Vinyl records have made a strong comeback in the past few years, but these treasures don’t come cheap. On average, an album on vinyl is twice the cost of a digital purchase or CD copy. So if you want your collection to last, you need to take care of your precious playables.
With Record Store Day just around the corner, you’ll likely be dishing out more dough than normal. Here are the five most common ways you could be harming your vinyl.
STACKING YOUR RECORDS
Keep them upright! Stacking records or even leaning them on a hard angle can create too much pressure which can cause your records to warp or scratch. Sure doesn’t make for a fun playback.
(Photo by Jessica Wissel via Flickr)
DISRESPECTING THE SLEEVE
Getting a new record is exciting, you want to play it as quick as possible once your home but don’t disregard the sleeves, they are there for a reason: to keep your vinyl safe from scratches and dust. Keep an eye on your older records too, the sleeves might be a little moldy depending on your storage location.
YOUR DAMP COLD BASEMENT
Cold, dingy, damp unfinished basements are like suicide for your records. Check the temperature where you store your collection; 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is optimal. So, don’t put them beside your heater or on your window sill, friends.
(Photo by Helen Carruthers via Flickr)
HANDLE WITH CARE
Your hands are oily and greasy, yes – even yours. This oil can affect the way a record plays. Just like you wouldn’t put your prints on a CD, hold your vinyl by the sides and centre label only.
TREATING YOUR RECORDS LIKE SUNGLASSES
But you shouldn’t clean them like you would a pair of shades. Here’s how to do a proper cleaning:
- 1. You’ll need a soft lint free cloth, preferably cotton
- 2. Cleaning spray (available at your local shop) or you can create this: 1 part isopropyl alcohol and 4 parts distilled water (20 percent isopropyl to 80 percent water)
- 3. Wipe in a gentle circular motion from the edge to the middle or vice versa
- 4. Air dry and don’t put back it back in a dirty sleeve, or else what’s the point, you know?
(Photo by Mai via Flickr)