How to Clean a Computer’s CD Writer

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The CD burner or CD writer is one of the most important parts of your computer. For some people who regularly use their computer to make backup copies of their software, DVD movies or music CDs, it’s a truly essential piece of equipment.

The good news is that, generally speaking, the CD writer doesn’t need much attention from you at all. A CD writer can function very well even when there is quite a bit of dust on the lens of the CD writer. On some occasions, however, the CD writer may get dirty enough that it causes problems functioning.

It’s relatively easy to tell if the lens on your CD writer is dirty. You’re likely to see things like long read times, or skipping on an audio CD, or even occasionally messages that there is no disk in the drive, even though the disk is indeed in the drive. Unfortunately, these symptoms tend to be rather intermittent and a drive might function normally most of the time even if it is ready to be cleaned.

It doesn’t hurt to clean your computer’s CD writer on a regular basis. While you don’t want to clean it every month, you might consider cleaning it about twice a year.  Here are some things that you can do to clean your computer’s CD writer.

Start by blowing out the dust from the drive. To do this you’ll turn off your computer, first. Blow into the drive with short gentle of bursts of air. You don’t need to blow too hard as you are not blowing out birthday candles, you are just trying to remove some dust. If possible, use a can compressed air, instead of blowing directly on the drive as you don’t want to worry about blowing saliva or food particles into the drive.

If blowing the dust out of your computer’s CD writer doesn’t seem to make any difference, you might look into getting a commercial CD cleaning lens. These cleaning lenses are designed primarily to clean audio CD drives. Audio drives spin at a slower rate than your computer’s CD writer so it isn’t exactly designed for that purpose.

If your computer’s CD writer still gives you trouble the next step would be to open up the CD writer and clean it using a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. Be aware that this will, of course, probably void your warranty and unless you are a computer professional you should probably not go this route.

The best thing that you can do is ultimately, is to try and keep your computer’s CD writer from dirty in the first place. Set your computer in a location where it won’t get particularly dusty, where there is plenty of flow of air and where pets won’t rub up against it.


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