Lens cleaner for CD tray HiFi

statalite

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I decided to use my HiFi stereo for the first time in a while, but it wouldn't read my discs very quickly and the first few tracks failed to play. So I decided it must be that the lens needs cleaning.

I looked on YouTube someone had done it with cotton buds and rubbing alcohol, which I have so after opening the HiFi up I realised I couldn't take the tray drive out to clean the lens. So I ended up wheeling the tray out manually and poking a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton bud to the lens. It didn't work in fact it made it worse. After several tries I gave up. It was refusing to acknowledge discs at this point. I tried a few more times and it seems to back to where it was before I took it apart. So I decided after a couple of hours messing with it to put it back together again.

Long story short should I try and use one of those CD lens cleaner "kits"? When I look online there are different ones, some with fluid some without. Maybe someone could explain the difference.

I don't want to spend too much so will one from a pound shop do the job?
 

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I've never had any success with those lens cleaning kits, I've only ever used alcohol and cotton buds because it's always worked for me... :)

You just have to have a very light touch when doing it with cotton buds though, press too hard and you can fudge up the focussing resulting in read errors or no reading at all, but from the sound of it your CD player's laser could be on its way out, like turntable styluses they don't last forever, but unlike turntable styluses, they can't be replaced...

The differences between lens kits, well, the dry ones usually come with a CD that has little brushes on a specific section, has some cheesy music at the start, silence for the brush section and then more cheesy music with some channel testing (why I don't know cos it's one single digital track that is decoded into the audio channels!!!) followed by more cheesy music...

The wet ones I don't know, cos I've never used a wet CD cleaning kit, presumably a similar setup but with a sponge on the disc to take the cleaning fluids they supply, but, that's just a guess cos I can't be bothered with those kits so don't really know... :confused
 

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Where did you get rubbing alcohol in the UK? This is an American term and I thought that this wasn't available as such in the UK. Possibly what you used wasn't the correct formulation and has damaged something.
 

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I used to use the cloth you get for cleaning your glasses... and it seemed to work on our ancient Sanyo "music centre".
 

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Where did you get rubbing alcohol in the UK? This is an American term and I thought that this wasn't available as such in the UK. Possibly what you used wasn't the correct formulation and has damaged something.

I say rubbing alcohol, bit used surgical spirit, apparently its the same thing
 

statalite

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I used to use the cloth you get for cleaning your glasses... and it seemed to work on our ancient Sanyo "music centre".

I could try this is I can get my fingers into the tray drive easy enough. By coincidence the HiFi I'm working on is a Sanyo.
I'm a bit mad because I haven't played many discs on it at all, used less than 50/times definitely, although it has move about a few times with moving living location.
 

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This is one of the reasons I converted all my CDs a while ago to MP3, no need to mess about with dusty old CD players any more. (The other was some of my very first CDs where looking like they might be disintegrating)
 

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Are you sure the issue is actually dirt on the lens?

I have found on occasion that a seldom used CD player can exhibit reluctance to work owing to friction in the drive. A solution is to exercise it as best you can by repeated insertion and removal and then once the disc is recognised, by selecting the first and last tracks in succession to get the carriage to traverse from limit to limit. Once the mechanism frees itself fully, all should be well.

In extremis, the old manchester screwdriver ploy can work, too: Just drop the unit from a couple of inches.
 
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^^^^ I did say "In extremis" ....................... but it works, though.
 

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I clean a lot of cd lenses in the course of my job ..
Never poke anything in the slot ..
Always dismantle to expose the laser eye ..
As has been said already ..
light touch only ...
cotton bud soaked in isopropyl alcohol ..
use the dry end of the bud to remove residue and gently polish the eye after cleaning.
I also find a can of compressed air to be useful to blow around the floating lense.
..and occasionally an eye dropper to dispense a small quantity of iso around the CD platter motor shaft ..
this will free off a difficult or jammed motor without having to remove it ..
If still not reading discs ...
A new laser or motor is needed..
rgds
VS
 

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^^^^ or a Manchester Screwdriver .............. ;)
 

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Are you sure the issue is actually dirt on the lens?

I have found on occasion that a seldom used CD player can exhibit reluctance to work owing to friction in the drive. A solution is to exercise it as best you can by repeated insertion and removal and then once the disc is recognised, by selecting the first and last tracks in succession to get the carriage to traverse from limit to limit. Once the mechanism frees itself fully, all should be well.

In extremis, the old manchester screwdriver ploy can work, too: Just drop the unit from a couple of inches.

Its interesting you say this because its consistently telling me the disc and track length, but it struggles with, as far as I know the first 1 or 2 tracks and the last few?
Tried moving the drive in and out a few times, to no avail. I suspect it won't be an easy fix :(
 

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Its interesting you say this because its consistently telling me the disc and track length, but it struggles with, as far as I know the first 1 or 2 tracks and the last few?
Tried moving the drive in and out a few times, to no avail. I suspect it won't be an easy fix :(
Inability to play lead in or lead out tracks only can often be the sled motor not travelling cleanly ..
Clean the steel sled motor bar with iso ...then apply a thin silicone grease to the clean round bar ..
worth a try ?
rgds
VS
..caution ...dont get grease on the laser lens
 

statalite

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Inability to play lead in or lead out tracks only can often be the sled motor not travelling cleanly ..
Clean the steel sled motor bar with iso ...then apply a thin silicone grease to the clean round bar ..
worth a try ?
rgds
VS
..caution ...dont get grease on the laser lens
Thank you for the advice, need to get hold of silicon grease.
However I don't know if its possible to do because I only have partial access to the area.
 

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Thank you for the advice, need to get hold of silicon grease.
However I don't know if its possible to do because I only have partial access to the area.
It must be a very light (thin) grease ..and I wouldnt recommend applying or cleaning without full access to the mechanism..
 

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When fixing up my Panasuckit boombox's CD player I just used the grease I had in the shed, I just applied it very sparingly so had enough of a coating to be slippery, but not so much that it gunked up the workings, but I rarely play CDs though so it was just a bit of a time-spending exercise cos I was bored... :D
 

statalite

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I think I've learned how to wheald it. Start on say track 3 and it let's you go to previous and it works which is odd, but maybe the best compromise.
Its the same for originals and backups. I wonder if a little nudge in a particular direction from underneath the mechanism will get me the first couple from the off. End tracks seem to be fine.
 

statalite

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Tried to "nudge" from underneath, no effect. Don't mind so much because it does respond when I wheald it with track 3 then back so not the end of the world.
 
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