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Taking care of your CD’s

CDs are very convenient devices for data storing. Your favorite songs, photos and data can be stored in large numbers at a low cost. You might even be a proud owner of a large CD collection. However there is a problem too. A damaged CD can mean loss in data, or loss to your dear collection. Damages are caused when the readout surface (the shiny and unlabeled surface) of the disc is scratched pretty badly. The main cause for such scratches is dust and rough surfaces. The readout surface of the disc can quickly gather dirt and is very easily scratched. Similarly keeping it on a rough surface, fingerprints from careless handling and smears can also cause scratches.

How to prevent scratches:
i) To protect the data from scratches, fingerprints, dust particles, and smears, do not touch the readable/unlabelled surface of the disc.
ii) Never place it face down (on the readable surface) on a hard surface.
iii) Hold the CD from edges, with four fingers, to avoid touching the reading surface.
iv) Keep your compact disc in its case while not in use. Ensure that the case is clean from inside.
v) Keep the CD with the readable surface facing downwards.

How to clean the surface:
i) Should the CD become dirty, clean it with a soft cloth lightly moistened with CD cleaning fluid or ethyl alcohol.
ii) While cleaning work from the center to the edge. Always wipe the CD from the center hole to the outer edge. Never wipe in a circle, this will leave marks.
iii) Do not use any type of solvent, such as Benzene, Lacquer thinner, Antistatic Agents, LP record cleaners as they may damage the surface by reacting with acrylic coating.

You can also lose the data on your CD if you place it too close to strong magnetic fields; expose it to extreme temperatures and humidity. The Monitor of your Computer, Television set, VCD/ LCD player and Microwave Oven are some of the common domestic appliances which generate strong magnetic fields. These interfere with the stored magnetic data. Never leave the disc in a place which is subject to direct sunlight, high temperature and in high humidity.

CD player is also important. Don't forget about cleaning your CD player, too. A CD Lens cleaner will keep dust down from your player and keep your CD's playing at their best.

Damaged CDs can be repaired to some extent with repair kits that are available in the market. However, these repair kits can’t guarantee you much, so the best thing to do is to take good care of your CDs in the first place.

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