How to Take Care of Your LightScribe Discs
Updated 3/3/2011 by SuperMediaStore Staff

How to Take Care of Your LightScribe Discs

Welcome to LightScribe Care and Maintenance. Here you will learn how to ensure long product life, get tips on proper equipment handling, and find answers to many of your LightScribe questions.

Does the additional use of the laser in a LightScribe-enabled drive shorten its life?
Under typical labeling circumstances, there is no significant reduction in laser life. Based on typical use for both data and label sides of the disc, the laser is well within the design specifications.

Do slot-loader players affect the coating of LightScribe CDs and DVDs?
No. Scratch testing has shown that the coating on LightScribe CDs and DVDs is robust and should not be affected by slot-loader players.

How should I clean my LightScribe-labeled discs?
The best way to clean the label side of the disc is with a soft, lint-free cloth. There are cleaning kits available on the market, or you can clean discs with water.

I have noticed that, after awhile, some of my labeled discs get a whitish powder on them. What is it?
The white powder you may see on some labeled discs results from crystallization of the label-side coating. It is not harmful and can easily be removed with a water-dampened cloth. Wiping the disc with a damp cloth will not harm the label.

Does ultraviolet light fade a LightScribe label? How much does the image fade, and over what period of time?
Sustained exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided, both to prevent damage to the data side of the disc and possible fading of the label image. The image will fade under direct sunlight, but the rate will depend on the light's intensity and exposure time.

How should labeled discs be handled and stored?
To ensure maximal life for both data and label, hold discs on the outside edge or through the center hole to prevent fingerprints. Keep discs away from extreme heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. Ideally, you should keep discs on a spindle, in a disc sleeve, or in a jewel case, and then store them in a cool, dark place. And be sure to use polypropylene disc sleeves rather than PVC sleeves; PVC sleeves will cause images to degrade over time, while polypropylene does not adversely affect the coating or images.

Do the same suggestions apply to handling and storing unlabeled discs?
Yes, to ensure the longest life, store unlabeled discs in a stack or paper sleeve, and keep them away from direct sunlight and extreme heat. Handle them as suggested above.

Will fingerprints or other contaminants affect the label?
Residual chemicals on your fingers could cause discoloration of the label image. And some hand lotions--those containing polyethylene glycol and vitamin D--have been found to discolor the coating and image on a disc. To ensure maximum data and label life, always handle discs by their edges.

Does the LightScribe imaging process emit any hazardous chemicals?
No. The laser imaging process initiates a chemical change in the disc coating, and no hazardous chemicals are emitted during burning.

Are LightScribe discs environmentally safe?
Yes. A study of the potential for health and safety problems resulting from handling LightScribe-coated discs found no reason for concern.

Can LightScribe discs be recycled?
Yes. CDs and DVDs contain polycarbonate and metal films that can be recycled.

Is the LightScribe disc hot or dangerous to handle immediately after the label is burned?
No. Although the terms "burning data and burning labels" are standard in the industry, there is no appreciable temperature change involved in either process. A CD or DVD is safe to touch immediately upon being ejected from the drive.

This article is provided to inform and inspire, and is not intended to replace professional guidance and services. Your system and software may be different from what is described and LightScribe is not responsible for troubleshooting or system failures.