With reasonable care your optical media can last 30-40 years. The tips below are a few simple precautions that will help increase the lifetime of your discs and the data stored on it.
- Store your CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in a suitable container. If the discs came with a "jewel case" type CD box this is perfect, otherwise use a container designed to store optical media discs.
- Do not mark the side of the disc with the data on it, in any way. This includes writing with any form of pen or applying stickers.
- Do not use solvent-based pens on the label side of the disc. Only use pens designed for writing on discs. Strong solvents can go through the disc and damage the data layer.
- Hold the CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc by its outside edge or the central hole. Any fingerprints on the surface of the disc can prevent your computer or player from reading it.
- Keep the disc out of direct sunlight.
- Prevent exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity, or rapid changes in them.
- Do not place heavy objects directly onto your CD, DVD or Blu-ray discs.
If you need to clean your discs use a clean, dry, lint free cloth and:
- Wipe from the central hole outwards
- Do not wipe in a circular direction
- Do not use any cleaning solutions on the disc. If you have a stubborn mark, try lightly dampening part of your cloth with some lukewarm water and then drying it off with the clean part