. Step 13

    Reconnect the player

    Reconnect the disc player to the rest of the stereo, if necessary. Now rock on.

  17. The first audio CD released was ABBA's "The Visitor" in 1981