How to Fix a Scratched DVD

My husband and I are Redbox addicts. We don’t have cable (gasp), are on a strict budget, and rarely go to the movies; however, we love to splurge on the $1.00-$1.20 on Friday nights for a Redbox movie. I know you’re jealous. We’re living the life ;). But let’s face it, nothing is more frustrating than bringing a disk home only to have it not work! Granted you can contact Redbox and receive a refund, but that is no fun. I’m going to tell you how to fix your scratched DVDs so that they are in working order once again!

For a minorly scratched DVD, sometimes you can just spray it with some white vinegar, rinse under water, and dry with a lint free cloth (or microfiber cloth).

If that doesn’t work, then you need to pull out the big guns.

Here is what you will need:

  • Lint free cloth.
  • Toothpaste (the paste not the gel kind).
  • Nu Finish liquid car polish.

Step one: On the corner of your lint free cloth, place a dab of toothpaste and rub in a circular motion all over the disk. Cover the entire disk with paste, then rinse it off and pat dry with your cloth.

Step two: Here is the secret ingredient that will get rid of those scratches: Nu Finish car polish. (You should be able to find it in the automotive section at Target or Walmart or at an automotive supply store.) With a fresh corner of your cloth, dab some car polish on to your disk and rub in a circular motion. Let the polish dry on the disk and then with another fresh cloth corner, polish your disk until it shines and the scratches are gone. This works like a CHARM! We have so many disks in our home that won’t play due to kid abuse, and this method has saved them all. (Well, except for the ones that are cracked in half because my youngest struggles to properly pull new disks from those horrid containers.)

There are other methods to save your DVDs, but I think this one is the best I’ve tried so far! You can thank me for no more ruined Friday nights :).

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  1. says

    When you say rub in a circular motion, do you mean little circles around the disc or around the whole disc? I know this is a crazy question, but I am in scratched disc H-E-Double Hocky Sticks right now! We have so many and I am so frustrated! I bought a thingy from Best Buy that was supposed to do it but that was a waste! I want to try this soon!

      • Me says

        I wondered the same thing. I know you cover the WHOLE disk, but do you go around the disk, FOLLOWING the groves until all the disk is or do you use circular motions going ACROSS the groves until all the disk is covered? :o)

  2. says

    A day late and a dollar short! I just tossed Hello Kitty yesterday. lol I am definitely going to pick up these supplies today. We have a ton of DVD’s that need help. :) Thanks for sharing, Beth!

  3. says

    Woohoo! Thanks so much… I’ve been going through my kiddo’s movies and trying to decide which ones to toss. Maybe this will give them a second life :)

  4. says

    We were just about to throw a whole bunch of dvds that skip away. Give yourself a pat on the back because you have saved Dora the Explorer and Strawberry Shortcake today!

    • Beth @A to Z says

      LOL! Let me know how it works for you! If the scratches are incredibly deep they might still see the trash pile, but if they’re superficial then hello Dora and Strawberry!

  5. Michelle Gilliland says

    Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try it! We have a ton of DVDs that are scratched. Children really are horrible to them. And we don’t have cable either- its the commercials that I loathe. I saw a sexy orange juice commercial on a network for children and that was it for me. Ridiculous!

  6. Kathy :) says

    You clever girlie…thank you…..

    I was hoping to hear what you rented ??

    We have Netflix, my son gave it to us last year for Xmas, we love it, but now there is a doulble charge, they charge for streaming 7.99/mo and for DVDs mailed to the house 7.99/m0…..we don’t watch enough movies so I axed the DVD & went with streming, well don’t cha know all the current movies are DVD, older ones on streaming… oh well….

    Hubby was out of town so I loeaded Billy Elliott, I really liked it !!!

    Have a great day Beth :) and thanks again for the tip….

    Kathy :)

  7. says

    We are in the same boat as you with no cable, no netflix and no theater movies… so Redbox is our go to as well! Fixed budget + little kids = lots of nights at home. It’s ok, we just sit really close to the TV and make it feel like we are at the theater! : )

    Thanks for the great tip! I will absolutely be using it!

  8. says

    Hi Beth,
    Great information. I have pinned this post to my DIY pinterest board.

  9. Jennifer says

    Does it have to be that kind of car polish or can u use any kind??? We are stationed on guam and I’m not sure if we could find that brand of car polish…

  10. says

    OH MY GOSH! Thank you so much! Your Pinterest Pin saved my DVD! We homeschool (and happen to live in Germany) and my son’s Math is on DVD. He started his Math up today and his disk was so scratched it wouldn’t work.

    To order a replacement is only $15, but shipping to APO could take weeks and we NEED to finish this math!

    I don’t have NuFinish, but will be finding some to keep on hand. Fortunately the white vinegar/water/microfiber cloth trick worked just fine!

    I owe you $15!

  11. Jean Hyatt says

    Jenny Thank you for the info I have a Desert Rain CD that is scratched & it came out Praise You Lord. LOve you guys Grannie

  12. wharley says

    My son had an Xbox game that had a deep scratch. We took it to a small hole in the wall video game store. They had a resurfacing machine for disks. The $2 it cost was well worth saving a $50 video game. If the home methods don’t work for you…you may want to call around and see if this service is available in your area.

  13. R.Boopathi says

    If i used tooth paste only means, the scratch is removed ? without using car polish ?

    i have lot of dvd and cd can’t copy data from that that is my problem

    • Beth says

      I definitely cannot guarantee that any of the tips will work but they are worth a try. We’ve saved and revived several of ours using these methods. But sometimes a DVD is just beyond repair.

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