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Do Plastic Sleeves Scratch CDs?

Being fragile mediums of information, compact disc or CDs have faced a common issue ever since their invention – storage. Be it CD cases or media-racks, the matter of storing these popular faucets of information is one that remains an issue till this day. With so many options available for storing these discs, a common one is employing plastic sleeves as a means of safely putting away CDs.

However, this method of storage comes with its issues as well, and one resounding question that makes it way into every CD/DVD forum is whether plastic sleeves scratch CDs or not. In this article, Neo answers this question in considerable detail.

What are Plastic Sleeves?

Picture of plastic sleeves

As the name suggests, plastic sleeves are small pockets, and are a budget-friendly option to storing CDs safely and out of harm’s way. Commonly found in plastic material, these sleeves are perfect for storing heaps of CDs when space is limited. The covering also gives the appearance of a sleek and elegant storage medium. 

Currently, plastic sleeves are the most popular method for storing CDs/DVDs owing to their economical nature, meaning you can buy these in  bulk for your collection of CDs.

Do Plastic Sleeves Scratch CDs?

Delving into the main question – yes, plastic sleeves are known to cause slight scratching on CDs. Since the plastic material can rub against the outer aluminium layer of CDs, there is a chance that it might also cause some scratching to the surface. Despite being harmless in most cases, there is still a possibility of causing irreversible damage to the aluminium layer, rendering some parts of the disc illegible for your computer’s CD-drive to play.

The problem is further aggravated when you regularly take out the CD from the plastic sleeve, taking out or putting in causes friction between the plastic layer and the CD. Moreover, if you add dirt and debris into the equation, damage to your CDs is imminent.

Due to these reasons, plastic sleeves are mostly good for CDs that you tend to rarely use, so that friction while removing the CD is minimal. 


Despite being an age old issue of protecting CDs from scratches, very few advancements have been made in this area. Even though plastic sleeves offer an affordable way to store your CDs safely, their plastic covering can still be harmful for the dics’ outer layer. Due to the friction produced through the traction between the CD’s layer and the plastic sleeve, minor scratches are bound to occur. Nevertheless, this fact still does not deny their usefulness in terms of storing away large amounts of CDs together.

Find some of the best CD cases at Neo and ensure your discs stay as good as new.

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