8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 26, 2015 11:39 PM by Pritpal Singh Matharu
ggggggggg Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

Hi Guys, This is a brilliant procedure to clean the optical head of the DVD Superdrive on a mac mini late 2009 edition or other macs using the slot loading DVD superdrive. You do not need to open the computer at all thus saving yourself a lot of hassle and anxiety.  Here is what you need to do:


1) Get hold of a credit card.

2) Cut a strip of fine lint free cotton cloth as wide as the credit card and twice its length.

3) Wrap the cloth around the credit card lengthwise and hold it taught between your thumb and forefinger at one end.

4) Dab some lense cleaning fluid on the bottom side of the cloth wrapped card. (Camera lense fluid will do)

5) Insert the cloth wrapped credit card on the left most side of the slot drive by about 1.5 inches. (make sure the PC is powered off)

6) Pull the credit card out and insert again - repeat 4-5 times - add some more cleaning fluid if it evaporates.


Since the read write head is on the left side of the drive about 1 inch from the corner this process cleans the lense quite effectively.


I have revived a DVD superdrive on my mac mini which was not recognising any disk in this manner.


Hope this helps.




Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,375 points)

    Thanks for the strange tip!

  • teefster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Awesome tip! Thank you, this has revived my dead SuperDrive. I owe you a beer

  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (46,490 points)

    Introducing any liquid to the innards of a Mac is IMO distinctly dodgy, and not something I would ever recommend.

  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4 (2,865 points)

    Klaus1 wrote:


    Introducing any liquid to the innards of a Mac is IMO distinctly dodgy, and not something I would ever recommend.

    There's a man after my own heart. Even alcohol (which evaporates quickly) can be "muy peligroso" for anything electronic.  if a drop "pools" somewhere, and you don't see it, the first time you power up again, it's "Sparksville" or just a quiet death. Either way, it's your fault. I'm a big fan of "canned air" for cleaning my computers and accessories.
    I just did my semi-annual "dust bunny blowout" for my Mini. I have an old DVD player that gets it every three months just to keep things that should move... moving smoothly.

  • teefster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Alas in my case I had already tried canned air to no avail. I was about ready to buy a replacement Superdrive and take my mini apart again. I found this tip, and deemed the risk minimal enough to give it a shot. We're talking about a very small amount of camera lens cleaner - just enough to moisten a lint-free cloth, not so damp that you can wring out large droplets that can "pool" inside the computer. Obviously I powered it down first, and left it a few minutes before powering-up afterwards. Maybe I did get lucky, who can say. Neither myself nor the OP seem to have had any problems though; YMMV.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,360 points)

    I'm careful around alcohol...


    {Even when I was a kid and had an electric race car set, with some (now rare) nice ones, and saw cars jumping through flaming loops, I was doubtful. Then some friends were over during New Years eve when the parents were down the road a few miles at some of their allegedly adult friends for a few drinks, etc; and we decided to see if the alcohol that tasted terrible (said everclear on it? whats with that? we thought) would flash fire as the cars sparked their way along the race track. Didn't take long, and it was a success. Melted the track, too.}


    So I don't know if I'd want to use real top grain alcohol, but maybe a little bit of rubbing alcohol in a powered down and semi-comatose Mac (no battery either) may help bring it around. But the experts say do not give a drink to someone unconscious. Even if only giving the poor tired Mac a massage, with its heels up.


    However I've been where you can't get parts, and it would take weeks to get any. Desparate times make for desparate measures. Just have the fire extinguisher handy... and some marshmellows.


    Good luck & happy computing!

  • MGunnarsson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Worked like a charm!

  • Pritpal Singh Matharu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Worked like a charm. I did all the steps except using the liquid. I would recommend no one follows step 4 as putting any kind of liquid in a computer can have damaging, irreversible effects.