An easy guide to cleaning your DVD player

The more mechanical parts your DVD player has, the more susceptible it is to collecting dirt and dust. Portable models are even more at risk, because they are moved from one place to another. Dirty lenses or discs lead to mistracking, skipping, irregular speed and bad reproduction quality. When your player displays any of these symptoms regularly, it might be time to give it a careful going-over.

An easy guide to cleaning your DVD player

1. Clean the DVD player's lens

  • This is the most important part of keeping the player running smoothly.
  • But don't open anything that requires a screwdriver. Most warranties become void if you open the casing. Instead, just press the button to open the mechanical drawer where the DVD sits.
  • Spray a gentle blast of compressed air inside the opening to force out any dust or lint. It's not a bad idea to spray the disc tray, too, but be careful to hold the can perfectly level, as you might get a shot of the propellant in its liquid form, and you don't want to have anything liquid near a DVD player.
  • Hold the can at the recommended distance from the player. If too close you may damage the laser reader mounted on an arm inside, and it's that arm that reads discs.
  • Some manufacturers make special lens-cleaning discs. These sorts of discs not only clean the DVD player's lens, but also dissipate static that will attract dust.
  • Just open the drawer that holds the DVDs and place the cleaning disc in the tray. When you close the disc tray and hit Play, the cleaning action begins. Some cleaning discs use an angular brush made of ultra-fine synthetic fibres containing copper.

2. To clean a Blu-ray player's lens

Use a specialized lens-cleaning disc, available at electronics stores. Blu-ray discs — higher definition and more scratch-resistant than DVDs or CDs — can be cleaned as for DVDs (see above). (Blu-ray players are now able to play DVDs and CDs.)

3. To clean a player's exterior

  • A simple wipe down with a soft, dry cloth is usually all that's needed.
  • If the cabinet is very dirty, mix some dishwashing liquid in water and get your cleaning cloth just barely damp before wiping it down.
  • Avoid cleaning solvents (products containing alcohol, for example), since they can damage the casing.

4. DVD players in cars

  • Keep the laser reader in optimum condition by regularly using a cleaning disc.
  • If your player has a screen, it should be periodically wiped over with a dry or slightly water-dampened microfibre cloth.
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