Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DVD Scratch Repair: Just a Splotch of Brasso...

Flushed Away.                                     Fern Gully
Princess and the Frog          Dora the Explorer

What do all of these movies have in common?  They were all scratched beyond belief, along with a few others, which meant I had three choices.  I could:

  1. Buy new ones,
  2. Throw them all out, or
  3. Repair them.

scratched DVD

I tried many different methods of DVD repair.  I tried toothpaste, banana, peanut butter...

The list goes on.  None of the methods actually worked for me, though, and I just ended up using a lot of elbow grease and making messes. 

Not pleasant.

Finally, though, I took out a can of Brasso that I had recovered from the deep recesses of my garage.

This is the only method that worked at all.

Brasso is a metal polish/cleaner.  The reason that it works is that it's an abrasive... like toothpaste, only better.  In essence, it smooths out the raised portions of the scratch that cause the DVD player to skip.  As you know, you can feel the scratch on a DVD when it's reasonably deep.

The kind of scratches you get when a toddler uses a DVD to slide across the floor...

          Or uses it as a plate...

                    Or as a skating rink for her mini Lalaloopsy dolls.

Yeah.  I had major scratches.

Fortunately, the technique is very simple.

  1. Grab a horribly scratched DVD, some Brasso, and a cotton ball.
  2. Put a splotch of Brasso goo on the cotton ball.
  3. Attack the scratched portion of the DVD with with your gooey cotton ball.  Buff the area using circular motions, being careful not to press too hard.

Don't press too hard! 

That part is rather important.

See, I did really, really well at first, while using this technique on a Barbie movie.  I was able to regain 41 seconds of the 2 minute section that I normally had to skip through.

But then I screwed up.

Seeing that I was making some decent headway, I became fixated and did it again, pressing harder.

           And harder.

I went overboard, and managed to ruin a section of the movie that was formerly in perfect order.  Had I continued in the same gentle fashion, I may have succeeded in having a movie that runs perfectly, again.

Instead, well... let's just say I'm glad the movie was in a value bin and priced at $5 when I bought it.


The good news, though, is that it showed me that with a bit of patience, Brasso will repair all but the deepest DVD scratches.  Now, don't get me wrong... 

The scratch is still there.  This isn't a miracle cure.  It just doesn't cause the same skipping that it did before.  I've seen people say that the scratch disappears, but I think they're probably embellishing the truth a bit.

I ruined the Barbie movie, but I'm glad to report that Shrek no longer skips right after Fiona causes the bird to go


in a beautiful explosion of feathers.  If you have no clue what I'm talking about, go and buy the movie - fast!  Really.  Nobody should go through life without watching Shrek.  Multiple times.


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