As mentioned previously, DVDs are an investment, and one that must be protected through proper care and maintenance. What follows is a list of simple tips to help you ensure your collection lasts functionally for years to come.
When it comes to cursory treatment of a DVD, trust your instincts. Blowing of visible traces of dust is the typical first course of action, followed by a wipe-down with a soft, dry cloth (shirt tails are ideal, so long as they’re clean and not too coarse). Remember to wipe towards the edges of the disc rather than around the center.
If a liquid is needed for DVD cleaning, anything water based should serve your purposes, so long as you are thorough in drying the disc off afterwards. In this same vein, there are several methods of buffing out scratches from a DVD. Toothpaste has proven effective in handling lighter scratches, while metal polish can see to some of the deeper scratches. These methods are advised strictly for when a disc has been rendered faulty or inoperative by a clear scratch, however, as opposed to simple superficial markings.
Once a DVD is clean, the next factor for consideration is storage. For the most part, the case your DVD comes in should be sufficient for storage purposes. It is important to look out for damaged cases, especially those where shards of plastic have broken off into the inside of the case. This can result in damage to the disc during shipment to stores or homes, especially if the product is used. Thus, the first course of action when buying a DVD is opening it to inspect the overall structural integrity of the disc and case.
Speaking of case integrity, the most important aspect of a DVD’s case, short of sufficient protection, is ease of access. With some cases it can be difficult to remove the disc, the act ulimately involving bending the DVD which can lead to delamination. When possible, seek out DVD cases that utilize a release mechanisim, or at the very least allow the DVD to be extracted without too much force.
Arranging DVDs is a simple prospect as well, though one worth consideration. Since applied pressure has been known to cause delamination in discs, it’s advisable that you not pile your cases one on top of the other, but upright and side-by-side on a shelf. Likewise, don’t pack DVDs too tightly onto a shelf, as it makes them more difficult to retrieve and arrange, and can revive the issue of applied pressure affecting the discs.
Matters become a bit more complicated when dealing with long-term storage. Wherever you plan on keeping your DVDs, make sure it’s an environment of average temperature and humidity, as extremes in either can gradually affect the discs. The packaging of a DVD must also be taken into consideration: some box sets are more delicate than others and may be prone to the same risks as the DVDs they house. What’s more, paper inserts or booklets can contain moisture that, over long periods of time, may be released on the disc and affect its playability.
Touching back on the multi-disc sets, some cases may house multiple discs that can rub up against each other during travel or storage. It may be worth considering investing in generic DVD cases, or utilizing disc sleeves for travel purposes.
All these suggestions are subject to the specific circumstances of each DVD collector. Whatever your approach to DVD collecting, the ability to enjoy your purchases in essential and must never be overlooked.