There are a number of methods, ranging from do-it-yourself to industry standard, which can fix scratched CDs by resurfacing them through buffing. These methods vary in effectiveness and some scratches are too severe for any solution to fix.
Methods for fixing scratched CDs include:
- Jeweler's cloth
- Toothpaste buff
- Resurfacing machine
- Baking soda
For a straight scratch running across one side of a CD or DVD, buffing with a jeweler's cloth in circular motions can sometimes solve the problem. Toothpaste and baking soda can also be applied via cloth then wiped away with warm water for a variably effective solution. Professional resurfacing machines are the last line of defense and are too expensive for private ownership for the layperson, but they can sometimes be hired for batch use at game stores and electronics outlets.
If a disc is still functioning despite a scratch, it is better to leave it as it is to avoid wearing down the disc's integrity and possibly shortening its operational lifespan. Sometimes discs are too severely scratched for any practical method to refurbish, and the best step is simply to buy a new copy of the affected disc rather than wasting time resurfacing a broken one.