The Best CD Repair Kits of 2023

Restore your music collection and say goodbye to skipped tracks

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If you need to migrate either data or audio files off CDs, you're not getting anything if the CD looks like it had a close encounter with a belt sander. Thankfully, our collection of the best CD repair kits is here to help.

It's important to note that even the best CD repair kits can't work miracles. They can improve the condition of abused or neglected discs, but this may not be enough to retrieve the contents without some degradation.

Best Overall

Novus 7100 Plastic Polish Kit

Novus 7100 Plastic Polish Kit


This three-solution kit from Novus isn't designed exclusively for CDs and DVDs — it's an all-purpose plastic polish that can be used on any acrylic product to remove scratches and restore shine. But when fixing scratches on your favorite CDs, DVDs, and video games, this Novus polish outperforms most self-described "media repair kits." The trick is that it buffs down the scratches on your discs rather than filling them in, which tends to be more effective at restoring your media to playable condition.

The kit comes with three different polishing solutions: 1 is a cleaner that removes dust, debris, and static from your discs. 2 is a light abrasive that can remove fine scratches (and will probably do the trick for most CDs). And three is the strongest abrasive for use on deep scratches.

The trick to using this kit may seem obvious, but it's worth stating: read and follow the instructions carefully. Unlike motorized CD-cleaning machines and other automated disc repair devices, this kit requires elbow grease and patience. But if you're willing to put in some time to polish your damaged media manually, users swear by this product's effectiveness. And because it's an all-purpose acrylic polish, you can use the Novus kit to restore your car's headlights, plastic fish tanks, plastic furniture, and much more.

Best Motorized System

Digital Innovations SkipDr

Digital Innovations SkipDr Disc Repair System


The SkipDr motorized disc repair system from Digital Innovations is another device that can smooth out scratches on your favorite media without time-consuming manual buffing. Just insert your disc into the device — it works for CDs, DVDs, and several video game discs — and the Skip Dr resurfaces damaged areas on the play side. The buffing wheel and specially formulated SkipDr Rejuvenating Fluid remove scratches and restore the disc's protective layer to prevent future damage. Each patented FlexiWheel buffer can repair up to 25 discs. You can buy inexpensive wheel replacement kits online.

The SkipDr is designed to repair minor scratches that cause skipping or otherwise affect the media's readability. It will not be effective on more severely damaged or deeply-scratched discs.

  • I've heard that toothpaste can be used to repair CDs is there any truth to this?

    While perhaps not the best method, some kinds of toothpaste can be used to repair small scratches on CDs. This is due to the mild astringents that are employed in most dental hygiene products. However, this process is hardly foolproof and can vary wildly based on the type of toothpaste you use and the severity of the damage.

  • I've used a repair kit and my disc still skips, is there anything I can do?

    If you've done a fair bit of abrasion and still can't read the disc, your best bet is data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery. While hardly a surefire method, using data recovery software will allow you to retrieve some amount of information off the disc before it inevitably ends up in the trash.

  • How does a CD repair kit work?

    CD repair kits work through a combination of polishing and mild abrasion. This is accomplished through the application of astringents and friction. Most stretches aren't very deep, so by essentially removing the top layer of the disc, you're removing any surfaces that might impair the optical drive from correctly reading your media.

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