Never stack records on top of each other whether in their jackets or not. This is one sure fire way to cause warping, possible cracking of the vinyl record because of the weight, and will inevitably produce scuff marks and ring wear on the album cover marring the artwork. Records must always be stored upright like books on a shelf. Because of their size and weight, regular bookshelves don't work well to store vinyl records so consider a real record storage shelf or cube instead.
Never stack vinyl records as shown in this photo as it can lead to warped discs and ring wear on the album jackets.
Read more on why you shouldn't wet play records. If you want to reduce static pops when playing a record then get one of these. Keep fingers off the record How do you handle a vinyl record? Never touch the record's playing surface with your bare hands or fingers as your body oil will transfer onto the record attracting even more dust thereby affecting sound quality.
Always hold a record by its outer edges only. If you accidentally touch a record, it is best to immediately clean it with a liquid record cleaner before putting it back in its sleeve. Keep your filthy paws off the playing surface of a record.
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Your T-shirt or towel is not a record cleaner Can I give my records a quick whisk with a towel? Resist the temptation to wipe your vinyl record with your shirt or dry cloth no matter how soft it may feel. This will scratch and scuff the record and only move the dirt around. For dry cleaning or light touch up, use an anti-static record brush as it actually discharges static and lifts dirt without damaging the vinyl record.
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View step-by-step directions on how to clean records. If it's not specifically labelled for use on vinyl records then please do NOT use it.
1. Remember to clean your records before putting them in their jackets.
Never use WD40, lubricants, or solvents of any kind on your records. Never place or pick up a vinyl record as the turntable platter is spinning. This will quickly scratch the underside of a record. Always wait for the platter to come to a complete stop before doing anything with the record.
Vinyl LP Record Handling & Care | Vinyl LP Care
If your turntable platter uses a rubber or felt mat then make sure it is clean before placing a record on top of it first. Don't mar that beautiful album cover art with tape Can I use masking tape or Scotch tape to fix record jackets? Refrain from using Scotch tape or packaging tape to fix a record cover that is splitting or tearing.
It will completely destroy the cover. As the cellophane tape ages, it becomes brittle, yellows, and will ooze adhesive making things worse than before. Best to place the record jacket in a poly outer sleeve and place the record in its inner sleeve behind it or place the record in its inner sleeve inside a generic cardboard record jacket and save the original jacket for safekeeping.
Do you know which sleeves are right for your vinyl records? Generic replacement record jackets are great for replacing water-damaged, lost or torn jackets.
However, these sheets can scratch records as you slide them in and out as well as create paper dust. Plus with them being paper, they rip and deteriorate much easier and much quicker. Hardcore collectors will also note that some of these paper sleeves come with pressing dates, record company logos and other interesting quirks, so double check before you bin them. It eliminates the issues of dust and scratchy paper damages when taking it in and out of the sleeve. Some also have rounded corners making life even easier.
Paper with poly lining — As you can probably guess, a mixture of the above. The outside paper makes the sleeve much more rigid whilst the poly lining inside lets the vinyl slip in much smoother with a lower risk of scratching and collecting dust. Brush lightly along the grooves and this will help prevent the build up of dust and other dirt. The carbon strands on the outer surface of the cleaner reduce the static charge on the vinyl which attracts dust and the inner part usually a cloth material then collects the dust on the second wipe after the static is reduced.
Valuable Vinyl: Caring for Your Prized Classical LPs
Remember to regularly clean the brush too. This should be a regular practice in your listening sessions. Wet Cleaning — Highly recommended when you want to give your records a deep clean. A mixture of record cleaning fluid and water distilled, not tap!
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Cleaning Machines — Once you have a big collection, cleaning records by hand might be a lot of effort. There are vacuum cleaning machines that automatically apply a cleaning solution and then vacuum the liquid off again. There are also spin cleaners that clean the record with the solution as it spins with the brushes cleaning off the dirt.
Taking Care Of Your Vinyl Records
Although effective, they can be expensive. Spread on the glue, wait for it to dry and peel away. Try this out on an old vinyl first before applying to your entire collection.