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    How to Maintain Your Vinyl Records

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    Record GroovesVinyl Records Are High-Maintenance…

    It’s unfortunate, but true. While vinyl records provide the sweetest sounds, they won’t for very long if you do not maintain them properly. Vinyl records are victims to many of the same ailments as CDs, particularly scratches, and exposure to sunlight and heat. Vinyl records also suffer from various other problems as well. Here are 9 tips that will keep your vinyl in great shape…

    Maintenance Tip #1: Store Vinyl Records Vertically

    The first thing to consider when storing your vinyl is the direction. You should always store your vinyl records vertically. By storing them vertically, there is significantly less stress put on the record, ensuring that they don’t bend or deform over time.

    Maintenance Tip #2: Don’t Store Vinyl Records Horizontally

    Vinyl should never be stored horizontally, especially under a pile of other records, or other heavy object(s). The weight causes damage to the grooves over time, degrading the sound quality over time.

    Maintenance Tip #3: Don’t Let Vinyl Records Lean

    Vinyl should not be allowed to lean either. This can cause them to warp, and you can imagine the difficulties this causes.

    Maintenance Tip #4: Don’t Store Vinyl Records Too Tightly

    One other tip, don’t store records too tightly, even vertically, as this also puts pressure on the grooves, deforming them over time. This is the same reason why you shouldn’t store vinyl records horizontally under other records or heavy objects.

    Mainteance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Cool!

    Vinyl should also be stored in a cooler portion of your house. Heat causes the records to get softer, and prone to bending and damage. You should never store your vinyl near a window or heater.

    Maintenance Tip #5: Keep Your Records Away From Humidity

    Take care to keep your vinyl away from humidity. Humidity eventually causes mold to grow, which can lead to damage to your record and cover sleeve. It’s really difficult to get mold and dirt out of those tiny record grooves. Treat your vinyl with respect! Don’t throw it in your basement or attic for 20 years and expect them to come out looking good.

    Maintenance Tip #6: Always Store Your Records in their Sleeves

    Vinyl should not be stored outside of its liner or sleeve. This makes it easier for the record to get dirty, and more prone to scratches. Dirt is one of the main things that scratches records. In addition to dirt causing damage, exposed vinyl can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays. This is another reason not to store your vinyl near a window or natural light source.

    Maintenance Tip #7: Always Handle Vinyl Records by the Edges

    When handling your vinyl, the same rules apply as with CDs. Be careful to handle the record only by its edges. Don’t be careless with the record in hand, if it drops, you could cause a bad scratch, causing the record to skip, and damaging the record permanently.

    Maintenance Tip #8: Be Careful With The Stylus

    If you don’t have an automatic turntable, be gentle with the stylus (needle). Don’t set it down too heavily. Be mindful while the record is playing too: Try not to shake the turntable, causing the needle to skip across the record, causing minor scratches that degrade the sound of the record.

    Maintenance Tip #9: Brush the Record, and Return It To Its Sleeve

    Lastly, when you’re done playing your record, you should give it a quick brush to remove any dust and static. Finally, return it to its sleeve. If you plan on listening to your vinyl for any decent period of time, you should absolutely invest in a carbon fiber record brush.

    That’s it, folks! 9 Tips for keeping your vinyl LPs in great shape.

    Enjoy the music!

    Join the Conversation: Post a Comment!

    Topics: Sound Quality | 8 Comments »

    8 Responses to “How to Maintain Your Vinyl Records”

    1. kevin Says:
      January 26th, 2010 at 5:55 am

      I never brush my vinyl because there is a chance of driving dust further into the grooves, maintain your stylus and let that clean the grooves out.

    2. ny10522 Says:
      January 21st, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      I agree, don´t brush records. Brushing the record will also electrically charge them, attracting more dust. Best way to clean records is with a VPI manual cleaning machine. You add a small quantity of liquid to a spinning LP and vacuum the liquid and collected dust up.

    3. john saylor Says:
      April 16th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Here is a great tip for cleaning records . I spray a small squirt of furniture polish such as pledge or powerhouse on the tip of a q-tip, start record spinning put q-tip against the record and follow it out as if it was the stylus applying a little pressure 2-3 passes at about a minute a pass sometimes. You will be amazed how much grime comes out of the grooves. the important thing about this procedure is to clean and play immediately as the cleaner can cause the latents to stick harder into the grooves. The characteristics of the polish is that it has conditioning and antistatic properties so give it a try I think you will be pleased. I have collected albums for over 30 years and have used brushes and cleaning systems and nothing seems to work as good as this. I also discourage the use of isopropal alcohol because it dries out the vinyl and creates a brittle sound. I also wanted to state that when cleaning with the procedure I have mentioned the needle will dig out the groove thus requiring lifting of the tone arm and cleaning off the stylus once or twice depending on how dirty the record is, but after a full play the record is like fresh cut vinyl cleaned, preserved and ready to enjoy.

    4. Como cuidar discos de vinilo | Manuales y Tutoriales Says:
      November 8th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      […] tips anteriores fueron sacados de VynilREVynil, sitio que recomiendo a los fanáticos de este […]

    5. Dawn Says:
      November 16th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Has anyone tried microfiber cloths to clean vinyl? I’m sure they would do an AMAZING job.

    6. Jack Says:
      January 31st, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Always play your records with the dust cover down. Occasionally use a diskwasher or the equivalent with the proper fluid to remove any foreign material that might be accumulating on the grooves such as hair. Common sense goes a long way.

      Have been spinning licorice pizza for the better part of 45 years and my records, for the most part, are still in pristine condition.

    7. Doktor Sultan Says:
      January 28th, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      Brushing your records…:
      -Will not push dust deeper (unless you use your brush as a paintbrush instead of a cleaner)
      -Will not charge your record

      That is if you use a carbon fibre brush. Carbon fibre works antistatic, it decharges the vinyl.
      And you have to push the hair ends against the direction you record is turning. This way all dust accumulates in the brush. Do not brush as most do: “paint” the record.

      For debris: use 70% isopropyl alcohol and soft, non perfumed toilet paper (which you throw away after use.) End with the carbon fibre brush to pick up dried debris that didn’t evaporate with the alcohol.

    8. Record Collecting Beginners Guide: How to Get Started? | Devoted to Vinyl Says:
      January 8th, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      […] Maintaining your vinyl is a very important part of having a larger collection. There are things you simply need to do from time to time in order to prevent your records from deteriorating. […]