6 Best CD Lens Cleaners & How to Fix a Car CD Player That Won't Read

A car's CD player is prone to dust accumulation which can be a barrier between your CD and the player in reading information. A CD player reads information through its round base where the CD is placed. When dirty, it will not connect with the data encrypted on the backside of a CD. When this happens, it will either skip some parts of the CD's content or fail to play anything at all.

Fortunately, this is a quick and straightforward problem to troubleshoot. However, given the sensitivity in a Car's CD player lens, a harsh or invasive cleaning can cause permanent damage too. For this reason, it's essential to first go through the suitable precautions and use gentle tools, so you don't cause further damage instead. Below is our guide to cleaning a CD player's lens without too much stress.

Why Is It Important To Keep Your CDs Clear?

You must love long car trips - hundreds of miles of long-distance road, monotonous and completely different views outside your window. But even if you don't, you've probably still encountered situations where you've been forced to stand for hours in dreary traffic. In any case, good music can brighten up both of these situations. A quality sound system in the car helps to brighten up the boredom and lift your spirits even on the dreariest of journeys.

However, after a long time of using the audio system you may have noticed that it started to behave strangely: the music plays intermittently and with some extraneous noises, the disc comes out of the player on its own or gets stuck inside. All of these are the consequences of a dirty CD lens or a dirty CD. If any component of your audio system is too dirty, you will find yourself unable to listen to music at all or will be forced to have it repaired. 

How Do CD Lens Cleaner Works?

CD lens cleaners are a convenient and easy way to keep your player clean. They come in the form of regular CDs, but have small brushes on the "playing" side which can actually scrub away dirt from deep within an optical device such as CD lenses!

Steps to Cleaning the CD Player

Note: there are 2 different types of CD lens cleaners present on a market. The first one comes as a regular disk, but with micro-brushes on it. It should be simply put into the player and will automatically clean the lens by simply rotating and scratching a dirty surface. The second one comes as a liquid and should be put on the playing surface of your CD. It will work as an abrasive and will also clean the surface of your lens. Read the manual carefully to make sure that you are using your CD lens cleaner in an appropriate way.

Step 1: 

To start, take the CD lens cleaner from your cleaning kit and apply at least three drops of the liquid cleaning solution that comes with it. You need to use the solution to the brushes placed on the lens cleaner's other side.

Step 2:

The lens cleaner is a cleaning disc explicitly designed to fit perfectly within a CD player's lens. Simply push in the disc and let the brushes attached to it clean the lens gently. Make sure that you insert it correctly so that it gets sucked inside the drive.

Step 3:

Once secured in place, start your stereo and let it play for some time. With this, your cleaning disk will be able to rotate multiple rounds through the lens and clean it thoroughly. 

If your player is too dirty, let this process go on for at least 2 or 3 minutes for better cleaning. This will help you reach all the small, pointy, and hard-to-reach areas without having to unscrew any parts of the car's stereo.

While this should resolve any issues you were facing regarding skipped parts or entire songs, compatibility issues can also be. If you go through all the above steps and still meet the case, the problem may be mechanical instead. It's possible that your CD player has reached its maximum lifespan and doesn't have the previous playback capabilities anymore.

Six Best CD Lens Cleaners: 

Below are six top CD lens cleaners that check all the boxes of being gentle, affordable, and easy to use.

1. Memorex CD and DVD Lens Cleaning Kit

  • It comes with six gentle, soft brushes
  • Features high-quality cleaning solution

2. Maxell DVD Lens Cleaner- 190059

  • Designed for the needs of DVD players
  • Thunderon Brush System cleans hard-to-reach areas

3. Maxell CD-340 CD Lens Cleaner – 190048

  • More affordable version with superior cleaning
  • Also uses thunderstorm Brush System

4. Allsop CD Laser-Lens Cleaner

  • Perfect for DVD, CD, and game-player cleaning
  • Features eight brushes for better cleaning coverage

5. Digital Innovations CleanDr For Car Audio & Video Laser Lens Cleaner 

  • Superior cleaning for both audio and video players
  • Prevents distortions, skipping, and freezing problems

6. Allsop Ultra ProLens Cleaner for DVD, CD Drives, and Game Players

  • Uses carbon fiber technology for superior cleaning
  • Includes 11 different sound tests