If you are a music fan, you know that there is something special about hearing a song played on vinyl compared to on your phone. Whether it’s The Beatles, ACDC, Fleetwood Mac, or Michael Jackson that you prefer listening to, nothing beats the musical sound of a vinyl record.
Luckily, many of the original pieces of vinyl that contain the amazing songs of these artists are still out there. Unfortunately, pieces of vinyl are quite easy to break and/or scratch. Due to this, we thought it important to share some of our tips and tricks on how to take care of your vinyl records. So, read below if you want more information on how to best protect and take care of your records.
When storing your vinyl, it is important to store them in an area with low humidity and heat. It is important that the place where the records are kept dry and the temperature leans towards the cooler side. The main reason it is recommended to store your vinyl in this type of environment is to avoid warping.
Warping is when your record becomes deformed due to heat or moisture. If this occurs, it is likely that your record will become unplayable and thus ruined. This is why a cool and dry climate is suggested for storage.
Most records will come with a sleeve that the record is set in. This sleeve is supposed to help prevent the scratching of the vinyl. Most sleeves are made of paper, and while this is better than nothing, it does not prevent all scratches from happening. If you are very serious about keeping your record in prime condition, you should look into getting polypropylene sleeves. These sleeves help to prevent scratching from the paper, dust collection, and damages caused by taking the record in and out of the album jacket. There are also sleeves that contain a mixture of polypropylene and paper, and this is a good in-between if you are looking for better protection at a cheaper rate.
With all of these being said, the most important takeaway is that if you are trying to protect your record, it is important that you use some type of sleeve when storing it.
Touching Your Vinyl
When touching your vinyl, it is important that not only do you grab on to the correct place but that you also treat it with care. You want to avoid touching anywhere besides the center where the label is or the vinyl edge. If you touch anywhere else, you risk the possibility of not only scratching the vinyl but also getting dust, dirt, oil, etc., onto the record, which could, in turn, change the sound of the vinyl.
It is also important to note that pieces of vinyl are not very heavy-duty, so it is important to treat them with care. Avoid dropping, bending, or bumping your vinyl into anything in order to prevent it from being damaged easily. In general, it is important that you use caution when handling your records.
It is important to clean your records periodically if they don’t receive much use and to at least dry clean them before and after they are played. This will keep your records in great shape and prevent any dirt, dust, etc., from getting in the way of the sound.
In order to dry clean before you play your records, you are going to want to use a carbon fiber brush. This will help get all of that dirt and other materials off your record. Try to avoid using materials such as your shirt or a rag to clean your records because these items can actually contain materials, such as dust that will harm your record instead of clean it.
It is important to do a deeper clean of your records every once in a while. In this case, you are going to want to do a wet clean. A wet clean consists of wiping down your records using a microfiber cloth and distilled water mixed with some record cleaning fluid. It is also important to use another microfiber cloth to dry your vinyl after wiping it down.
These are the main cleaning habits that you should do to preserve your vinyl for a longer amount of time. If you feel like your record is still not clean after trying the methods above, it is possible to take it into a shop with a cleaning machine or buy your own if you think it is needed.
Stylus of Player
While the stylus is not a part of a record itself, if a stylus on a record player is worn down, it can cause permanent damage to the records. Damaged or dirty styluses can cause scratches to your record as well as spread dirt and dust into the grooves of your vinyl.
In order to protect your records, it is important that you not only clean your stylus on a regular basis but replace it as needed. A good rule of thumb that can be applied when it comes to replacing the stylus is to do so every year.
In order to clean your stylus, you can purchase cleaning kits off of Amazon or from your local music stores that will come with step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
Records are one of the most popular collectibles and fun collectibles to have. If you enjoy your vinyl and wish to continue to be able to listen to it, or you wish to be able to sell them to other collectors in the future, it is important to store and maintain your records correctly.
If you have a record and want to know the specific value of what you own, contact Prestige Estate Services for an online or in-person evaluation.
Your vinyl might be more than fun to listen to – it could have a hidden value!