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Using a Microwave to Destroy CD and DVD disks

First, it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. I am not responsible for any damage or consequence should you choose to use the following information for your own use. You, and you alone are solely responsible for your actions and the consequences thereof. That said, I’ll tell you how I use a microwave to destroy CD and DVD data.

First, you need a microwave oven. Any microwave oven will do, but I suggest using one that no one really cares about. Nuking CD’s and DVD’s does produce an unpleasant burnt smell that can linger in the microwave for a few minutes. Using the family microwave or the workplace microwave could get you yelled at. However, I think it’s perfectly fine to use your mother-in-law’s microwave, but only if you are planning on nuking a large stack of disks.

Both commercially manufactured and burnt CD and DVD disks have trace amounts of metal in them. There is just enough metal to react with microwaves in the microwave oven, but not enough to cause any significant damage to the microwave oven in short bursts.

Place a CD or DVD data-side down on a paper or microwave safe plate inside the microwave. Use only one disk at a time. Set the microwave on high, and set the time for no more than 15 seconds per disk.

When you activate the microwave, you will see an interesting little light show as the metallic components of the disk disrupt. When you are done, your disk will look something like this one:



Completely Unreadable!

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