Wii lens cleaner

If you can’t live without your console then cleaning the Wii lens yourself with a lens cleaning or scratch repair kit is the easiest option that solves the problem in minutes. We’ve taken a look at a couple of products available that aim to fix the problem:

Official Nintendo Wii Lens Cleaning Kit – $9.99 – EDITORS CHOICE
We’ve found the affordable official Nintendo Wii lens cleaning kit that keeps your Wii running without those annoying ‘press the Eject button and remove the disc‘ errors. The cleaning process involves placing some drops of cleaning fluid onto the cleaning pad of a specially designed plastic paddle then inserting this into the disc drive slot. You then wiggle the plastic paddle a few times, press eject and the process is finished.

We tried the lens cleaning kit on a frozen Wii we’d given up on, after an initial clean it spat out a disturbing amount of dirt and we were not only playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl again but a scratched frisbee copy of Mario Kart was up and running too. The pack comes with plenty of cleaning fluid and five replacement cleaning pads – for less than 9 bucks this is the cheapest way to repair your Wii and doesn’t invalidate the warranty. You can buy the official Nintendo Wii lens cleaning kit from Amazon.com for only $9.99.

Nintendo Wii Lens Cleaning Kit Nintendo Wii Lens Cleaning Kit contents

Skip Dr. Motorized AutoMax Scratch Repair System – $29.58
If you’ve got a specific game disc which is causing you problems it may be the disc itself and not be the Wii lens which requires cleaning. The Skip Doctor aims to fix scratches on game discs, DVDs and CDs which are causing problems (there is also a gamecube adaptor available separately). The Skip Doctor is motorised and works by removing the thin scratched layer off the surface of the disc and then buffing a new shiny disc surface which won’t confuse the Wii laser – first attempts using the device still left problems on the disc however on the second attempt we were able to play an error prone antique copy of Wii Sports.

Compared to the official Wii lens cleaning kit this may be an expensive overkill, but if you’ve got some problem movies in your DVD collection or own other consoles (we haven’t tested this on a Blu-Ray disc though) this may be an ideal solution. The kit includes cleaning fluids and cloths which should cover repair of around 50 discs, you can buy the Skip Doctor disc repair for $29.58 from Amazon. A cheaper alternative from the same company is the Digital Innovations motorized disc cleaner for $16.17 although we haven’t tested this on the Wii console.

Skip Dr. Motorized AutoMax Scratch Repair System Skip Doctor

Related: Using the Wii Guitar Hero controller with Rock Band

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24 Responses

  1. j-mun says:

    ’didja play smash bros too much?’

    ’didja throw it in disgust during the sixth hour of the Subspace Emissary single player nonsense?’

    ’are you rippin’ three foot tubes?’

    The answer is yes and no my friends. But the clear and solid answer is that Nintendo has made my Wii dysfunctional in order to protect itself from piracy!



    Nintendo claims that dust and smoke may affect the laser lens in the Wii, especially when reading a dual-layer disc like Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Nintendo has offered to clean the lenses for free, even offering free fedex shipping.

    1. I purcahsed my Wii on day one of it’s US release. I have never had a disc read error or really any error for that matter with my Wii. This involves pulling three foot tubes, shotgunning the Wii for good measure, and the usual tomfoolery that accompanies a beersoaked 23 year old cursing at a level 1900 Tatsumya returning every *****power serve.

    2. Like every other person who gives two ****s about Nintendo, Wii, or less specifically games, I purchased Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB) on the morning of its release.

    3. Upon popping the disc in, the Wii demanded a system update before I played the game. Like every other person who gives two ****about Wii, my Wii is wirelessly connected to the internet. I do not believe this system update was presented as ’optional,’ therefore I updated.

    4. Some eighty plus hours of gameplay later, almost exclusively with SSBB, the Wii stops reading ALL discs. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a significant amount of tube-pulling going on during the relatively-nonstop free-for-all four-player action, but I became curious as to how one game or one dirty lens would affect ALL discs.

    5. Like any other ******addict, I tried everything in my power to get the ****er to work. Nothing worked.

    6. I called Nintendo, and without question and with great haste, they facillitated a guaranteed one work-week return, providing i send both my Wii and my copy of SSBB.

    7. A trip to Fedex later, the Wii is shipped for free to Redmond, Washington, is received and is scheduled to be returned within 5 business days. Hasty, right?

    So where’s the conspiracy?

    Step by step:

    If Nintendo is simply cleaning the dirty lenses, what prevents them from becoming dirty again? To my knowledge, cleaning does not imply a re-routing of the ventilation system. Therefore, I ponder: will my Wii need a lens-cleaning every 3000 hours? Will they make a home-version of their very high-tech cleaning instruments? After all, no home-based consumer cleaning instrument is recommended or even viable for the ’cleaning’ of the lens.

    Next, there are a significant amount of modded Wiis floating around. In Denver alone, there are quite a few on Craigslist. For those that ain’t in the know, ’modded Wiis’ means that their components have been altered to allow the playing of imported discs (bypassing regional coding) in addition to DVDs and ’back-ups’ (pirated copies) of games.

    I theorize that if someone is so passionate to modify their Wii, they would also be savvy enough to connect it to the internet, and in turn, be passionate enough to purchase (and subsequently pirate) a copy (legitimate or illegitamate) of SSBB. This isn’t so hard to imagine, as the entire world knows that SSBB is the fastest selling game in Nintendo’s epic history. I also speculate that the majority of modded Wiis would have been purchased some time closer to the Wii’s intial launch, as the modders tend to be the ’wait-in-line’ sort of folk, bringing a buddy, buying two, selling one on ebay, etc.

    So, people get the game and the system update, play the game, and suddenly, some of the Wiis (mostly first-generation, according to bloggers) develop disc-read errors.

    No biggie some say, as Nintendo is ’fixing’ this for free, in less that a week’s turn around. Some say that the issue is not the lens, but really a bad drive altogether. To this I inquire as to what sort of support system Nintendo has, in that they cannot produce enough Wiis to meet demand, yet they can replace hundreds of drives in less than a week?

    The plot thickens. Why does Nintendo need my copy of the game to clean the lens, or even, at worse, replace the drive? Are they gonna buff out one layer of the dual-layer disc? I don’t think so.

    Obviously, anyone with a legal copy of SSBB and an unmodded Wii will ship them for free to Nintendo, wait a nail-biting week, and get their Wii back, data and all ’fixed.’ So what happens to the modded Wiis or pirated copies that get the disc-read error?

    Bam! Nintendo killed them, with a controlled distribution of a kill-switch in the form of a system update. If Nintendo knows how many Wiis are connected to the internet, and that almost everyone will purchase SSBB, it would be quite simple to randomly distribute a kill-switch to a controlled number of Wiis. Anyone who doesn’t ship it back can now be assumed to be in possession of some sort of piracy, albeit rendered useless with disc-read errors.

    So if x percent of Wii owners get an error and y percent of those owners don’t return the Wii, Nintendo now has a good idea that they killed z percent of total piracy and that there are y pirates for every x of Wii owners.

    I have to go pull another tube and wait for the Fedex guy.

  2. kaymasta says:

    canned air doesn’t work. i literally JUST tried it. that was a waste of 6 bucks -_-

  3. Marcelo says:

    You guys have no idea what is like being me…
    Cuz you all can just ship it to Nintendo and wait a week… and for free…
    And about that fancy wiiremote jacket… they also send it for free…

    But how about people outside the USA, JAPAN and CANADA…
    Like Brasil in my case…
    I’ve heard that a few people manage to get those jackets… but not more than 10 people… that’s for sure…

    But worst of all… nintendo don’t give a Sh;t about us… the 3° world country…
    there is that Latamel that is a nintendo oficial representative in latin america… but those guys don’t even have a email, nor phone number on their site… (if you can call it a web site…)

    So, I’m here with my brand new SSBB copy trying to send emails for those ghosts…
    and then i do get a answer… that says kinda:
    “We are not nintendo. we will not pay for your wii fixing.
    but if you wan’t you can call AGS (a games-fixing store).”
    And guess what… i will have to pay a lot for the fixing…

    luck for me the only store that nintendo and latamel is near my house… in Sao Paulo…
    How about who live in other states??? (well… it seems that both nintendo and latamel don’t care about them…)

    and that’s it folks…
    I will now try to get my wii fixed… even if I got to pay some gold coins for it…

    (sorry for my lame writting… it’s a little hard to focus when you ‘re in a situation like this…)

    and i’ve tried to use a reverse pocket dust sucker in my wii… but it didn’t work out…
    but it was sure fun…

  4. Well it’s an interesting theory about Nintendo making a kill switch. If so, it’s pretty clever. Nintendo have a right to protect their copyrights, if pirates want to pirate, then they run the risk of bricking their console.

    Sorry to hear about your problem in Brazil. is the game officially out in Brazil or did you import? If you imported I can see the reluctance from Nintendo to help you, in their eyes, you shouldn’t have the game yet and don’t qualify for free fixing. I suppose you could try a CD lens cleaner disc from eBay.

  5. TheHiMan says:

    I totally agree with marcelo!!! I live in Singapore and saved like 80 bucks (sing dollar) to get the game. When i finally bought it, it didn’t work!!!
    I tried everything i could do!!! Nothing worked.
    SIGH~.. i guess this is sorta my fault cuz i didn’t play the wii for like 3 months….T.T…

    Oh well….i’m gonna keep blowing air into the cursed machine and pray for a miracle.

  6. wjdfogur says:

    j-mun has such a mindblowing point. i can totally see that happening. my wii stopped reading all discs too after like what? a month of playing super smash bros brawl. it just stopped working one morning and stopped reading all my discs. i should mention i didn’t mod my wii and so all my games are legit copies. i own wii sports, zelda, cooking mama and ssbb. zelda and ssbb won’t run at all (unable to read disc error). cooking mama and wii sports seems to work at very rare chances. if i noticed anything from ejecting the disc millions of times and listening to the drive run, i noticed that ssbb disc won’t even spin when you put in the disc. this sucks ass cause i’m on vacation right now and am currently out of canada (where i live). i don’t mind the whole ‘cleaning up the lens’ process for free, but really sucks i can’t fix my wii until i go back to canada which will be at the end of summer. it’s weird how ssbb can mess up my system so badly. just all of the sudden. i don’t even smoke and i always tried my best to keep my wii dust free. i played my wii often enough so it doesn’t catch dust. but seriously, what kind of game console needs to be consistantly played so it doesn’t stop working because of some dust? i’m very doubtful this whole ordeal is even because of dust. i’ve read up on the whole POT adjusting procedure to increase the lens reading capabilities. i mean sure i can give it a try, but im very doubtful on doing so since opening up my wii can seem suspicious to nintendo when i finally send it in after summer.it sucks i have to wait till end of summer and i’m just trying to find a way to fix this myself but i’m very much lost.

    overall i’m very disappointed with my wii. lol. at this point i wish i bought some other console.

  7. James says:

    I am a Zelda fan and I tour apart my Wii and tried fix it that way.and it never worked. NINTENDO SHOULD HAVE A DISK TO SELL TO CLEAN THE LENS.

  8. wjdfogur says:

    yeah i heard there was one in japan that specifically targetted people that couldn’t play brawl. i bought a dvd cleaner myself and tried it out. now all my games work except for brawl. dirty lens? perhaps.

  9. Twist says:

    Funny that I should have this error. I do have a wiikey and so it will cost to repair, I will prob have to de-solder it before shipping this **** off :P
    Why did I get a wiikey? It was $200 to buy a dvd player or $30 for a wiikey to play dvds on my wii. I do not believe in pirating games, terrible! I thought that getting a dvd player out of the thing would be cool and soldering is SOOOO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    So I do not feel bad about getting the chip, and its not illegal to own one, and I love that I can watch movies in my room now!! The fact that they have to “clean” the lens is fishy at best.

    update before clicking submit:
    And the funniest thing is the theory of the pirating stopping is correct!
    here is what WIIKEY has to say (short version):
    WiiKey Update 1.9s

    This is a cumulative update for wiikey, fixing a few bugs and adding some new features.

    Bugs fixed

    – Issue with ORIGINAL Super Smash Bros Brawl discs not working fixed
    – It should now not be possible to render the chip inoperable by using patched config discs

    so it seems that it was directed TOWARDS the illegal people, but the symptoms got mixed up with people that did nothing. Of course, if the truth got out that Nintendo did this, they would have been sued so badly!

    So in my case (I only had trouble with SSBB) After I update it should work. I will update to you guys to relay how everything goes, if the issue is fixed for me, we will all see the truth!

  10. Twist says:

    YES YES YES!!!! Seems us chip owners are in LUCK!!!! The fix was easy, after the update my Brawl game worked instantly!!!!! This was definitely an attack from Nintendo! I am so glad I still get to watch movies in my room!

    So for the people that DO NOT own chips, seems you were the small % that some how got the virus in your system, even without the chip. Nintendo should keep the hacking to the professional losers instead of ruining average folks lives!

    Nintendo must give you a different updated firmware as the “cleaner of the reader” And thats why they can mass fix this issue. What idiots!!!!! I hope this virus they implanted in some new update will be revealed to the world!

    I give Nintendo Props for stupidity! You really outdid Microsoft!

  11. TOM says:

    i brought SSBB on friday i just could not wait to play on it i put it in comes up with unable to read disk this made me mad what NINTENDO should of done is to supply somthing that cleans the console i have just wasted £37 on a game that i can not get working if i send it to nintendo then there is a risk of it getting it lost in the post if i open the wii up and rubbing alchol on the laser
    theres a risk of it breaking i do not want to be getting my money back as SSBB is truely brilliant game ive cleaned every surface on my wii ive been blowing in it for 10 mins that nearly killed me still doesnt work ive yousd a hover to clean it lol that didnt work the only over choices i can now use is canned air or wii lens cleaner i appreciate any other people who can give me relavent info on to fix SSBB

  12. Pab says:

    I’m having more or less the same problem, with the difference that my Brawl used to work…
    Here is the issue: I have a wiikey, and Brawl worked after I updated the wiikey to the newest firmware. I stopped playing with the wii just fine for a month or so and when I came back, brawl started to show the “unable to read disc” error. All the other discs, both originals and backups work fine, including a double-layer backup of brawl… any ideas?

  13. Jennifer says:

    My SSBB works fine, but my Zelda stopped working. I had it professionally buffed out thinking it was a scratch issue. It still did not work. I purchased a new/used disc from ebay and that one did not work either. Why only Zelda? I probably have 20 games, and they all work fine, including SSBB! I bought the CD/DVD lens cleaner, but it is not recognized by Wii. I really would like to handle this issue at home, and not send it to Nintendo. Any suggestions?

  14. Jennifer says:

    Update. The original Zelda disc did not work on a friend’s Wii, and the new disc did for a while. It ended up glitching about 30 minutes into the game. I used the “car wax” disc buffing system on it, and got it working at home. So, I can only assume that it was bad luck with the game disc and not a dirty laser lens.

  15. patrick says:

    well ive been reading…i unlocked everyone on brawl and then it started to give me that error for every game even game cube games…i got a cd cleaner it didnt work because it thought it was a dvd and wouldnt run the disk…i mean i smoke alot maybe thats why it messed up and i got my wii the 2nd week it came out, but the theory on locking them….makes sense

  16. mafme says:

    Has anyone gotten to the bottom of this yet? Has anyone checked the revision of their drive before and after it was sent off? I’m thinking that they’re swapping older, more easily modded drives with newer, trickier to mod drives.

    I don’t know how their manufacturing processes works, but I wonder if they had multiple suppliers for lasers and some weren’t actually able to focus on a second layer.

  17. xjamest says:

    Thres no dust or smoke issue, I had the problem with the SSBB, and a friend just bought a day ago his Wii, and I told him about this problem, and he tried to play it, and it didnt worked (Wii boughted 2 days ago!!!! WTF!!!)….. And, as someone says, Im in the third world, and I will try to get it fixed cause its warranty is still valid, but being in Mexico, wish me luck…..

    Is that true that with the Wiikey and its last update SSBB works??

    See ya!!

  18. noel32 says:

    i just bought the official wii lens cleaner.. hopfuly it works

  19. Paul_logsdon2005 says:

    The official wii lens cleaner works and its only $9.99 at most game stores

  20. Ian says:

    SWIM plays a ripped version of SSBB on there modded Wii all the time and they haven’t had any trouble at all. They waited for an iso to hit the torrent community that had bypassed the update and so they didn’t get to play it the day it came out like a true Nintendo fanboy, but they also have every game worth owning and are only $300 bucks into their Wii.

    If you want to pirate games, I highly suggest buying a mod for the wii which clips to the drive cable and allows usb loading from a hdd so you can still have all the speed (clips only read at 3x if you use the dvd drive). If your system has a problem you can open it back up to remove the clipped mod chip and buy a new set of stickers and feet to make your wii look like its never been opened. SWIMy cousin actually removed a soldered hard mod on a Wii he bricked and sent it in. He was really careful to make the solder points look clean and original and they replaced his. He didn’t even replace the stickers and rubber feet but was just really careful not to damage them during removal. It’s not like the wii has a warranty sticker like the ps3 which leaves VOID behind when you lift it. The only way I could see this not working is if you didn’t mod your own and consequentially didn’t know how to remove the mod. But my philosophy is that modding is a lifestyle and you can’t just buy into a lifestyle. You shouldn’t own a modded system if you don’t understand it enough to install the mod yourself.

  21. Kamon says:

    My games load and I can hit the start button, but then after that on the loading screen for the games it tells me I have a disc error and that I need to eject the disc and turn off the power.
    So is a dirty lens my problem?

  22. Eddie says:

    Sent mine away and was sent back with d3-2

  23. rashaan says:

    can u get dis @ gamstop

  24. lex says:

    I bought a wii, being a nintendo fan because of their quality in making game symstems durable.

    Now I want to play the last story, it doesn’t work. been back to the shop, swapped it for another copy of the game. Still doens’t work!!!

    I look after my nintendo, on my 40 games, there’s no scratch to be seen. So what i gather from this is the following: Nintendo used to be a company who was all about quality, nowadays they prefere too put inferiore laser lensen in theior systems that can’t even read a doucle layer disc properly.

    Concusion: If nintendo doesn’t respect me, I won’t respect them. Let the hacked games and homebrew channel come in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!