View Full Version : Which marker type safe to use to write on CDs?

25-11-2004, 04:08 PM
I keep my backups on CD, and write a label on each CD with a laundry marker or felt-tip pen, whichever I can find. Lately I have found that some of the older backups are non-functional - could this be the marker? Is there a particular type of marker that should ideally be used? Any help appreciated - thanks

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
25-11-2004, 04:18 PM
Yes, the CD will require it's own pen :)

I use a 'Staedtler LumoColor CD-R Pen Black M[edium tip]'

.. available from all good book shops ;-)

Roughly $3 or $4 I remember it was

25-11-2004, 04:22 PM
Thank you! I had asked at my local computer shop, but they said any marker would do... off to buy one now. Much appreciated.

Graham L
25-11-2004, 04:36 PM
A laundry marker might have an unusually savage solvent. They are good markers but I wouldn't use one on CDs. ;-)

25-11-2004, 05:55 PM
Bit late for me to ask really... still, I am about to do a whole lot of backups before upgrading to SP2, so will ditch the laundry marker.
Thanks Graham

25-11-2004, 06:28 PM
i use i "vivid" i thought these are quite good or not?

Jen C
25-11-2004, 06:36 PM
> i use i "vivid" i thought these are quite good or not?

Vivid markers are solvent based, which can damage the plastic of the CD, however lots of people use vivid without ill effects. I play it safe, and just use the specialised CD markers which are alcohol based.

25-11-2004, 06:42 PM
vivid has what solvent in it?


25-11-2004, 06:45 PM
If I don't remember wrong, it's Acetone which is a very powerful organic solvent (like a more powerful version of Meths).

Just to hijack this thread slightly, I use a Staedtler Lumocolor Permanent Marker to mark my CDRs - the CDRs are the type which don't have a write-on surface, but just have a shiny top as well. Is this safe to use?

Bryan D
25-11-2004, 10:25 PM
Annie, check out the following story for CD related problems:


There have been several articles about the glue from stick-on labels eating the top protective layer on the Cd. The recommendation is don't use a sticky label on a CD you want to keep long term.

26-11-2004, 01:14 AM
There are special markers made to write on CDs, you can read about them here:


26-11-2004, 01:28 AM
I should be embarrased to state what I've used just to mark CDs.

I've used a medium point, quick dry... wait for it... paint marker (you know, the ones for marking steel), it's water proof and opaque oil-base, I'm not too phased whether it will ruin the CDs though, but it may flake inside the drive, while going for a spin, and then that would be chaotic.

My uncle learnt the hard way, when he though using a scribe and scratching his initials into his music cds was a good idea, if only he understood how CDs worked. He hated the skipping and decided to throw all his CDs away, thankfully only a small collection.

I now use the correct marker for the job and made sure I had plenty as they keep going amiss.


John H
26-11-2004, 09:45 AM
Dick Smith Electronics sell a pack of four fine point CD markers. I have found them to be very successful.

Graham L
26-11-2004, 11:40 AM
As far as I know, Vivid markers have alcohol solvent. I used to "revive" them with a bit of meths.

The problem is not so much one of solvents attacking the polycarbonate, it's more that solvents can permeate the plastic, and dissolve the dye (which is what stores your data) or the reflective layer (which is essentialfor thelaser to read your data).

If you can look at the bottom side of the CD and see what you have written on the label side, I would say that you have an unreadable CD.:D

26-11-2004, 12:59 PM
Thanks everyone for all your helpful comments

John H
26-11-2004, 01:20 PM
The brand at DSE is TDK if the extra info is of any assistance. Four colours, labelled CD Markers.

26-11-2004, 06:25 PM
Thanks John - I am now the proud owner of a pack.

26-11-2004, 06:27 PM
Oh no - oh no - oh no - I thought the whole pen marker thing was a marketing ploy - oh no - all those good CDs - OH NO!

27-11-2004, 01:20 PM
Started to get all worried there as I am using a "Stabilo OHPen universal". It says permanent but does not identify whether water based or whatever.

A search on Google however set my mind at rest as it specifically mentions that it is fine for CD's

Bought for $3-66 at Whitcoulls (at least that is my recollection of price as I tore off the price tag to check on the details).
Misty :) >relief !<