Interior Care

How to Clean a Car CD Player? – 4 Simple Methods

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to clean a car cd player

During car maintenance, there is always that one part we often forget: the CD player. We would not want the CD to malfunction when we plan to create a romantic inside car ambiance for a great date, would we?

Without proper cleaning, the CD player can just ruin everything! It might play distorted sounds, skips, and stops! So, before that happens, make sure to learn how to clean a car cd player to make everything go as planned!

Method 1: Clean the CD Player Lens With a Homemade Cd Cleaner


What You Need

  • Purchased CD Cleaner Solution or Isopropyl Alcohol with 91% concentration – Isopropyl alcohol with less than 91% concentration may leave a smug or mist.
  • Old CD (free from scratches and works perfectly fine)
  • New Microfiber cloth – It should be free from any dirt, lint, and dust.
  • Scissors
  • Industrial Glue

Tips to Remember before Cleaning your Car CD Player

  • Make sure that the compact disc is not the problem but the player itself.
  • Cut the microfiber cloth to fit the CD size for easy cleaning.
  • It is essential that the glue is totally dry before inserting the cleaner into the player. If not, this may harm your automobile cd player.
  • It is normal that the CD player rejects your homemade cd cleaner after seconds of insertion. Reinserting it 5 or 6 times is enough to clean the lens.

Steps to follow

  • Step 1: Cut diagonal strips of a clean, dust-free microfiber cloth with sharp scissors.
  • Step 2: The cutting size must be 2.36 inches in width, and the length should be from the hole border to the outer CD border.
  • Step 3: Fold the cloth in diagonal half and set it aside.
  • Step 4: Dampen the cloth with CD liquid cleaner or alcohol with 91% concentration.
  • Step 5: From the hole edge to the outer edge, apply industrial glue in a straight line.
  • Step 6: Facing upwards, affix the folded cloth and put pressure on it for a few seconds. Half of the cloth is fixed while the other fold is unattached. Cut out any excess cloth outside the border.
  • Step 7: Set aside to let the glue dry completely.
  • Step 8: Once dry, insert the CD and press play. Once rejected by the player, re-insert 5 or 6 times to thoroughly clean the laser lens, removing dust or grimes.

Complicated? I think not. You just have to bear in mind the helpful tips before proceeding with the steps. After this process, your car cd player keeps skipping no more.

Method 2: Clean Your Audio CD Player With an Air Bulb or Compressed Air


What You Need

  • Air bulb or compressed air
  • Working CD

Helpful Tip before Cleaning your Car CD Player

  • Do not spray the compressed air upside down since it spritzes liquid along with air. This may damage the electronic parts of your player.

Steps to follow

  • Step 1: Turn on your CD player and take out any CD on the tray or CDs for the multi-disc CD player.
  • Step 2: Unplug the power cord without turning off the player to keep the CD player tray out.
  • Step 3: Using the air bulb or compressed air, blow the dust or dirt residues away from the tray.
  • Step 4: For the compressed air users, leave the tray open for a minute or two to make sure any liquid from the spray is dried out.
  • Step 5: Plug and insert a working CD. If it plays without skipping and stopping, this method works.

However, if your vehicle CD player still has problems playing after doing the air bulb/compressed air cleaning, let us move to the next method.

Method 3: Clean Your Vehicle CD Player by Removing the Lens Cover

What You Need

  • Screwdrivers of different sizes
  • Microfiber Cloth or Cotton Buds
  • Purchased Lens Cleaning Solution or Isopropyl Alcohol with 91% concentration
  • Doing this method voids your warranty period.
  • Undamaged CD

Helpful Tip Before Cleaning your Car CD Player

  • Use only the cotton buds if necessary since they may scratch the lens with its texture.
  • Do not wet the cloth or cotton buds too much. Just moisten them.

Steps to follow

  • Step 1: Pull out the electronic device from the slot-loading CD player in your car.
  • Step 2: Unscrew the locks using a screwdriver and open the top cover of the newly dislodged portable player from its car case.
  • Step 3: Once opened, press the small hooks to unfasten or take off the screw using a screwdriver fit for its size to get access to the circular phone camera-like CD lens head.
  • Step 4: Dampen the microfiber cloth with a purchased lens cleaning solution or Isopropyl Alcohol with 91% concentration.
  • Step 5: Gently wipe the head with a microfiber cloth. To clean hard-to-reach areas, use the cotton bud and twirl it carefully so as not to leave any lint or scratch.
  • Step 6: Leave it to dry for a few minutes.
  • Step 7: Replace the head cover, then screw the top lid of the CD player.
  • Step 8: Insert a working CD and play. If the problem is fixed, put it back on its car panel.

Ohhhh! This method makes you look like a pro!

Method 4: Clean Your Cd Player Using a Lens Cleaner for a Car

What You Need

  • Lens CD Cleaner
  • Product Instruction Guide
  • Working CD

Helpful Tip Before Cleaning your CD Player with a Lens CD Cleaner

  • Read the product instruction guide so you will do it right.

What to Do

  • Step 1: Open your CD tray and load the lens CD cleaner.
  • Step 2: Press play and follow the instruction guide as to how many minutes or seconds you will keep the lens cd cleaner in playing mode.
  • Step 3: Stop playing and eject the lens cleaner.
  • Step 4: Insert the working CD and check if the problem is fixed.

Is this method the simplest of all? Although it may not work as excellently as the other methods, just try it and see if it works for your cd player that skips.

This time, we move to ways to clean the exterior casing of your CD player.

How to Clean Your Exterior Car CD Player


What You Need

  • Soft-Bristled Brush or a Microfiber cloth
  • Compressed Air or Cordless Handheld Fan

Helpful Tip Before Cleaning the Exterior Casing of your Car CD Player

  • Do not use a hard or medium-bristled brush to avoid leaving scratch marks on your casing.
  • Do not spray compressed air at a close distance to avoid damage.

What to Do

  • Step 1: Using the brush, sweep away dust from the exterior casing.
  • Step 2: Do not forget to brush the buttons, curves, and plains of the exterior.
  • Step 3: Wipe the loosened dust with a microfiber cloth.
  • Step 4: To complete the process, spray compressed air from a distance to blow away the remaining dust. Without compressed air, use the cordless handheld fan to blow away contaminants.

The steps are doable and materials are found at home! As I always say, “Now, you know!”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean the inside of a CD player?

You can clean it using 4 Methods: Cleaning using a homemade CD cleaner, air bulb/compressed air, removing the cover lens, and using the CD lens cleaner.

It goes the same for cleaning CD player for truck. Using the best way that works for your CD type with the materials you have.

How to fix a Car CD player that won’t read CDs?

A car CD player won’t read the CD because it’s inserted wrongly; make sure you check if it’s on the right side. Also, you can always use the reset button located right in the front display, then try inserting again.

If the issue is more complicated, you might need to troubleshoot it using youtube tutorial videos. Still, your CD player still won’t play, bring it to a professional who knows exactly what to do with it.

What causes CD players to skip?

A fingerprint, scratch, accumulated dust, or even a hair strand can block the beams of the lens to the cd. These factors can cause the CD player to skip. That’s why you need to clean a CD player in a radio to make sure it will not happen.

Can you use a DVD cleaner on a CD player?

No, because it can scratch the Cd player, the same way that a CD cleaner can damage your DVD player.


Some may say that CD players are out of fashion. Guess what? The older the device, the more expensive it gets! That is a vintage treasure! Now, you know how to clean a car CD player and multi-disc! Enjoy your long drives on lonely or fun-filled roads with music on the air!

5/5 - (3 votes)

Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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