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snopes 20 August 2014 11:08 PM

Freezing CDs fixes scratches
Comment: About a Rumour NOT new to me but seems to be still around.

Freezing CD's

There was once a story that putting a cd in the freezer overnight ( or
other length of time) somehow improved the sound quality or somehow
overcame issues of excess scratches etc.

I actually thought that this had been put to bed years ago, however a few
day's ago a friend commented on needing to put some CD's in the freezer
because of scratches.

I tried to point out to her that freezing would do nothing for the
scratches and if anything make the cd more likely to break due to cold
temperatures and pre existing weaknesses due to the scratches.
if it was a home burn cd the cold could have a detrimental effect on the
dye, and even if it did make a positive difference as soon as the CD
warmed up again everything would return to its previous state.
If on the other hand it was a "pressed" cd then the temperature in a
domestic freezer was unlikely to have any positive effect and in a worst
case scenario be detrimental because of the difference thermal expansion
rates of the aluminium and plastic causing damage to the pressing.

But she was not convinced.

Alas I have not been able to find the article which dismissed this
practice as hokum.

Mr. Billion 30 August 2014 06:57 AM

Here's one article that might be what the commenter was looking for:

overyonder 02 September 2014 02:02 PM

That's one long-winded article!

As a former Canadian driver that drove quite a few times in the cold (down to -42F), I've never noticed any difference between frozen/thawed disc. But that's only my personal experience.


rockland6674 02 September 2014 06:42 PM

Wait, should I apply the green marker to the outer edge of the CD before or after freezing? :p

KiethHoyt 16 October 2014 11:12 PM

I've heard microwaving them helps remove scratches.

On a serious not, the freezer would have to get to a temperature much lower than any mass-produced freezer to have any effect on the plastic of the CD.

kaylagarcia 05 November 2014 10:19 AM

CDs and DVDs are designed to have the laser light enter and leave the clear plastic disc surface at a 90 degree angle, and then make its way back to a sensor which reads the effects of tiny pits inside the CD on the laser light. Scratches change the plastic surface's angle to something else, and that changes the laser light's path on both the way in and out of the disc.

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