How To Clean a CD Player In a Car

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Just like any other stereo, the CD player on your cars head unit needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure it continues to function well. But, being a slot disk makes this a little harder. In this guide we’ll give you some step by step instructions to get rid of any dirt and dust build up.

When to Clean Your Car CD Player

If you’ve purchased a second hand car, or your car is over five years old, it’s best to give your CD player a clean to prevent a build-up of dust or dirt. Even newer cars’ stereo systems are not exempt from dust or dirt.

It’s always best to try and prevent any issues, but there are obvious signs that will show once a CD player has become dirty. Your CDs will not play correctly through your car stereo system. The CD tracks may jump and play out of sequence, your tracks may not play at all and lastly, the CD may eject without being made to eject.

It is also a good idea to ensure that the CDs that you are using within your car stereo system are of good quality, as worn or broken discs may be the issue and they can even cause damage to your CD station.

Cleaning the Exterior Casing

Here are the three steps to cleaning the exterior casing of your cars CD player:

Step One: Use a Brush To Remove Dirt

It is important to use a soft bristle interior brush as a method of removing dust and dirt from your buttons and the general area of the CD player.

You may not need to purchase a specific car detailing brush, you just need to ensure that the brush you are using is both soft and clean. Avoid spraying liquids directly on to your CD player, as the liquid may seep through your buttons and cause electrical faults which then may lead you to having to purchase a whole new car CD player, which then defeats the purpose of attempting to clean your car’s CD player.

Step Two: Use Compressed Air to Get Rid of Smaller Dust Particles

This step is a step which most professional car technicians swear by, the use of compressed air to remove dust and dirt. All you need to do is to purchase a can of compressed air and gently spray the compressed air over the exterior areas of the CD player which you wish to clean.

The reason why a can of compressed air is a favourite of professionals is because gentle air does not damage electrics or paintwork, like liquids can.

Step Three: Use a Microfibre Towel and Interior Cleaner Spray

Use a car dashboard cleaner and spray it onto a soft microfiber cloth, then gently wipe on top of the buttons. A few tips to remember:

  • Ensure your cloth is not too damp as excess liquid can cause harm to your stereo systems’ features and general functioning.
  • Make sure it is a short fibre cloth to reduce the risk of snagging fibres between the buttons and it also ensure the cloth is not rough in texture as a rough cloth can unfortunately pull buttons or even snap them off.
  • Ensure you are using a genuine interior cleaner, instead of a multipurpose cleaner as some multipurpose cleaners are so strong in chemicals that it can lead to paint from your buttons being rubbed off. We have some recommended products below.

Cleaning the Interior of Your CD Player

Step One: Buy a Cleaner Disk or Create Your Own

Either purchase a CD cleaning disk such as those recommended below. Alternatively, you can create your own with a blank or unused CD disc as follows:

  • Use a strong glue to glue the inner edge of the CD towards the outer edge.
  • Use non-scratch wipes or pads and stick to the glued edges of the underside of your CD, make sure you let it dry for at least ten minutes.
  • Once the CD has dried, cut the part of the wipe or pad which is left and be sure to leave a 1/8 inch hang from under the disc, but ensure it is small enough so it does not get tangled up in the CD player.

Step Two: Add Lens Cleaner and Allow A Few Spins

Add a lens cleaner solution to the wipe or pad of your CD and let the CD spin for a few times inside the CD player and remove the disc from the player when you are satisfied that is has worked.

Recommended Products

Here are five products that can help you clean a dirty CD player in your car:

Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer Cleaner

This is professional car technician’s favourite interior detailer to use, as it safely cleans all interior surfaces with a high quality matte finish.

The formula also helps to protect car interiors from sun damage, this is an impressive feature as sun damage can quickly damage the quality and newness of a car’s interior.

Mr Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

A great choice of microfibre cloth to use on interior cleaning and detailing as it is made of an ultra-soft material, it is scratch free and reusable and long lasting.

Car Detailing Brush Set

This is the perfect type of brushes to use whilst cleaning and detailing your car. These brushes have been specially made for the use of car detailing, meaning there will be zero damage from using these brushes on the interior of your car.

Car Head Unit Cleaning Disk

If you are looking for a hassle-free method of cleaning your car’s CD player then purchase a pre-made head unit cleaner such as this one.

Fellowes Compressed Air Duster

This compressed air can will help you to easily remove dust and dirt from your car interior as outliend in our step by step guide.