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Recording Preservation Tips - CD's

  • Compact discs should be stored in their cases vertically on edge, perpendicular to the shelf.
  • Environmental conditions recommended for other media are adequate for long-term storage of CD's
  • Always hold the disc by its edges to help keep the surface clean.
  • Use a clean, soft, dry cloth to remove any loose particles of dirt, dust, oil, or fingerprints. When cleaning the CD, never wipe it in a circular motion. Use a straight movement from the center outward to the rim.
  • An air gun should be used to blow off any light surface dust.
  • If fingerprints or other stains must be removed, 0.25 part of Tergitol 15-S-3 and 0.25 parts of Tergitol 15-S-9 per 100 parts of distilled water can be utilized safely. Carefully blot the area of the disc needing washing with a soft cloth (preferably a soft cotton that has been washed several times) imbued with a concentration of Tergitol and distilled water. Rinse well using a second cloth soaked in distilled water. Blot dry using a soft cotton cloth. Use an airgun to blow off any lint left over.  Avoid rubbing in any direction.
  • Do not clean the surface with any cloth soaked in water, solvents (thinners, benzine), silicon cloths, antistatic sprays, or record cleaner sprays.
  • Do not use a hair dryer to blow dust off or to remove any moisture from the disc surface.
  • DO NOT:
    • Place pressure-sensitive tape, VelcroTM, etc. on the disc.
    • Leave the CD in the drive overnight.
    • Bend the disc.
    • Write on or mar the surface in any way.
    • Make the center hole larger.
    • Scratch the surface of the disc while loading or unloading the player or storage case.
    • Store or place the disc in a heated area.
  • CD trivia: The CD track is thinner than a human hair and is about three miles long, beginning at the center of the disc and spiraling out to the edge.
  • CD's have an effective track density of 16,000 tracks per inch.
  • After the information transfer is completed, a transparent layer of plastic is applied to the information side to protect the polycarbonate substrate, a reflective coating placed behind the information surface, and then a protective lacquer applied.
    • The compact disc is a laminate of 4 different materials. The bottom of the disc is made of polycarbonate onto which the pits containing the digitized sound information are stamped. A thin layer of aluminum is then applied, covering the pits. A thin lacquer coating (which becomes the top of the disc) is then applied to cover the aluminum layer, and finally the ink for the labeling
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