Monday, April 1, 2013

That Dang DVD and how my Dad got it to play

This is a bit random, but for those who have the same problem I thought this post might be a little helpful.

The other day I decided to watch the first season of 'Charmed' again. This time I wanted to play some of the episodes that my parents hadn't seen and relive some of my favourite moments of the first seasons. As usual I put the disc in the player without really examining it and it started to play. It stopped, skipped and had audio that didn't match up with the visuals at times. I thought "This is it, my DVD is stuffed and I have only watched it once", but after my parents had a look at the discs there was a strange discovery, some google-ing and an interesting solution...

See, I can be a bit pedantic about looking after some of my stuff. I had realised that 'Charmed' wasn't quite going to fit in the DVD rack and I didn't have another place to put it, so I bought a pretty cardboard box to put the discs in and keep under my bed. The actual case of the disc sealed quite well which I thought was a good thing. However, I was unaware that this airtight situation combined with all of the weather conditions that our town got over that time would cause moisture to be trapped in the box.

An inspection of the disc in sunlight showed foggy stains on the disc. It looked as if I had left the discs in the bathroom while I took a hot shower. Call it mold, mildew, fungus... Whatever it was, normal disc cleaner was not removing it. I've never seen this happen to a disc before; I have never had this problem before. All the other discs seemed to be fine so we came to the conclusion that it was that particular DVD case. With what substance could it be cleaned?

Well, I had actually given up. Dad suggested that we try this stuff called Wurth Brake Cleaner (not to be confused with an aerosol brake cleaner) and sampled it on an old scratched Rogue Traders CD he found on the side of the road a few months ago. The brake cleaner he used is biodegradable, pure alcohol and stronger than Rubbing Alcohol. He used a glass cleaning cloth to wipe the dirt and grime away. We tested the rogue traders CD and only one song was scratched compared to what seemed like an un-playable disc before. After cleaning the first disc of the DVD series, I was able to watch a part of an episode that wouldn't work before. I then requested that all DVDs in this case were cleaned.

To prevent this happening in the future, I have purchased some sachets to put in the box that will hopefully suck the moisture out of there and I am going to vow that the case on that season is left ajar after future uses. I also thought I would suggest  (if you are unsure or are using a different product) that you test it out on a CD or DVD you aren't concerned about wrecking and testing in a player before cleaning any discs that you don't want to wreck. That way you will know if it's safe to go onto cleaning the other discs with the product.

An odd post I know, but I thought it might help some people...

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