There is nothing quite as disappointing as slipping a favourite film into the DVD or Blu-ray player and having it no longer play properly. You may wonder why a DVD disc, touted by manufacturers as able to last for decades, stop working after only a few years. Knowing how to handle, store, and clean DVDs correctly is key to the long life of your DVDs.
Removing DVDs from Cases Carefully
Removing DVD movies from those plastic cases can be quite difficult. They seem to stick to the centre base like glue, requiring almost a herculean effort or possibly Batman himself, to remove them. However, according to manufacturers and storage librarians, taking the utmost care when removing DVDs from their containers is the first step in protecting the plastic coating that covers the data and protects it from damage. With a dry, clean hand, free of lotions and oils, place the disc cover on a flat surface. After opening the cover, place the thumb of one hand on the centre opening and press down firmly. With the other hand, grasp the edge of the DVD with the thumb and index finger and pull straight up gently but firmly. The DVD should release quite easily.
Handling DVDs Properly
You should only hold DVDs by the edges, with clean hands. You should also not stack DVDs that are not in their cases or place them on surfaces. Immediately after removing one from the case, insert it into the DVD player and be sure to remove the movie and return it to its case as soon as you are finished watching the film. Leaving a DVD in the player can allow heat and lack of air circulation to warp and damage the DVD, breaking the plastic coating and allowing air into the DVD itself, corroding the data storage.
Cleaning Your DVDs
You can clean your DVDs by using a dry, clean, soft cotton cloth and rubbing gently. The cloth can remove fingerprints, smudges, and dust. You can choose to use a DVD cleaner, but be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions carefully. If you need to write on the DVD, use only non-alcohol based soft felt pens, and only write on the label side.
Storing Your DVDs
Storing your DVDs properly is important. Keep them in their cases in a dark cool area where the temperature remains constant between 10 and 21 degrees centigrade. Store the cases upright instead of flat. Dust the outsides of the cases regularly to prevent dust from creeping inside. Be careful to avoid leaving DVD films in a vehicle due to temperature variations. Be sure not to leave DVDs sitting on the top of a DVD player or television, both of which can be hot. A good way to store DVDs is in a closed cabinet designed and manufactured for the storage of the discs.