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How to Maintain Your DVD Player

CD and DVD players have a laser lens that needs to be cleaned periodically. To maintain your DVD player, occasionally unscrew the player’s case, so you can get at the lens to clean it. You need a screwdriver, canned air or a soft brush, a foam swab or camera-lens cleaner, and lens cleaning fluid from a camera store. Here’s what to do:

  1. Remove the top cover screws.

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    If the cover wraps around the unit, there may be more screws to take off.

  2. Blow off the dust with canned air or a hair dryer set on cool.

  3. Dampen a foam or lint-free swab with a few drops of lens cleaner.

    You don’t need a lot, just a couple drops.

  4. Reassemble the cover and put the screws back in.

Don’t blame your CD or DVD player every time your music or favorite movie starts skipping or refuses to play. The disc may be dirty or scratched. You can purchase a cleaning kit at an electronics store, but rubbing alcohol is a lot cheaper and you can get it at the grocery store or pharmacy. If the problem is dirt or dust, here are some tips for keeping your discs in top condition:

  • When you select a disc to play, the first thing you should do — every single time — is blow dust off, even if you faithfully keep your discs in their sleeves.

  • Next, wipe your discs with a lint-free cloth dampened slightly in rubbing alcohol every time you use them. They not only accumulate dust, but also oily fingerprints that make dust stick.

  • Put your fingers only on the edge and through the center hole.

And if your favorite disc is scratched, before throwing it out, try polishing it to remove the scratch. Disc repair kits are sold at electronics stores and some video stores.

It’s the bottom of the disc, the unadorned side, that the laser reads. That’s the side you need to clean.

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