Proper Care of DVD Discs

So, you want to keep your DVDs in peak condition for as long as possible.? The Aussie Bloggers team have compiled this list of some of the ways to protect and preserve your precious DVD’s.

“Disc rot” is a concern of all DVD owners. This is where a DVD becomes unplayable due to material decomposition rather than physical damage. Causes may include poor adhesives between the disc layers, impurities in the metal, low quality resin, or improper inks.

Other manufacturer-based problems can impact your DVDs performance include unbalanced construction such as off-center holes, or off-center paper labels, inappropriate packaging such as hub damage from oversized center mounts, warping from shrink wrapping too tight, chemical damage from packaging adhesives, or crush damage from using incorrect packaging when mailed.

Most people know to handle discs by their edges and center hubs rather than the data surface. But most do know that storing discs horizontally can eventually cause warpage.  The do not know that some CD storage cases may be too tight for long-term storage of DVDs. Tests have shown that storing your discs, “book style,” in cases, or sleeves are the best methods to store them.

For DVD’s to be read correctly, the playable surface should be kept clean and dust free. Fingerprints, dust, scratches, regardless how minor can negatively affect the life of the disc.

A Short List of Do’s

  • Handle discs by the outer edge or the center hole
  • Return discs to their cases immediately after use
  • Use a non-solvent-based felt-tip marker to name the label side of the disc
  • Keep the discs clean & dust free
  • Store discs upright in book style holders, in purpose made cases
  • Clean discs by wiping a clean lint-free cloth in a straight line from the center of the disc toward the outer edge
  • Use deionized, distilled, or soft tap water to clean your discs. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
  • Check the disc surface carefully before playing it
  • Store in a cool, dry, dark environment—relative humidity should be from 20% – 50% (RH) and temperature should be from 40° (4°C) – 70° (20°C)

A Short List of Must Not’s

  • Touch the surface of the disc
  • Expose discs to extreme heat or high humidity
  • Bend the DVD
  • Clean in a circular direction around the disc
  • Store discs horizontally for several years
  • Expose discs to extreme rapid temperature or humidity changes
  • Expose recordable discs to prolonged sunlight or other sources of UV light
  • Write or mark in the data area of the disc

With proper care, DVDs can and do last for years. It’s worth the effort!


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