I just had to tell you guys this story. My friend has a DVD player, and all of a sudden, it quit working. The disc would spin and spin, but then it would just spit the darn thing back at him! He brought it to me because he thought I might know how to fix it. I know how to set up this stuff but repairs? Not so much. Anyway, he’s a good friend so I figured I would give it a try anyway. I did the super obvious one first: I tried a few different discs to see if it was just one or two DVDs that weren’t playing. Nothing would play, however, and it was definitely making me nervous because that exhausted my knowledge of DVD player repair, honestly. I certainly didn’t want to tell my friend that I couldn’t fix it—I hate admitting that there’s something I can’t do. On the other hand, I really wasn’t sure what other options I had.

Since I was at such a loss, I turned to the one place I knew people had gone looking for answers before me: the internet. Most people said to give it up and get a blu-ray player, but my friend doesn’t want to do that. He’s got an older TV too and I guess this hooks up easier or something, I don’t really know. He’s definitely a low-tech kind of guy, not like me and my home theater system. The problem seemed to be, according to the online gurus, that the player’s interior was dirty. This was an entirely plausible situation, so I figured I would give it a try. I know nothing about cleaning internal electronics, though, so I kept reading up on it. Lo and behold, two recommendations came up pretty regularly: a lens cleaning kit and forced air to blow out the vents.

I figured, what was the worst that could happen? I got a lens cleaning kit, figuring this was something it would probably be good to have regardless of whether it was the problem behind my friend’s unit or not. I already have a little portable air compressor that I could take over to his place, so that wasn’t an added expense. I figured I could give it a try and if it failed, oh well. It was already broken, right?

The first thing I did was open up the unit and use my small air compressor on the lowest possible setting to blow out the dust. I stayed away from the delicate looking machine parts and focused solely on the vent areas. Ewww. That was nasty. It made me wonder what’s inside my home theater equipment. Then I put everything back together and tried the DVD cleaner. I ran that through a few times.

Then it was time for the real test—I put a regular DVD in and fired it up. It worked!! Honestly, because I didn’t check it in between, I am not sure which one worked, but it worked! Now my friend thinks I am a genius and I feel like a rock star. Hope these tips can help you if you run into the same problem!