Petroleum jelly has innumerable uses from soothing your dry skin in the winters to greasing some of the small machinery parts. But one of the uses I stumbled upon accidentally was using the petroleum jelly to make the scratched CD/DVD disks read properly in your CD/DVD disk drive. I was almost ready to throw away some of the old DVD movies that were slightly scratched and were stopping in the middle of playing the movie. I thought if we can fill this tiny scratches with something transparent, then perhaps they will work. So I tried very small layers of mineral oil and later cooking oil, but the oil gets dried up very fast in the heat of the laser. So then I tried Vaseline Jelly, and it did the work. Here is how you can try this method to fix the scratched CD/DVD, at least temporarily:
- First of all check where the scratches are located in your DVD or CD. You can see the scratches when the light falls on the shiny surface at a certain angle. You can see the scratched better in the sunlight, but any artificial light source will do too.
- When you have located the scratches, its time to bring out the petroleum jelly. I used the standard Vaseline Jelly, but you can use any type of jelly available. You can even use the chapstick if regular jelly is not available.
- Apply the petroleum jelly using your forefinger in the radial direction – in a straight line from the center of the disk to the outer edge. Do not apply too much of the jelly as it will melt and fall on the laser lens inside the CD/DVD drive. Just apply a very thing coat all over the scratched portion and do not worry about the smoothness of the coat as in the heat of the laser, it will get smooth by itself.
- Place the jelly applied disk inside you CD/DVD player and wait for at least 1 minute. Your computer should be able to read the disk after some time.
Conclusion: A small thin coat of petroleum jelly can make the scratched CD/DVD disks readable for one or two times. But care must be taken not to apply too much of the jelly as it may damage your optical disk drive. This method works better with scratched CDs then for DVDs because of the data tracks density.