How to Care for Your Vinyl Records

You might be amazed that something so antiquated as vinyl is still popular amongst the modern technology we have at our fingertips. But it is. In fact, vinyl is now so sought after, that last year Sony started producing vinyl records again due to popular demand.

Vinyl is popular not only with the older generation, who can remember it nostalgicallyfirst-time round but also with the younger generation hearing it for the first time. If you want to learn more about the equipment you will need to play vinyl records, then this great site all the information and buying guides you need.

If you have never listened to vinyl before, then try it now! There really is nothing quite like the sound from a vinyl record. If you are a fan of vinyl or starting a collection, read on for our tips on caring for your collection.

Storing Your Records.

A vinyl record looks like a delicate thing but oddly the best advice is not to store it flat. Storing your records piled up on top of each other can easily misshape and warp them. So, store them vertically.

This probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Keep your collection away from extreme temperatures and also areas of high humidity.

You may not think so, as a record is so light, but a stack of records can be quite heavy. In fact, try and move a box of records and you will see what I mean. This means you should keep your collection on top of something sturdy.

This means that you should store your records vertically in a clean, dry place away from heat or direct sunlight, on a sturdy surface.

Avoid Dust.

Something so seemingly insignificant as a bit of dust is actually one of the main enemies of a vinyl record!Therefore, you need to keep your records dust free.

Vinyl records come with a sleeve inside a cover. These are not the best thing, as they are made of paper which is not great on the dust protection front. However, they are better than not having anything at all so at the very minimum, keep the sleeve and always store your record in it.

If you don’t want to entrust your prized collection to a paper sleeve, you can buy paper sleeves lined with polyethylene. This will keep static and dust away from your records. You can also purchase sleeves made entirely from poly, but these are more expensive.

You can also now buy additional plastic outer sleeves which you may want to consider. If not for all your records, certainly for your favourites.

Handling Your Records.

If you remember vinyl records from the firsttime round, you will almost certainly know how to handle a vinyl record. If not, you need to learn pretty quickly, as handling a record incorrectly is a sure-fire way to damage your record.

The grooves in the record are where the music and the magic is. So, you must ensure you don’t touch these bits of the record. The way to move a record around is to touch only the edges and the label, and be careful!

Cleaning Your Records.

However well you store your records, they will still need the occasional clean. Keeping your records clean is the best, and easiest, way to maintain them. Like with so many things, there are many differing opinions on how to correctly clean a vinyl record. If you are serious about collection vinyl, you probably want to do your own research about cleaning and caring for your records. However, here are some fairly basic ways to clean your vinyl.

  • Use a brush. No, not just any brush. You need a brush with carbon fibre bristles. Brush your record before and after each play to ensure both record and stylus are protected as much as possible. Make sure you brush along the grooves, not across them.
  • Clean your brush. The brush cleans the record by picking up the dust, so becomes dusty itself. Ensure you regularly clean the brush too.
  • Wet clean. You can buy record cleaning fluid which you mix with distilled water. You then apply this to your record with a micro-fibre cloth before drying with another micro-fibre cloth. I know it sounds a lot of faff, but once you have bought the components, it is not difficult to do.
  • Cleaning machine. If you are going into vinyl in a big way, you can by a cleaning machine. Probably not required for a normal domestic collection.

Caring for Your Equipment.

Whatever equipment you play your records on, it will always have a stylus. That is the bit that touches the record so it is imperative that you take care of this delicate piece. Many a record has been ruined by a damaged stylus. And yes, that is the voice of experience. Never try to clean dust off a stylus with your hand. You can buy a stylus cleaning brush to keep your stylus free from dust and static.

If your turntable has a lid, you should always keep this closed whether it is in use, or not. This will minimise dust and also reduce the risk of damage to both the equipment and the record. Also, ensure you have the proper mat to play the record on. Taking care of your equipment will prolong the life of your vinyl.

Vinyl is an amazing listening experience. However, vinyl records are fairly maintenance heavy. They take time to care for and are easily damaged often irreparably. However, well cared for records can last more than one lifetime. This is certainly worth a little time and effort. If you love the thought of your children, and grandchildren, listening to your vinyl collection, then take care of your vinyl records.