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How to Clean a Car CD Player? – Quick & Easy Steps

how to clean a car CD player

Did you know that your CD player can collect dust, dirt, grime, and grease? Yes, that’s right! Among the different parts that you will need to clean in your car is the CD player. It is important to take good care of this accessory so that you can jam to your favorite music while on the road.

When a car CD player is cleaned, it will deliver better sound quality and with fewer chances of playback and error readings. Thus, you will need to know how to clean a car CD player.

In short, the steps that you will have to take are:

Part 1: Clean the outer casing of the car CD player

  • Get rid of all the loose dust and dirt using a soft-bristle brush
  • Eliminate fine particles using a can of compressed air or an electric fan
  • Wipe the surface of the CD player’s panel using an interior cleaner

Part 2: Clean the inner component of the car CD player

  • Remove all of the loose dust, dirt, grime, and grease in the CD opening

Part 3: Clean the lens head of the car CD player

  • DIY method: Add your own flaps to a CD disc or isopropyl alcohol
  • Store-bought method: Get a premade cleaner disc or car CD cleaner

However, in addition to these, you must be aware of the necessary materials and other essential tips to clean the car CD player effectively.

What You Will Need to Have

cleaning-car-cd-players

Cleaning car CD players do not have to be difficult. You can learn how to do it correctly by reading the following section carefully and following along with it. Prepare the following materials before you proceed to the detailed steps:

  • A soft-bristle brush
  • Two cans of compressed air or an electric fan
  • An interior cleaner 
  • A microfiber towel 
  • Two thin cloths 
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Optional) 
  • A lens cleaner disc

What You Will Need to Do

clean-cd-player-in-car

Part 1: Clean the outer casing of the car CD player

Step 1: Get rid of all the loose dust and dirt using a soft-bristle brush

Start by removing all the loose dust and dirt on your CD player’s casing. To do this, use a dry, soft-bristle brush. If you have a designated auto detailing brush, even better. Be attentive in brushing the crevices as well as nooks and crannies, especially the areas in between buttons, to make sure that no build-ups are left.

Step 2: Eliminate fine particles using a can of compressed air or an electric fan

Instead of water, a can of compressed air or an electric fan is the recommended tool to get rid of fine particles on a car CD player.

With the can of compressed air, you simply need to spray it over the casing to clean. Hold it at a reasonable distance from the exteriors of the unit.

The compressed air applies just enough force to “beat out” the remaining contaminants and will not hurt the paintwork or electronics. So, you do not have to worry about it backfiring on you.

The same goes for an electric fan. It is more convenient if you can get a cordless and handheld one. Turn it on and run it over the casing to blow away any persistent particles. If your fan has different settings, adjust accordingly.

Avoid offering too much or too little air. Also, as with the can of compressed air, make sure that the fan you use is at an acceptable distance from the CD player.

If you need to buy a fan for this occasion, consider these: JISULIFE Handheld Mini Fan, HandFan 5200mAh Portable Handheld Fan, and Sharper Image AXIS 12″ Airbar.

Step 3: Wipe the surface of the CD player’s panel using an interior cleaner

Hold the microfiber towel that you have prepared in one hand and the interior cleaner in another. Press or hold the trigger of the cleaner bottle down to spritz a bit of the solution onto the towel. One to two spritzes are enough.

Be very careful to not oversaturate the towel. Too much liquid can do more harm than good. Next, use the towel to wipe the surface off the CD unit. Go in a single direction, from left to right or top to bottom but avoid circular motions.

Part 2: Clean the inner component of the car CD player

Step 1: Remove all of the loose dust, dirt, grime, and grease in the CD opening

To start, turn off the unit and remove the CD. Make sure that the slot tray is not loaded. Hold another can of compressed air in front of the CD opening and spray across it.

When doing this, make sure that you hold the can at an oblique angle. It ensures that the dust in the opening is blown off the side instead of further into the slit.

Then, wet a fresh, thin cloth and use it to wipe the CD opening. This removes any remaining grime and grease.

Part 3: Clean the lens head of the car CD player

DIY Method

Cut the non-scratch and lint-free cloth that you have prepared into two strips, each about 0.25 inches length-wise. At the same time, ensure that they are roughly 0.125 longer than the span from the outer to inner edges of a CD.

On the shiny face of the CD, draw a straight line of glue from the outer to the inner edge of the CD. Do this on both sides. The CD should look like it is sectioned in half by glue. Now, lay the strips that you have cut on the glue, with loose materials on all sides becoming flaps. They will clean the lens head by brushing over it in a later step.

Turn on your car CD player and insert the CD with flaps. It will be rejected several times, but do not worry. Just re-insert it three to four times. In this process, it will spin inside before ejecting, thereby cleaning the lens.

Store-Bought Method

If you do not have the time to make this DIY cleaner, you can also purchase a premade CD player cleaner for your car. It comes in the shape of a disc, just like ordinary CDs, but it is equipped with a mini brush on one side. The brush cleans dust and dirt from the lens when the CD rotates while being read in the unit. If you decide on this, just make sure that you insert the disc correctly into the player and it will work its magic.

Another option that you can go for is popping the cover of the player off and applying a car CD cleaner solution. Remove the cover by unscrewing the assembly. Or, even better if you have a snap-open player. Once you have access to the lens inside, pick up your microfiber cloth or towel and CD cleaner for cars.

Do not try to substitute the cloth/towel with cotton swabs because they are not non-scratch and thus, can damage the lens. Wet the cloth with a bit of the cleaner but do not oversaturate it. Then, use the cloth to go over the lens once. Use very gentle motions and stop when you notice the lens is shiny with a blue tinge.

Now, leave the lens to air dry. If you are in a hurry, you can use your electric fan to speed up the drying process. But do not use heat sources. Afterward, reinstall the cover to complete.

An alternative to a CD player cleaner for cars is concentrated isopropyl alcohol. However, do not use diluted alcohol. It can mist or cloud the player’s lens.

Note: Use the lens cleaner disc or cleaner solution for the lens. Do NOT use both. You may think doing so will be going the extra mile for your CD player, but you will risk grazing and damaging the lens.

So, there you have it! Just a few simple steps within three parts to clean the CD player in a car.

Conclusion

With that, you have reached the end of this detailed article. Now, you should know how to clean a car CD player, including the materials used and steps needed to take.

Did you try this yourself to clean your car CD player? If yes, feel free to share your experience with us and other readers in the comments.

Also, if you have other follow-up questions or thoughts on this topic, you are welcome to leave a comment. We are always looking forward to hearing from our readers!

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